Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Express Keys Tour

My daughter Kim arrived on Thursday, February 18th at 3:20 in the afternoon after driving from Miami in her snappy little rental. 

The sun was shining and the temperature was in the mid 60s.  We loaded her luggage in the dingy and motored out to "Passage".  Sue made a wonderful Mahi Mahi dinner, and we spent the evening visiting on board.

Friday brought cloudy, cool, breezy weather.  After breakfast Kim and I motored to shore with  the propane tank.  Kim drove us across the Seven Mile Bridge in her rented Toyota to a camp ground, and we refilled the tank.  This task was followed by a water run.  We filled water jugs and dingied our 21 gallons of water back to the boat.  After lunch on board, we dingied around the harbor and down Sister's Creek to the Atlantic Ocean.

Undeterred by the cold, cloudy weather, we completed our tour of the harbour and headed for the dingy dock.  We hopped into the rental car, and Kim drove us to Sombrero Beach.  Kim picked up a few shells as we strolled on the ocean's edge.  Kim was then able to experience the thrill of showering in Boot Key Harbour City Marina's new shower building.  Fortunately we had warm water.  As Kim said, the fun part was not dropping anything on the wet floor of the little shower room!  That evening we ate at Dockside so that Kim could experience our favorite keys restaurant and enjoy the music of John Bartus.  Fortunately, we were able to get a table under a propane heater.  As usual the food was great.  On the way back to "Passage" in the dark, we watched the Florida Marine Patrol ticketing boats who failed to display an anchor light.

Saturday we awoke to clear skies and warming temperatures, perfect for our day in Key West.  We hopped into the Toyota and Kim drove to Key West.  Our first stop was the marker for the southernmost point in the US.

We had to stroll on the southermost beach in the US too.  The day was perfect: sunny and warm with a nice breeze.

Then it was on to Dante's for lunch.  Kim was able to sample some stone crab claws and a huge burger.

We were forced to wait for the entertainment since Brian Roberts was late due to an accident on US 1.

Brian performed with his band, the Prime Movers.  They were pretty good.  One of us seemed to enjoy the show more than the others.

After lunch we spent the afternoon strolling down Duval Street and doing a little shopping.  We viewed the city from the top of the La Concha Hotel.  Then we went to Mallory Square to see some entertainment.  Kim was able to enjoy the zany entertainment of the Key West Cat man.

While the Cat Man performed, Sue's photos show Kim in the audience wondering if his behavior is an act or if he really is bonkers.  I think the jury may be out on that one.

Of course there was the sunset to enjoy too.

All in all, it was a nearly perfect day in Key West, and a great time was had by all.

After the sun set, we enjoyed a dinner at Turtle Kraals in the Key West Bight and then drove back to Marathon.  We discovered that if one showers at 10:30 p.m., one has really hot water.   That is a rarity in a harbour with 14 showers and 225 mooring balls.

Kim left Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m.  Although it was way too short, we had a great visit and will miss her until we get home in April.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Kool in the Keys

February has been a fun month so far.  On the 6th Sue and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary at Dockside.

Every Saturday night Dockside has a different band.  This group was from Colorado.  They were pretty good, although unique.  Unfortunately, we cannot remember the name of the band.

On Sunday we continued our anniversary weekend celebration by attending the Pigeon Key Art Show, which was held in the park next to the marina.  There were many wonderful artists on display, and we did pick up one small work of art.  However, the real reason for going was the live entertainment.

Here you see Sue and our friend Tammy Roe from "Osprey" sitting on either side of local music legend Rocketman the Pirate.  Rocketman told us all about his neice, singer Katy Perry.  Rocketman was the emcee for the music at the stage in the park.  We were there to see Sue's favorite, Brian Roberts.

Brian played for two hours straight.  Here Rocketman joins Brian on stage to sing a duet.  After the performance Brian rushed off of the stage to say hello to Sue, who apparently must be considered a Brian Roberts groupie.

A folk singing duo called Patchouli also performed.  They were superb guitarists, and Julie Patchouli wrote all of her own music.  She was a fabulous singer. They invited Rocketman to sit in for one song to do percussion.

Then they passed noise makers so that the audience could be involved.  A fun time was had by all.

Not everyone seemed to display the same level of enthusiasm.

On Tuesday Dennis and Barbara Snelson on "Noble House" drove us to Sharkeys in Key Colony, were we enjoyed happy hour.  Happy hour consisted of chicken wings or shrimp for twenty five cents each.  It was great eating and a great deal.  Thursday we were back at Dockside with Tammy and Jerel, enjoying their rib special.  The ribs were awesome!  We were joined by Carl and Margaret from "Trust Me", whom we had met at the Glades Boat yard in November.  They are anchored right next to us.  We all enjoyed the music of Joe Mamma.  Unfortunately, I forgot the camera.  The weather turned cold, though, so we sat under the propane heater.

On Saturday the 13th we walked a mile to the bookstore, where Florida author Tim Dorsey was doing a book signing.  We got there early and purchased the first four books of his "Serge" mystery series, then met Tim, who signed them and agreed to pose for a photo with Charlie, the owner of the bookstore.

That's Charlie on the left and Tim Dorsey in the middle.

We then hiked south another mile and visited longtime friends Jim and Sharon Angel aboard their trawler "Blue Angel".  They are at the dock at Marathon Marina waiting for a mooring ball to open up.  We had a nice visit.  They are always fun.

The days have been in the low 60s and the nights are as low as 50 degrees this week, so it gets a little cold in the boat at night.  The cold air does reward us with beautiful sunsets, however.

We are currently getting ready for a long weekend visit from my daughter Kim.  We are very excited to see her, and Sue has worked hard to clear out an aft cabin for her to sleep in.  It will be colder than she had hoped for, but I am sure we will have a wonderful visit.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Feeling Keysey

Life on the mooring ball in Boot Key Harbor City Marina in Marathon is great.

The city added a new dingy dock which is located in front of the Cheekee Hut.  Finding dingy space is no longer a problem.

The new laundry and restroom and shower building is open.  With about 14 showers there is no longer any waiting, despite having 225 boats on mooring balls and many more anchored.  We have settled in to our comfortable daily routines of living in paradise.

On Saturday the 22nd of January we joined Jerel and Tammy Roe of  "Osprey" on a bus excusion to two flea markets on Pine Island.  We first visited a nautical flea market, where Sue bought a small painting by a local artist who it turns out is living on a mooring ball about 200 feet from us.  Then we enjoyed the weekly regular flea market just one mile down the road.

We then hopped on the bus for the ride back to Marathon, where we enjoyed fresh fish sandwiches at Keys Fisheries.

We also visited the new West Marine store.

The good news is that the store is twice as large as the old one.  The bad news is that they are no longer on the Marathon Boatyard property, so the boatyard has removed the dingy dock.  The only way to get to West Marine now is to walk the mile or so down US 1.

On Tuesday, January 26th we took the bus to Key West along with Jerel and Tammy.  The 50 mile ride is only a $1.50 for seniors.  What a great deal.  We rented bicycles and rode the long way to Sloppy Joe's, where we enjoyed lunch while being entertained by Sue's favorite singer, Brian Roberts.

Brian is a good singer and a darn fine guitar player.  I think that is what Sue likes about him.

The view from the top of the La Concha hotel in Key West was great.  We have never visited the lighthouse, so we will have to include that in our next trip.


We have only eaten at Dockside, our favorite waterfront restaurant, twice.  Although we usually eat fish, their prime rib was unbelievably good last Saturday night.  It also doesn't hurt that they have live entertainment seven nights a week.  We are meeting some really nice people and having a great time.  Hope that you are too.