#29 February 2011 Cruising Chronicles Marathon, Florida Keys

Bahia Honda
While the rest of the US was bundled up, shoveling snow, and braving the ice, we were basking in the balmy breezes and fabulous weather of the FL Keys. We're in the middle of a spectacular 100 mile archipelago jutting into the tropical blue waters off
Florida's southern coast and this is unlike anywhere else in the United States.

Mom Laura and Son Matt
Matt fled the frozen tundra of Dallas, TX, and came to the Keys for a visit. His arrival found us on the upper deck of Burdine's Restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the setting sun. We had a fabulous time and found time to go to Key West. Cycling and kayaking were also "musts".  We also took a dive boat to Sombrero Key where we snorkeled and were amazed as we watched the rainbow of colors living in and on the reef.

My Son, Matt
Our world is so small! Anita, the wife of a fellow-cruiser was here for a visit. She and I were in elementary, middle and high school together in Pensacola, FL, graduating with a class of 625. We hadn't seen each other in 53 years!!!!!!!!!! A great serendipity.  And yet another----1 of our 2 favorite performing musicians here graduated from New York's Rochester Institute of Technology, Bill's alma mater, and even stranger--they were there at the same time!!!

Anita and Laura
     One of our dock mates plays banjo and sings with a local musician so we've been able to sit back in a lush and beautifully tropical, very Keysie setting and enjoy his music.
     There is quite a bit of oil mogul Henry Flagler Railroad history here.  Below is a portion of the old bridge which spanned the 5055 foot Bahia Honda Channel and was built over the old east coast railway.  This was sometimes referred to as Flaglers' Folly.  Construction began in 1905 and was completed in 1912.

Flaglers' Folly
     A group of trawlers arrived from the Stuart area for a 2 night visit in Marathon. Certainly that called for a spur-of-the-moment party attended by 53 cruisers. Great food, wonderful folks, and a fun time!

Key West Sunset from Mallory Square
Virginia residents, Rosemary and Bill, friends we met at Cambridge's Grand Banks rendezvous last fall, were in Miami for the boat show and drove down to spend time with us. We had a great visit and lunched right on the beach overlooking the ocean. It as wonderful to catch up with them again.

Our days here are too quickly drawing to a close. Our cruising neighbors are so very interesting with lots of education and fascinating work histories prior to their retirement. There are quite a few CIA Agents; an assistant Secretary of State; a woman who's a nuclear engineer; a physicist; someone who was of the upper echelon of the Securities and Exchange Commission; and the list goes on. They are so very humble and self-effacing and none of them have ever mentioned their background unless specifically asked---and even then they don't elaborate.  Admitting to my past as educator and registered nurse seemed to pale in comparison.
En route to our Valentine's Dinner

Since we were here for 2 months I felt it only right to give back to our community so I volunteered at the library. That has been so fascinating and so much fun. The diverse patrons were intriguing! "Giving back" really nets more than the outlay of time spent.
The Pig Hop
Marathon has an annual Pig Festival complete with Pig Races of Pot Belly Pigs and always 'something for the children'. Most events have drawing power for the little ones.  There is something going on here every night and most certainly every weekend!  For National Pig Day there were pig races.  What a sight!

And they're off!!!!!!!

So it's with National Pig Day and the pig races that our month of February ends.  Spring is coming for you guys---I feel it in my bones!  Enjoy the daffodils and tulips and till next month...

Around the track they go faster than the speed of sound....

Bill and Laura
Kindred Spirit III
The Florida Keys
Marathon, FL


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