#32 March 2011 Cruising Chronicles The Florida Keys
This year's lost another page from the calendar and we spent it in the Florida Keys.
|Just wondered if blonds have more fun!<>This is the end of the bright work. Bill's finishing up our name boards under the shade of a coconut palm tree.>>>>> >>>>>>>>>>>|
This specimen of architectural interest is on Key Colony Beach. Note the arched copper roof over the boat house sheltering the huge power cat. This view is from the canal side and the front of the house is pictured below. The windows are port holes...or the port holes are windows. Fresnel lens are in the lighthouse which is functional. Between the crossed rusty anchors is a gargantuan manually operated windlass from times long ago. Huge pieces of lumber were put through the 4 openings and 8 strong men walked in a circle around the windlass in a successful effort to raise the anchors.
We began our 2nd month in Marathon with another trip to Key West and this time, in search of a cultural experience, we took our bikes and ourselves on the Key West Transit riding with locals for the 50 mile trip. This trip was precipitated by a required visit to the Customs and Border Patrol Office for an "interview" that granted us cards to get back into the U.S. after returning from the Bahamas later this year. Having our bikes there was wonderful--we could quickly get to where we wanted to go and parking wasn't an issue. As usual, we struck up conversations with regional characters and had a blast. Just tooling around town on our bikes we clocked 20 very easy and description-defying miles.
A beautiful view captured while kayaking through Sister Creek leading from Boot Key in Marathon to the Atlantic Ocean.
We've gone 528 miles on our bikes; have done some kayaking; returned to where the fish were biting with our friend, John, in his fishing boat; made great use of the lap pool; partied at more parties than I should enumerate; got most of the boat maintenance and spring cleaning done; attended the Community Concert Series; became Irish for a day as we celebrated with friends and St. Patty; met up with friends we've met along the way; but now it's time to move on.
Since we began cruising 2 1/2 years ago we've never stayed put this long---we were in Marathon almost 3 months. Our intent was to stay a month which is our usual tenure in any one port. Each day at 5 o'clock on the dot, everyone gathers at 4 long picnic tables to rehash the day and solve the problems of the world. The diversity of this group in education, professions, and life experiences is extraordinary and even more so is their self-effacement. None of them wear their past as a badge. This is such a homogeneous and cohesive group where everyone is congenial, sincere, and truly caring for dock mates. There's no back-biting, gossip, aspersion---and when have I ever seen that in a group this large? Unfortunately, I've not found these attitudes even in a church or work place.This little marina community has the sweetest custom of tossing flowers into the water in the just-vacated slip as each boat departs heading north. Very bitter-sweet! We looked back on floating hibiscuses and bougainvilleas in our wake as we waved farewell to our Marathon Family.
We celebrated our wedding anniversary on our last night before we cast off our lines. Way points were in the plotter for Islamorada, our anchorage for the night with Miami and South Beach being our last stops for this month.
North of Key Largo en route to Miami we were treated to a dolphin show!
So ends another day in the Florida Keys.