After living on a mooring in Key West for two weeks, I found an immense appreciation for all things in Marathon. I think I ran up to the counter at the marina and registered for three days before anyone could change their mind on how long we were staying. We all went across the street to Key Fisheries for a tasty dinner and some key lime pie and then Gunnar and Amanda headed back to Palm Beach while Verne, Baxter, Kala and I headed back to the boat.
Marathon is a 2-day sail from Miami, where Verne was flying out on Jan 5. He had hoped to cross to the Bahamas with us but it didn't look like we would get rid of our north wind component before then, so we decided to stay and indulge ourselves with all things "Marathon". We took showers, we got water, we went to Home Depot, I made daily trips to the grocery store - and I never even got dirty (that is saying A LOT for me!) We had a low key (no pun intended) New Year's and Kala enjoyed not having the fanatical fireworks that we would have had to put up with in Salt Lake City. Sorry for those who enjoy the visual bliss of the fireworks but its hard to calm a scared 66-lb dog in a very small space like a boat.
On New Year's Day, we also were lucky enough to catch up with our friends Mike and Heather and their daughters Hailey and Hannah. They live in Atlanta and happened to be in Florida for the holidays so they drove down to Marathon and we spent the afternoon sailing around Pigeon Key. It was a great day and the girls had never been on a sailboat so they had full practice at tacking, jibing and taking the helm. Hannah (4 yrs old) also helped me raise the main while Hailey was the best depth watcher! Everyone on board kept an eye in maneuvering around the crab pots as that is definitely a full time job. Again, afterwards we went to our favorite place across the street - yep, Key Fisheries. Pretty soon we might even get a locals discount :)
Unfortunately, the forecast started deteriorating quickly and it looked like we would be anchoring in 30+ knot winds if we started heading towards Miami. Verne, being the sailor that he is, understood and offered to take a shuttle to Miami while we stay on the mooring ball in Marathon. Of course, the day his flight leaves, the winds are predicted to calm and we will start heading to Key Biscayne, with hopefully a Bahama crossing not long after that.
|We had a couple BIG dolphins dancing on our bow.|
|Gunnar, Amanda, Verne, Baxter and I (Kala is taking the pic)|
|Amanda at the helm|
|Great day, great friends.|
|Even Kala loves watching sunsets|
|Unlucky boat that anchored on an old railroad trestle. They came back up during high tide.|
|Verne in Boot Key Harbor.|
|Hannah, Hailey, Mike and Heather on Stella Blue|