Saturday, May 15, 2010


Monday May 10th we head out at 9 AM for a short sail up to Marathon, passing from the lower keys to the Middle Keys as we sail past the 7 mile bridge.

Before I know it we are turning into Marathon & the marina we are going to is right in front of us, by 11:30 we are tied up at the dock, a really short trip. Tied up, electric power connected we go up to the office & get checked in & see where things are & get the wireless connection code.

 Back at the boat we TRY to connect but are having trouble. After trying several different things Steve calls the guy we got our system from & they go through a few tests & decide that the wireless router has gone bad. It is still under warranty so sending a new one to us. Meanwhile Steve can connect & if I go out and stand in the right spot I can with my computer, as even though we are close to the fuel dock where the signal is coming from we learn that it is not a very good signal. We have not done laundry in three weeks so we have a huge bundle to go to the laundry room with. We need the dock cart to get it all there. Load up 4 washing machines & go to lunch at the marina restaurant a few yards away. Put the clothes in the dryer & go back to the boat. Steve starts washing off the deck & I start cleaning the inside. By the end of the day we have clean clothes & a clean boat but are too tired to go anywhere for dinner so dine on board. Tuesday Steve starts to repair the aft head pump out problem like he did with the forward head a few weeks back. Realizing he needs a different tool for this job he rents the marina bike for a ½ day as it is already late morning. Off to Home Depot, when he returns he informs me that he did not see much to do in the couple of miles between home depot & the marina. So I plan to take the bike for a ride to see what I can find. Steve warns me that it is not a very comfortable bike, & even though I only went for a 2 hour ride, two days later I can still tell what a hard seat it had . We will NOT be using the marina bikes again!! We are at the very end of the Island & it is not the most scenic part of the island. A lot of boat yards & marinas right off the highway. If you need some boat work done or to provision before going over to the Bahamas this is the place. For sightseeing not such a great place. The people here are VERY friendly. Tuesday night we found a few other restaurants that we had heard about and they are close enough to walk to. We go to Burdines that is famous for their French fries. I am somewhat of an expert on French fries & theirs were excellent, but I have not found any to top the ones from the Glass Wall back in Houston. On Wednesday we find a different bike rental place and rent bikes with better seats. After lunch at 7 mile grill & Fat Buoyz pub we first go to Crane Point a Museum & Nature Center that has preserved 63 acres of plant & wildlife from being developed into a development or strip mall. Then we ride a little further to Sombrero Beach. A beautiful beach just not very convenient to where we are staying. Thursday morning we still have the bikes so we go towards the 7 mile bridge. The old bridge is still there (with a section cut out for boats under 65 feet tall to go through) and you can ride bikes or walk the 2 miles out to Pigeon Key an old RR town from the 1900’s when they were first building the RR to Key West. A great ride with great views.

 Heading back towards the marina I go return my bike while Steve continues on to the grocery store to get a few things before returning his bike. Friday we are still waiting for our wireless router to be delivered AND fro the winds and waves to die down. It is looking like we will be here until Sunday or Monday before it is calm enough to continue up to Key Largo. There are always boat projects to do so we are working on some of those, like adding a cable hook –up line for when we are in a marina to be able to watch TV if our antenna does not pick up a signal. As with all boat projects, there are always a lot of things to move and rearrange & or reconfigure to be able to complete the project. I try to tell Steve it is not worth all the trouble but sometimes I think he just likes the challenge.

And 4 hours later with a side diversion of putting the wireless router back in we have 70 channels to choose from! Mission accomplished, now we get to put everything back in place. When that’s done, Steve goes to back up the computer only to find the external hard drive has died. So Saturday we plan on taking a taxi to Office for a new hard drive (too far to walk) then to grocery store for beer, wine & diet cokes (too heavy to carry on bike). Right next to Office Depot is a dive shop, and since we have been talking about getting our equipment we go in to see what they have. An hour & $2000 + later we have purchased BC’s, regulators, octopuses, computers, weights, Steve needed a new mask & I needed new fins. We are officially equipped for diving, except for the tanks which we will get through local dealers when we do the actual diving. Now to find a place to stow them! We are making plans to leave Marathon to head up to Key Largo. We will leave the dock Sunday at high tide, fuel up & just go out and anchor nearby for Sunday night. Monday morning in the pre dawn hour we will leave for Key Largo so we can arrive there at high tide, the channel going into the harbor & marina we are going to is too shallow at low tide, but it’s the only option we have with the expected wind and wave conditions. We may stay there a few days, since there are a number of good dive sites nearby, and we have new equipment to try out! But we can’t linger too long, the tide levels are decreasing, and we don’t want to get stuck until the next spring tides a month later!

link to pictures;

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