Reputed (by Marathoners) to have the best sunsets in the country, we are now in the City of Marathon, on Vaca Key. Actually anchored next to the old bascule bridge in Boot Key Harbor (which is formed by Boot Key, Vaca Key and Sombrero Key).
We left Islamorada on Monday for a short ride down Florida Bay to Channel Key, just off of Duck Key. Someone on ActiveCaptain claimed to have caught two "legal" sea trout and several Florida Pompano there (March 2013), so I thought even I could catch something there. As Tess e-mailed to friends on Autumn Borne: Left Duck Key with all the fish still in the water today who were there yesterday. Tony told them he didn't want to eat those cruddy fish anyway and we've raised anchor. Most likely will go in [to Marathon] for pump out and water and wait list, then to harbor for anchorage.
Keysie Easy, pah..leese!
How to sail in skinny water.
Pretty cool, huh?!
Sunset. Without messy fish on the boat.
We did arrive in Marathon about 1:00 on Tuesday. The City Marina still had Autumn Borne as #6 on the Waiting List. We delayed for lunch aboard and then dinghied in to the office to register. By that time, Autumn Borne had been assigned a mooring and we became #3 on the list. Yippee! We had found a great open spot to anchor just inside the crowded Designated anchorage (in 6.4 feet, but we are now comfortable in Florida Bay skinny) so no hurry for us. Walked around a bit on shore then back to the boat for a baked chicken dinner. Though it's been between 75 and 85 everyday, it's blowing 15 plus from the East (now and for the foreseeable future), so though we have a cooling breeze, it's too windy to get the grill out.
Sunset at anchor.
As Tess worked on board on Wednesday morning, I headed to the office to check on our Wait List status. Moved to the #2 spot! Then did some exploring by dinghy into the canals of Marathon.
Wednesday turned out to be a big day for us though. With the bikes ashore, we headed off to find the Harbour Cay Club, home to the godfather of the Island Packet List, Capt. Jim Stengel. We not only met Capt. Jim and paid our respects as faithful IP List denizens, but also staying at Harbour Cay Club was the Emperor of the List himself, Capt. Bruce Gregory. We had a great chat with Bruce and his wife Loretta aboard their boat and now felt we had friends and family in this remote outpost.
A new friend, not on the IP List.
We completed our bike ride to the old Seven Mile Bridge (you saw it in "True Lies" with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis - It's where those big Harrier Jump Jets landed). Then back to the Marina. We then bypassed Endurance and headed by dinghy right to Lazy Daze for Happy Hour and one of those promised Marathon sunsets. Though we had been told that tables were reserved for Happy Hour guests, most were taken by diners (i.e., real paying customers) but a group of six RVers from Pensacola ("where the sunsets are even better") invited us to join them. And we did. It was a fun Keysie experience. Best of all, the Happy Hour musician played no Jimmy Buffet (I am not a fan). A great set of CSNY (group and solo hits), Eagles and Buddy Holly. Great fun!
Lazy Daze Happy Hour and Sunset.
Tonight is 25 cent wing night at Hurricane’s. We will go. But, let's hope we have the sanity to leave Marathon when the time comes.
Hey,...no snow down here. Just thought I should mention that.
P.S. Not only did we get our 25 cent wings tonight, but at 8:59 PM we saw NASA’s launch of a GPS Satellite. Pretty cool. Some cruisers are still the geeky engineers they started life as. And pointed us in the right direction to look. Thank goodness.
P.P.S. And we made it to Mooring N7. Yippeee!
P.P.S. And apparently, all of Gil's stories about raising monkeys in the Keys were not fabrications!
It's true! Or, at least its in our Guidebook.