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Published: December 16th 2016
Sashimi on board
A couple times already we have purchased fresh fish at the market and had a yummy sashimi dinner on the deck of our boat. Reasonable prices, super tasty and awesome views...I give it 5 stars!!
After a week in one place, we are finally on the move again. It has been a busy week! One may think cruising around is easy, breezy (ok, it is breezy some days!), there is actually a lot of work to continually be done. Especially if you try to keep things well maintained to avoid bigger problems later.
I thought we might have become lazy bums after a year, but this week has kept us hopping…well, ok, no hopping, but lots of walking, swimming, diving and scrubbing!
Arriving in Marathon in the middle of the Florida Keys last Thursday, we did indulge in a couple lazy days. Other than a short visit to Sombrero beach one morning for a swim, we hung out on the boat until Saturday, by which time I was going a little stir crazy. Craving a good, long walk (ok, so it really me who wanted to be walked! Traveling with me is like having a kid or a dog on board…) we ventured in to shore.
The unfortunate thing with Marathon is that while it is a city full of boats, it seems they are less accommodating of boaters than some places, especially
Our first "beach swim" in the Keys
those of us who like to anchor out. There are no “free” places to dock your dinghy; the city marina charges $22 a day to use their dinghy dock! And although the dockage includes the use of their showers, it is a little hefty for us on a budget to be paying that every day we want to go into town! (At that price, I would expect some pretty fancy, complimentary shampoo or a hot tub!!)
We ended up finding a couple more reasonable priced dinghy docks, $5 at Sombrero Dockside Marina and $8 at Burdines. While still pricey in our books, compared to Port Dover where there is a free day use dock, we ended up coughing up the dollars so I could step foot on “the hard” and we could explore.
The first neighbourhood we passed as we walked to the main highway was probably one of my most favorite “people” places yet.
Imagine an eclectic mix of trailer homes and shacks crammed together; tiny courtyard spaces in between, some cluttered with “treasure”, some cozily decorated with lights and planters. Latino music pulsing out of unseen speakers; elderly men with dark caramel, leathered skin in
fedora’s communing together while smoking cigars and drinking Cuban coffee. Chickens and shimmering kaleidoscopic roosters roaming freely throughout the dusty, hard packed ground.
Despite being currency poor, this community exudes cultural richness; the kind of place where people live in the “raw”, with no pretense. It seems to me the kind of place where everyone knows everyone else, spends time communing and sharing with each other. Not that I imagine there are no problems, no drama; but still a place I could see myself wanting to spend more time, where life is visceral.
The rest of our time was spent getting supplies and parts for the boat and diving or snorkeling. When you have limited transportation (mainly your own two feet), getting supplies can take half the day. But we managed to find some needed scuba and boat parts, some great paper charts/guides for the Bahamas and, of course, provisions.
One of our major objectives once we hit clearer water was to clean the hull of the boat. Barnacles, as I have mentioned, grow very quickly down here and our bottom is already sporting a thin crusty layer (that would be the bottom of our boat –
Burdines in Marathon
Despite the $8 fee for dinghy docking, the staff here were really friendly!
ha ha). On Monday, Lukus dove under for the first time to check things out, and discovered not only the full extent of growth but that our prop was loose. Fortunately, he is a well prepared and talented man and so, other than having to track down one part, he had everything on board needed to repair it. After some time spent taking off the old prop, cutting, filing and fiddling, he was able to get our prop back on snugly.
With the prop “prop”erly secured (sorry, my cheesy puns are showing!), we tackled the barnacles. Each day, we have spent a few hours scrubbing and scraping the hull; Lukus diving, while I snorkeled. As unexciting as that may sound to some, it has felt really good to get in the water and swim around.
I am getting prepared to learn to dive. Lukus has been teaching me the technical parts of diving; the equipment, theories, etc. I trust he will make sure I am well prepared before I jump in; I’m sure he doesn’t want to lose his chief cook and bottle washer!! I am looking forward to trying it out, in the meantime, I have been
This old marina used to be a popular place in Marathon, before it was damaged by a hurricane years ago. It has continuously been planned to be repaired, but still sits beautifully derelict; a tribute to those who have lost so much in these storms.
practicing being in water in my wet suit, with weights, fins and a mask to get used to that part.
Yesterday, we left Marathon and headed northeast towards Key Largo. We are traveling short distances during the mornings and then spending time in the afternoons working on the boat (still more barnacles to tackle) and exploring in the dinghy. We hope to arrive in Key Largo area by early next week as Lukus’ brother plans to meet us there to bring us a few things from home and do some fishing.
We have heard that the weather has made a turn for the worse at home, so despite the work we do to maintain the boat, we are aware of how fortunate we are to be where we are (at this moment, Islamorada). The weather is a glorious 75 – 85 F, often with a nice breeze, the waters are becoming clearer, reflecting a medley of greens and blues, and we both have our best friend at our side (yes, there still only two of us on the boat…lol).
With Christmas approaching, we hope that, reaching beyond the stress of planning, gift buying, and busy schedules, you
Everywhere we look are so many interesting boats. I could create a whole album of boat photos. This was a beaut of a sailboat!
all get to enjoy time with family and friends and partake in the blessings in life! We miss all of you, but you will be with us in spirit as we celebrate the season!
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