Total Miles Traveled 1713
I believe this cruising season has been effected by weather more than our previous years, especially with the wind. We spent 6 days in Marathon waiting on the strong northeast winds to decrease and the seas to calm down to our comfort level. Although we were stuck there, we were in a mooring field with great protection and spent the entire time with our good friends Randy and Sherri, visiting the city and meeting new friends.
On Friday January 19th we had a one day weather window to make the 45 mile cruise on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Keys to Stock Island. We had a 10-12 mph wind and 2-2 ½ foot waves on the stern so we had a good ride and averaged 8.5 to 9 mph…..almost had boat hair at that speed. When we arrived at the marina we were greeted by our friends George and Meg from “Veridian”, they have been here since December. We traveled with them from Columbus, MS to Panama City before they continued south while we held up to visit family and friends during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
We were also greeted by this manatee, just a few slips down from ours.
During our first week here, we had visitors from Indiana: Merrill, Jan, and Tim, and we spent a couple of days visiting Key West. We really had a great visit and wish they could have stayed a little longer.
Hurricane Irma hit the Keys hard but amazingly enough; they have really bounced back since landfall at Cudjoe Key September 10th. Some of the damage still present on the break wall in the waterfront district.
There are several loopers staying in the area and one of them has organized a volunteer group to help with the cleanup efforts. We volunteered to help last Thursday on US 1 with 14 other volunteers and during the two hour period, we filled 72, 55 gallon garbage bags with debris. Some of the bags were not filled to the top due to the weight of broken glass.
Friends that we met before entering Canada in 2016 also have arrived at our marina, Mark and Jody on “GypSea”. We’ve had a great time with them and George and Meg exploring Key West.
Stopped for lunch at Bo’s
This is musician Jimmy Buffett’s personal recording studio located at the waterfront. We haven’t seen any activity yet while passing by. Notice the security cameras around the building?
Several charter fishing boats display their fresh catch along the waterfront.
The Blue Heaven Restaurant is a cool place to have a meal, cold drink and the occasional live entertainment.
This safe is in their courtyard, looks like it’s been here awhile.
Cruise ship at Mallory Square
This is a cool mural painting on this antique shop.
We have made it to Turtle Kraals once so far. This is the home of a turtle race, they have four box turtles and line them up at the starting line, everyone is given a number 1-4. The winning turtle has a number painted on it and if your number wins, you get in line with other winners and select a key from a wooden board. After everyone has a key, you line up again and see if your key opens the lock on the treasure chest. If all the selected keys do not open the lock, the pot increases $50 for the next race. The races are three times a week and the pot can grow to $500.
A winner opened the treasure chest lock, the race before us so the pot was $50. My best mate had the winning turtle, but her key would not open the lock….. it didn't matter how hard she tried.