Welcome back Friends and Neighbors! We’ve been watching the weather back home from time to time and cringing just a little bit. Some of you people have it rough and I’m sorry. Hang in there.
As for us, we’ve landed safely in Marathon Key, FL where it’s in the 80’s for most of the time. We arrived here at Marlin Bay Marina on February 18th after another beautiful day of traversing gulf waters. No big waves. We’ve watched those conditions carefully. I also acquired a Relief Band. It’s a wrist band that looks a lot like a Fitbit. It emits a bit of an electrical charge at the designated pressure point which sends a message to your brain. This message says “Do not get nauseated, vomit, or retch.” Isn’t that fantastic? I have worn it while crossing the gulf waters twice now and it seems to work for me. Now, again, we have really only had two to three foot waves at most—so we’ll have to see if it works for rougher seas. Although, I don’t really want to be in rougher seas, so there’s that.
Back to getting here safely. Just as we were slowing down about half a mile from the marina entrance, we were boarded by the Coast Guard. Now, this is a bit like being pulled over by a policeman. Lights are flashing, they speed up behind you, but there’s no place to really “pull over.” So what they do is let you know that they’ll be boarding your boat and they’ll catch up with their boat at the marina.
I wasn’t really sure how to handle all this commotion, but they were very, very nice. They informed me that they were just here to perform a safety check. That is, they wanted to make sure that we had life jackets, fire extinguishers, drivers licenses, and legal registration papers. They were also kind enough to check our exhaust output and macerator (which has to be zip tied in the Keys). Note: A macerator takes “material” from your holding tank, grinds it up, and spits it out.
After all that excitement, we were found to be one fire extinguisher short (a B20 to be exact) and had to run to the Home Depot to pick one up. No one went to Coast Guard jail.
Marlin Bay Marina is a beautiful sort of time share resort marina. We look out at the sunset each night and have access to their beautiful pool and club house.
We turn on our underwater lights each night and the fish start to show up. First the minnows appear, then the tarpon start circling. It’s hard to tell in the pictures, but they are all approximately 3-4 ft long. The last few nights we have been fighting an influx of sea grass. All the guys have been out trying to whisk it away with their boat hooks or blow it out into the gulf with their engines. Jose does his best each night to move it along, but it comes back.
We spent a few day dealing with high winds here. Tom estimates they were from 30-35 knots all day and through the night making it difficult to sleep. The boats were rocking so much that I considered taking my nausea medication—and we were tied up in the marina!
So, once again, we have enjoyed beautiful sunsets and met some very nice folks. We even attended a Looper party at the next resort over. There were around 100 people in attendance with drinks, appetizers and a band.
We had one hitch with a water leak at the aft (back) wash down hose. It leaked into the bilge (bottom of the boat) It only took three days to find someone to fix it. Showering was done at the club house. Laundry was done at the laundromat. Flushing the toilet happened a couple of times a day when Tom would turn the water on for a few minutes. Afterwards we would have to turn on the bilge pump to pump out what had leaked while we had it turned on. Anyhoo—it’s all good now.
We’re not sick of sunsets yet and the weather ain’t bad either. We’ll take off from here tomorrow (Wednesday, February 26) and head to Key West. We’ve stayed there once before and really enjoyed it so we’re looking forward to that as well as having some friends aboard for a few days.
Let me know in the comments if you have any burning questions that aren’t answered in the FAQ section or if you’re just curious about life aboard a boat. Key West here we come!