Darn, Still In Key West

We've been here for a week now, the water's still turquoise and 87 degrees. The air temp is 85-90 and it's 120 degrees inside the boat. How does that happen? Some days all we can do is put on our bathing suits and cannonball off the bow. We've been having a really good time anyway. Steve went out fishing with Jack Penny and his crew for part of a day, brought back delicious tile fish and grouper. We're only eating fish every other day, to make it last longer.

This is the crew of the Pennywise, Jack and Michael, in the middle, and friends Stephanie and Kyle, on the ends. They picked us up last night for a Booze Cruise of the island. It's the only one I've been on that went 50 mph. Michael likes to drive 'wicked' fast, as our friend Gary would say. We had to drink between the bumps. It was very fun.

We found the Navy Exchange last week and have stocked up on rum and canned goods, in that order.


New Dinghy?

We thought our dinghy was a little small, so we decided on a 31' Contender instead. Ha Ha Ha. Actually, Jack Penny, my former boss, came out to dinner. He's in Key West for a week of fishing and diving with son Michael and friends. He came bearing wine, rum and about 10 lbs of fresh mahi mahi. It was great to see him, although, he still thinks I'm coming back to work. Hmmm.

It was VERY exciting to have the water maker running perfectly yesterday, see Steve's entry below. He's too modest about how flipping much work he did to wire and plumb the thing. He's going to have to make me a check list so I can do all the steps in the right order. Turn on this, open this then that, don't touch this until you do that. My brain isn't the mighty steel trap it once was, more like a steel sieve these days.

Water Water Everywhere

This was a nervous moment. Several years ago we got the idea we wanted a watermaker, looked at the price and went holy crap. After a little reflection and reading we attacked from another angle, I would build it. So bought a high pressure pump 2 1/2 years ago, a feed pump 2 years ago on e-bay, a flush pump 1 1/2 ago at the Annapolis Cruisers Gam, lots of miscellaneous parts over the years since as well as the investment in the membranes and housings just before we left the dock. Yesterday for the first time all the parts were in the right places, wiring done, so crossing our fingers we fired up Nanni (our diesel) and it all works. Bad photo here, and those are still cable ties holding the flow meter in place but the exciting part is there, yes that is 32 gallons per hour fresh water being put into the tank at 1150 RPM. We can make around 45 maximum at higher RPM but looking at a good cruising speed. A big relief to see it work. Now as the "domino effect" kicked in...today was laundry day...much less exciting.


Key West

The discussion centered on how many variations of blue, grey, yellow, orange, red could be in the sky and how many we could witness before we tire of watching. Relaxing evening after a brief tour of downtown, one of the first without rain since we left the dock two weeks ago. Just leftovers for dinner...the shrimp that is...sauted with onions, garlic, olive oil, butter, some white wine, all over pasta, a little fresh bread and wine on the side. All Lynn's doing. Mother nature provided the backdrop.

We arrived here Saturday and found our friends Chris and Anne (Mr Mac) in the anchorage. Some rum, a little food, lots of catching up. Great seeing them again, then seeing them push off for Marathon yesterday AM.

24 deg 34.775N
81 deg 40.110W



It was a meal to be remembered. We took a quick trip to the shrimp docks across from where we've been moored all week. Two pounds for $16, super jumbo size, 2 big bites each. A pile of garlic smashed potatoes. A bowl of melted garlic butter. Butter on my chin and all down my fingers.
Tomorrow, off to Key West and our quest for more good seafood.


Just Hanging Off A Rope

We got into Ft Myers Beach yesterday, after what I consider an exciting sail. We watched the thunderstorms forming over the coast in the late afternoon. They were spectacular, huge billowing white tops, dark underneath, lightning galore. They weren't so much fun after dark as I was watching them on the radar as they formed off shore. At 5 knots it's hard to dodge a storm, but they were moving almost as slow as we were, so a lot of wind, most of it on the nose. Adjima crawled up into the v-berth and stuck her head in a sail bag. She ignored us and the noise and the motion, NO BARFING! She is back to her usual loud self today. We were coming back from registering at the mooring field office, when we spotted a familiar shaped boat, our friend Mark, from St Pete, on Wishbone. He had picked up the ball next to us and had taken the dogs to shore for a romp. Here's hoping it's just the start of running into old friends in far anchorages.

I haven't said much about the sucking Florida humidity, because I'm acclimating, very, very, very slowly, but today this really caught my eye. This is Adjima's 'salad' grass. She rips it off in chunks and chews it several times a day. This photo was taken at 1330 (that's 1:30, for you civilians) this afternoon. The sucking Florida humidity just keeps condensing all day.

A note about my drawer/cabinet cleaning of last week: we have 23 spools of floss-that's about 2 miles, 9 padlocks, 3 icepicks (who uses them anyway?), and about a dozen more towels than I thought. We need to find a marina with a free table.


There Goes The Neighborhood

Steve looked up and came face to face with this beautiful Snowy Egret this morning. He was checking us out and I tried not to scare it as I grabbed the camera. You just can't get any privacy these days.
Another day at anchor. Maybe we've fallen into this routine too easily, but neither one of us could remember what day it was today. We've decided that every day is Friday. You know how you wait for that drive home after work on Friday? You don't have to get up early the next day, you can have an extra margarita after dinner. We're toasting every day as a Friday from now on. Watching the sunset with a good drink

I cleaned the junk drawer today! For those of you not familiar with boat drawers, they start under the counter and go to the hull, so this one is 13x36 inches. It's one of those little things I've been going to do for about 2 years. Lots of stuff in there that I didn't know what it was. The conversations went like this:
ME: (holding up little shiny silver thingy) What's this?
STEVE: (not looking up from watermaker making) It's the floober hummuw binginb pin.
STEVE: We need it, just put it back in the drawer.
Anyway, all the floobers are organised and color coded, and all is right in my world.

One final note about the Bon Voyage Party...Jim Lee, how the @#$% did I end up with the bottle of Glack? You were supposed to take it and drink to your Hungarian ancestors!


No place to be--No time to be there

We're off to the slow start recommended by many others. "go somewhere close, drop the hook, relax, organize, go on when you feel like it." We're anchored a couple hours south just inside the mouth of the Manatee river. (27 deg 31.812'N, 8 deg 38.401'W) Sail down was nice. Feeling a little lazy and just excited to be off, it was headsail only. A gentle coast down the bay, under the bridge, up the channel, and right to our anchor point. The hook's set, the wind's puffing, a little wine in the glasses. We might even look at a chart and a weather report... tomorrow. Ahh.....


A Celebration

As Farewell Parties go, this one may
have been the hardest. We've moved away from
homes and friends many, many times in the last 25 years, (16 times at last count, courtesy of the Air Force) but none as special as the ones we're leaving now. The party was just exactly right: great friends, great food, as always, a bit of quirkiness-the conch blowing (spitting?) contest at sundown, laughter. We will miss you all. Thank You to Ellen, Kristyl, Charlie for setting it all up, Walter for the wonderful cake, Bob for the grilling, Karen and Kitty for the liquid libations, Dema for the white chocolate sailboat and everyone else for the massive amounts of food. Some of the chocolate sailboat was left this morning, but not much else. Thanks for starting our 'Bon Voyage' off on the right note.