Dec 20, 201201:53 PM
Swing Set: Cruising Full Time
A Few Days In "The Black Hole"
Marathon is called "The Black Hole" because so many boaters go there, never to leave again. We are determined to avoid being one of those, but I can see where it would be difficult to leave.
The harbor is sheltered, and the water quality is not as good as on the "outside," but it's not bad. I could almost make water from it, but don't need to. Stores, both for grocery and hardware shopping, are within walking distance, albeit a long walk, but taxi service is cheap, too. There are places to go in the dinghy as far as a beach or places to eat. There is a large laundry room, a good library, a place to recycle waste liquids like oil and diesel, if you are doing any maintenance.
We'll be here at least until the 28th of December, when Holly has her follow-up visit to the vet to determine if our treatment for her ear infection has worked. The weather will determine whether or not we will venture forth in order to be in Key West for New Year's, which is our loose-laid plan. Right now, a front is moving in, and this afternoon the winds will pick up. By tomorrow, there will be 5- to 6-foot seas out on the route to Key West. We don't intend to venture in those kind of seas, on purpose anyway. We have made some inquiries as to some places to anchor in Key West, as well as a place to use a dinghy dock, and we feel confident that we can exist there.
Last Saturday, we took the dinghy out and scouted the beach over on Sombrero Key. We took two turns around Boot Key in the process and wound up over at Lazy Days at the Marathon Marina. We had a few beers at the bar and met a nice couple from Ohio, down here on vacation. The picture above was taken as we left, and it was very dark by the time we found ourselves back at the boat.
While we've been here, we've done laundry twice, made three trips to Home Depot and one trip to the Winn Dixie. The cart we bought earlier this year from West Marine came in handy when we hauled the groceries back to the dock.
The generator oil got changed, another attempt to fix our water leak was done, some barnacles have been scraped and some waxing was done, too. I changed the filters in two of the Racor fuel filters and used our new oil extractor to pull dirty fuel from the bottom of the bowls in the filter housings. Using the extractor to siphon fuel is not recommended by the manufacturer, but I saw no danger in it and found it to be a perfect way to extract the contaminants from the bottom of the filter bowls.
We went to a "presentation" on Tuesday night over at the tiki hut at the marina, given by Chuck and Susan from "Trawler Beach House." A few other boaters were in attendance, and we learned a few things and had some good conversations. We have a link to Chuck and Susan's blog on our home page.
We have started listening in on the "cruisers net" at 9 a.m. each morning, when boaters in the area chime in and trade information regarding the harbor, trades they may have or any other requests. It's a good way to network with the other boaters in the harbor.
Every day has included a dinghy ride, or a walking trip, keeping us busy. The sunsets with the sailboats in the foreground are just beautiful, as you can see in the above photo. We can understand the appeal of staying here in "the Black Hole" and becoming a part of this community. It's very interesting. I swear I saw Charles Manson getting water in his dinghy over at the marina, but I know better. There is a diverse group of boaters here, some on a shoestring and others more flush. We might fall somewhere in the middle, but are in the minority here, being power boaters and all.
I'm not impressed with this post, but thought I'd get you all up to date. Perhaps something more interesting will happen to us over the weekend and we can relay a good story. But we don't want it to be too interesting.