Swing Set

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

December 2012

12/30/12

A Hostile Environment

On Friday morning, we called a taxi and made the trip up the Overseas Highway to the Marathon Veterinary Hospital to see Dr. Molly. She gave Holly the "all clear" on her ear infection. Holly's next vet visit will be for her next rabies shot on March 1st, so whatever we do, we will have that fact governing our travels. We called the taxi for the trip back and had to wait for about 20 minutes. When the taxi arrived, we jumped in the back and away we went. A $5 taxi ride in the Keys does not always take you directly where you want to go; there may be other stops for other passengers, so we weren't surprised to take a detour to pick up another fare in a neighborhood just off the highway, where a young girl jumped in the front passenger seat. Holly took all of...

Posted at 09:10 AM | Permalink | Comments

12/26/12

Barefoot Christmas

Last Saturday, Marathon was not spared the foul weather that affected most of the northern states. It was blustery and cold, the closest we've been to needing coats or jackets since Halloween in Cape Coral. Had we needed a "coat," we would be SOL. We no longer even own what would be called a coat. In the photo above, Rosie is posing with Holly at the tiki hut at the City Marina. We took the dinghy over to listen to some live music provided by one of the harbor residents. The chill took hold as the sun went down, and we braved the frigid mid-60 temperatures for about an hour and then headed for the barn before we could be inflicted with yet another Christmas song. The weather turned better on Sunday, and we dressed in our Sunday finest and rode over to...

Posted at 07:38 AM | Permalink | Comments

12/22/12

More Notes From Marathon

We are into our second week here in Boot Key Harbor, which is in Marathon, as most of you know. We have some relatively chilly weather occurring currently. The photo above was taken yesterday when the wind kicked up and our low was 66 degrees. This morning, it was 55 degrees and the wind blew hard all night. We should get up to the mid-70s today, and the wind should die down about midday. We were going to take the dinghy over to Dockside last night, a bar/restaurant here in the harbor, but it was too windy to suit us, so we stayed in and used up some data transfer space and watched a movie on our Roku player. The harbor keeps filling up, mostly with sailboats. We've made some inquiries to two Key West marinas that manage dinghy docks and mooring fields....

Posted at 08:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

12/20/12

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...

Posted at 01:53 PM | Permalink | Comments

12/14/12

Everglades City To Marathon

Before we left Goodland, we needed to go to Stan's to see what the fuss was all about. We had a good enough time, but canned beer was $4. That's really all I need to say about it. While in Goodland, I had put a feeler out on the AGLCA forum to ask if anyone had any ideas about where we could get a package delivered in Marathon. I had called the UPS store, and the owner said he would only hold a package for two days. We didn't have plans to stay at a marina, so calling one to accept a delivery was out. I got a call from a fellow "Looper" that has their boat in Marathon, and without giving us a lecture about where we should buy our zincs, or where we should stay, or how many spares we need to keep on board, Leslie and Flint Firestone on the MV Grace Full...

Posted at 08:04 AM | Permalink | Comments

12/09/12

Goodland

Yesterday was seven months into our adventure. When I reflect on the whole experience up to now, it's hard to believe all the things we've done and places we've visited, and there are so many more places to see. They will most likely consist of views of land and water. I was also reflecting on our interview with the writer from Heartland Boating that we did last Friday. One thing I wanted to convey, and I'm not sure I did, was that after a length of time, after the initial shock or novelty wears off, the experience of living on the boat boils down to just living, period. So, if you cannot find some way to be happy with your current lifestyle or mate, it is doubtful that living on a boat is going to improve matters. The fact is that personalities won't change...

Posted at 08:25 AM | Permalink | Comments

12/07/12

Five Days In Marco Island

Smokehouse Bay is in the heart of Marco Island. If you're coming up the river from the Gulf of Mexico, there's a small channel on the south side of the river that leads into Collier Bay. Smokehouse is past Collier Bay as you weave your way through the well marked channel in this no wake zone. The Esplanade, shown in the picture, is a resort and condominium complex on the east side of Smokehouse Bay, and sitting right out front is the Esplanade Marina. They don't have services or fuel, but they do have some transient dockage. We anchored just a bit away from it, right in front of a small city park. After our fun day spent with Bert and Renee on Sunday, we wanted to just take a breather all day Monday, so we did. On Monday night, we decided to watch some TV, but in...

Posted at 10:13 AM | Permalink | Comments

12/03/12

Eight Days At Keewadin Island

We spent eight days anchored off of Keewadin Island and would perhaps still be there except for the fact that we finally ran out of water, and we wanted to meet Bert and Renee from St. Louis, who were coming down for a meeting for Bert's work. Until then, though, we spent every day doing a little of this and that on the boat, and we did spend one afternoon on the beach. We visited the "burger boat" on this day and each had a delicious hamburger with all the trimmings for not a bad price of $6. Holly pretty much ruined any chance of making new friends by barking her head off at anyone who remotely looked as though they might stop and chat. She does look cute, however, in her neckerchief. Mark and Terri came down in their boat from Naples on Thursday and...

Posted at 04:21 PM | Permalink | Comments