Swing Set

Dec 2, 201308:50 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Stock Island Marina Village

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During our last week or so in Key West Bight, at A & B Marina, the change of seasons was evident as the temperatures dropped into the brisk 60s at night, and generally were in the upper 70s during the day. Absolutely horrible. We had some wind, too. Gusts were in the mid-30 mph range, and not many boats were venturing out. Even the tour boats were staying in port for the most part, but there were a few unscrupulous operators happy to take their customers money and plop them into the ocean for a few minutes for "snorkeling." Load them up with rum and shoot the canon off a few times, and the tourists come back happy.

Last week, we went to the Tropic Cinema to see Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, a story about the hijacking of the container ship Maersk Alabama off the coast of Somalia. The movie was riveting, and should get Mr. Hanks another Oscar. Although we didn't feel threatened at all during our Bahamas trip, I may revise our weapons arsenal and get something with a longer range. But, then again, maybe not. I can just imagine blasting away some poor fisherman approaching the boat to sell us some lobster or something. Going to the show is a nice diversion, something we didn't do when we lived in our condo with a nifty home entertainment system. But now that we're more or less settled in one area, we like it, especially when the theater is as nice as The Tropic.

Thanksgiving Day started out rather blustery, as Key West standards go. We began our day with a lumberjack breakfast and were lounging around reading our books when Chris from Eaton Bikes called and said our new Yuba bike was ready to be picked up!

We walked the bike over to the parking lot of a school near Eaton Bikes to practice riding. Because Rosie basically just perches herself on the seat behind me, I wasn't sure how the bike, or me, was going to handle the weight. I needn't have worried. We both took to the bike like ducks to water, and we cruised by Eaton Bikes, where most of the staff was waiting for us to go by on our inauguration ride. I shouted "We're on a NEW bike" as we rode past. They seemed to get a kick out of that. Probably thinking, "There goes a nut job."

We gave the bike a good trial, riding to the eastern end of Duval Street, where I took the picture of Rosie above, with more clothes on since last December in Marathon. Notice her helmet. We both have them. Yes, I know it looks dorky, but we believe in bicycle and motorcycle safety, and always have. We'd rather look dorky than suffer from brain damage from an accident. We're struggling with what we have as it is.

We got back to the boat, and Rosie started cooking our Thanksgiving dinner. Some boat neighbors invited us to a potluck dinner of sorts on the dock, but we had already bought all of our groceries and were looking forward to a nice quiet dinner alone. We had a cheap bottle of wine, roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams, asparagus and cranberry sauce. Rosie did another great job of roasting our turkey in the convection oven. It only took 45 minutes to roast, and it tasted delicious! We didn't have dessert, and didn't want any. It was an early night for us.

On the day after Thanksgiving, we loaded up Holly in her new pet carrier, placed her in the huge basket mounted to the frame on the front of our bike and went on a long ride over to Stock Island Marina Village. They had us on their schedule as coming in on the middle of the month for some reason, so we're glad we popped in. We also picked a new slip, a bit further back into the harbor by one dock. I wanted the finger of the dock on our port side as we back in, and I wanted to be on the end slip, but not on the outside, so we picked what turned out to be D20. Look for us.

By the time we got back to A & B Marina, I had a severe cramp in my right calf muscle, and my ass felt like someone had been using it for a punching bag. Rosie said she felt fine. Sure, she only has to sit on the back and squawk like a parrot occasionally, I do all the pedaling. It's safer this way, though. Trust me. Rosie has the bridgework to prove it.

But our ride was a success. Holly rode with her head poked out of the opening in her carrier and got lots of comments as we made our way down Duval Street. At various stops, we also got inquiries about our bike, as unusual as it looks, and obviously designed for a passenger that is not required to pedal. The women seemed to like this part best. One guy took a picture, just of the Yuba name, so he could order one. I think we're going to like our new bike.

We had good weather, albeit with a slight breeze, for our four-mile cruise over to Stock Island on Sunday. In the picture above, we are entering Safe Harbor. The yacht off our bow is Platinum, said to be previously owned by Mick Jagger. The yacht has seen better days, but someone is working on her. I think it's now owned by Oprah Winfrey. May as well start that rumor.

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