Swing Set

Jan 1, 201309:55 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

A Perfect New Years Eve, Almost

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As we were rinsing the salt off of the boat, a fella next to us told us they liked Hogfish when they went over there, and a cab ride would be about $25 each way to downtown, and he agreed that  getting a ride back may not be possible. Stock Island was too far for cab drivers to want to go. We decided to get a cab ride over to Hogfish and worry later about the ride back.

Here we are at Hogfish, just after we got there. I have the Budweiser that I wanted to have after we arrived in Key West, but we were officially at Stock Island. Just a formality. We moved over to a "bench seat" at a nearby counter, lined with other folks, all locals, and we had a very good time. Some locals took us under their wing and included us in their fun, even placing some party beads around our necks and buying us some beers. We had some good appetizers and really enjoyed ourselves, but since we got there early, we were ready to leave about 8 o'clock. We said goodbye and called the cab company. We had already been warned by at least three people not to walk back to Oceanside Marina, as it wouldn't be safe. For us, or them? I wondered.

We waited a very long time for a cab. When one pulled up from the company we called, a group said it was their cab and piled in before us. I could tell the driver knew them and was a friend, and we weren't getting a ride. Period.

It got later, and I began to ask strangers for a ride back to Oceanside. I hate to ask anybody for anything, so this was a big deal for me to resort to this. We were contemplating walking anyway when another cab from the company we called pulled up. No, it wasn't our cab, the driver said, he was headed downtown, the opposite direction we were going. "We're getting in anyway," I said, and opened the sliding door to jump in. Another couple was sitting in the cab already! Rosie pushed past me and climbed in the back. She was getting a ride come hell or high water. The couple in the cab told the driver to take us to Oceanside first, they were in no hurry. I think they just wanted to hear what was going to come out of Rosie's mouth next. We got to Oceanside safely, without being evicted, and paid $10 for a $6 fare. Good enough, I thought, in light of the long wait.

This morning, we washed the boat, a thorough job. I checked the weather, and there is a window for us to travel to the Marquessas and then on to the Dry Tortugas, but it may be later today or in the morning before we leave. If the seas settle down this afternoon, we can get to the Marquessas, 21 miles away, by this afternoon, and then go the last 50 miles in the morning to the Dry Tortugas. We're waiting now to see what the winds will do this afternoon. We don't want to intentionally get salt spray all over the boat again, or have Holly barf all over Rosie either, so we want calmer seas before we go.

There will be no communication with us until we get back from this trip. The rangers at Fort Jefferson issue weather reports every morning, and those reports will dictate as to when we can get another window to return, so it's hard to say when that will be. I hope it's worth the trip. Everyone who goes says it is. Happy New Year everyone!

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