Swing Set

Jan 23, 201308:07 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Holed Up In Key West

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On Sunday, we got a late start, but Rosie and I headed to Dante's to watch playoff NFL football and to also people watch at the pool. The sky was overcast again, which put a damper on things poolside, but we had a good time and planned to return on a better weather day. 

After Dante's, Rosie and I walked over to the Bull and Whistle, and after we got a beer, were asked to leave because Holly was not allowed in the joint. That was OK by me, because the guy they had providing music had "Mary Had a LIttle Lamb" and "Mickey Mouse" as part of his playlist, but with all the other stuff allowed in this bar, not allowing a dog in there seems ridiculous.

I finally learned that to get into a bar with a pet, they need to be deemed a "service dog." Holly promptly got a promotion. When we arrived at Caroline's, just down the street, the manager asked if Holly was a service dog. Yep. "I suffer from separation anxiety," I said. Holly got a pass and joined us at the curbside counter.

Our friends from St. Louis called and joined us at Carolines. Then at Captain Tony's. And then at a couple other places, before we deposited Holly back at the boat and we all went to dinner at Alonzo's, just beneath A & B Lobster House and a few steps from the boat. We had a nightcap on the boat and sent our four friends away into the night. They were heading back north in the morning.

What did I get accomplished in the last few days that was in any way productive? I stitched up some of the bimini top on our boat with my new stitching awl. It does a wonderful job, and I only stabbed myself in the finger one time. These handheld stitching awls have been around for years; my dad had one in the basement when I was a kid. I sort of knew what it was for but never saw him use it. He was a needle and thread guy, mostly. I learned how to use mine from YouTube.

I washed the hull of the boat, and boy it needed it. I had to drop the dinghy and work from it because there are no fingers here at this marina. I was told to wait until some of the boats left, and then I could work from the dock, but I was in the mood to get the job done. Never know when the mood would strike again.

We took a dinghy ride over to Garrison Bight to walk to the NAPA Auto Parts store, where I bought some oil filters. We decided that we didn't like the area over there at all, and we will never stay on a mooring ball in Garrison Bight, nor ever leave our dinghy at the dinghy dock over there at night. No thanks. If, in the future, friends come to Key West and we can't get a slip in Key West Bight to meet them, we probably won't get to see them. We have more to learn about the ins and outs of having our own boat here.

On Monday night, we steamed the lobster that Doug Harmon had caught. Jeanne's advice to cut along the top of the tail and pull out the meat before steaming was a very good idea, otherwise I think the meat cooked inside the tail would be dense and tough. This way it was light and "fluffy." Made it seem larger too. Steamed for eight minutes, and it was superb. We used the convection oven to cook a chuck roast to steak-like perfection to serve alongside our lobster. Some German-style potatoes and a salad rounded out a very good dinner. I cannot wait to go lobstering again. We may have to wait a few days, as the wind will be up until the weekend.

Yesterday, we spent working through the bureaucracy of getting a customs decal for the boat. It's required for returning to the US when we leave the country. The harder item was applying for a permit to enter the Bahamas with Holly. What a joy it was to call and talk to a government employee at the Bahamas Agricultural Department! It may be better in the Bahamas, but it's not faster, or easier. The woman told me that the turnaround time for getting the permit would be "two days." Nothing only takes two days in the Bahamas. We are hoping to have the permit in six weeks, if we're lucky. We also need a certificate from our "other" veterinarian in Marathon, as that's where Holly will get her rabies vaccination. They have plenty of experience in issuing those certificates, so we don't anticipate a problem.

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