Swing Set

Jan 16, 201408:37 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Even the Weather in Key West Can Be Disagreeable

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As anyone who might be mistakenly reading this blog may know, the very northern part of the United States was deep into a deep freeze during the first part of  this year, and even though Florida escaped the most frigid temperatures, Key West's climate was less-than-desirable for the last two weeks. But we managed to have some fun, and I was able to scrape together some boat-related items to pass along for this blog, which is getting increasingly harder to do with us camped here at the dock.

We were able to get out in the dinghy on the weekend just after New Year's day. We didn't venture too far because a front was due to arrive, and I wanted to be able to high tail it into the harbor if the weather started to turn. We gathered up Holly and slipped on over to the southwest tip of Boca Chica Key, where there is a somewhat shallow spot just off the shore that has a nice, clean sand bottom, just a few inches of water, and enough activity in the way of Jet Ski tourists and local boaters to provide a modicum of social activity.

We talked to a few locals who came over to meet Holly, and we also met the owner of Hurricane Hole Marina, who added some juicy tidbits to our knowledge of the area. I'd say we had a full afternoon before the clouds rolled in and we scampered back into Stock Island Marina Village just as the weather turned sour for the next couple of days.

The much anticipated visit from two of Rosie's cousins arrived on January 8th. In the picture, Rosie's cousin, Don, is on the left, then his wife, Michelle. Then, it's Denny and Rosie's other cousin, Roseann. We were at the Conch Republic, having all taken the taxi downtown from Stock Island. While we were there, I got a message that another acquaintance was in town from St. Louis with a friend of his, and we were soon joined by Joe Boyer and his friend Vickie, who lives in Orlando. We finally cashed in our chips at the Hogsbreath Saloon, much later that evening than we should have.

The group was staying here at the marina in one of the "boatels," which are little floating motel rooms. The location was great for us, as it allowed us to visit with everyone when we wanted to, but they also had the freedom to do what they wanted, leaving us out of some of the touristy stuff that we've gotten our fill of.

Roseann and Denny were visiting us in the cockpit of Swing Set one afternoon last week when we saw one of the staff here showing a couple around the facility, coming onto our dock but stopping short of getting within "howdy-do" range. The principal character was none other than Jimmy Buffett. He flew in on his seaplane to scope out the marina. One of the things he did was buy some Landshark Beer. Poor fellow. I didn't take this picture above, Jimmy is on the left. I call him Jim.

We took a full contingent out aboard Swing Set last Saturday and caught a late sunset just off the cruise ship dock. Seven went out and six came back. We had to drop off a seasick Michelle in downtown Key West. We managed to carry on without her well past sunset. Her husband was not callous in the least. He tossed her cab fare as she stepped off the boat and blew her a kiss. Vickie, Rosie and Roseann were shedding tears about it just before I snapped this photo.

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