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Swing Set

Mar 18, 201310:06 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

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We got back safely to the boat and was able to watch yet another beautiful sunset over Boot Key Harbor. It's a long ride in the dinghy from Lazy Days, as it's no-wake the whole way. It's even a longer ride after a few cold beers, and made even longer when your hat blows off and you have to spin the dinghy around to go fetch it.

We watched one of our DVDs, "We Bought A Zoo", and actually were able to watch the whole movie without falling asleep. Scarlett Johansson may have had something to do with it, in my case anyway.

On Saturday morning, we listened to the harbor cruiser's net and then unhooked from our mooring ball, went over to the dock at the City Marina and took on 82 gallons of water. Then, we idled out to the Marathon Marina and took on 200 gallons of diesel, to a tune of nearly $1,000 ($965 to be exact.) Fuel in the Bahamas is ranging around $6 per gallon, so we'll make sure we're chock full when we leave the U.S.

The sun was out on Saturday, but the wind was blowing and the temperatures were on the brisk side. Since we were off the ball, we took a ride and anchored out for a while to enjoy being out of the harbor. We didn't stay out to see the sunset, but instead went in early enough to get back on the ball with enough light to see what we were doing and got hooked up with a good deal of success.

Rosie roasted some chicken in the convection oven. We added some macaroni and cheese that was doctored up with a half can of spinach left over from our lasagna, and we had a feast. One short game of gin rummy later, and we were both lights out.

We had some shopping we wanted to do on St. Patrick's Day. We stopped by a neighboring sailboat and dropped off the DVD of "We Bought A Zoo" for them. A young couple is living on their boat with three of their children and were happy to get the movie. They offered a movie in their collection in return, but when I suspected that most of their collection was geared towards younger viewers, we declined their offer, saving room in our cabinet for DVDs more of the "blood and gore" variety. Oh, and maybe something with Scarlett Johansson in a more "adult" role.

We walked to The Wooden Spoon for breakfast and were not disappointed. Their prices are fair, and the service was prompt. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and would heartily recommend this small mom-and-pop restaurant to anyone.

Next, it was to Kmart on the return walk. It didn't have hardly anything on our list that we wanted, but we still managed to fill up our West Marine cart that we wheeled back on the sidewalk to the City Marina. We took our showers at the marina before taking our purchases back to the boat, and a much needed mid-day rest.

I recuperated by early afternoon and went topside to do a bit of waxing and found this iguana contemplating boarding our vessel with no invitation. I tried splashing at it to fend it off, but it only started making way towards my foot. I retreated, armed myself with the boat hook and eventually was able to get it to move on to our more enthralled boat neighbors. You can't tell from the picture, but this thing was about as big as Holly and not nearly as cuddly.

The day was shaping up to be quite pleasant. I'd intended to take a break from the barley burgers, even though it was St. Patrick's Day, but when Rosie announced that we still had some Bud Lights floating around in ice in the cooler from the day before, I couldn't counter her sensible argument in favor of us partaking of them.

In fact, we loaded those extra cold ones, with some not-as-cold ones, into the dinghy, grabbed Holly and set ourselves off to Sombrero Beach and some human interaction. The beach was full of sunbathers, and some other dinghy owners pulled up while we were there. We had a few words with them, all pleasant.

Four folks in one small dinghy piled out, loaded with coolers, chairs and an umbrella. They politely posted the umbrella in the sand next to one of them who happened to have just part of his right arm. The wind was brisk, so his proximity of the shady umbrella required him to keep hold of it with his one hand, which prevented his enjoyment of the beer sitting in his cooly cup attached to his chair. I wondered how long it would take his compatriots to notice his dilemma, as he sat patiently for the wind to die down long enough for him to take a sip or two. A small rope would have come in handy, but I admire the guy's patience. Had it been me, Mr. Umbrella would have sailed across the beach before I was made to choose between the shade and a quaff of beer.

By late afternoon, we were ready to head back to the boat. We'd planned a decent Irish meal of roast pork tenderloin and saurkraut, but I had a taste for fish.

I mentioned visiting a nearby place called Keys Fisheries, so we cleaned up and walked across the highway to the bayside and this casual restaurant. The ritual for customers is to stand in line and order your food at a window. Then, go over to another area to get condiments and beverages, pick your outside table, either a picnic table or round plastic one, and wait for your name to be called. Signs requesting that trash be placed in appropriate containers ensure a small employee count at this restaurant.

We didn't wait long before we had our meals in front of us. Rosie chose a soft shelled crab sandwich, and I had the hogfish sandwich. We weren't long into our food when I realized my tactical error of choosing a table just under the stairs to an upstairs bar area. Although my choice had to do with being in the shade, the fact that people walking above us on the open stairway, increased the possibility of dust and gravel falling off their shoes onto our food and us, almost had us getting up to grab another table out of harm's way. Almost.

It was right about then that a youngish Latino girl in a very short dress mounted the steps and began a slow walk to the upstairs bar. I suppose some of my mouthful of sandwich may have dropped from my lips as I stared at "the view." I'm certain I saw "Hollywood," as my old friend John O'Keefe used to say, and this woman was very familiar with Mr. Bic but not as endeared to Fruit Of The Loom.

Rosie was not as enthusiastic in my decision to stay put in our nice, shady seats, but we stayed and finished our food anyway. How I was able to finish my sandwich while gazing upward for a return engagement of the young Latino girl, I can't explain, but I did.

I'm not sure if we'll go back to Keys Fisheries for the fish. Thirty bucks for two fish sandwiches is a bit steep, even though the fries and slaw were excellent. But I might be inclined to nurse a beer or two for a number of hours at that "under the stairs" seat. I wonder if I can reserve it everyday from 3 to 6 p.m.?

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