Swing Set

Oct 14, 201308:49 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

The Rainy Days Have Come

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It's been two weeks back in Key West, and we've gotten reacquainted. We've visited some of our favorite haunts from when we were here last January, and we've discovered some new ones.

A week ago, we took Swing Set out for a Sunday cruise over to a marina we've been wanting to check out, Sunset Marina. Sunset is on the "back side" of Key West, and it's a long boat ride to get out to the ocean through some skinny water. The marina is typical of what you find in the Keys, full of questionable looking vessels in various states of repair, or disrepair, however you want to look at it. Although the condos adjacent to the marina look fairly nice, the opposite view is of the prison, or "correctional facility." The landfill we had been recently reminded about is within view, too, but it doesn't appear to be operational anymore. There is grass now growing on the huge mound of dirt. I don't know where the trash from Key West is going now, but it's not going there. Sunset Marina also doesn't allow "liveaboards," at least officially, so all things considered, it's now off of our list of potential marinas where we might spend some extended time.

The dinghy dock in Key West Bight is a busy place. Unfortunately, it's busy with dinghies owned by the folks anchored out in Key West Harbor, and some of them haven't been used in a while, taking up space for those who actually need a place to land their dinghy if they are coming in to Key West Bight. Not even in Marathon have we seen such a sorry bunch of watercraft in one spot.

Swing Set is sitting not quite alone at A&B Marina, but slips are filling up fast. By this time next week, every slip will be full. We'll still be here because the dock master informed us last Thursday of a recent cancellation, allowing us to stay here and not move over to the Galleon for five days, saving us some dough. We have found out about other boat owners who were given slips long after we were on "the list," but these were boat owners who have stayed at A&B more times than us and are higher on the pecking order. If we behave ourselves, maybe we can get priority next time, too.

We haven't let grass grow under our feet, even if that was possible. This was our sunrise last Thursday, when we had arranged for Mark of Mark's Diesel of Key West to come and inspect our generator because it wasn't starting.

Let me just get to the point: Here's Mark (in the bilges) with his helper Bubba, pulling out our old generator because it was pronounced near to death. Had I not been dutifully changing our engine oil every 100 hours, the generator may not have lasted as long as it did, because sea water was getting into the crankcase. But, adversely, had I been hiring someone else to change the engine oil, they would have probably noticed something amiss with the oil, or noticed salt residue on the backside of the engine.

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