Swing Set

Sep 28, 201308:44 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Familiar Boot Key Harbor in Marathon on Vaca Key

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Our first night back in Marathon was very calm and peaceful. The harbor is protected from most any wind as it is, but on Monday evening it was especially calm, but it was also hot. We'll be happy to get to Key West and turn on our air conditioning.

In the Bahamas, I had made a repair to the seat in our dinghy. The thin fiberglass forward seat had begun to crack, so I made a truss to run along the bottom of the seat to give it some support, but the seat itself was beginning to de-laminate, so the damage continued. The material I needed couldn't be found in Miami, at least in places we could walk to, so early on Tuesday morning, we took a walk to K-Mart and Home Depot in Marathon to pick up some things on our list.

I bought some plastic trim board at Home Depot, an eight-foot-long piece, eight inches wide. I also found out I could have bought twice the amount of Starboard that I had purchased at Crook and Crook in Miami for about half the money. If you need Starboard, Home Depot is the place to get it.

We used our two-wheeled cart from West Marine to truck our purchases back to the dinghy, and then motored out to Swing Set. The long walk, plus the heat, had gotten to us, so we took a breather in the salon with the fans on high until I felt rested up enough to make the repair to the dinghy seat.

While I was just getting started, a neighbor from a sailboat rowed over in his dinghy to say hello. The fella was very interesting. He was 72, on his fourth wife, and had refurbished a 40-plus-year-old boat that he and his new bride were going to take to the Bahamas in November. We were trading some information about the Abacos when he suddenly asked me what time it was. When I told him, he said he was late picking up his wife from the library and had to go. He then rowed his dinghy away, saying we'd be talking later.

I finished my work on the dinghy without any mishap. The seat is about as strong as we could want. I used the truss from the old seat even though I probably didn't need it, but I didn't want the lumber to go to waste. I also mounted a rod holder to the bow of the dinghy, so we could put our new beach umbrella in it. Maybe we'll sail with it.

As I was wrapping up my work, our neighbor came back with his bride and introduced both of themselves. I mentioned that if her husband was late in picking her up, it was probably my fault, as I had kept him talking. She grumbled something about having to "wait in the cold library" for so long and didn't have too much else to say.

Rosie or I didn't feel too sorry for her, as we were both sweating our bejeebers off, thinking a little stint in the library air conditioning sounded pretty good. Our sailboat neighbors made their departure, and it was the last we saw of them. The next morning, they moved their boat. I wish I could remember what exactly it was that I or Rosie had said, or did, to get them to move, so that I can use the line on our next new friends, but I don't know what it was. Maybe the guy has bad taste in women. Some people get desperate late in life and will marry anything.

On Wednesday morning, we went to our scheduled appointments at the dentist, where we both got our teeth cleaned and no new problems were found. I was glad to learn that my use of the Water Pik they had suggested I get on my last visit had made an improvement. I hate to floss, and the Water Pik is easier to use.

We then went to pick up the sunglasses I had ordered on our last visit in March, plus Rosie had to pay for the sunglasses she had already picked up back then. The owner was there, and I made a suggestion to her that we made every effort to finish our business with her when we were in Marathon last, but she had went on vacation and closed up her optical shop. I mentioned that the worse thing she could do is not leave anyone in charge to dispense eyewear or to schedule appointments. She agreed with me and decided to hire a temp next time she goes on vacation, so she doesn't lose customers. We were happy with our glasses and also happy that she accepted the constructive criticism.

After our dentist visit, we went to one of our favorite breakfast joints, the Stuffed Pig, and had a great breakfast, which turned out to be breakfast and lunch, as it was so filling. This is one place where the name fits. They give you a lot to eat.

Later on in the afternoon, we went for a dinghy ride to see what had changed since our last visit. The advertised opening of Sombrero Marina Dockside Bar turned out to be false. The promised "refurbishing" is taking longer than expected. It's going to take a lot longer since there is no sign of anyone working on anything there.

Meanwhile, we've been going nuts ordering things online to have delivered to A&B Marina. Some things we've been putting off since we were in the Bahamas, or because we had to be someplace long enough to have them get to us. We had gotten some items delivered to Dinner Key when we were in Miami, but some medicine I needed was mistakenly sent to Miami when we had told them we had to have it sent to Key West, so we had to make up a mailer for a staff member at Dinner Key to use to send the medicine to us when it got to Miami, which they did.

We also ordered a new hot water heater from West Marine, just like the one we have in the boat now, only one that doesn't leak, hopefully. West Marine actually beat the price on the water heater from a couple of the other sources I use for supplies, Defender Marine and Amazon. I think West Marine gets a bad rap, but they are competitive on some things.

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