For the first 4,300+ miles or so, the Loop was a lot of work. Fun work. Interesting work. Enjoyable work. Work we wouldn’t trade for any other kind of work. Work we don’t want to stop. But work nonetheless.
Marathon life kind of slows that all down. No planning, no cruising, no docking, no worrying. (Unless you’re the scalped woman who got her hair caught in a serpentine belt while the engine was running, which required the Coast Guard boat to go screaming out of the marina before we could get out a camera. Marathon was pretty exciting for her, but not in a good way.) Hence no regular blog posts.
That’s not to say we haven’t had productive spurts or done stuff. For example, Dana discovered the joys of Pickleball.
We now own Pickleball paddles, although so far only Dana has used hers because Doug’s lazy effort to carry an armload of stuff off the boat barefoot onto a rain-slicked dock without using the railing yielded Pickleball-inhibiting injuries. But Dana has become quite proficient.
We’ve also managed to take care of a few of the niggling boat-related stuff we put off. New anchor light, replace impellers, rebuild Racor primary fuel filters, seal the shower sump box, update charts, etc. Which actually makes us feel a bit accomplished overall. Oh, and that silly washing machine thing.
One of Dana’s requirements for a boat was a functional washer and dryer. Misty Pearl came with a 15-year-old combo, with a drum so small that it’d be impossible to lose a sock because only one sock at a time fits in there to begin with. BEFORE we owned the boat, they said the space was big enough for a real dryer and the space underneath was big enough for a real washer. AFTER we closed, they said nothing would work. So basically we’ve been lugging around 80 lbs of space-eating junk that neither washed nor dried effectively. Then one day we saw Cindy (Journey) lugging a quite similar piece of, er, crap to a secret appliance burial ground. So we took ours out and installed shelves. There’s even room for Pickleballs (which turn out to be just plain old yellow wiffle balls.) Niiiice.
Of course, filling the ugly open space with a nice wood box for the shelves seemed easy when we were unaware that (1) the dude at Home Depot would have sketchy skills on the saw and (2) the opening was neither square nor plumb. The Home Depot in Marathon is good, however, for one thing. That’s right, crab traps. (Why there’s a lobster on the crab trap display remains a mystery.) Doug spent countless hours in dozens of Home Depots throughout Arizona and never once saw a crab trap, so this was a tad startling.
That about sums up our productivity since the last post. But the weather’s been quite conducive to sleeping.
Some guy trying to sound deep and philosophical once said that if you stay in one place long enough the whole world will pass you by. Or something to that effect. It might be true. In the past couple of weeks alone, Shannon and Mallory left. Shannon came and left. Lewis and Terri came and left. Hopefully they’ll come again.
Charlie and Robin (The Lower Place) left for the Bahamas. Hopefully we’ll catch them as we move north.
(Note the flaccid Mississippi State flag, which is just about right.)
Bella Blue (Rex, Donna, and Gracie) arrived and invited us over. We meet a super couple—Dean and Julie—who are about to start the Loop from Islamorada. Our old buddies Ron and Debbie (Bucket List) stopped by.
Band Wagon III and Wine Speed pulled in around the corner. Our sister Selene—Change of Pace—is at a marina across the road, so we met up with Jeff and Terri a couple of times.
This list doesn’t even include all the wonderful folks who’ve been here with us all along, like Prime Meridian, Shell Belle, Hotai, and a bunch of others.
While Lewis and Terri were here we found the post-Irma remains of a small marina.
Hey, why don’t we buy it for cheap and fix it up? Surely they can’t be asking much. Oh well, the dude never returned Lew’s call, so screw them. (Plus we later found the listing for $3.7 million, which was roughly $3.6 million more than we budgeted.)
Did we ever mention the sea grass plague at Faro Blanco? The grass blows in. The grass blows out. Mostly the grass just blows. But periodically a manatee—or is it a ginormous baked potato with a mouth?—drops by to munch on it.
One cool thing about yesterday was the release of Lady Bradley. Lady Bradley is the loggerhead turtle we featured in our post about The Turtle Hospital. Here she is upon arrival. Apparently the treatment went well and sea turtles only need three flippers, so off she went, narrowly escaping the mob scene at Sombrero Beach in which a bunch of people trying to take pictures blocked our efforts to take pictures. Mallory Square all over again.
The funniest part was when Marco Rubio showed up to “help” the release. And by “help” we mean pretend that he’s interested in the effects of climate change on sea turtles so that he could get some good publicity. The people who truly care about the effects of climate change on sea turtles appropriately let him know their opinions on hypocrisy and publicity stunts. Rubio probably didn’t care, of course, since today all the Miami papers dutifully reported that he was an important piece of the event. Fake news. We were there.
On the walk to Burdines and Castaway, there’s a stretch with sort-of-third-world-but-they’re-trying-bless-their-hearts vibe. Even the biker cats look sideways at passersby, although maybe they’re just sad because they only have 5 toes.
We hope to get moving again this week. Key Largo by Friday, when Mallory and Shannon come back to dive with us. Our Phoenix friends Tom and Deb are visiting in a couple of weeks so we need to get up to Fort Lauderdale.
Here’s another iguana, just because.