Our time here in Boot Key Harbor has brought both high points and low points. In the week following Christmas, we visited Key West twice. There is a great bus service that charges $4 for the two hour ride from Marathon to Key West. The first time we took the bus, there were several people from the Marina headed down there, along with lots of locals heading to work. One woman seemed thoroughly enamored with Moray, much to the amusement of several of the bus riders! We visited the Wreckers’ Museum, which was really interesting, and then the most southernmost point of the continental USA (although a quick study of the map of the area shows there is a slightly more Southerly point, just not accessible to the public :))
We then started out on a Duval Street pub crawl. If you ever decide to do this, beware – there are a LOT of bars on Duval Street!!! So much so, we went back on New Year’s Eve to do Pub Crawl, Part Deux!
We finished that evening on the balcony opposite the Bourbon Street Bar, watching some great entertainment culminating with Sushi, the drag queen, dropping from the balcony down to the street, in a huge ruby slipper! Awesome!!!
Unfortunately, as with most things in life, you have to pay the piper. For us, this took the form of the 2 hour bus back to the marina with a host of other revelers. It was actually quite entertaining 🙂
The boating community here in Marathon is amazing. Every morning, we start our day listening to the boaters’ net, where the community welcomes new arrivals, says bon voyage to departing boats, people can ask for help, trade stuff, find out what is happening around the area etc. We have been to a talk on sailing to the Bahamas, which was very helpful, met lots of people while sitting up in the boaters’ lounge, got involved in taking hurricane relief supplies over to Andros – all very interesting.
There have been some low points, however. One task that has been on Moray’s list for a while is to convert a water tank to a diesel tank. Our Caliber is one of the older ones, and had two large water tanks, but only one small diesel tank. 60 gallons of diesel has been fine so far, but when we want to venture further afield, we wanted to have more. Now that we have a watermaker, the plan was to convert the second water tank to a diesel tank, bring our fuel capacity up to 140 gallons. The plan was all going great, and all the parts were ordered. Then, after transferring some diesel to the new tank, we discovered that there is a pinhole leak in the tank, which basically put paid to that plan. We had to quickly transfer the diesel back to the old tank from the “new” one before the small amount that made it into the bilge was enough to get it pumped overboard. Within 2 hours we were back to our original situation and all diesel cleaned up and taken to the fuel dump station a the marina. We will have to revisit the situation and see if there is an affordable alternative solution at a later date.
The other REALLY frustrating issue has been the ongoing saga of the non-working iPhone. Moray has spent countless hours on-line with Apple, visiting two different AT&T stores, and still we can’t get the phone to work. If we come to shore, we can make calls using Skype, but we can’t receive calls, and once we get back to the boat, we are off-line completely. Still working on this issue, luckily some friends back in Texas have been good enough to offer to send us old phones and we are waiting on one of those to arrive before e head across to the Bahamas.
Although both of these issues have been incredibly frustrating, the fact that we are pursuing our dreams is not lost on us and quick slap upside the head usually brings that back into focus.
Last Sunday we went down to Key West, probably for the last time, to have brunch at the Hot Tin Roof. This is a very nice restaurant which Moray’s family bought us a gift voucher to dine at for our Christmas. All I can say is WOW! The food was fantastic and kept coming till we said enough. There were also bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary’s which you could make up yourself from a Bloody Mary bar.
When we go over to the Bahamas we will first check in at Morgan’s Bluff on Andros. Andros was the most heavily hit island in the Bahamas when Matthew came through. It is still struggling with the rebuild and so we will be taking disaster relief building supplies and other items with us from Marathon. We would like to raise $1,000 to buy supplies. We will personally contribute $200 and so we are looking for another $800 to reach our goal. We have started a GoFundMe page so people can donate to the cause. If you or anyone you know is willing and able to contribute, it would be greatly appreciated. We have so far managed to raise $410 and will close down the page at the start of next week to give us time to purchase all the supplies. The link is below…
Over the next week we will finish off a couple more projects on the boat, buy the supplies for Andros and the boat and wait for the first good weather window. It looks like that might not be till Thursday of next week but we will have to see how that pans out. Hopefully our next post will be from somewhere in the Exumas!