Friday, February 06, 2009

STILL Hanging out in Marathon (Part II)

We are still in Marathon and having a blast. The cold fronts keep coming in every few days and it gets very cold and very windy. OK, OK, I'm NOT complaining...I know the kind of weather most of you are having now....I'm just saying...

In fact, a guy was supposed to come to the boat to polish our fuel on Thursday morning. Over time, diesel fuel tanks build up yucky sludge, consisting of dirt, dead algae, condensed water and other contaminents. We had begun to have some problems with the fuel filters clogging prematurely so Rick wanted to have the fuel cleaned, "polished", which we haven't done since acquiring the boat. The guy called Rick early Thursday to say that it was too cold and he was afraid he would get sick so he wanted to reschedule! Rick persevered and he came to do the work, in shorts and a thin sweat shirt. Maybe they don't have warm clothes down here. So the existing fuel got polished, and on Friday morning we, and several other boats, got fuel delivered by truck to top off our tanks for the coming trip north.

So, we have continued with the never ending list of boat chores. Rick changed the oil and filters on the two main engines and two generators, including the main engine final fuel filters, which is always a chore, because then he has to bleed all the air out of the diesel engine injectors to get the engines to start again. After that Rick discovered that the battery used to start the generators had lost some of its uumph, so Roger, our good friend and mechanic extradordinare in Morehead City, (he is our lifeline if any of you have watched the millionare show) helped us over the phone to figure out how to troubleshoot that issue. As always, thank you, Roger!! Then we had to find a place that would take the used oil. Bob helped again by taking Rick and Norm, who had also changed his oil, to a local oil recycling facility at another marina.

But, hey, you gotta have fun and we've been working on that, also. There are now 5 DeFever boats here, three of them in the marina that we are in and two a couple of miles away. Stephanie and Bob (on September Song) have a rental car and have been extraordinarily generous in carting us around in order to run errands, including that fun trip to Key West, contained in an earlier blog. We can't thank them enough for their generosity! Robin and Jim (on Adventures) also have a car down here. The cars came in very handy yesterday ... more on that in a moment.

We had a party on September Song last weekend, and were supposed to gather on Rickshaw's back deck but the cold and wind were going to drive us indoors.

We can't comfortably fit 12 people inside our boat so Stephanie and Bob graciously offered to move the festivities to their new 55' DeFever, September Song, which has a huge pilot house, pictured above. There are a number of great cooks on these DeFevers so there is always lots of wonderful food, plenty of adult beverages and laughs when we all get together, so a good time was had by all.

Wednesday was Lynnie's birthday and she had a great day starting with brunch at the Stuffed Pig! We rode our bikes there so we are assuming we burned off a few calories on the way there and back. Of course, surely not as many as were in the crab and mushroom omlette. Lynnie had a birthday pedicure in the afternoon and then Vicki and Norm (on Tide Hiker) and Tammy, Doug, Colleen and John (on Gypsies in the Palace) walked down to the Dockside Bar and Grill for some more great food (shrimp reubens - yum) and listened and danced to a live blues band.

They were told it was Lynnie's birthday so they played a "Lynnie-yrd Skynyrd" song in her honor. What a hoot. We all got happy feet and danced to a few tunes. Overall, it was a piggy and relaxing day. Lynnie says thanks to all for the birthday wishes that came her way.
Yesterday, Bob and Stephanie and Robin and Jim (with their cars) came to pickup the 8 of us at our marina to take us to lunch at a pub on Big Pine Key that Robin and Jim knew about. Robin and Jim have been coming here for 20 years and are building a house on Big Pine, which is an amazing feat considering the building code requirements imposed by the nature of what you are building on (rocks) and the hurricanes. If you didn't know where the No Name Pub was you would never find it! There are several bars in the Keys that have every inch of available space plastered with signed or decorated $1 bills. This one was amazing. The food was really good and we had a fun time.

Below, the whole gang. To the right are Doug and Tammy from Gypsies in the Palace.

After lunch we went to see the new house which is nearing completion. It is certainly built to withstand whatever mother nature throws its way ... solid concrete and rebar, on concrete pilings driven 6' into the coral rock. The Andersen windows are designed to happily bounce off flying debris during storms.

These Keys Deer are all over the place. They were wandering around the neighborhood where Robin and Jim's house is located. They are smaller than what we are used to and pretty cute.

The Gypsies took the following two pictures. This manatee was swimming around the marina and came up to their boat. They spent 15 minutes giving this manatee some fresh water from their house. They seem to really like fresh water!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

STILL Hanging out in Marathon

It has been a few days more than 2 weeks since we came to the marina in Marathon. Since then we have been getting lots of boat chores done. We've also been riding our bikes and doing a lot of walking.

The weather has been wonderful but we have had several fronts come through. We had a huge storm on Monday evening with driving rain and winds of 40 knots. We lost our NC flag and several of the boaters lost things from their boats. There is another front coming in today which will kick up the seas again. That means that we can't leave here for a while. We had hoped to go to the Dry Tortugas before making our way to the DeFever rendezvous on the west coast of Florida but I guess we'll just have to see if we have enough time. Boating is all about waiting out the weather.

When we went to Key West last week we noticed that there are chickens and roosters walking all around the town. Apparently, they are a staple part of Key West. There was some talk about doing away with them but the locals didn't want that. Anyway, our friend Bob stopped the car on the way home to get the following picture. Funny!