Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Key West and Life is Good



As planned we are making a little stand here in good old Key West while I try to write the bulk of the book. Mornings are usually spent at the keyboard followed by a trip ashore. We check our email at Coffee Plantation and maybe do a little research for the book. A walk along the wharf or a stroll along Duval street in the late afternoon. In the early evening we’re back on board. Some cheese, snacks and a cocktail drink. We note the comings and goings of new boats and boats that had been here when we arrived. Almost everybody in Key West is from somewhere else and they’re all going somewhere else. What a crazy place!

We’ve made a friend (or a pet) of our nearest neighbor, Jeff. He lives aboard a 26 foot sloop with no sails and comes and goes on about a 16 foot dingy off of which he has only fallen once but we are still counting. He’s a good guy and maybe a ‘typical’ Conch if there is such a thing. He’s younger that us by 20 years (who isn’t) and came aboard via his own invitation one night. He was married and running a construction company up in Rhode Island. The part about Rhode Island is believable based on accent. Got divorced, sold the business and is now living and NOT working in Key West. He does a great Capt. Ron impersonation and I fear there may be more Capt. Ron in him than is good for anybody! Such are the characters that we meet on occasion.

We’ve also befriended another Canadian couple who are here for the first time. As we can help them find things in Key West they have lots to tell us about the Bahamas, our next destination. We look forward to going over charts with them and taking lots of notes. Cruising guides are great but you really like to talk to someone who has been there recently. We’re especially interested in making our way through the reefs at night when we leave Rodriguez Key. Doesn’t look all that tough on the charts but you do need to do it at night so as to arrive at Gun Key or Bimini in daylight. Another sphincter squeezer!

We’ve found a boat yard in Marathon that will haul us out and let us paint our bottom ourselves. This apparently is becoming rare. Two out of three yards wouldn’t let us do the work ourselves. We’re anxious to get a couple of coats of bottom paint on before heading to the Bahamas where we will probably scrape it all off again! We should be up that way in early January.

It rained for just about three solid days through Saturday recently. Got a little cabin fever but not too bad. Endeavour Enee is big enough for us to comfortably write, work, read, and relax without going to shore for some time. Sue’s new awnings on the bimini make the cockpit still useable even in a steady rain.

We have been enjoying the freedom of NOT having refrigeration for some time now. After working my butt off to get it installed last February it is now not working. But, we buy ice every few days and only buy fresh meat when we intend to eat it and this is turning out to be more easy going than constantly checking battery levels and running engine twice a day which is what was required to keep up with the refrigerator. They have 25 lb blocks of ice at the market by the wharf and one of those lasts us nearly a week! Better than the deisel I’d have to burn to keep up with the refrigerator. With the refrigerator off line and the nice breezes here to spin our wind generator we are hardly running any diesal at all. Nice. Well, live and learn. Anyone want a slightly used Cold Machine (may need some work)?

We still miss Gracie the sailing cat but hesitate to adopt another. They’re great but can become a real puzzle when we leave the boat for extended periods of time. We’ll see what the future brings. Maybe I can find a six-toed kitten. . .

That’s about it from Key West. Happy holidays and happy Issac Newton’s birthday which we all celebrate (December 25).

1 comment:

Rich P said...

A descendant of a Papa Hemingway 6-toed cat would be great! Go for it!