On the way back to our ball, we passed by the wreckage of the old Faro Blanco Ocean Marina. Hurricane Wilma took it, and its partner marina on the Gulf side. The Gulf side has been reclaimed by Hyatt, complete with a new resort, but this one is crying out for someone to rehab it, along with about 50 deserted slips.
We went to great Happy Hour at Keys Steak and Lobster where all hors d'oeuvres are $5. They are all great. Here's the tuna tataki, as close as I come to sushi. But Pam and Darin liked the sushi.
Steve and I were talking to a couple next to us at the bar and she asked, "doesn't it get lonely living on a boat?" ... so I had to say: "see all these people to my right, we are with all of them, so no, it doesn't".
Pam and Darin had a rental car for a week, so they went to Key West (we did not). We all took a drive to Bahia Honda State Park, where there is the best beach in the keys. Visitors can walk up the old Flagler bridge and take in the view. A section of the old bridge was removed here to allow boats to enter the Park Harbor. The current Highway 1 bridge and Florida Bay to the right and the Atlantic to the left.
From the bridge a great view of the bay side of the Park.
On their last night we dined aboard. Pam and Darin were easy to please, and really, very good to have aboard.
After they left, it was our turn to entertain Brent and Susan and Em and Bev, so Steve made lasagna. Since we are cruising full time now, we've stocked our galley with equipment and supplies from home that we hadn't brought in previous trips. Somehow, we've managed to store it all. Brent and Susan brought Chianti, but oops, no corkscrew here. Steve had opened a bottle for Pam and Darin using a screw ... screw it in with screwdriver and pull the screw and cork out with a vise grip ... such a clever guy.
Great food and excellent company. Bev and Em graciously brought over a couple of folding chairs and we were able to sit 6 for hand and foot, our favorite card game with our favorite card players.
Our days start with coffee and Cruisers Net on the VHF radio at 9 am. Tuesdays and Fridays, I go to free yoga in the park and Steve usually goes for a bike ride. Sunday mornings are breakfast at the American Legion, great food, great price. Last Saturday we took the Keys bus line down to Big Pine Key for their long running Flea Market. We ladies had a good time trying on and buying some new clothes and we enjoyed the Fish Fry and ice cream. Big Pine has some cool "free range" roosters and chickens right on the main drag.
The City Marina, which normally closes their pavillion at 5 pm, stayed open for the Super Bowl. Great game and a good pot luck, as always.
We left during the third quarter and found we could stream the game on the computer. There is no antenna TV in the Keys (why is that?) ... so we've increased our AT&T MiFi to 30 gigabytes/month and are streaming a few TV shows.
We are adapting well to being full time cruisers and to life on the ball. The solar panels are rockin' the watts. We go most days without turning on the generator. I'm doing the dishes by heating water on the propane stove, make coffee with the Melitta "pour over" system, and we can use the toaster and short microwave times with the inverter. Its wonderful to return from an outing and not immediately have to turn on the gen to charge the batteries. The pump out boat comes once a week to empty the holding tank and you don't even have to be aboard for it.
Our next visitor, BFF Sue, comes tomorrow and we are very excited to have her back aboard.