"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

January 31, 2016

Jan. 30 – Marathon, FL

Sombrero Resort & Marina

“Laughter is sunshine, it chases winter from the human face.” ― Victor Hugo

The weather finally cleared up a little this week…still not warm but at least we had some sunshine. We were able to get off the boat and enjoy the MTOA picnic at Sombrero Beach, the swap meet at the City Marine, run errands, ride our bikes and spend several evenings with friends. It was definitely an improvement over the last few weeks.

Boot Key Harbor heading toward Burdine's on Wednesday.
Burdine's...still a few clouds in the sky when we left and we did get a little wet on our way home.
Local entertainment by Ty and Cory at Burdine's
Fun with new and old friends
Fried key lime pie...one of the reason we needed to get out and ride our bikes this week
Sombrero Beach on Friday was a busy place...a little cold for the water, but the sun felt wonderful.
The couples who made our picnic a reality. We had 58 people attend.
Ted and Sally were in charge of cooking up the hamburgers and hot dogs...they did a great job.
A few of the MTOA members who came out to the picnic 
Cruiser's Net swap meet on Saturday
A farewell dinner with the crews of Amici and Exuberant. It's not really a goodbye...just a see you later. We'll see everyone again later in the year.
The view from our dinghy on the ride home
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.

January 27, 2016

Jan. 26 – Marathon, FL

Sombrero Resort & Marina

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ― Dalai Lama XIV

Although the weather hasn't been the greatest (pretty much the wettest and coolest on record) this year we are trying our best to stay busy. We've had more than several days that I haven't left the cabin or even changed out of my jammies...good days to watch moving on Netflix, made possible by the generosity of our neighbors for letting us sign into their unlimited wifi. Other days have been cold, windy and cloudy but no rain so we try to get out and do something...mostly visiting with friends, enjoying happy hours and sharing meals. Being in Marathon really is about spending time with friends and we are truly enjoying that.

Besides social gatherings I've filled my time with basket weaving, Mexican train dominoes, a little shopping, DVD exchanges (remember everyone has been spending a lot of time on their boats), reading, cooking and on occasion a little cleaning. One day seems to run into the next.

Today we woke up to a normal Key's morning with plenty of sunshine and warmer temperatures, so we had a chance to enjoy Marathon for the reasons we are here...the sun and the water. We started our day by sitting on the flybridge and enjoying our coffee, the first time we've been able to do that in two and a half weeks. But the best part of the day was actually getting out on the water. Our friends on Exuberant invited us to go for a sail. What an amazing way to spend a winter day.

It wasn't a trawler type day, the wind and waves were a little too high to make a comfortable ride on our boat, but on their 44' Hylas sailboat we had a great ride. We flew across the water at 7-8 knots and enjoyed the spray of the sea and the breeze and the sun in our faces. It felt wonderful to be on the water. Thanks Burt and Prue for the invitation.

A few of the basket weavers at the City Marina
My new basket...it's coming a long, but it still needs a little work.
Dinner and game night on Amici 
Dinner and game night on The Pearl...are you seeing a pattern here. When there's bad weather you have to find inside things to do.
Sailing on Exuberant.
Look at that water...amazing!
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.

January 24, 2016

Silent Sunday

Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.

January 21, 2016

Jan. 20 - Key West

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.” —Unknown

Our oldest son and his family gave us a gift certificate for a biplane tour of Key West for Christmas. We've been watching the weather, trying to plan a good day for the tour and day in Key West...a day that didn’t have too much wind and no rain. That's been a little difficult this month, but it finally happened today. Getting to the bus stop this morning was a little chilly but the sun was out and we were excited to be heading to Key West for the day.

Marathon is about 50 miles from Key West...an hour by car or about two hours on a bus that stops every few miles. The Lower Key Shuttle is a bargain at $1.50, watching and visiting with people on the bus is just a bonus. Our timing for our tour was perfect, we arrived at the airport and found the Conch Republic Air Force about 20 minutes before our flight. Giving us just enough time to settle in and look at some of the other planes the company owns.

Our tour of the island was in a 1942 WACO UPF-7 bi-Plane. The open cockpit gave us a great view of the beautiful blue water and the island. The pilot narrated the tour pointing out landmarks, shipwrecks and even a few dolphins and sharks. It was a unique and amazing experience. Now we've seen one of our favorite town from the land, sea and air. It was a great way to spend the morning. The people at Conch Republic Air Force were wonderful; they were professional, friendly and accommodating. The owner even gave us a ride to the Historic Seaport after our tour.

Ted and Sally from Amici came down on a later bus and we met them for lunch at DJ's Clam Shack on Duval Street. We spent the afternoon wandering around town shopping a little and watching people, although people watching was a little slow today...cooler than normal and no cruise ships in town. The most interesting people watching starts after dark. We had a chance to check out of a few happy hours before we caught our bus home, but missed out on the Sunset Celebration. It's hard to fit everything into one day when the bus is your only transportation home.

Our plane
A few of the other planes belonging to Conch Republic Air Force
Ready for take off
Pictures taken from the video we bought of the flight
Pictures I took during the flight
Looking down on Malloy Square and towards Duval Street
Views from the cockpit 
Our plane and pilot 
Cuban Coffee Queen - One of the best places to get coffee in Key West
The Porch - a great place to relax, have a drink and watch the world go by
The view from The Porch
Enjoying our friends at The Porch
Waiting for the bus to take us home
Having fun on the bus
Thanks for reading our blog and spending part of your day with us. The Pearl is also on Facebook - stop by and say hi or follow us on Google+.