Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sunset Bar & Grill, Keys Fisheries, Marathon, FL



This is the Sunset Bar & Grill at Keys Fisheries, a restaurant in Marathon, FL. We love to hang out here to watch the sunset and eat Stone Crab claws and drink ice cold beer.

The Stone Crab claws are AWESOME with there special mustard sauce for dipping. They are a buck a piece so we usually get a couple dozen.

These are our new friends Philomena & Eamon. They are from Ireland and now live in Ohio part of the year and Marathon the other part. We had a great time with them Sunday night, watching the sunset and drinking some beers!

Can you figure out who the Birthday boy is? It's not Henri to pooch. Puppers are welcome at the Sunset Bar & Grill. Scarfs are optional.

Okay close your eyes and say cheese!! I think it's time to go home :). Cheers Mike and Kim on Ka'imi

Friday, December 04, 2009

Storm in Boot Key Harbor


Click here for a local news story on the storm.

On Wednesday, November 25th we got a huge wake up call from a storm passing through Boot Key Harbor. At 3:00 AM we hear a loud noise and the boat healed about 30 degrees to starboard and then 30 degrees to port. Whooaaa...we rushed to the companionway and all we could see was the tarp (the big white one you see in the pic laying in the cockpit) blown off and hanging from the lifelines. We were able to save it later when the rain let up. The rain was coming down hard and the wind was howling. The wind was clocked at about 60 MPH sustained with the highest gusts at 117 and 120 MPH.
The picture on the right shows where the awning used to be, one of it's bars is still standing. Oh well I think I can fix it. Later we were listening to people in the harbor on the VHF radio and some of them fared much worse. One broke loose from it's mooring (the boats line broke not the mooring ball line) and no one was aboard. It was a 3o foot boat loose in the anchorage and had already hit one boat. It was still raining but a couple boats spotted it and got in their dinghies to get it under control and back on a mooring ball. GOOD JOB to them! We also heard some people got hit by lighting. The lightning storm was so bad it actually looked like daylight right before it hit. It looked like somebody left a flood light on and it was flickering. Somebody got on the radio and said they were watching their solar panels hanging by a thread. It was at that point that we looked at each other and said 'what about our solar panel?' So we go look and sure enough...gone. The picture shows where it used to be.

When dawn broke it was raining like crazy and rained most of the day. We got pretty wet, but at least the winds died a bit.

So although our life is mostly pleasure and fun there are those moments of SHEER TERROR...the pics below show a calm day and our view of the golf course and a nice sunset. That's how we like to remember it! Cheers and Happy Holidays to all Mike and Kim on Ka'imi

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Dog and House Sitting in Boot Key Harbor

Here we are at the private dock in Marathon where we have spent the summer. We will be leaving the dock in a couple of days to go back on a mooring ball. The weather should start to cool down (although right now it is still in the low 90's) so we won't need the air conditioner. The dock and the apartments belong to Gale and Mary, the nicest people you could ever meet. The lived here when they first came to the Keys from California. They have since built a bigger house on Sister Creek and are now living there. They have a dog, Rocky, and we have had the privilege of watching him while they are away - what fun!

These are pictures of the studio apartment that comes with the dock. You are not allowed to live aboard on private docks, so you have to have a room.

This is Rocky, the dog, an Australian Terrier and our friend :)

If we watch Rocky for just a couple of days we get to stay in this apartment (which is above the studio). It has a doggy door, this is where Gale and Mary used to live.

Here is a picture of the anchorage where we will be mooring and of Ka'imi. This is the top of the apartments where we are docked.

We watched Rocky for 10 days when those guys went on vacation and got to stay in their new house it's beautiful as you can see. We weren't hurting much.

A swim and sundowner's on the patio - life is rough!

This is the room we stayed in, check out that view, NIIICE.

Kim's big 50th Birthday came while we were staying here - OUCHHH! Mike is making the customary birthday breakfast of Egg's Benedict with avocado, tomato and Bearnaise Sauce - yummy! We went out for Mexican Dinner and Margaritas later.

A little sunset view and Mike using his 50 block suntan lotion that he got from his sister Robin for his Birthday.

One of Rocky's and our favorite things to do - go to the beach. He was a maniac and so covered with sand when we left, from his mouth to his tail. That was a fun cleanup.

Here he is trying to look innocent, but we can see the blue flowers all over his little body, wonder what the yard looks like - yikes.

Well that brings us up to date for now. Michael has gotten a real J-O-B. This is his second week and they are working his butt off. He is a driver for Coca-Cola servicing the coke machines from Islamorada to Key West. He likes it but it's taking time to get the machines back up to par, they were not serviced very well while they searched for the new driver. Kim is looking for a J-O-B and hopefully will find something just as exciting. In the meantime she is doing boat chores! We will keep posting pictures of the area and follow up with some things we may have left out from our past travels. Cheers for now, Kim and Mike

Ken & Roberta s/v Second Wind come to Boot Key Harbor


Our friends Ken & Roberta on the s/v Second Wind have returned to the United States. We left them in Bonaire and they continued on the Columbia, Panama and the Western Caribbean. Click here to see their website they have some great pictures. They stopped in Boot Key Harbor Marathon on the way up to North Carolina where they will settle in. We had a great visit.

All the pictures in this post are courtesy of Ken & Roberta. To the left is a cuban refugee boat if you click on the picture then zoom in you can read the placard. To the right is Roberta at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. Doesn't the water look great!

The four of us took the bus to Key West. Ken & Roberta had to check back into the USA and the office was in Key West. We are driving over the 7 mile bridge at Marathon.

Key West has great restaurants, we have never had a bad meal. Nobody wanted their Mardi Gras beads so Kim got them all :) The sculpture to the right shows the Wreckers. The original inhabitants of the Keys made their living salvaging ships that wrecked on the reefs.

This is the famous Duval Street in Key West and Sloppy Joe's Bar one of the places Hemmingway used to hang out.

We end the day at the Hog's Breath Saloon.
Cheers Kim and Mike

Friday, September 04, 2009

Boot Key Harbour, Marathon, FL & Mom's Visit


Click here for a great link to a live web cam of Boot Key Harbour and click here for a live web cam of Sombrero Beach. There are also some great pictures if you click on Photo Gallery on the Boot Key Harbour site.
We arrived in Boot Key Harbour on February 13, 2009 and settled in on a mooring ball. It was warm and tropical, just the kind of place we like. The marina has wireless internet, showers, washers/dryers and dinghy docks. There is also a tennis court and a park. The first thing we did was try to find our beloved Nookie a home. We announced it on the daily cruisers' net and posted pictures in the Marina. It took a while but one day this really nice young girl dinghies up to the boat and asks if we still had the kitten. We had her come aboard and meet Nookie and they were meant for each other. She brought her husband over later and he fell in love too. So yes we found a great home for our little girl who has since been renamed Twig. The young couple are from Colorado and had grown up in the mountains, which they loved. They named their sailing vessel Willow which was her favorite tree, so hence Twig. They were headed out to the Bahamas for the season and then up to Maine to work on a farm and learn to grow their own food. We know Nookie-Twig is going to be very happy and climbing trees on a farm soon. We were very sad to have her leave, but very glad that she will eventually have a land home.

We spent the first couple of weeks exploring and scouting out the area. These are pictures of the other side of Boot Key. Boot Key is an island and the only access is the Boot Key Bridge or by boat. The bridge was a bascule bridge, which means it opens to let boat traffic through. Click here for more Bridge info. It is the one we had to go through in the fog to get here. Anyway, the bridge is now permanently open, because there is no money in the state budget to repair it. The island of Boot Key is privately owned and the owners don't have the money to repair it either. So its open to boat traffic and closed to vehicle traffic. Now the only way to get there is boat or helicopter. This canal on the other side shows different boats that are either fisherman and have the owner's permission or just derelicts hanging out. Pretty interesting back in there.

Mom Pitteroff or Mabel as she is sometimes called, finally got to visit :)))) She had such a great time and we can't wait until she can come back. The first order of business was the get in the water, which we did, then RELAX. I think she caught on pretty good! We found her in this position quite often.

In order to get to Sombrero Beach from the anchorage you have to travel down Sister's Creek, it's not far and it's a very beautiful ride with lots of fish. You see a lot of eagle rays, dolphins and occasionally a manatee. Mom caught on to piloting the dinghy right away.

After a long days play it's great to go out for sundowners and a meal. This is Frosty's Bar and Grille located on the waterfront so you can get there by dinghy. Here we are at the left making our way back to the dinghy.

Made it to the Dinghy, but after a couple of beers is seems it might take the two of us to untie this line. Hey - who tied this thing? Well no fear we did get loose.

No visit to the Florida Keys is complete without a visit to Key West. We have been there several times and still haven't seen everything we want to see. There are so many restaurants and we haven't yet had a bad experience. Beach Bar & Grill on Duvall Street where we had lunch was no exception - it was fantastic the food and the ambiance.

The shopping in Key West offers something for everyone. Even Roosters I guess cause there were plenty of them. There are lots of clothing stores, shell stores, novelty stores, everything you can think of. Mom is getting some advice on shoes from another tourist.

I gotta get me one of these T-shirts :)

Back home in Marathon, we had a great barbecue lunch at Sombrero Beach.

Unfortunately, it was time for Mom to go, BYE Mom we love you and want you to come back soon!!!!!!!!!!!! We took her to Key West Airport and sadly said good-bye.

After we dropped Mom off we walked the docks at Key West and met some of the locals.

Some Pelicans and some Cats.

We think the Cats must be related because they looked exactly alike, however the one sleeping was a sweetheart but the one staring at us was a meany.

Cheers for now, Mom and Kim and Mike who really needs to brush his teeth :)


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