Retracing Steps: Stock Island to Marathon

Yesterday’s short run from Key West to Stock Island had greased the gears.  We were back in move mode, and ready to head on.

Days 128 – 129, February 18 – 19, 2019

It’s much easier to move when you are in move mode.  Our short run from Key West to Stock Island had shaken out the cobwebs and transitioned us from stationary to in-motion.  We really like being on the move.  We like the intellectual stimulation that comes with having to plan, to make decisions, to study the weather, to organize the boat and to be under way, handling the boat and navigating.  We were in move mode.

The day started hot and still in Stock Island.  It was almost 80 degrees when I started coffee.  We took the dogs for a short walk in what little shade we could find, along the Perry Hotel and through the parking lot.  They do have a small dog run, but it had no shade.  Lingering only long enough for them to handle business, we made our way back to the boat, and fired her up for the not-so-distant Faro Blanco marina in Marathon.

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On the move.  Feels good.

Our trip took us up Hawk Channel.  The wind was out of the south, which can make conditions uncomfortable-to-challenging in the channel.  I was concerned that the breeze would pick up because that’s what the pattern had been the last few days.  We were pleased that after one little spurt of energy that cranked it up to 12 knots and threatened to build an uncomfortable chop, it ultimately backed off to ten and under, and the sea stayed relatively flat.  Our biggest challenge was negotiating the ga-zillion crab pots, little black floating bombs that threaten the tranquility of the trip and make certain the helms(wo)man never gets to relax and has to do a lot of hand steering.

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The crab pots kept us on our toes, but it was a lovely ride.

It ended up being an easy and 40 miles. We enjoyed being back in move mode routine. The sea was lovely.  The pups we’re content.  Bruce was relaxed.  I was pleased.  Happy ship.  On the move.

The boat did seem a little slow.  We had had the bottom scrubbed about 10 days earlier, in Key West, but apparently growth can take hold even in that short time.  We hoped we could shake some of it off with travel.

We pulled into Faro Blanco shortly after noon.  The dock staff, friendly and efficient, remembered us.  It can be nice coming in to a familiar port.  And it was still hot hot hot. The pool, which had been almost too chilly for a dip on our previous visit in January, was very busy.  It was not a particularly productive afternoon, but we did have a fun evening with Tim and Diane from the Kadey Krogen Acadia, who joined us for happy hour and supper alongside the pool.

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Faro Blanco’s iconic lighthouse.

We didn’t need to spend two nights at Faro Blanco, but because of the Miami boat show, which displaces a lot of boats, we were having trouble organizing spots in the Keys.  Our layday in Marathon was hot and unproductive, with the exception of a run (literally) across the street to West Marine for Bruce, and a run (literally) on the treadmill at the Hyatt for Dorsey.  Oh, and the dogs got a bath!  Nice to get rid of the Key West grime.

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It was too hot, and there was not enough shade, to give the pups much of a walk, but there was some nice lawn, and bruce got them a nice treat!

Bruce spent some time in the afternoon at the bar and had fun chatting (for hours!) with an electrical engineer from New Hampshire.  I joined them for happy hour, but the crowd turned a bit weird at that point — a couple of nice tourists but one sort of nasty, cranky, tatted-up washed out biker dude, and a flaky pair of Michigan transplants — so we abandoned our plans to have dinner at the bar and retreated to Esmeralde for hot dogs.  Fancy!

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Moonrise of the Super Snow Moon.

Two lovely events that evening, though.  First, a spectacular moonrise of the rare super snow moon, and second, a surprise lovely visit from Cyndi from The Galleon in Key West, who had driven up to celebrate a birthday of friends on a different boat.  All good!

 

Key West (The Galleon) to Stock Island (Stock Island Marina Village
February 17, 2019

 

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