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January 6, 2013

Staying on here at Harbour Cay Club in Marathon, Florida.  Delightful place!  Just hanging out today and taking a relaxing, do nothing kind of day.  Took a bike ride up for a few provisions at the local Publix Supermarket, about 2 miles away.  Picked up a few things, then stopped at the Keys Fisheries fish market on the way back to the boat.  Grabbed a couple lobsters and a pound of "pinks" (shrimp) to continue making bad boat food with.  Back at the boat, thanks to having a cable hook  up here, caught today's football game on TV.  Baltimore Ravens (YEA!!) vs Indiana Colts.  (Sorry - I was born in Baltimore, gotta route 'em on when appropriate!).  Made up some gourmet Strawberry Coladas to enjoy while watching the Ravens kick butt.  Then super-celebrated with lobsters for dinner!  Another awesome day!!!

January 7, 2013

lazy day (liking' this!).  I caught a ride with someone here at the Club who had a truck to try to go to a local pet store to look for some dog food (Sailor, of course, has to have his special food so he doesn't barf).  On the way there stopped off at Publix and restocked our beer level too (totally successfull!!!).   Got to the Pet Store, and, alas, no "special" food.  Bummer.  Oh well - got back to the boat and ordered it on line to be delivered here to the Club in a couple of days.  So, he won't waste away to nothing after all! 

Matt went over to the Marathon Boat Yard Marine Center, where we had a $100 gift certificate coming to us (we won it at the American Great Loop Cruiser's Association Rendezvous back in October).  What a great shopping trip that turned out to be!  Got two sets of fuel filters - one set to be changed out just before we cross over to the Bahamas (hey, Daniel, got some work for you when you get here!), and a spare set to have on board as spares.  Also picked up some steering fluid.  That brought the total to about $90.  Didn't want to waste that last 10 bucks, so he went over and picked up a $13.99 anchor for the dinghy.  The lady there that came over and was enthusiastic about our winning the gift certificate at the AGLCA meeting mentioned she did the Loop a couple of years ago.   Don't know if she was a manager or owner or what, but all the folks there were sooooo nice.  The final total came to about $105, but she called it "close enough", and that was that!  Great place - would recommend them to anyone coming by!!

Later on we attended the sunset ritual at the Tiki Hut, and again were treated to the blowing of the Conch Horn.  This time, I was prepared and brought my video camera. . . . enjoy!

1-7 Sunset Conch Horn

After this evening's docktail party, returned to the boat for some yucky leftovers.  (Ha - check out the pictures on that one!!!)  Following yucky dinner, we joined the congregation up at the Club's "great room" for some Monday Night Football. Some snacks, brought our drinks, and some enjoyable company to watch some foot ball with.  Another terrific day and night - really enjoying our stay here.

January 8, 2013

Oh dear - more relaxing today.  Actually got a load of wash done today, so it wasn't a total waste!  Took another (shorter) bike ride to pick up some cream cheese at a local quickie store.  Came back and whipped up some goodies to bring to tonight's 5 O'Clock Docktail Party - cranberry bread with a strawberry spread (had some cranberries and strawberries that I needed to use up!).  Well - were they a hit!!  Everybody totally jumped on that!  Came back to the boat and got around to fixing dinner - uh oh!  More "Sucky Boat Food" (sorry Cindy on Bucket List - it happened again!!!).  Steaks with my awesome mushroom sauce, accompanied by the standard baked spud with sour cream and chives, and a side garden salad.  Sigh. . . . another one of those days.  Oh well - time for some TV and bed.  Think we have another stressful day in store for us tomorrow!

January 9, 2013

Big day today - time to pump out the holding tank!  Oh Joy!!  It's free here - but the catch is, it's a do-it-yourself deal.  Go drag over the rolling garbage can containing the hose, hook the thing up to the pump by your slip and attach to boat, then walk all the way up behind the club house to the machine to hit the "start button".  Wait 'till it's all pumped out, clear the hose by sucking up some seawater, then walk all the way back to the machine to hit the "off" button.  Oh well - it's empty now, and it was free - "free" is a good thing!!!  Well, wasn't that exciting?  Don't quite know how to top that one!  Oh well - got some chicken cooked up for dinner.  Gonna barbeque it later, but had to pre-cook it so that we can managed to get over to the 5:00 sunset gathering and return to the boat and be able to eat before 8 or 9 toight!  Worked out fine - BBQ'd chicken, grilled romaine, and baked beans.  Hit the spot!  Still taking advantage of a TV hook up - watched some before sleep time.

January 10, 2013

Very busy day today - have to go sit in the club great room to keep an eye out for the UPS delivery truck.  Couldn't find Sailor's dog food anywhere nearby, so ordered 2 large bags on line - due to be delivered here today.  Checked on shipping/tracking of my order, and they say it's "on the truck for delivery", due to be delivered "sometime today".  Ugh.  Set up my waiting post about 9 a.m., unfinished book in hand.  Hung out 'till about 11:30, then hunger drove me back to the boat.  There was a couple of women waiting for their wash to be done who said they'd watch out for UPS 'till I got back.  Went and grabbed a sandwich, then headed back up to "my post".  Finished my book soon thereafter, and stuffed it back into their lending library, selecting a new one to replace it.  Enough reading for now, I moved over to the community jig-saw puzzle under way and stuffed in a bunch of pieces.  Just about the time I was getting tired of that - YEAH!  The UPS Guy shows up!  Whew!  Long wait for just stupid dog food!  Got that taken care of - back to the boat for more relaxin', and baking some yummy home-made bread to accompany our lasagna dinner.  Attended the mandatory 5:00 Tiki Hut Sunset Docktail party, then back to eat and do some TV before hitting the hay.

January 11, 2013

Not much going on today, so used the whole morning to catch up on paperwork (yuck with a capital Y!!!).  Finally finalized our on-line FCC VHF License Application - what a pain in the butt that was!  Technically required if you leave the U.S., but found out later that it's never checked so possibly not needed.  But with our luck, we'd be checked upon, and we don't need to deal with fines. . . so we did the right thing and paid our stupid fees.  Then went to top off our water tanks since we're pulling out tomorrow.  Got pissed off at the plastic key to open the tanks, as it one more made me hurt my hand.  Went on strike - and set off for the local West Marine by bike.  Purchased a "real" (metal) key, returned to the boat, and was able to easily open the dam tanks!  Been saying I was gonna do that for months now. . . . . .  Later in the day, we walked over to Porky's BBQ for a late lunch/early dinner.  They're known for (of course) their ribs and bar-b-que.  Delicious!!!  Met a local artist at the bar who was selling small prints of his work out back - walked out after we ate and picked up a few (see my pics!).  Very good work!  Came back, walked Sailor, who then insisted on an after-walk swim. . . . finished up just in time to make it over to the Tiki hut for 5 o'clock docktails.  Very windy tonight - nice inside the boat with the breeze, but a little much outside, so we retreated to the boat just after sunset and the blowing of the conch horn - tonight dubbed our "conch-cert".  Time to do some log updating and watch the tube for a while before bed.  Also time to get our heads back into "cruising mode" and think about where we're heading to over the next week or so . . . . .  Tough job, but somebody's got to do it!!!

January 12, 2013

Got up at a comfortable hour, and took care of a few things - I had filled up the water tanks yesterday, and we decided to pump out the holding tank this morning - just did that a couple of days ago, but we expect to be at anchor for the next couple or so days, and it's free here, so what the heck! Starting out on a good note this a.m. - full fuel tank, full water tanks and empty holding tank. What more could you ask for? Well, maybe the free bucket of ice we grabbed before we pulled out! All is good! Waved good-bye to our new friends seeing us off on the dock at Harbour Cay Club at 9 this morning, and headed sort of easterly, making our way slowly over to Miami. Mostly uneventful today, quite warm but very windy. Stayed on the Intracoastal Waterway to avoid rough seas - unfortunately, this didn't help to avoid the dam crab pots along the way. Love crab - HATE crabbers!!! They throw their traps anywhere - and especially seem to love to string 'em right across the channel so you have to navigate like a drunken sailor in order to avoid them all! Oh well, safely arrived and anchored at Upper Matercumbe Key, about 32 miles Northeast of Harbour Cay. We're getting there! Got Sailor in to shore for a walk, then came back to the boat and he and I had a swim (beautiful water here - the prettiest color green, and so clear you can see straight down to the bottom! After, Matt & I went in to Lorelei's for dinner (no dogs allowed - we'll have to take him for a final walk later). Dinghied in, tied up, and headed over to the beach bar. While walking there, heard someone behind me call "Colleen!". Spun around and got a shock!!! What the heck is our good friend Jeannette Ryan doing here at Lorelei's???? Turns out she and hubby Ed are on their way to Cudjoe Key for a couple weeks for vacation - they're staying at a local hotel for tonight, then driving there tomorrow. What are the odds that we'd bump into them here tonight???? Wonderful! Sat with them and had a wonderful "catching up" chat before they had to take off to care for their puppies . . . . So much more fun, once more!!! Proceeded to have fabulous cracked conch for dinner, then back to the boat to bring Sailor ashore a last time. Then back to the boat to update my log and get it posted afore bed time . . . G'night!!!

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