Wee hours

Just woke up this morning at 2:45 AM, not too tired, but a little bit hungry. Picked up the half-empty bottle of wine and the remaining half of my last baguette, and walked outside to the deck, while listening to the breeze sing in the palm fronds.
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Kayaking in the Gulf

The wind was up a bit on the south (Atlantic) side of the island, so today we gave the Quay a try (on the Gulf side of Marathon).

The water was crystal clear, and looking towards the northwest you could see forever, way out into the Gulf. The only downside was the number of crab pot buoys that someone had littered across the water. Almost as many as the stars. Hundreds of them. Of course, I managed to get my kayak’s fins hung up in one of the lines.
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8:00 in the morning

Sitting here on the deck of our rental home in Marathon, listening to the bamboo wind chime quietly play its melody in the gentle breeze. The trade winds are taking a rest this morning, but should be back to full strength in a couple of hours. I’m surprised I’m not feeling the effects of an eight mile kayak adventure that Dale and I took yesterday (which is the topic for a future post).

I can smell some coffee brewing.

Pam just came outside. We’re chatting about doing this vacation every December. Fine with me. Two weeks in the Keys — enough island time to completely decompress from work and life at home.

The first pelican of the day flew by.

The doorbell just rang. Huh? Ah – it’s Dale, just having some fun.

Time for breakfast.

I don’t want to

I don’t want to die inside — Dale Canady

Morbid thought? No. It’s simply an expression of Dale’s philosophy of living life to the fullest.

We were on a three hour kayaking trip from our rental home in Marathon. We started talking about how nice it is to get away from everything and enjoy life. Breathe. Laugh. See new things and places. Seek new adventures. Stay active.

What better way to go, than to go while living?

Katting around

Today, Eric, our next door neighbor invited me out on his ProKat speedboat. His windless (the thing that automatically raises the anchor) had been acting up and he wanted to see if his latest fix worked.

Eric’s a cool guy, and knows just about everyone on the little island we were staying on (just off Marathon). As we motored around, he told me about the former CEO who lived here, the ex-mayor who lives over there, the president of the bank that lives across there, and so on. And he told some crazy stories about some of the others we motored by, who have lived, shall we say, interesting lives.
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Bicycle day

The French bread, ham / turkey, pear, wine “diet” that I started eating a couple of days ago is really satisfying. Noon, evening, and even a morning, if we aren’t eating (fish tacos for me!) at one of the nearby restaurants. The French bread + pear combination is incredible. It’s like dessert. Better than candy.

We took our time getting started this morning (as usual), and a little before noon we rolled out, exploring the bike trail along US-1, heading “north.” The trail cuts through the mangroves and from time to time you can see the Gulf on one side and hear the Atlantic on the other.
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Thinking about sailing

This morning I suddenly had the urge to go fishing. I hopped on the web and did some searching. Found a tackle shop just a couple of miles down US-1, then drove over. Nice people. The owner has lived in Marathon his whole life. His dad was a charter boat captain, and all he’s known is fishing. I bought a decent rod & reel, a few lures, leader, weights, and a nice 8′ cast net.
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Going batty

We’ve only been here a few hours and we’ve already gone batty. Well, actually we simply went to a gigantic bat house. A bat tower. Really. It was huge.

When Dale suggested we go see it on our way down to Key West, I thought, ah, whatever. I’ve seen bat houses before — about the size of a birdhouse, but squared off. Nothing special. But this one? Oh, yes, this one was special.

We loaded the bikes into Dale’s truck and drove down to Sugarloaf Key. then worked our way through some narrow seashell-paved roads lined with scrub palm trees and sand. After a couple of minutes we rounded a corner, and . . . there it was.
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Back to the Keys

We had so much fun in Marathon in September, while we were there we planned on making another trip down. In December. So here we are again.

I don’t know what is it about this place that has captured our imagination. The laid back atmosphere? Being surrounded by water, palm trees, and beaches? Warm tropical breezes? The friendly people? I don’t know. All of it, I suppose. Continue reading “Back to the Keys”