We’ve been in Marathon now for almost 3 weeks and need a new sea fix. When we were boasting to our Northern family and friends about the nice weather we have been having, the weather gods took us to task. It’s been unseasonably cold and windy; the seas have been rough; and, we have not had the weather window to go to the Dry Tortugas before heading up Florida’s west coast. Our only consolation is the good times we are having with our other DeFever, AGLCA, and MTOA friends. These last two might be new to some of you. The AGLCA (America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association) is a group of cruisers either doing or have done (as Norm did in 2002) the Great Circle Route (a 6000 mile circumnavigation of the eastern half of the US) and MTOA (Marine Trawlers Owners Association) is a band of nomads in trawlers like ours, just cruising the US, the Bahamas and beyond. Anyway, many are here, also waiting out the weather. So lots of dock parties, shopping (provisioning) sprees, and onboard projects getting completed.
The Florida Keys are known for their Key Limes and Key Deer. Vicki got a bunch of limes for making Key Lime Pie. The Key Deer roam freely all over the Keys and are much smaller than the deer we are used to seeing up in Wisconsin.
We had a great day squeezing 12 people into two autos and driving down to Pig Pine Key where Jim and Robin Roberts (Adventures) gave us a tour of their almost-completed new home. The home is built on stilts that you cannot see and lower level walls that will “blow out” in case of a hurricane thus preventing the whole home from toppling when/if storm waters surge. The home is built to withstand 175 mph winds.
Of course, a visit to this location is not complete without a visit to “No Name Pub”—the oldest watering hole. Inside, the walls and ceiling are lined with one dollar bills. The pizza was yummy and the group was in their best spirits after 4 pitchers of beer waiting for a table.
It was on this occasion that Norm presented Robin with a special gift from Key West. But first some explanation. In Hampton Roads, VA, we had dinner at a Thai restaurant. The level of spice (hot) was 1-10. Loving real spicy food, Robin said "hurt me with 11". She took that like we take water. So, while in Key West, we ran into the "Pepper Store" with bottles of hot sauce from all over the world. In the "Dangerous" section of the store, Norm found the perfect "11" for Robin. They also had the equivalent of 12 and above, but the buyer has to sign a wavier to get it. Robin tasted some on the spot. She liked the taste but it did bring her to a higher temperaure and a tear to her eyes. The name of the sauce? "Colon Blow".