MBYC Extended Cruise to Key West & Marathon

Originally scheduled to leave Marco on Wednesday, our Captains had been vigilantly watching the weather reports for days.  As the sea conditions began to look like they were deteriorating, Sachmo (Sachers with Mulligans aboard) and Sonatella (Hubschers) decided to leave early Tuesday morning.  That same morning several more of us made a last minute decision, threw together provisions and clothes and took off in the late morning, fearing rough seas if we waited until Wednesday.  Nauti Buoy (Mounts), Tu Eres El Viento (Johnsons) and Therapy III (Browns) had a pleasant trip as did the earlier boaters and arrived in Key West at 4PM, well ahead of dark. It had already been decided on Sunday that the pre-trip to the Dry Tortugas by several of the boats was cancelled.
    As the winds in Key West continued to get stronger on Wednesday morning we feared the rest of our scheduled boaters would not make it.  However, with Key West being a favorite destination, the fearless (although not reckless) captains decided to give it a go.  Hugging the shore as much as possible and slowing down when necessary, Cookin (Cooks), Tennessee Waltz (Herndons), My Turn (Gelfands), and O Sea D (Grahams) arrived mid-afternoon.  Wanderer (Kernans), who decided to go the straight route, arrived a short time later.  All arrived safely although several first mates were reported to have experienced some seasickness.  Reports from Wednesday’s arrivals were mixed,  “not bad, I could take a nap” from Ann Graham, “ok” from Claudette Gelfand, “I fell off the settee and then the printer fell” from Diane Kernan, and one word from John Kernan, “Rough”.  Susan Cook managed to walk “Teddy” on arrival, returned to her boat, and wasn’t seen for another day.  None of her myriad of seasickness remedies seemed to work on this trip.  Our four cruising dogs, the Cooks’ Teddy, the  Herndons’ Maggie Mae the Sachers’ Schmule and the Grahams’ Einstein came through the trip just fine.
    All but Susan enjoyed a delicious dinner Wednesday evening at Café Marquesa. On Thursday morning the winds were still blowing but that didn’t stop this hearty group from touring, shopping, eating.  Several couples took in a movie on Thursday afternoon, part of the Key West Film Festival. 
Thursday evening we welcomed the Coffins who made the trip by car and joined us in the delightful courtyard of Michael’s Restaurant for dinner.
Friday morning a group of men took a tour of a World War II ship while some ladies continued to check out the Key West shops.  The afternoon was spent by most of the women playing mah jongg and canasta.  The Johnsons and the Hubschers had a very good dinner at La Ti Da after which everyone else joined them for the excellent female impersonator show at 9PM (well worth staying up way past Marco midnight for).  I think I can safely say that we all thoroughly enjoyed Randy Roberts performance and laughed a lot.  
    Saturday most of us ferried over to Sunset Key for a great lunch.  The rest of the day and all day Sunday we were on our own.  Some of the men toured the Firehouse Museum and the Key West cemetery after fortifying themselves at the Southernmost Donut shop.  In the late afternoon a group attended another Key West Film Festival movie and discussion entitled Cubamerican, which they found very enlightening.
Monday morning we sadly said goodbye to Sachmo, My Turn and O Sea D who all had a beautiful ride back to Marco.  Dinner for the rest of us was at A&B Lobster House and was great as always.
Tuesday morning we all set out for Marathon Marina and Boatyard and were greeted by a friendly staff, a much renovated marina which now includes a great Captain’s Room and kitchen with a chickee hut adjoining it.  This was our go-to place for mah jongg and canasta in the afternoons.  We had delicious docktails in the Captain’s Room Tuesday evening highlighted by Jo Herndon’s conch chowder.  Judy and her husband, Dennis, marina managers, came in and thanked us for coming and brought two bottles of wine from a California vineyard owned by one of the boaters in the marina.
    We were joined by Brent’s sister and brother-in-law, Ann and Chris.  Ann contributed homemade dinner rolls (to die for) and homemade fudge to the dinner and they stayed for several nights in the adjoining condo with the Mulligans.  The condo was large and lovely, a great addition to the marina.  Also new since some of us have been to Marathon is a beautiful pool area. 
On Wednesday, a couple of dinghies were lowered off the boats and some of us toured Marathon’s Boot Harbor and were surprised by how nice some of the homes are and how much the harbor has been cleaned up.  We all enjoyed a magnificent sunset on the dock (Brent and Doug are sure they saw a little bit of a green flash) and then the group split up for dinner. Some went to the Hideaway Café which always has great food.  Doug Johnson had their famous duck dinner.  His duck looked more the size of a turkey and will be enjoyed by some for lunch today (Thursday) as well.    The rest of the group went to Key Fisheries to get their fill of stone crab claws at $2 each.  Bob Herndon was the winner with 2 dozen crab claws and 1 of Diane Kernan’s oysters.  
    This morning we said goodbye to TenneSea Waltz who is traveling to Islamorada to rendezvous with some Tennessee friends.
    Today should be a restful day with dinner tonight at Lazy Days right here at the Marina.  Tomorrow we all set out for what should be a smooth ride home to Marco.
    I think all will agree that we’ve had another very successful cruise.

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