I am a member of a number of internet groups featuring boating: several America’s Great Loop groups, trawler groups, Bahamas travel groups, owners groups for a couple of manufacturers, and even a marine HVAC group. Lots of good and perhaps some not so good info is available. Some groups are very technical while others have formal social components like educational seminars. A few have informal get togethers with internet postings along the lines of
“Boat Name X” has arrived at “name of harbor/marina” and if anyone else is here please join us Thurs (or whatever) at 4pm at Slip # X or at “Y” restaurant. Bring snacks.”
Being as social as I am, I’ve never participated. I don’t enjoy the small talk dance involved in meeting new people and certainly embarrassed to not remember someone’s name 60 seconds after introduction. There are lots of Loopers in Marathon at this time of year and the new friends from the vessel Knot Ready (that recently arrived in the marina and whom I’ve written about in the last blog post and earlier Miami post) told me of such a gathering happening in a marina a couple of miles down the road and invited the Last Resort captain and first mate to join them.
We went. The marina had a large tiki hut with a bar and small ‘order at the window‘ restaurant in the hut (as opposed to the nice restaurant also on the premises). Apparently the Keys are a place where musicians who are between gigs congregate in the winter and get together with other like minded folks to jam. This marina is known as such a place.
There were a couple of local regular musicians playing with three transient musicians that night and most of the music they played and sang was 60s type Country. Most all of it was slightly different arrangements than the popularized ones of Johnny Cash, George Jones etc. And they just kept playing – like 60 min sets. Not once did I hear a mistake or anything off key. The Looper group fluctuated but generally was 12-15 people. Enjoyed meeting some of them, talking boats, eating a burger, drinking a couple of diet Cokes and listening to some really great music. Haven’t enjoyed that much live music of my youth since attending a Six Pak gig two and three years ago. Maybe I should get out more?
During a recent FL cold spell, the news carried stories of iguanas falling from the trees. Temps in the 40’s apparently shut down their systems and the iguanas become comatose, lose their hold on branches and are known to fall out of the trees and remain like dead where they land until rewarmed by the sun. Apparently this fellow, seen on the marina sea wall, has warmed up in the FL sunshine and decided to hang around the nearest grill area in case some food might appear.
Scattered along the docks on both basins are areas with propane grills, tables and of course the ubiquitous seating areas oriented to the sunset views. Sunset watching is an official Keys pastime.
Yesterday I had a pre surgery physical (my first eye is being done together with a MIGS [shunts] procedure to reduce eye pressure on Thurs followed by the other eye the following week). I went to a licensed nurse practitioner and liked it. Far more thorough – far more – than any Dr I’ve been to in years, probably decades. I had to have an EKG and I reported ahead of time that there would show a bundle block and how over the years, the doctors get all excited and send me for stress tests, chemical stress tests and even heart catheterizations. I provided the clean reports from those procedures. They did the EKG and the NP told me that she knew the Drs in Miami and that the ‘anesthesiologist will have a cow’ when he sees my EKG. So I gave her the physicians’ names that have done EKGs on me over the past 10 yrs (good to keep your health records in the cloud) and she obtained the EKGs since 2015, saw zero change and cleared me for surgery. Phew!
My crew has put together a list, rather long, of maintenance that needs to be done (hoses, belts, clamps that are due to be replaced, impellers checked, aftercoolers, heat exchangers, turbos etc servicing etc.). One does not want something to fail while on the ocean traveling to the Bahamas. I already have heard I’m not to have a lot of strenuous exertion post op so I’m trying to find some knowledgeable labor source.