Saturday, January 17, 2009

Key West Seafood Festival

What a great day! We left at 09:00 today to sunny skies and 72 degrees. Our first stop was at the Nautical Flea Market on Big Pine Key. I love a Nautical Flea Market. Great bargains on tons of stuff you thought you couldn't live without. I tried to keep my hands in my pockets but had to buy that used reel for $3.00, towels for waxing, (no, I'm not done yet) and 100 hooks we use, or should I say lose for $7.00.
Our next stop was the Key West Seafood Festival. This is put on by the Commercial Fisherman of Key West and, man, was the seafood good. We ate, are you ready for this, golden crab, stone crab, lobster, conch fritters, conch chowder, and as a finish we had Cuban flan, key lime pie, and home made ice cream. I can't believe I ate the whole thing. OH, I almost forgot, I bought a shell to make my own shell horn while we were there.
After we left the Seafood Festival we took a ride down Duval Street (we will come back another day to explore that area) and checked out the goings on, and it was going on.
We left Key West and headed back to Big Pine Key to see the blue hole and Key deer. The blue hole is a deep hole in the middle of Big Pine Key and Key deer are only found here. They are about the size of a large dog.
When we got back to the marina it was time to break out the tools and make my shell horn. Little did I know other people had shells to make into horns. We had a shell horn orchestra. The sunset was beautiful, as usual, and we all blew our new shell horns along with the cruisers with old ones. I am getting better at it but still need practice.

September Song (feeling stuffed) out

Nautical Flea Market on Big Pine Key

Tons of stuff

We tried all of it (BURP)

Golden crab caught in 1500 to 2000 feet of water off shore in the Key's
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Ruthy and Larry enjoying Golden Crab

The aftermath of the lobster and conch fritters

Now that's an ice cream churn

The band at the Key West Seafood Festival
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Keys Guy

Sloppy Joe's in Key West

Pedi-Cabs in Key West

Art made out of shrink wrap
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Wild life around the blue hole

Key deer on Big Pine Key

Key deer buck
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Cutting off the end of the shell on our new horns

Don't make us laugh Loretta

A bunch of horny guys (and 1 gal) practicing for sunset on our new horns

Saying goodbye to another great day
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Cruisers always ready for a party

Last night we went to our next door neighbors boat, Larry and Ruthy on Back Dock, (he is a retired chiropractor) after sunset and the blowing of the shell horns with 17 of our fellow cruisers for a chili and corn bread dinner. Larry and Ruthy have a great boat with lots of room in their salon, would you believe they have room for seating for up to 24. It's always fun to get together and share stories and a great dinner with people with similar interests. Cruiser are always ready for a party. It was great fun.
Today we are going to join Larry and Ruthy for a trip to Key West for the Sea Food Festival. Should be great fun.

September Song (headed for Key West) out

Corn bread ready (yum)

Chili for 17 fellow cruisers

Always ready for a party
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Friday, January 16, 2009

A shiny new look

Today was a work day for Bob - but then, everyday's a work day for Bob. Today, it was waxing the flybridge. Looks gorgeous, honey.

But, WAIT - what's that I see?! No way! You didn't! Naah, I'd have noticed. Sure looks different, though. What is that on your chin? Here, try a napkin - maybe it'll wipe off. No? You mean....

(Scroll down)

He's so cute!

September Song (lovingly) out
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They do it different in the Keys

First, today is a special day, It's Patti's birthday!!!!!!! One two three, (sing along) Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you.............Dear Patti, happy birthday to you. Patti is my youngest daughter and we love her tons.
Now for the Theater, or is it called a dinner theater? You decide. A group of about 18 of the Marina group got together, and off to the movies we went. The theater is in the back of a strip mall with tables and chairs spread around the room. They serve beer, wine, soda, hot dogs, pizza, popcorn and all the Theater snacks. Before the movie starts the manager gets up and makes the announcements (no cell phones, smoking, etc) Vary low budget, but it was fun. Only in the Keys! The movie,Valkyrie, was OK, but the bad part was that you knew how it ended. All-in-all it was a fun evening with a great group of cruisers.

September Song (what would you call it?) out

Waiting for the doors to open

Low budget entrance sign

The movie was Valkyrie

In the Theater (strange)
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My love dining at the theater
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We are here

I got an e-mail from Patti today asking "are you out there". Yes, we are here. Monday I did some more waxing on September Song, visited with our new neighbors, and joined the group for beer butt chicken at one of the local waterside restaurants. If you don't know what beer butt chicken is, it's a chicken cooked with a can of beer in its butt. 
Our new neighbors, Terry and Mary are from Illinois. Mary attended Alleman High School class of 61, the same school I attended class of 68, and spent summers on the Rock River, the same river I grew up on. Mary's niece is married to Steve VanAcker, brother to one of my good friends in High School and cousins to my X. As George Carlin said "it's a small world......... but I wouldn't want to paint it" 
Tuesday I waxed in the morning (it's a big boat) and in the afternoon we took a ride on Bee and Bop to the dive shop, West Marine (can't go past without stopping) and Publix for some provisions. The reason for the trip to the dive shop was for a new dive flag and we needed a few more dive belt weights. The reason for the new dive flag is because the Marine Patrol stopped by while we were at the Reef Sunday and told us our flag was too small to hang high and that it need to be in the water with us or we couldn't go back in the water. Hmmmm, what could I use to float the flag in the water. One empty gallon jug, My fishing rod, a dive weight, a couple of zip ties and voila. It looked a little funny, but it worked.

Last night the cold front you all sent our way moved through. The high today was only 70 so we took the day to clean inside September Song. I know, I know, only 70 degrees. I hear you! Every day in Paradise can't be a play day. All play and no work makes for an unhappy September Song. We have an agreement. We take care of her and she will take care of us.

September Song (Yes Patti, We are still here) out

I need to go to shell horn school
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Sunday, January 11, 2009

A day at Sombrero Reef

Today, Stephanie and I, and Chuck and Fabin left our marina at 08:00 on September Song for Sombrero Reef about 6 to 7 miles out. It was a perfect day for going to the reef, calm, clear and in the 80's. The snorkeling and diving was great with good visibility. I wish I had an underwater camera so I could share with you all the different colors and species of fish and coral. (big Barracuda) Maybe you could all chip in and buy me one so you can go under water with me. :-) The girls also had a great time in their life jackets chasing me and the fish. (what a life these two lead) Chuck, if you remember from a previous blog, still has stitches in the back of his head from the spill he took while waxing his boat, so he was the designated photographer for today's trip. It was really great when we got tired to be able to rest on the aft deck, have lunch while enjoying the scenery and then back in the water. I can't think of a word to use to tell you what a fabulous day we had at the reef. The day was even better sharing it with two good friends, Chuck and Fabin.

September Song (a day to remember) out

Fabin, Me, Stephanie ready to go into the water

Stephanie snorkeling

Calm gin clear waters and in the 80's. Perfect day

Taking a break
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Feeding the fish off the back of September Song

That is the reef twenty feet below the fish

Fish, fish everywhere

These are swimming around the boat
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