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The Baggers took off Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon a couple of my crazy sisters, Kris Ann and Jane showed up! I was so happy to see them! The only thing missing was Marny. She had used up her PTO in January on a trip to Aruba and wasn't able to join us. Missed her, but I hope at some point while we are Looping she'll be able to join us.
I'm not exactly sure how we do it, but there is NEVER a lull in the conversation. I've always loved spending time with my sisters and it was so much fun showing then around Marathon and catching up. They met all our neighbors on the dock and got a feel for what it's like to live on a boat. Saturday night they stayed on the boat and right on que Saturday morning the front air conditioning unit that we'd been working on during the week decided that it wasn't going to work after all! We were a bit worried that they would roast in the front state room, but hoped that the fan we set up in the main salon would push enough cool air to the front to keep them comfortable. Sunday morning they had no complaints, so all was well and we moved them to the hotel for the rest of their stay. We started with coffee in the back of the boat and planned out our day.
We decided to have a dinghy day, Sunday and I took them up to Marlin Bay, Keys Fisheries, Boot Key, Sister Creek and then to Sombrero Beach. Just like all our Minnesota visitors, they were pretty happy to be out in the sunshine and away from the snow and cold.
After a leisurely (mostly no wake) ride through the Boot Key Mooring field, we beached the dinghy and strolled Sombrero Beach. It was Sunday, so the beach for busy. We considered taking a dip, but Kris is not a fan of sharks and after seeing them swimming around in the marina, she wasn't too hip to take a dip!
We have several charter fishing boats in the marina and when they come in after a charter and clean their catch, the sharks are hanging around to nab the scraps. We've been seeing five or six sharks all vying for a snack. The largest is about five feet long.
Sunday afternoon after we tied the dinghy up, a manatee floated passed the back of BELLA. It was so fun to see one up close and I was happy that Jane and Kris were able to see a manatee. Unfortunately, they never saw any dolphins up close. I was hoping that either in the dinghy or the big boat they would get to see some. No such luck ;(
Monday the weather held out for us so we were able to take the boat out and cruised up to Moser Channel. When we hit the channel the chop was pretty aggressive so we headed back in. It was a good thing we did, shortly after tying up, up we saw a water spout form in the gulf.
After the water spout dissipatted we were treated to a rainbow. Our sign that Jill was there in spirit with us.
In between dinghy and boat rides, we hit the pickleball court and taught Jane and Kris how to play, spent a little time at the pool, walked and talked. Both Kris and Jane (and Marny) are Grandma's now. I love hearing all about their 'littles'! And of course there was no shortage of food. They tried conch fritters, lobster ruebens, hog fish, grouper and key lime pie!
After a day of roaming around Key West we headed to Burdines for dinner. I couldn't let them leave without having a basket of fries! It was a wonderful few days with my sisters! Thank you so much for taking the time to come down and see us. Love you both!
After numerous phone calls from Sam and all the talk of the fabulous snow back in Minnesota we decided to change up our plan to come home in April and packed up and flew back on Wednesday with my sisters. Griff plans on coming home next week for spring break, so we'll all be together for a few days. We plan to enjoy the snow, the boys, do our taxes and see friends and family for a couple of weeks before we head back to Marathon and start up the East coast of Florida.
More later....from Minnesota!
Tom & Sue Slightam
Read along as we circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States and southern Canada on the Great Loop on our boat BELLA, a Cruiser 460 Express.