All the folks we met coming down the river system kept saying to us... "just wait until you get to the blue water, you'll love it!" Well they were right! It's absolutely beautiful here! It's only been a week but we are already getting into the layed back vibe of Marathon. Since arriving, the temps have been in the upper 70's and 80's. Needless to say, we are soaking up all the sunshine!
Faro Blanco is a really nice place with great amenities and staff. Their are quite a few fishing charter boats slipped here along with excursion boats and rentals, so there is alot of action on the docks.
A group folks we met at Legacy took us out on a dinghy pub crawl the first full day here. There were nine dinghies altogether. It was great getting the lay of the land and meeting other boaters. We went to Keys Fishies first, Barnacle Barneys next and then over to Boot Key to Burdines. We all ate and drank our way thru the day! We had our first lobster rueben sandwich and our first of many baskets of french fries at Burdines!
There is plenty to do and see in Marathon. This last weekend we attended the Pigeon Key Art Festival. Lots of talent on display for a good cause. The artists and booths varied from jewelry to some really avante garde work. Plus they had a concert in the huge bandshell that night.
Here's a little info on Pigeon Key for those of you interested in learning more about it: Pigeon Key is a small island containing the historic district of Pigeon Key, Florida. The 5-acre island is home to 8 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, some of which remain from its earliest incarnation as a work camp for the Florida East Coast Railway. Today these buildings serve a variety of purposes, ranging from housing for educational groups to administrative offices for the non-profit Pigeon Key Foundation. The former Assistant Bridge Tender's House has been converted into a small museum featuring artifacts and images from Pigeon Key's colorful past. It is located off the old Seven Mile Bridge, at approximately mile marker 45, west of Knight's Key, (city of Marathon in the middle Florida Keys). The island was originally known as "Cayo Paloma" (literally translated as "Pigeon Key") on many old Spanish charts - said to have been named for large flocks of white-crowned pigeons which once roosted there. During the building of Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad Key West Extension between 1908 and 1912, there were at times as many as 400 workers housed on the island. While these workers built many bridges along the route through the lower keys, the Seven Mile Bridge, spanning the gap between Knight's Key and Little Duck Key remains the largest and most impressive component of what was once referred to as "the 8th Wonder of the World".
Sunday morning was sunny and calm, so we hopped in the dinghy and headed to Sombrero Beach, on the Atlantic side of Marathon. Our route took us under 7 Mile Bridge, thru Boot Key Harbor and down Sister Creek. The mooring field at Boot Key is HUGE! I've never seen so many boats moored. It pretty shallow in spots as well, so the bigger vessels really have to watch the markers manuering in and out of the mooring field. We were able to pull our dinghy up on to the beach and then took a walk. Lots of activity with families and tourists enjoying the sun and sand.
Wild life is abundant! Birds are everywhere and interesting to watch. We're going to have to get a bird book to figure out some of the species ( I never thought I'd be a bird watcher!). The pelicans in our marina are always up for a meal when the fishing charters come in. You'll see flocks of them in the East basin waiting for the fish scraps.
We also have lots of iguanas! I was at the pool one day and the fella below decided to come down the tree to visit me!
Monday was cleaning day on the boat. Both Tom and I were working away when we noticed we had a visitor on the dinghy. He stayed on the bench seat for hours then moved to the side to lap up water when Tom washed the swim platform. Tom finally had to ask him to leave.....
We invested in these cool bow chairs and am I ever glad we did! We LOVE watching the sunset every night from the bow of the boat since being moved to the T head on the C dock.
Here are a few photos of life on the dock.....
Our neighbor snapped this shot of us enjoying the sunset from the bow of BELLA. We are enjoying every minute of our time and feel very blessed to be here.
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.
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