March 4-7 Days 111-114 Sittin’ on the Dock o’ the Bay…

When you live, work, play and drive indoors you really take the weather for granted. Sure, if you notice a few raindrops you might jog out to the car or on a sunny day get a little hotter, but short of major weather events, life just goes on without any big modifications.  On the water and in a boat though it is a constant issue. As you know we have previously been in the path of tornados and other bad storms but even a lesser wind can grind things to a halt.  We’ve been “dead at the dock” on the outskirts of Key Largo since the 4th with consistent winds of 20-35 mph.  Not much when you are on living on land, but in these exposed Keys (and exposed little Bayliner) it just isn’t worth trying to slog through the white caps and swells! I guess there’s a reason they call it “Small Craft Advisory.”

2017-3-8 sunrise pennenkamp
That tricky Mother Nature–so deceptive in the early morning: within an hour the gale winds were  back to blowin’ and white caps churnin’ at Pennenkamp Coral Reef State Park.

We seem to always manage to fill our days though with walks, food, docktails, cleaning, biking, reading and shopping outings for groceries and un-needed doohickeys at West Marine.  On top of all the usual things, we got extra lucky as we took advantage of the already-planned visit to N’s friends from Ventana/Tucsson.

Kendall and Laura (and pup Dylan) graciously showed us a relaxing time at their home at Ocean Reef Club—a super upscale community inhabited primarily by CEOS and personal injury attorneys with seemingly no vessels less than 70 feet long in the marina. Suffice to say we left our boat at the State Park dock at $30/night.  At $455 minimum per night, the winds weren’t the only thing keeping us from moving the boat there !!

2017-3-8 golf cart
A tour by golf cart (the principal mode of transport in the community) to see the sites including the landing strip. Note the sign!
2017-3-8 lunch kendall L B
One of multiple eating events…this one at fun and yummy “biker bar” ( guess they knew their audience!) (PS…the biker bar was  NOT in the Ocean Reef Club compound! Yet, it didn’t come close to looking like the typical seedy biker bars N usually finds himself in)
2017-3-8 golf n kendall laura
Kendall and Laura are big golfers so N enjoyed an outing on a very nice course –despite that gosh dang frustrating wind. (In fact, back in Tucson, Laura coincidentally used to golf with B’s mom…small world!)  B swam, biked, and generally relaxed with the dogs—her perfect dog day afternoon.


2017-3-8 shower
All that fun required a shower or two, of course; but this al fresco was cool. We both enjoyed it—it’s the simple things!


2017-3-8 dogs playing
Although way out of Dylan’s size-league and with non-stop endless playing, Ziggy snipped and snapped her way to safety when things got too rambunctious …with a little extra coddling from B.


After a couple of days with Kendall and Laura, we returned to life on the docks:

We played the Boat Movement Game… a new game: much like the Parking Lot challenge game . But with life size pieces and any number of players:

2017-3-8 boat juggle 4
All hands (28++ of ’em! and 4 paws) on deck — at least 7 couples (plus a few marina dock workers) worked on this maneuver…successfully AND with no yelling despite the big winds…all because one of our Looper friends, Jerry,  crashed into a pole while biking and broke his arm–needs to fly home for surgery and leave the boat here out of sequence with others’ departures.           Clockwise from top left:  1.  original position down port sides–2 boats squeezed in 2 corners with T-docks off the bow of the forward boat as well as off the aft of the rear boat as well as full dock running along the starboard sides; 2. moved forward boat to angled position to make room for rear boat to slide out; 3. Nick “powering” up to pull out the rear boat; 4.human power thrust by fellow Looper Artie to pull the original rear boat into the forward slot.


We had a great spot squeezed in at the end of our T-dock to finally add the boat name to the bottom of the dinghy! Now people can actually hail us–although the name seems to be butchered half the time!


2017-3-8 dinghy let er rip
Let ‘er rip!


2017-3-8 dinghy finished
Final product! Woo Hoo! Note pencil in the mouth…CFO’s version of a tool belt!


On the way to shore for Z’s morning constitutional, B and Z were cheerfully greeted by this nice old gal in honor of International Women’s Day. I guess it is, therefore, a womanatee!

2017-3-8 manatee grazing
Grazing womamanatee in shallow water off the dock..see her propeller scars…so sad!


2017-3-8 manatee face
The dock was a bit too high from the water to reach her so instead B used a hose to rub her back. She was ecstatic.  So was the womanatee. She raised her head up to say thank you to the Sun (so did the womanatee).  Isn’t she ( the womanatee) beautiful!

Well, I was about to write that we would be pushing off tomorrow with a clear weather window on the literal (and littoral) horizon; however, what I haven’t disclosed was the compounding frustration related to the shutting down of a Visa card (those bad guys up to their schemes again).  You all know the drill…just compounded by getting new cards shipped to the non-billing address at a State Park and making sure we loiter around the ranger’s HQ during UPS delivery hours! Well, B’s card arrived today per schedule; alas not N’s tho….so we may well not only remain Sittin’ on the Dock o’ the Bay but also wastin’ tiiiime too until the other card arrives. Kids see:

2 thoughts on “March 4-7 Days 111-114 Sittin’ on the Dock o’ the Bay…”

  1. We have spent many great vacations at The Ocean Reef club on Key Largo. Nick- You will never see cleaner, cooler or more cared for vessels any where else in Florida!! DDD


  2. Wow!!! Doesn’t it just amaze you how vulnerable we are as Human beings?

    Caitlin worked at the Vineyard Vines at Ocean Reef, but she was way too OCD to stay at the company trailer! So guess who stayed at a nearby Marriott at twice the cost of she made for the weekend!

    Oh well! It is a great adventure! I am flying to Seattle on 3/14. Love you guys!!!

    Hang in there!!!! J


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