Thursday, February 9, 2012

Key West - Lunch at Sunset Island

The line up of anchored vessels off Wisteria Island
Westin has a luxury hotel on Key West and they have an annex on Sunset Island. They run a free shuttle from Key West to the island if you make reservations at the restaurant there, Latitudes. Lunch is reasonable (as opposed to dinner) and the shuttle is free (but you have to reserve a time to take the shuttle). The trip across the channel to the island provides its own entertainment. You get a view of Key West from the ocean and a view of the dozens and dozens of boats anchored on the other side of Wisteria Island, the free Key West anchorage area. However, if you want to dock your dinghy on land, you have to pay a fee ($6/day or $80/month for use of restrooms and laundry facilities). You will probably see one of the many windjammers as you cross the channel and dodge boats coming from all directions.

Sit outside, sip a drink, eat lunch, watch the ocean...
After the short ride, the launch is docked next to the restaurant, Latitudes. They take the fish sandwich to another level and the mango daiquiri is the best I've ever had. The view of the ocean as the windjammers sail by, the dolphins playing in the water, the blue of the water contrasted with the white sand... Really very pretty - and relaxing - where else would we rather be in February??

America 2.0 in the channel
Meanwhile, we're still dealing with higher than normal operating temperature for the diesel. The new exhaust elbow certainly helped with the improved water flow but more is needed. The blockage in the old exhaust elbow restricted water flow and may have allowed deposits to form in the heat exchanger as water remained there longer than normal. The next step is to pass vinegar through the heat exchanger to attempt removal of any buildup. The usual practice is to use a stronger chemical such as an acid but that's a job for a machine shop. I'll just use vinegar and hope for some improvement until the heat exchanger can be cleaned properly. Other than that, everything else on the boat is operating flawlessly.

We expect guests for lunch on Friday and Ann is preparing a Cobb salad for us all. On Saturday, our crew of three grandkids and their parents arrive!