Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dinner Key at Miami - we rent a car

Notice the steep slope down to the ocean
It's always fun to rent a car in a new area to explore the surroundings. So I called Enterprise for a car this morning, not too expensive at $30/day plus taxes. We're in the Coconut Grove area of Miami, an area of shops and restaurants but we found a Barnes and Noble for stacking up on reading material for the rest of the trip home.

Relaxing beach area at Miami Beach
We thought it would be interesting to see Miami beach since we've heard so much about it on several police shows based in Miami. One thing we noticed about the beach is how steep it is. There's a big pile of sand along the hotels and such but then there's a huge drop down to the ocean, not the gradual slope typical of Daytona Beach, for example. It looks rather odd. The spring breakers haven't gotten down this far yet even though it was a warm day. I think the spring break crowd starts in earnest next week for the entire month of March.

On Friday we'll drop the mooring and head over to Marine Stadium for a few days to wait for a weather window. The anchorage has the great advantage of being very reasonable in price (zero dollars/day) and has a convenient beach for Hoolie relief that's much closer than the dinghy dock at Dinner Key. It also has an unbeatable view of Miami at night, spectacular.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dinner Key - on a mooring, near Miami

Looking east from Biscayne Bay
The seas were flat, the wind was 10 kts or less and the air was warm. We mostly motored the 54 Nm from Tavernier to Dinner Key, just south of Miami - actually at Coconut Grove. We left at 7:00 and got in a 2:30. With the bottom scraped at Key West, we were doing 7.7 kts at 2300 rpm, making good time - at least for us. As luck would have it, we hit Caesars Creek at high tide so we could not only enter without a problem but also exit to Biscayne Bay through the skinny water on the bay side. The lowest depth reading we saw was 5.5 ft this time (I only draw 4 ft 9 inches).

Kids being towed in after a sailing lesson
So we are now out of the Keys and headed north. We've rented a car for Thursday to explore Miami and Coconut Grove before leaving on Friday for Marine Stadium to wait for a weather window for our outside passage from Miami to Ft Lauderdale. We tentatively plan on reaching Joe Mastri's marina on Sunday at Boynton Beach, depending on the weather. Ann has not been able to shake her cough so we're going by the Cleveland Clinic for further tests and hopefully, a cure.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tavernier - at a dock

Lots of plantings, palm trees - nicely landscaped

More boat work today. After four weeks in Key West with daily trips on and off the boat, the top deck showed the results of all the traffic. It was time to wash the boat. So while I worked on the boat, Ann did the wash (how exciting it that!) and we both completed our tasks by 3:30 or so. Clearly, cruising is not all carefree sailing, there's maintenance to be done. After all, it's our house for the better part of a year, roughly 9 months in all.

There's a large boat basin behind the docked boats - a self-propelled sailboat is in the view
We've been looking around for a different place to spend the winter months down in the Keys. Key West has been good but this year the allergies have hit Ann very hard and we're looking for a different experience next year. The place we're at now caters to long term tenants and even a two month stay is considered short - they would rather have the cruiser that stays Oct through May instead of two months around February, the exact high season for them. We're looking at options, we'll see what we want to do later this year. If we did get a slip here, we would certainly rent a car for the duration. There's nothing in walking distance but then the rent is much, much cheaper than Key West ($15/ft vs $44/ft for a month).

The winds are predicted to be light on Wednesday and we're headed to Dinner Key for a few days. We've never been there but it's close to Miami and we've never explored the city so we thought we'd rent a car and see the attractions. All this is predicated on making the high tide time at Caesars Creek which we ought to be able to do, then it's up  Biscayne Bay to Dinner Key. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Tavernia - at Blue Waters Marina

A full moon with full moon tides! A low tide now is below the datum, a drain tide.
We wanted to try something different in the trip from Marathon to Miami. The usual stopover is to anchor out in the open at Rodriguez Key. It's okay if it's not too windy out of the east or south. Unfortunately, that's exactly the prevailing winds this time of the year. So with winds predicted out of those directions for the night, we thought we'd try Tavernia. There are several marinas here and we found Blue Waters to be the most inviting. They are in a basin that's completely protected from all directions, a real hurricane hole. The reason most cruisers avoid the area is due to the shallow entrance. We came in a low tide and saw 4.7 ft, just barely enough for us to get in with our 4 ft 9 in keel. With a 3 ft tide, you can chose your time of entry to have plenty of room. Once past the entrance, the depth increases to 10 ft the rest of the way in. There's a community of long term boaters here, many rent a slip for the entire season, some for the year.

Nice picnic area
We plan on being here for another day before continuing our trek north. There's high winds on Tuesday but it calms down for Wednesday, a good day to go north.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Marathon - at a mooring

At Marathon on the way north
It's a rare day when the wind isn't blowing like stink out of the east so when we saw the weather forecast for light winds we leaped on the forecast for going east. Last year we were not so lucky and had to beat into 15 to 20 kt winds to reach Miami, not a lot of fun. Today the ocean was like a lake, smooth and calm for easting. The kids went with us to Marathon where they departed and went on to Miami for the night so they would be ready for the 7:30 am flight on Monday morning. Back to snow and cold weather no doubt. As for Marathon, it looks deserted. There's lots of boats but not in the numbers we're used to seeing here. Wonder what's happening?

Meanwhile, the weather here continues to be rather hot, even more so than desirable. We'll continue our trek east during the relatively calm conditions and layover in Miami for awhile to rest up for the trip north along the ICW.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Goodbye Key West

BO's Fish Wagon eating area - no walls, some roof - gravel floor - pure Key West
The Gods of Weather have decreed that we leave for Marathon on Sunday instead of our planned departure date of Tuesday. If there is anything we've learned from our three trips down the ICW, not to mention the three summers in Maine previously, it's not to argue with Mother Nature. We have a weather window to reach Miami in four days with winds mostly out of the south to southwest, a rarity for this area where the prevailing winds are out of the east or northeast - the direct heading for Miami. So we'll push off around 7:00 am to make Marathon with the kids still on board. Ann will drive their car from Key West to Marathon. They plan on spending the night in Miami by the airport to catch an early flight back to cold weather so we have to reach Marathon with enough time for their trip to the airport hotel. The winds are predicted to be calm enough for a smooth ride.

Here's the original "wagon" embedded in the center
The kids went to the beach one more time, they never tire of the beach in such warm weather! Coming back we decided to pay BO's Fish Wagon one more visit. It started out as just that, a food wagon parked on the corner but then the tables, trees and various debris sort of grew up around it. They have tables, chairs but no roof or walls - it's a classic in Key West. Five fish sandwiches, two orders of french fries, conch fritters, shrimp later, we were done sampling BO's.

One last view from the front - it's a very busy place!
On Sunday we're headed east again to Marathon with an early departure time to give Philip leeway in getting to the airport hotel. It's been a good stay but it's time to start heading north again - not too quickly - but north nevertheless.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Ft Zachary Beach

The liner appears to be scraping by the beach - but he's out in the channel, just looks close
We were due to take a kayak tour of the mangroves but reality had other plans. I took Ann to the urgent care center for treatment for a  bad cold after a trip to the Ft Zachary Beach to deposit the kids for a day in the surf. We know the way for sure to the Truman Medical Center. Ann now has a nebulizer for emergency treatment when breathing becomes constricted. When you anchor out in the middle of nowhere at times, you have to be as self-contained as possible.

We always loaded Matthew up for carrying
The medical center is operated as a first come, first served so it took about two hours before we were seen by a doctor. Then it was a return to the beach to close out the day. The kids had a  boundless supply of energy but the adults were exhausted by the end of the day.

The beach is by the channel out of Key West which the huge liners take and it looks a little imposing to see one of the super-liners leaving with the appearance of being so close to the beach (see photo). Neverthelesss, all was well and the liner disappeared in the distance. We may yet go kayaking on Saturday, depends on the weather. Looking at grib, it appears that we have a window for easting starting Sunday, two days earlier than we had planned but you don't argue with the weather. If the prediction holds, we'll reach the Marine Stadium at Miami by Wednesay.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Yet another beach

Here's the "from" point
After our experience with Smathers Beach, we wanted a beach that you didn't sink into when entering the water. Our experience with Ft Zachary Beach was more positive in this respect but then it's a little pebbly. There's sand at the water, that's good, but there's patches of pebbles on the way to the water. Still, it's better than Smathers Beach.

Here's the "to" point
On the way to the car we noticed the progress in beautification of the Key West Bight area. They are renovating a nearby resort and were about to cut down dozens of palm trees, some many years old. The town said why not give them to us and we'll plant them around the area instead of buying new trees. What a great idea everyone agreed. So for the next few weeks there are street closures as they move huge palm trees from the property to be renovated to other locations around town.

When looking at the root system that goes with the transplanted palm trees, one wonders how they will ever survive - but then they must have done this before. As a matter of fact, I don't ever remember seeing a palm tree blown over?! They seem to bend but not uproot and fall over. So after a few weeks, the place ought to look different.

On Friday we'll take a kayak guided tour through mangrove and see the area from a different perspective.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Smathers Beach at Key West

Gee, no snow here!
There are several beaches at Key West and we've been to Ft Zachary Beach previously so we thought we'd give Smathers Beach a try. It's located on the south side of Key West and like most beaches in the area, is man made. That's because Key West sits behind the barrier reefs and does not get the wave action necessary for generating sand so a lot of the sand is imported from the Bahamas.

This guy was throwing a net to catch bait fish, you ought to watch the video
Upon entering the water's edge, you will find yourself sinking into the soft sand up to your ankles or deeper. It's not mud, but rather slushy sand so it's not comfortable for wading out for a dip. Ft Zachary's beach is different. It's a normal, sandy beach where you can wade out with a sandy bottom that you don't sink into. On the other hand, the beach at Smathers is all sand, no pebbles (pebbles at Ft Zachary) so there's positives and negatives. We saw one guy throwing a net to catch small fish. It appeared to require a level of skill in getting the net to expand out to the maximum area as it hit the water. If you want to see a video of his technique, click here. 

We still haven't been to Mallory Square yet with the kids so perhaps that will be on Thursday?!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

From 17 to 80!

Welcome sign outside Cuban Coffee Queen - you must try the Cuban Mix sandwich!!
There's nothing like seeing your kids go from freezing weather (36 inches of snow, 17 degrees, 20 kts winds) to Key West temperatures of 80s and 5 to 10 kts of wind! It tends to slow them down and they just soak up the sun and warm breezes. Mostly that's what happened today. Perhaps on Wednesday they'll gain some ambition and explore the area but first things first!

Key West has room for at least three cruise ships
With the return of warm weather, the crowds have come back. I took Hoolie for a walk tonight and it was like a summer evening in New York - shorts and shirt sleeves and everybody was out and about in the night air.

Want a palm tree, no problem, just order one
In getting on the boat, we grab hold of the jib and slide on but the friction of a hand against the sail rubbed a piece of the UV protective cloth off so with a trip to West Marine, about one block away, I picked up a strip of sail repair tape and now it's protected against further wear, there's always something to do on a boat.

Always seems to be one person missing out of these group photos?!
On Wednesday we plan on finding a beach to hang out on and for wearing out the kids if that's possible, at least that's the plan.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Kids arrive from Connecticut

Up at 3:30 am, after an hour  in the car, zzzzzzzzzz
They left the house at 3:30 am! The goal was to reach Key West before dark. Last year they came in around 10:30 or so, not so good. Unfortunately, this involved getting up at 3:30 am in order to catch the first plane out from Hartford, CT. They flew to Ft Lauderdale and rented a car for the drive to Key West. After an hour in the car, natural inclinations too hold and they all fell asleep (see photo).

They got in at 4:30 pm and all are tuckered out but happy to be in the warm weather. It was 14 degrees when they left with a 20 kt wind out of the north, what a change! We have to get used to cooking for 7 people with one teenager, what an appetite! We'll probably just chill out tomorrow and then look at some serious exploring, the kids are eager to see Key West.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Key West Cold Front

This is how you dress for 65 degree weather, even in the sun  in Key West
What passes for a cold front in Key West put the temperature down to 61 today! The wind continued to blow in the 25 kt range but eventually slackened off after noon to the teens. It's interesting to see the contrast between the local "Conchs" (a Key West native, specifically, one born in Key West) vs the tourists. When the temperature drifts below 70, the natives bring out the long pants, the hooded sweatshirts and even jackets, sometime with down insulation! When we had to visit the Key West hospital (that's another story) the nurse, a native, was dressed in long pants with long-johns under them along with a long sleeve shirt and a sweater - and this was inside the building! Meanwhile I'm sitting there in my bermuda shorts and a golf shirt. I guess it's all a matter of what you're used to.

Yep, the guy on the right is from Key West.

We learned about Key West allergies last night. The doctor said that they get a lot of calls from tourists visiting Key West with allergies. The culprit locally is coral dust from the beaches. If the winds are high, the dust is driven airborne and has a history of affecting many sensitive people, my wife was one last night. People expect Key West to be pristine but it's not due to the coral dust whipped up by the incessant winds. On the other hand, I have not been affected, only Ann. So take caution if you have asthma or tend to be affected by allergies if you come to Key West.

Well, today we were busy getting the last of the boat chores done in preparation for our son and his family's visit on Monday for a week. The water tanks are full, the oil changed - we are ready?!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

This is a quiz

You're at the airport, what's the charge to reach zone 1?
I took my rental car back to the airport and was going to take the bus  back to the marina when I saw this sign on the side of a taxi (see photo). Now, the quiz part of the blog is for you to figure out what the fare would be from  the airport to the marina (the marina is in zone 1) for one person, not a group rate. The answer will be at the end of the blog.

Which hot sauce did you want to use?  If you look carefully, you'll see Endorphin Rush there too. 
Meanwhile, the winds arrived right on time, a steady 25 kts with gusts to 31 kts. I pity the poor souls out in the anchorage, either on a hook or a mooring. The mooring field is protected from all but north winds - one guess where the 30 kts winds are coming from. Getting a  dog into shore in those winds and waves is at least not fun and at worse dangerous, especially for the evening run in the dark.

This place is NOT fancy but the service is good and the BBQ better. 
Well, we're secure in the harbor and although we can feel the wind, there's no wave action and the dock is only a step away. We tried a BBQ place tonight, thought we'd try a change from our usual seafood courses. It turns out the chef is from Maine and is famous in that area for his BBQ, Daddy Bones BBQ. The place is certainly worthwhile once you're looking for a change from sea fare and the BBQ can hold its own against any competition.

Tonight we expect a rocky berth but we don't mind. The wind is supposed to blow itself out by the time the kids arrive Monday afternoon, then we'll have a week of youth infusion, always good for grandparents!.  BTW, the answer is $18 after the tip for the trip from the airport to the marina. The fare that applies is the meter, not $8 which I was told was a group rate, not exactly clear on that in the sign.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Boat work (with rain)

The bar never closes, down the harbor from Schooner Wharf
It seldom rains in Key West, at least in February, but rain it did today. With the outside not too inviting, we just worked inside today. Our water pressure to the forward shower has steadily been decreasing over the past several months - I've done my best to ignore the problem but when the hot water barely dribbles out, one is forced to take action. So the problem solving approach started with measuring the gal/min flow rate directly out of the cabin pump (turned out to be 3 gal/min, to spec). So the pump was putting out enough water, something was limiting it downstream. Next was a check on the main galley sink (2 quart water pitcure and a stopwatch) resulting in 1.5 gal/min, still okay given the EPA's fondness for forcing us to conserve water with specs on faucets (flow limiter in the faucet per the EPA). They obviously don't think we're mature enough to conserve water on our own. They ought to try living on a boat sometime. However, the passing grade said all the distributor valves in-between were good.

Some people just like blue, underwater lights I guess, right behind us
All the other faucets likewise checked out except for the hot water out of the forward shower, about 1/2 gal/min. Disconnecting the hot water supply line to the faucet revealed mineral deposits at the input to the faucet line - eureka!, such are the exciting moments in the field of boat maintenance! Removing the deposits resulted in a nice, strong shower once again, ahhh. All this excitement was hard to take so to calm down I worked on the marine sanitation system, such investigations are not fit for human consumption so you'll have to use your imagination.

We are due for the strongest cold front of the season to come through Saturday afternoon through Sunday with sustained winds around 30 kts and a high of only 62 for Sunday. Before you feel sorry for us, the temps are due to recover back to the high 70's by Tuesday through the rest of the week, the usual Key West weather.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

BO Fish Wagon and the storm comes

Always flowers in bloom!
The McKeevers are heading north to be with their new grandchild but wanted to make one last round of Key West tonight. So we got a call to join them at BO's Fish Wagon one more time. Of course we immediately dropped everything and headed over. A band was playing that we had not heard before, The Magnolia Cajun Band. Key West is one of the few places (only place I know) where you can get up close and personal with a wide variety of bands from all over the country. We liked the music so much that we bought their CD.

We were only about 5 ft away, good music
Then we hurried to the boat to beat the line storm we could see coming in the NOAA radar scans. Since most of the local bars have no roofs, many people were scurrying like us! We didn't expect the winds that came, they topped out at 37 kts and are still blowing a steady 20 to 25 kts right now. However, we are well tied up, rocking somewhat but secure. The two pilings at the boat's aft section keep us under control without touching either one. It will be a noisy night with the wind howling. The winds are due to increase over the next couple of days, topping out on Sunday as cold air rushes south. The high Sunday is only due to reach 63! After that the temperatures recover to the high 70's again, such is Key West.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Eye in the sky

The faint white spot near the middle of the photo is "Fat Albert"
On the way back from the McKeevfer's RV park we passed by a big Naval station. Overhead was "Fat Albert", a tethered helium blimp with embedded radar to track drug traffickers coming into the lower Keys. It can be viewed for miles. There was an article in the Miami newspaper that it was being deflated due to budget cuts. The drug traffickers must be elated. The lower Keys was once a hot bed of incoming drug shipments, perhaps it will start up again with the budget cuts, too bad.

Yep, pelicans roost in mangroves!
We also settled once again the pressing question: "Where do pelicans go when they're not flying?" Well, they roost in the mangroves! It seems odd to see such an ungainly creature up in the branches of mangroves.

We've been getting the boat ready for the invasion from the north (our kids from Connecticut) due to arrive Monday afternoon. With a party of five due to come aboard, we'll have a full house for a week. I'll be fun.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mardi Gras

Bill and Ruth McKeever - Mardi Gras at the RV park in Key West
Key West does not celebrate Mardi Gras. Instead, they have another custom, it's Fantasy Week in October.  If you want to get a better picture of what goes on, just Google Fantasy Week Key West Photos (no link here, it's a family blog). So since Key West had no event this week, Bill and Ruth McKeever decided to hold their own event at their RV park. So we went over for food and beverage starting at 11:00, a feast as you might imagine.

How's a Rolls Royce for getting around town?
Now, this KOA park is not your average RV park. First of all, it's the southermost KOA park in America (there's lot of "southermost" things around here). Second of all, how many RV parks do you see with a Rolls Royce parked in front of one of the RV's?

Typical RVs at the park
The RVs all tend to the huge side of big. Most look like they're on Greyhound Bus frames but they're not satisfied with that. They all have "push out" walls to enlarge the interior even more and flexible porch roofs to provide shade for sitting outside. Not a bad  arrangement. When we left they were going to the Mardi Gras parade consisting of decorated bicycles. I'm sure there're much booze being consumed tonight. 

They also have a nice beach
The beach is part of the RV park. No waves but nice for swimming. It's on the inside of the reef.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Schooners and Ships

Winters in Key West, summers in Maine - what a life
The harbor here is home to four schooners that go out three times a day, at least. You can always tell when they're leaving by the one long blast (for attention) followed by three shorter blasts to indicate a backing out maneuver as required by Coast Guard regulations. The Appledore spends the summer in Maine and the winters in Key West, what a great schedule!

For $35 you get all the beer you can drink - we've seen ambulances meet the boat upon its return!
In addition to the schooners, there are multiple "party boats" that go out for a sail with free booze (after paying the boarding fee) along with many snorkeling boats, one dive boat and many flats fishermen. And, or course, there are all the deep sea fishing boats for charter spread all around the harbor. Add in the constant goings and comings of the moored boats with their dinghies, it's quite an active harbor. It makes for an interesting day just sitting on the back of the boat watching all the activity.

Schooner Wharf at 7:00 pm, it's still daylight down here (dark at home) Look ma, no roof!
I took Hoolie out tonight and took one last turn by Schooner Wharf and took a photo with daytime lighting so you can see just how open to the heavens the place is. There was a band hard at work in the 7:00 time slot and the place was rocking, as usual.

For now it's back to the boat to rest up for Mardi Gras at McKeever's RV park.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lunch at the Hogfish Bar & Grill

How about engraved swordfish swords?!
There is a channel available over Roku that covers Key West exclusively, it runs continuously. You can get the channel over the internet or, more conveniently, over Roku for display on your HDTV. Creatively, it's called KEY TV. They do reviews of many Key West restaurants and generally cover things to do in the area. By the way, the Roku player connects to the internet (wirelessly or via a CAT 5 cable from your house internet router) and now has over 100 channels of streaming content with the usual Netflix and Amazon Prime but also many other lesser known channels, worthwhile for the price - a one time purchase, no monthly fees. Of course some of the content may require a fee such as Netflix but the box itself has no additional charges once bought.

So what's odd about this restaurant (Hogfish Bar & Grill)? Answer: it has a roof! At least it doesn't have walls.
At any rate, one of the restaurants featured was the Hogfish Bar & Grill. It's famous in the area for excellent hogfish sandwiches so of course we had to have one. As a revolt against the large portions down here, we've taken to splitting sandwiches between Ann and I. Even half a sandwich is more than enough for us.

There's life after moving south - Vic and Harela Pagila from Chelsea YC
The occasion was meeting with Vic and Harela Pagila from the Chelsea Yacht Club just down the river from us in New York. Another example of, "It's a small world". They've been in Key West since October and plan on staying a lot longer. They decided to move their boat down here permanently, they like the area so much. The marina they chose is the Key West Harbour Yacht Club. The facility is outstanding and very well protected, I can see why they like it. It's also half the price of where we're staying, the Key West Bight Marina. However, we're still favoring the marina where we're at due to the closeness of old town Key West (Schooner Wharf about 100 ft away, Mallory Square, BO's Fish Wagon, etc.) So, we'll still be here for the time being.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ann's visit to the hair salon, a night at Finnegan's Wake

If you rent a room as one of the southern hotels at Key West - you have your own view
Given the stereotyping of Key West (think P-town), you would think there would be lots of good hair stylists and you would be right. Ann found Bello Salon and took the plunge this afternoon for an original cut. She's very happy with the results (me too).

Ann and her stylist
We did some more exploring of Key West along the Truman Annex. The streets are all dead-ends so there's very little traffic which on Saturday was very thick! Key West has been invaded by cars and having Rt 1 only one way doesn't help! Still, it's Key West, traffic, people and all.

Fiona at Finnegan's Wake
Tonight we went to Finnegan's Wake to hear Fiona Molloy perform Irish melodies. She has a knack for getting the audience involved in the music. Everybody claps and even a few from the audience go up to add local color to the songs.

Snowy New York
And, I looked at our driveway this morning, glad we missed that! (we have 6 webcams scattered inside and outside the house to keep track of things - which I access from any internet connected computer - or my iPad or iPhone)

Friday, February 8, 2013

We ride, we eat, we drink , we're entertained

One of the many murals by Wyland - this one is by our marina
We did more exploring of Key West and adjacent Stock Island today. The locals don't think much of the "improvement project" to Rt 1 coming into Key West. It's close to outgoing traffic (take the detour) and the delays are reaching historic proportions. It's referred to as the "green diaper" project (not because it's a "green" environmental project - the other green). Once they "improve" the outgoing lanes, then they have to work on the incoming lanes! Basically it's just too many cars. Ever since I rented a car for the week, I've found parking to be difficult - to say the least. The basic rate is $2/hour if you can find a spot. They use the European method of having a centrally located meter that accepts cash and credit cards which results in a printed receipt that you put on the dash of your car. The meter maids have been compared to zombies that roam the streets at all hours of the day and night - eager to catch the unwary the second the clock ticks beyond the ticket expiration time. It is still possible to find a free parking spot but your last name has to be McKeever to find them. If you can't find either a $2/hour spot or a free McKeever spot, then look forward to paying $15 to $30 for an all day parking spot (with no in and outs for the day!)

The Paul Cotton band, all for the price of a LandShark - which I've grown quite fond of, for a beer
For those familiar with Key West, the first supermarket on the bus route used to be Albertson's but they've been replaced by a superior store in the same location, Publix, a great improvement. We retreated to the boat after our bout with traffic and took at look at the Paul Cotton band at Schooner Wharf. There were only a few chairs (no tables) off in one corner so at least we had a seat, the place was packed this warm summer evening. After enjoying the band for an hour we wandered off to BO's Fish Wagon to listen to Barry Cuda for awhile. We had to stand outside, no tables were available but we could hear the music well. Barry plays the piano and he always has accompanying musicians that I think he picks up on the way - they seem to vary every time I see him.

On Saturday it's off for Ann to have her hair done at 1:00. With the clientele in Key West, it ought to be easy to find a good stylist.