Friday, April 3, 2015

Marathon - Last day, at a mooring

The one gathering area provide by the City of Marathon - a Tiki Hut for 500 cruisers
Looking at the weather , weighing options, flipping a coin - it looks like Saturday will be a good day to head east. We still have wind with an easterly component but it's only 10 kts or less, at least that's the forecast. So we filled up on fuel and topped off our water tank and we're ready to go. One surprise was the $0.15/gal charge for water. We had never run into that before in the Keys. It seems like they don't miss a beat to extract money from the cruisers. However, Marathon seems to be like that in general. The marina here run by the City of Marathon also charges for water. They have the highest charges for using the washers and dryers too, $3.00 a load for each - the highest on the ICW. You can tell it's run by city employees when they get 12 holidays off a year, the marina totally shuts down. If you call on the radio, no one answers. One such day is Easter Sunday. Another clue is the reserved parking closest to the marina office. Have you ever seen Walmart, any supermarket or CVS, etc. ever have the most desirable parking spaces reserved for their own employees?? The final nail in the coffin of "nuts to the cruisers" is the $23/day charge for landing your dinghy if you anchor out and don't even use any of their facilities (laundry, showers, heads, etc.). It's the highest landing fee I've ever encountered anywhere on the east coast.

Nevertheless, we still sit out to see the sunsets
So you can see we are not impressed with Marathon. It has nice moorings and it's very protected but they are out to get every dime out of the cruisers. Compared to Key West, there's really nothing to do here. Main Street is US 1, four lanes wide. There are a couple of restaurants and the local cruiser community provides their own entertainment but not much is offered from the city of Marathon. I'd rather be in Key West.

We'll look closely at Grib in the morning and take off if the weather forecast holds. We're aiming for Caesar's Creek, about 75 miles northeast, a long day but the weather should be good, we hope.