Saturday, February 9, 2013

KEY WEST - Part 2

Day 21. Morale is low, so the Captain suggests we go ashore and grab a beer. First, we hit Schooner's Wharf Bar. We order a bucket of Landshark, which contains 5 bottles. I will take one and let the guys divide the rest, I'm a light weight. While we are just about finished with our beer, and have already decided to leave and go bar hopping, our server comes out with another bucket. We can't turn it down, so we take care of that bucket too. I'm feeling a buzz, the guys are feeling good by now. When the Captain drinks, he gets philosophical, so now he is giving advice to Mako on all of life's issues. Food is in order now, so we head down the street and find Sloppy Joe's Bar. Their burger and fries are awesome… and we have another beer. Our plan was to get a few provisions… bread and … beer, but it is getting a little dark by this time, the winds have picked up, we head back to the dinghy. It is a good distance back to the boat, we have a good buzz going by this time, and then we get out past the marina. The waves are 1 to 2 feet, and our dinghy is a 10 foot inflatable. If we go slow we get sprayed, if we go fast we get sprayed even more. At first we can't quit laughing (the beer buzz is still with us), but by the time we make it back to Kairos, the beer buzz has worn off, we are soaked, cold and sitting in 3 inches of water. We will go in tomorrow for food and … more beer! Captain's orders.

Day 22. Yeah, I am counting the days we haul anchor and make our way to the boatyard in Marathon for repairs. We have been anchored, and waiting for eleven days now. We have seen all types a weather, from very sunny, warm and calm… to cold gales, rain and white-capping waves. At the boatyard, there will be hot showers and shore power. However, I will not be using these amenities, because I will abandon ship and stay with my daughter and her crew. Not sure if I can sleep in a bed that doesn't move, but I'll tough it out.

Day 23. We have had two anchors out and have not moved an inch. Other boats around us drug, but we stood fast. Today, we pulled the second anchor, but discovered our rode had wound around a big old anchor. It looks like something from the 1800s. Really cool, except our rode is tangled up and it has to be cut away… not cool. Through more of our Three Stooges acts, we managed to lose our anchor… plus the line that had been tied to the anchor rode… and not cleated.  This wasn't the first time that the anchor rode had not been cleated, but this time, it was lost. Our anchor is now in the company of the grandfather of all anchors. 

Day 24. In the darkness, I hear a quiet, "Lezlie, it's 5:30, time to get up." I push back my little quilt, slide out of bed, and already start to dread the getting underway. I have seen a pattern for the past three weeks; when the boat moves, the tension builds. When it is light enough to see, we pull the anchor, me at the helm, Mako and Captain at the bow. I am still at the helm and take us down the channel to start the trip to Marathon. The wind and wave predictions were not bad, 15 to 20 knot winds, and the waves 1 to 2 feet. They lied. The wind speeds were correct, but the waves were building the farther down the channel we went. As we reached the last red buoy, the waves were 4 to 5 feet and very close. About that time, our engine starts to bog down and we slow to 1.6 knots. Not a good thing, we still have over 50 miles to travel, and we don't want to hoist the sails and stress the crippled rigging. So, Captain orders us to turn back. I sigh, knowing that it will be another day or two before I get off the boat. Going with the wind and waves, we do 7 knots most of the way back to our anchorage. Anchored, the Captain issues orders for showers and go ashore for breakfast. Do we smell that bad? I had a shower 4 days ago! We miss the breakfast menu by 10 minutes, and the lady at Pepe's will not serve us breakfast. Lunch it is then. My patty melt and fries were very tasty and it hit the spot. Back to the boat and a two hour nap. I guess I was tired. 

Day 25. We are running out of water. We must take the boat to the fuel dock and fill the tanks. I dread it, something always goes wrong. Sure enough, even though I had already gotten the fenders in place and un-coiled the dock lines, we were told, "get your heads out of your asses." That was the last straw, I was done. I had lost all respect for Captain, so it was time for me to leave. I pulled my stuff together and disembarked there at the marina dock. My new address is Key West, Florida.


  1. Wise choice, Lezlie! Life is a journey and this was one small segment. Looking forward to visiting you in Key West -- if we ever get there :)

  2. Lezlie, sorry it had to end this way. I'll be thinking about you as you decide what to do next!

  3. Lezlie,

    From the sound of everything, you probably made a wise choice.....seems like there was a little of the "Captain Bligh" attitude going on. Sometimes it takes more courage to stop the madness than it does to just go with the cheers to a job well done!

    Now you have to get another boat...;)

    Craig Martin

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