7 mile

The sun. It hurts. My skin. It hurts. Besides the sun doing some serious damage, no matter how much you cover yourself up, I have no more complaints. Bimini’s are great and all, but we still struggled to avoid sun exposure on our way to the Keys. I  had forgotten how harsh it is to be stuck in the piercing rays for 8 to 10 hours. Well, someone had to drive. Katie and I took turns steering, so we could have each have breaks from the cancer causing star. Five days of traveling to Key West, went incredibly well. We cruised on the inside (Gulf side) up until Marathon, where we ducked under 7 mile bridge to the south side (Atlantic side) to get to Key West. I wanted to go to Cuba. Katie wouldn’t let me. Instead we ended up in Disney land, I mean Key West.

The inside ICW is shallow, and easy to find yourself in a mine-field of crab traps. Louise draws just under 4 and 1/2 feet of water. All though we never ran aground (hard), there was a half a mile where our depth sounder read 0.0 feet in the middle of the channel. We never got stuck, but we literally were driving on the ground, leaving some lovely skid-marks behind us.

It took all of one, unsuccessful night docked right in town (1/2 a mile off of downtowns main st) for us to lose our minds and backtrack 6 miles to a quieter area. We thought surely we would want to be in the thick of it, so we could walk everywhere. Between the cruise ships, commercial boats, jet skis, tourists, street performers, drunks, and feeling the wake of every boat in the main channel, we left first thing the next morning. I think we are getting old – we can’t handle that anymore.

We now are cozier than we have possibly ever been down here on Stock Island. The sense of community, and generosity we are surrounded by is incredible. But let me tell you why we actually are really cozy.  Brace yourself, your going to be impressed. Katie, ordered a little air conditioner. We turn it on while we sleep, to avoid the clammy, sweaty, buggy, sleepless nights down here in south Florida. After a year and a half of horrific sleep aboard Louise, she finally insisted on spending 150 dollars on a small AC unit. Why we never gave in earlier? Couldn’t tell you. Reggie, is a happy dog now considering he is still wearing his winter coat. More importantly, at this very moment, Katie is on the dock teaching Reggie to be like a dolphin. Oddly enough, it’s working.

Our new friends Beth and Jerry, lent us their 12 volt fridge. For the first time in our travels, I woke up and drank cold milk (we both are used to warm, powdered milk with our cereal) To wake up with chilled, dry skin, not sweaty, and proceed to open a cold box containing cold milk is FABULOUS. For the first time in a long time, we are physically comfortable.  We of course are plugged into power here at the dock, and will not be able to have these luxuries when we begin cruising again. But whatever the electric bill turns out to be at the end of the month, will be worth every penny.

Other great news – Katie and I got jobs yesterday. I am not going to say where because then you can come find us. Our purpose of being down here in the Keys, is to make enough money to allow us to complete this amazing adventure, to be surrounded by beautiful sea life, and to continue meeting people worth meeting of course. Already, this community has won my heart. There are so many people we have to thank since arriving.

Beth and Jerry – y’all are officially bas-ass after hearing your running aground/swimming with the sharks story, and your 12-volt fridge is my new best friend. Kathy Peg – you are an inspiring woman. Steve and Dawn – your enthusiasm is contagious. Steve, thanks for the great conversation, I am satisfied we both agree that tanning beds, and cemeteries are going out of style. And to your son, Jason, if it weren’t for you we never would have met your awesome parents, thanks for spreading the love. Mike, Rosie and holly – thanks for looking out for us, our E dock family. George and Donna – we barely know you, and already love you. And thanks to Chris – our next door neighbor on A dock. We have the opportunity to move closer to the bathrooms, and we turned it down because you are the best neighbor we have ever had, thanks for the sandwiches, and the deck brush I just about broke in half.

Grateful. 7 mile-2

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11 thoughts on “The sun, it hurts.

  1. Congrats on a safe passage to KW. Great post. This one just oozes happiness and adventurous spirits.

    I’ll bet a few years back you never thought AC and cold milk would bring happiness. Isn’t it amazing how this way of life makes us realize what we can live without. “It’s not at all about what you have. It is about what you think about what you have” – quote of the day by Sean. Wow! That was pretty deep. My Tibetan inner self is relating.

    Glad you have an income source. Enjoy KW it is a wonderfully quirky place. But above all, it is a photographer’s paradise. Looking forward to seeing what your creative eye captures.

    Mark and Cindy
    s/v Cream Puff

  2. It was great meeting you both. Unfortunately that was our last night in paradise before returning to the frigid north. Your adventure is inspiring and I will be following your journey. Whenever you make it back up to Lake Michigan, we have great bars in Milwaukee!

    Fair winds and following seas.

  3. Lovely to see your smiling faces girls , I’m glad you had time for a chat and to share a wee but of the buzz that is Louise and Katie & Jesse. I’m off to Grand Cayman in search of the next SUP adventure. Toodle-oooo. Enjoy the Roosters!!

  4. Nice pics. I love the Keys, especially in the winter. Snorkeling, conchs, gentle breezes; but watch out for the sea urchins: ouch!

    Hey, that’s sooo cool that you have AC now. Nice price too. Did you have a special adapter made up so you could plug into shore power (the weird plug thingy), or did your boat already have the necessary wiring?

    Enjoy the nice weather before it gets really hot.


  5. Yes good to see your smiles, good to see you putting miles under the keel, good to see some sunshine from people in 50″ of snow in Wisconsin…. and as always thanks for the cute toes… You ever waste your time painting them? Okay so once the funds are built back up, will the trip head back north, or you going to go all island on us all?

  6. Katie and Jessie,
    I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog. I found this blog because I want to do the Great Loop in a few years!
    I also use to live on my 26′ sailboat in the Ft. Myers area, and worked at a resort for two years. Unfortunately, I had to grow up, and moved back to NJ to resume a career. Untill I can do my own loop, I’m living the loop vicariously thru your blog! Keep writing, I love your stories. Safe sailing and calm winds!
    Bob Geo

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