We stayed at the Boca Chica marina at the Naval Air Station Key West for a week.

Our last sunset in Key West was a beautiful one.

The next morning after Reveille, I took a stroll so you could see the base.

Well, not the entire base, just the marina.

They put us at the end of the dock.

It’s called the T-head.

There are a lot of military folks who keep their boats down here.

And a few of us are transients.

We stay for a few days and then move along.

Our friends, Fred and Jeanne on Archimedes, were here when we arrived and then left a couple of days before we did.

Boca Chica Marina

This marina was a surprise to me.

It has a few amenities that came in handy.

They gave us a really great rate to stay and the amenities were comparable to other marinas.

We went to the Navigator’s Bar and Grill a few times and enjoyed live music.

Time to Move On

When it was time to move on, we left our slip and headed over to get a pump out.

Richard, who stays on Semper Fi at Boca Chica full time with his wife, Karen, took pictures of us.

Once we got tied up for the pump out, we certainly couldn’t forget that we were at a military institution even though it looks like paradise.

It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it!

OK.

Now we’re ready to go.

As we said goodbye to Boca Chica, the water was as smooth as could be.

A reward for our trip down here.

Going out, the channel was pretty narrow.

Now that we are in Florida, Sam is constantly watching the tides.

He plans our trips so that we leave when the water level is high and we get to our destination when the water is rising or high.

It takes a lot more planning.

On the Outside

We have decided to move from Key West on the outside where the water is deep instead of on the side closest to the Florida shore.

You can see the blue markers on the map.

There are tiny blue arrows telling you the direction of the rising tide.

Beautiful Day

It was a really beautiful day out in the Atlantic Ocean.

Even though we did have some waves crashing us, it was nothing.

Not bad at all.

Then, the Channel

After about three and a half hours out in the deep, we came to the channel to get into Slipjack Marina.

The information that Sam had received was to hug the greens.

Unfortunately, there were three boats coming out of the channel who were also hugging the green.

We made it through the skinny water but not without some very tense moments.

I would call out the depths to Sam as he would hand steer through the channel.

Skipjack Marina

We decided to stay at Skipjack Marina and Resort.

They gave us a great rate for two weeks so we had a chance to relax, do some upgrades on our website, meet up with some friends and more.

This resort looks like it was built in the 50s and they’ve done few renovations, although the pool and tiki bar area is nice.

The marina has a short (pinky) finger pier on one side and then pilings all around for most slips.

They do have a wall but it was full when we were here.

Wild Life

I am a big fan of the wild life in Florida.

Right next to our boat the pelicans would come and stay on the pilings in the area.

I never got tired of watching them.

They seem to really like it here.

We also saw a mama and baby manatee hanging out at the marina.

It was really incredible seeing them up close.

They move slowly and look like they are exploring the area.

We did see propeller marks on the mama’s back so be careful out there.

Dockside

Just a short walk from our slip was Dockside Restaurant.

It’s an open air bar and grill with live music or open mic nights and more.

The food is good and the view spectacular.

Marathon, Florida

Marathon doesn’t get as much press as Key West but it is still a fun place to visit.

There is a Publix, K-Mart and Winn-Dixie within walking distance of our marina.

That was Very convenient.

We also walked around town and saw some interesting sights.

Need conch?

How cool is this?

Reunions

During our time in Marathon, we were reunited with several friends.

First, we saw our friends on At Ease that we traveled through New York Harbor with way back at the beginning of our Great Loop trip.

We were buddy boats.

They took our picture in front of the Statue of Liberty and we took theirs.

And here we are back together in the Florida Keys.

We sat on the front of their boat and enjoyed this sunset.

Blast from the Past

Sam was contact by Patti, who he graduated with from high school.

She and her husband, Dennis, were in Marathon celebrating her birthday.

They hadn’t seen each other in about 48 years!

We had them on the boat for the reunion and then went to Sunset Grille and Raw Bar.

What a view!

Then on Patti’s birthday, we went to Sparky’s Landing for cocktails.

It’s a cute little hideaway with a great view.

After that, we strolled on over to Island Fish Co. for a birthday dinner.

And key lime pie, of course!

That wasn’t enough for us.

We’d already had key lime pie.

We ordered the fried key lime pie.

Oh boy.

I felt like I was at the Texas State Fair!

Sunset Celebration

While we were in Marathon, we attended the 11th Annual AGLCA Sunset Celebration.

There were about 140 of us there.

It was fun seeing other loopers that we have met along our journey so far.

We are all on the same mission.

Another night, Sam and I went over to the Lighthouse Grill.

We had happy hour with some tasty conch fritters.

Then, we met Marie and Fred of Compass Rose for our second happy hour.

Marie contacted us through Facebook and we were excited that we could get together.

We all then met up with the rest of the dinner crew: Paula and Tom of Life’s Travails, Ted and Robin from Curti-sea and Cindy and Andy of Aquaman.

It was a really fun night and a highlight of our trip.

During our two week trip to Marathon, Florida, we managed to pack in a whole lot of rest and and a whole lot of fun.

But now We are ready to move on.

Our Thoughts