Thursday, August 31, 2006

Look what Ernesto brought us!

It looks like we can just about walk out to the fishing pier at Sunset Beach Club. The Seagulls have been walking around on it. It's a nice green shag carpeting of baygrass, and it just keeps rolling in. They got a bobcat to pile it up today, but quit for now. I think they will be here tomorrow to start again. That stuff is really going to stink when it starts to rot.

It kind of smells like you are living in an aquarium that has algae growing up the sides. Am I complaining? I hope not, things could have been a lot worse.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I took my camera along on my bike ride this morning to catch a few signs of the preparations. We had sun off to the north, but pretty much total cloud cover now and no rain yet. The police boat is parked in the handicap space at the post office. There were plenty of people around coming and going. At Sea Isle they are busy boarding up condos that do not yet have windows. Here at The Cay, we still have some people around:

The Lombardo's - gone for the weekend, will be back in a day or so, Cole Tracy, Warren Burger, the English family next to him, Lou McMann, Catos - I think they are having work done, the Reinhardts, Boudreaus, The Cherrys, and Tim and his bride-to-be. We don't have our shutters up yet, so that we can let in a little light, and not feel like we are living in a sardine can. But when the wind picks up, we will close them over. It's 10:30 AM, there's very little wind so far. We are on weather channel overload, so we will forget about it for a while, and get on with running a few errands. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


The new fishing pier at Sunset Beach Club Condos, to the east of our beach is finished and it is a beauty! I think it is bigger, and sits up higher off the water with a ramp going up to it. No doubt the fishermen and women who stay there will love it! They've had lots of weekend renters all summer, and during construction, now and then, they were fishing off the wall, much to our dislike. Now they will have their own great place to fish, and won't be in our swimming area.
On the other hand, the fishing pier to our west, at Oceanfront Condos is a disaster waiting to happen. They haven't done anything to begin to repair it, and the entire front end of it is in the water, and the rest seems to be not far behind. One good storm, and it's a goner. For a while a few people ignored the signs and fished off of it anyway. But now, they get the message; it's definitely not safe.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Commercial flights into our little airport in Marathon are in a holding pattern.
Just when we thought it would be so neat to only have to drive across the street to pick up visiting friends and relatives, TSA has decided to deny federal security screeners for the terminal. As of 2 weeks ago, both Delta and Northwest were booking flights into Marathon. A round trip flight from Detroit to Marathon, through Atlanta was $812. during steep for our relatives, but the option would have been nice. This week they are cancelling the flights and isuing refunds or transfer tickets to Key West. What a shame, especially since the federal governement had allocated $750,000. in grants to get things running, and local businesses had also put up funds to help out. The county is considering hiring private screeners, but this still would need TSA approval, and after what happened in London last week, it may be a while before they will reconsider. We hope that they will figure something out, and flights can start sometime this winter.

Monday, August 07, 2006

YESTERDAY was the first day of lobster season. For a week now we have been seeing boats going out and setting their traps, but Sunday was the first day they could check them. This boat has 6 or 7 traps set right off our beach. Sure enough, we heard the sound of his rock and roll music Sunday morning as he came by to check his traps. We kind of forgot about it for the last few months, but as soon as we heard it, we knew just who it was and I went out on the porch to take a picture. It's a nice sound, he has a good stereo system, and it's kind of like when we would hear the Good Humor Man coming, ran for our money, and bought a toasted almond or an orange dreamsicle. It's comforting to hear a sound and know exactly what it is without having to look up. I wish that we could buy lobsters right from the boat, but that would be too easy. We swam out to our spot on the rocks yesterday, just in case we would see a lobster, but they aren't there yet, or if they are, we couldn't see them. The water is still not too clear. KCB has a sign that there is to be no diving for lobsters until August 16th, guess we will have to be a little more patient.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Big Banana Harvest on 7th
Click here for sound (thanks to my computer -geek friend, Doris.)
Yesterday I got an email from Janie in my book club. She had seen my post about Bananas on 7th, and invited me to go over to her house and help myself to what she called "serious" bananas, since they are not there in the summer. So this morning, after the 8 AM rain shower...we are really into the rainy season now... Bill walked over and I rode my bike over and brought a knife. When we walked into her yard, we were so impressed by her beautiful tropical garden paradise, and the size of the bananas! Those are what I would call monster bananas. The story from Janie is that the bananas were in her neighbors yard and a year and a half ago when she and her husband put in an irrigation system, the bananas just marched over to her yard for the water. I can't believe they have grown so big. We cut down 7 bananas and I could barely carry them home on my bike. They make our bananas at the Cay look sick, they are about 4 times the size. If you would like to see my online album of the banana harvest click here. The flowers are absolutely beautiful. The thing about bananas is that you have to pick them when they are green or they will split open on the stalk. Then you need to let them get ripe for a week or two and then they all are ripe at once. So we have learned to only pick a few at a time. Next weekend we are going up to see my Mom in Zephyrhills, she will be thrilled if we bring her a few of those monster bananas. One banana will be enough for all three of us for breakfast.

Friday, August 04, 2006

It's The Rainy Season, And I Got Soaked!

I love my new job at The Kirk, and I love getting up on Tuesdays and Thursdays and hopping on my bike and riding to work. But today, I stayed just a little bit too late and got caught in a downpour. Wondering what to do once it really started raining buckets, I saw a little guy on a moped pull off into the shelter of the bus stand on 109th Street. I followed him in, he offered me one of the worn plywood seats, but I preferred to stand. I'm sure he was looking at me and wondering if I was a wierdo, I mean, look at me? Big straw hat, fishing shirt, and sunglasses - in the rain? I looked at him, old clothes and a baseball cap with large black-rimmed glasses. He had a big old toolbox strapped to the back of his moped, and a thermos around his neck. As I got a little closer, I detected that beer aroma that you often smell around "The Bull" in Key West, mid-day. I don't think it was Cuban coffee in his thermos, or maybe he had a 6 pack in his tool box. Raymundo got out a cigarette and lit up. I began talking to him in Spanish, and as it often happens to me, he starts trying to talk to me in English, very broken English. I used to think that this was because my Spanish was so bad, but now I think it's not that. If you speak Spanish, the Cubans want to show you that they too can attempt another language. I got out my cell phone to call Bill and tell him I would be late. Late? For what? I might as well enjoy this conversation. We could have talked about Castro's health, or Marathon's plan for affordable garden apartments to be constructed in the nearby empty field, but I was interested in his moped.

Me - "Cuantas milas por hora?"

He - " 30 or 32"

Me - "Cuanta cuesta?"

He - "One thousand dollar"

I was still impatient to leave. He got out his pocket watch which I am sure came from "Sally Ann's", as we fondly call the Salvation Army. "Just give it 10 minutes and the rain will stop," he advised. I was interested in his moped because I have always wished that I had one, and thought about how nice it would be to zip around on one. I asked if you could ride one on the bike path. He said no, they would give you a ticket for that. Well that lets me out, I would never drive one on the street, too dangerous with all these impatient drivers around here. I began to get restless again, anxious to get going. I looked up and noticed the sky was clearing in the East. " Viene el cielo azul," I said. "The sky is cleaning up a little" he said. We decided that I could leave first because I would be on the bike path. He would have to wait because the street was very wet and the cars would splash him. "Vaya con cuidado", I said as I departed, "Much gusto", he said, shaking my hand. I left thinking how lucky I was to be on my bike, and not a moped. I didn't have to worry about whether it would start, or if I was going too slow for traffic. I enjoyed meeting Raymundo, practicing my Spanish and learning a little bit about the art of being patient. I think Raymundo benefitted from practicing his English, and he probably is still wondering what a "gringa" like me is doing riding a bike in the rain wearing a sun hat and sunglasses. I'm glad he doesn't know that I have 2 cars sitting right outside my front door and I could have driven to work, then he would think I was really crazy.