Friday, December 25, 2009

Did Santa bring you snow for Christmas? Well not us, we musta been bad because all we got was a huge load of weeds on the beach. The wind was out of the southeast on Christmas afternoon and in rolled the sargasso weed. It's filled with little blue man-a-wars and lots of sea lice and so the seagulls are having a Christmas Day feast. NO one is even thinking about getting in the water or even close to it, although it's plenty warm enough for a dip today. I have no idea what the beach raker will do with all this stuff when he shows up tomorrow morning. Dump truck? Bulldozer? We shall see.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The KCB Boat Parade on Sunday was the best we have ever seen. There was quite a variety of boats, from huge right down to kayak size. One very large yacht had a marching band and vocal group that sang the Star Spangled Banner. A small dinghy was cleverly made up to look like a sleigh pulled by Rudolph, and now it's parked in front of Sparky's for the rest of the season. Of course Tucker DeGraw was there in "Tuck's Toy", as always, having a great time. There were 3 kayaks this year, the waitress from Stouts was in one. They had themselves wrapped in battery powered lights, and were so much fun to watch. My night time photography skills are really lacking, so I couldn't capture the real beauty of it. There were no tandem kayaks, and I couldn't talk Bill into making a fool of himself, but when either of my sisters come down for Christmas again, we WILL be the Kayaking Sisters Act in the Christmas Boat Parade. I promise!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Today my retired teacher friends and I went to lunch at the Marathon Yacht Club with Mrs. Gradick. It's a Christmas event I look forward to every year. Mrs. G, in her 90s now, moved down here in the '50s, and was principal of Marathon High School for 20 years, and can she tell the stories. I love to hear her talk about school life down here back then, it was a different ball game, and she had a way with the kids, and they knew who was in charge.
I love to get her going on her athletic career. She was phys. ed. teacher first when she came down from Philly. She made the girls' gymnastic team for the 1948 Olympics in London, but had to drop out right before the competition when she caught and seriously injured her knee while vaulting the horse. Heck, I was only one year at that time! She has a basement full of medals, trophies, and ribbons, and can tell you every single competition she was in. She competed in the Senior Olympics until she has 87. That year she was in the discus throw, shot put, and hammer throw, and broke a hip. She still lives by herself with her dog, Heidi, and is quite active in the community. "The girls" sure have a good time when we get together. Our bodies may be less active than in the past, but our mouths can still run at full speed.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I guess it's not too much of a surprise that the wildlife around here is not one bit afraid of us. After all, we are very predictable, swim/walk/bike in the morning, Scrabble under the palm in late afternoon, cocktail on the deck before dinner. What's to worry about? They know where we will be and when. This juvie heron seemed to like to be near me this morning. Laps 1-3, he watched from the top of the fence. Laps 4-6 he did figure eights on the ground in between the fence posts. Laps 8-10 he stood on the side of the pool and counted along with me. He's a good influence, and nice to have at my side. He kept me swimming a little longer while Bill got the camera. Hope he's back again tomorrow. I think I'll call him "Coach".

Friday, October 09, 2009

Late afternoon seems to be the best time to watch the osprey practice his hunting skills. He perches right above us while we sit in the shade of the palms. We think he's a young one, first of all because he's not one bit bothered by us being so close, and also because he's really not that great of a hunter yet. He has a few obstacles to overcome. The palm frond he sits on swings in the breeze while he spots his target. Then just as he takes off, the seagulls on shore charge to his prey and make all kinds of noise and shadows and scare it away. He likes to go for the needle fish that are bluish green, easy to spot, and sit still by the surface. When he's got his approach just right, he comes up with the fish, head first in his strong talons, jealous seagulls flapping along just in case he drops it, and carries it off somewhere else to chow down. Then he returns to the palm tree to get ready to try it all over again.
Only in Key West...
KEY WEST: A 62-year-old
Clearwater man was jailed
Monday after allegedly using a
golf putter to beat a man who
tried to kiss him, saying he
was acting out of “moral self
defense,” police reports say.
John Crawford Swindle was
charged with disorderly conduct
and aggravated battery
causing great bodily harm.
from Key West Ctitzen

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

THIS IS WHY you don't swim in a canal on Key Colony Beach. Daniel Calahan, Fifth Street Canal, 130 stitches at Fishermen's Hospital. Bull Shark attack. I'm taking this post off very soon because it is just too disgusting.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

It's the talk of Key Colony Beach, and it's really no joking matter. This past week someone was attacked by a bull shark in the 5th Street canal. As far as I can tell from overhearing different conversations, bull sharks weighing about 200 pounds were seen in the canal in the morning. In the afternoon a man was snorkeling in the canal,spotted the bull shark and tried to get away, but was bit on the foot as he was climbing up a ladder out of the water. The number I heard was 42 stitches.
Yesterday afternoon, as the water is gorgeous right now, Marie had just got out of the ocean, and we were about to get in, when Steve, the manager came down to let us know that someone had spotted an 8 foot bull shark off of the pier at Sunset Beach Condos next door. That is just way to close for comfort. It could have been Marie's last swim forever, and our final noodle if he had decided to cruise the shore while we were there. We have had a number of seagulls, pelicans, and herons hanging around the shoreline on our beach this week. Something is coming up and scaring the pilcherds up onto the shore, and the seagulls are grabbing any that they can. Sharks? Barracudas? We don't know, but if we get in the water today, it will be while we are inside our kayak.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Last night looks to have been a very busy night for at least 83 hatchlings that crawled out of their nest here on Key Colony Beach and headed out to sea. Most of them followed their natural instincts on a very dark night with just a crescent moon, and went the right way. Eleven of them, for one reason or another, headed off to the pool at The Residences, where our manager discovered them this morning. One lively little hiker was actually found getting ready to cross Ocean Drive. The nest was next door at Monte Cristo, about 4 beaches down from us. It had been discovered and reported to Save-A-Turtle on July 4th, and marked off with flags. The hatching was to have occurred exactly 53 days later, on Aug 27, so you see our guys and gals arrived a few days early. This morning after his discovery, Steve called Ed Borysiewicz, or City Inspector and head Turtle Count person on Key Colony, and lucky for me, I was riding my bike by, and got in on the whole thing. The nest was inspected and hatched eggs counted, 83. Eleven disoriented will be held until this evening when they will be given a second chance to find their way at exactly the same spot. The eggs that didn't hatch were also counted 33, and then buried back in the nest. All of this is carefully recorded and reported back to Save-A-Turtle. We hope that the little tikes that made it will return here to the same beach in a few years to lay their eggs, that's how it's supposed to happen.

It would have been nice if Mama Turtle would have come back for the evening to show the babies where to go, but she was out to sea after laying the eggs 53 days ago, and more interested in her own survival. And from the looks of the beach this morning and all those tracks, there must have been quite a bit of confusion on which way to go, and it sure looked like a lot more than 83 hatchlings were marching around.

I know were I'll be at dark tonight, when the 11 wanderers are given their send off... down at the beach!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A NEW BIKE! And it's MINE!!
It's a Trek Pure, and believe me, I spent way more time bike shopping and test driving than we spent on our new car purchase last month. But this was important, a new bike is not something to be quick about. I had it narrowed down to 3 so called comfort bikes that I really liked after riding several. Comfort, that's the important quality for me these days. I checked out the bike shops in Key West last week, and ended up at my LBS, that's Local Bike Shop in biker lingo. For those of you who have had bad experiences with Overseas Outfitters, I know what you went through. But now there is a new young manager/part owner, and he is really making an effort to turn things around. His parents (my age) live on Little Torch Key and help out at the store. They couldn't be nicer, and the Dad has had two weeks of bike mechanic training...what more could you want?
Now not to bore you with too much ancient history, I got my biking start exactly 58 years ago with my first bike and some tender loving help from my Dad.

I think it looks a little bit like my new bike, except for the training wheels. As a young girl, I rode my bike daily until I got into my teen years. For some reason, it just wasn't cool to ride a bike in the 60s. I took about 40 years off in my riding, and then bought my next bike when I was about 50 and put many miles on that Trek. Because of various back issues, I find myself riding it less and less, so time to try something new. That old Trek won't go to waste, Bill has already taken it over and attached his motor to it. It will be an improvement over the K Mart Dirt bikes, and those two will go to Manuel, who will put them to good use.

Friday, July 17, 2009

We finished up our morning exercise routines with a kayak trip yesterday. Early morning and late evening is the best for kayaking this time of year. As we went past Seapoint, here in the photo, we saw tarpon rolling by the pier. We headed on past Bonefish Towers all the way to Coco Plum Beach, but did not go ashore to search the wrack line for sea beans. Then we took our good ole time heading home. The noodle afterwards was the real cool down. The heat index yesterday was 105, the water is in the low 90s, but it still felt very refreshing. What a way to start the day.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

SEA BEANS, or Drift Seeds. I've been collecting them. This is a great thing for me to collect because they are hard to find, and so the collection grows very slowly.

They are, from top and clockwise, Sea Heart also called Sailor's Heart, Hamburger Beans, Sea Pearl (although I'm not sure about this one), Starnut Palm, and hog plum, in case you didn't guess,this one is not so special.
A seabean is a fruit or seed that has drifted in from another continent. The ones we get are from Central America or Africa. My favorites are the sea heart and the hamburger bean. Since this picture, I have found one more sea heart, and one more hamburger bean, but the season hasn't really started yet. When the strong winds blow in lots of seaweed from the south east, that's the best time to search the beach.

I took this picture of the sea heart pod at the orchid show in Redlands. It was part of a display of items that are illegal to bring into the country. The pods are about 4 feet long from the monkey ladder vine. It is supposed to be the longest bean pod in the world. They say that Columbus found a sea heart floating in the eastern Atlantic and this inspired him to search for land to the west. I think I know how he felt. Once you discover one sea bean, you just have to look for more.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Last night dined at Banana Cabana for the first time. This restaurant is at Banana Bay Resort on the bayside. We got there at 6:00 and the restaurant didn't open until 6:30, so we had a drink at the tiki bar while we waited. This is a beautiful resort tucked in to an area of beautiful tropical plants and trees, and cute little cottage areas, they also have a marina. We were very pleased with the restaurant. The new restaurant owner partners are from Michigan, Grand Rapids and Holland, and couldn't be nicer. They even gave us a 10% locals discount, which we weren't expecting. The inside is just like out of the 70s, you can eat outside, but we chose air-conditioning. The menu has a nice variety and reasonable prices, but we had our favorite, pizza, and believe it or not, it was the best we have had in Marathon, and we are pretty picky about the crust. Next time you are down, you must try this place out. When we go back, we are going to venture into some other items on the menu.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Get Key Colony Beach City Council Meeting minutes emailed to you.
Click on the City of Key Colony Beach link to the right of this post, and then go to "automatic email updates".

Friday, June 12, 2009

Good news for shoppers!
We are really in paradise now with the addition of Daffy Doug's Discount Dollar in Marathon. I'm not kidding, this store is really nice. It is past the Hospital on the right side in the old yellow Tropical Furniture store building. It is huge, everything is brand new and arranged really nicely. "Doug" has gone all out, three cash registers, free hotdogs on opening day, and he is even having O'Farrill paint a big mural on the outside of the building so you can't miss it when driving south. Not only is there a large greeting card selection, a dollar each, but believe it or not there is a craft section. Yes, I said a craft section including knitting needles and crochet hooks in every size. I'm not kidding! There are great scrapbooking items, and just about everything is a dollar. Tools, fishing stuff, cosmetics, household supplies, clothing- well this area is a little lacking. As you can tell, I am very excited. It's way better than K Mart or Walgreens, and good for at least 45 minutes of brousing twice a week.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Lychees are in season now, and we are hooked! They have them for sale at the weekend fruit stand across from Publix and I think they bring them in from Homestead. At $5. a pound, they aren't cheap, but they are so good I'm afraid the first pound won't last until the fruit stand is open again on Saturday. They outside is hard like an egg shell, but the inside is sweet and so juicy, it makes you want to pop off the shell and eat another one right away.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Royal Poinciana
This time of year as you drive up and down US 1, the bright orange blaze of the Royal Poinciana just keeps catching your eye. There are many bigger and brighter than this one, but I love how this tree frames the little cottage beneath. This is part of "Tropical Cottages", right before you get to Gulfside Mall. I also keep noticing these trees because of the huge seed pods attached. I'm waiting for them to fall after a windstorm so I can collect them to make some seed jewelry.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We headed out this morning on a typical Keys summer day, hot and very little wind. We had hoped to go for dolphin but the wind wasn't just right so we went off for yellowtail instead. We went for the deep, big yellowtail this time in about 100 feet of water. It was tough to feel the fish biting when the line was out so far, but we pulled in quite a few and Bill caught the largest yellowtail he has ever caught, the one in the picture, probably about 3 pounds. On the way back we trolled for dolphin and Roger brought in this very nice one. Summer's here, the air- conditioning sure felt good when we got home!

Monday, May 25, 2009

The mini-tornado we had last week blew in some interesting finds at the beach. Jan Sables found not one, but two beautiful conchs in the ocean. We took this one out for a photo, and then Roger put them back where they will hopefully find their way back out to deeper water. It's nice to know that the conch population is alive and well on Key Colony Beach. The fishing team of Sables/Cherry goes out on the Lobster Boat tomorrow for our traditional May fishing trip. Wish us luck, we hope to get into some dolphin.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

We woke up early Tuesday morning to the sound of wind and rain whistling through the courtyard, and at daylight it became evident that that was not all that was flying through the air. Something blew by, selected certain chairs and garbage cans off the beach, and rearranged them in the courtyard. Was it a waterspout turned tornado? We don't know. There was no mention of it happening anywhere else in the area. The deck was left just exactly as it was the day before and nothing was moved on the porches, but if you were on the beach and in it's path...look out!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Turns out that Sister Mary Beth Lloyd didn't finish her 100 mile run from Key Largo to Key West. She made it about 40 miles to Long Key sometime Saturday night and then threw in the towel, or the habit, as the case may be. She said she had stomach problems. The pace leader for her said that her 85 year old father was part of her support crew and this also threw her off emotionally because he kept pleading with her to stop running. About two thirds of the rest of the runners did finish the race although it was very hot and humid. We met a young man who did the half race from Marathon to Key West and came in second. He and his family were staying on Key Colony the night before and after the race. His father said he was totally exhausted just going along as a supporter! One person in Sister Mary Beth's group did finish the race, and she was pleased with the publicity that her cause, Orphans of AIDS, recieved because of the event.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

"Nun on the Run"
Today is the start of the KEYS100 race, a race from Key Largo to Key West, exactly 100 miles, with a 32 hour time limit. There are 65 runners signed up to do the entire distance, and one of them is Sister Mary Elizabeth Lloyd who will run in her black habit to raise awareness for AIDS orphans. She's almost 60 years old! I don't know if she will finish, but you gotta give her credit for trying. And while I'm on the subject of runners, our own daughter-in-law, Lori and her wonderful husband, our son, Gabe, will be visiting this coming week. Lori is in training for the Chicago Marathon, and will probably get some practice in the Florida heat before she goes back to run in the streets of Chicago in August. The only advice I have is drink plenty of water, race fans, and go for a nice cool down in the pool or the ocean when you are done. I'll keep you posted on how the Running Nun does.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This is the time of year when Manuel goes around and drastically trims up everything around The Cay; it's a hurricane preparation thing, I suppose, but also seems to really get things going with some new spring growth. As I was walking up the steps after my swim this morning, I noticed that he had completely cut down one of the banana trees that had finished producing. Then I noticed the amazing concentric circles of the inner core of the trunk where he had sawed it off, and also a new plant to the left just about 18 inches tall just starting it's lifetime goal of providing bananas to The Cherrys and anyone else who is around. It makes me happy to know that even when something is old and used up and carted away, it can still leave something beautiful behind.

Last week we met up with Ryan from New York on the deck. He came down every evening and kept us amused with his knowledge of New York City living, his Blackberry capabilities, and his daily dive trips and bar/restaurant experiences while he is staying at the Hoffman's unit with his mom and dad.
He sure had us old folks as a captive audience as he went on and on about this and that. A self-described nerd, he told us he was the AV squad captain in high school and now has gone on to become a freelance TV camera coordinator, or something like that. Here he is teaching himself how to use a cast net that he bought in the dive shop when he went on the day trip to Looue Key. That guy will "tackle" anything, and was so nice to spend time with those of us that are from a different generation.
We enjoyed his sense of adventure, "can do" attitude, and friendly nature. Hope he gets to make another trip down to The Cay next year.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Here's what you can do on a rainy day; go up to the Ocean Room and paint fish on pieces of palm spine. What could be more fun and provide lots of laughs? This is the second school of fish created with the help of the craftiest lady that we have here at The Cay. Some look like real fish, like the dolphin and the cero mackrel, and some look, well, just ridiculous. Thanks for an entertaining afternoon, Dana.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tom's 88th Birthday was celebrated on the deck last night, and it was a night of great food and lots of memories and a few photos of the past. I'm sure at the moment this black and white photo was taken, celebrating a birthday on the ocean was about the last thing on Tom's mind. If you haven't heard about his goalie days during high school in Cleveland, stop by anytime and he'll tell you about a much different sport than we see now on TV, ie. head gear, there was none back then.

Tom's sister, Ellen surprised Tom by driving down for the party, and by far, the best part of the party was sitting around remembering what things were like 30 some years ago at The Cay when Tom and Dell and all of the Storey children played a big part in the social scene not only on Key Colony, but in Marathon and Key West. The tales about going to "Fanny's" and dancing to Bob Emma across the street gave us newcomers a taste of what it was like in the olden days, and believe me, we lead a very sheltered life these days in comparison.
So here's to Tom, and we can't wait to be back on the deck again next year for number 89. Let the memories live on!!!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

...And They Share!

...And They Share!
Originally uploaded by sache47
Dave and Doris had a great catch on the Best Bet last Thursday, and
they shared a part of their catch with us on the deck! They cooked up
the Yellow Jack, marinated in Teriyaki and also in a Coconut,
Pineapple, Mango, Tequila sauce from Trader Joes. They did their
traditional mayo and Old Bays to barbeque the Cero Mackrel, skin side
down, just until flaky. It was all delicious, there was barely a piece
left at 5:30. If you didn't make it down to the deck that evening, oh
well, "Too bad, too sad", as Doris would say.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Stone Crab Dinner at Keys Fisheries was great this afternoon. This was a benefit for the Marathon High School Athletic Department. The reason why there's no food on the table is because we ate it all! The stone crab claws were precracked so that getting to them and dipping them in the mustard sauce was no problem at all, it was served with cole slaw and french fries. Lots of our friends from The Cay were there and eager to pose after dinner. The reason that the plastic curtains are down is because the cold front is on it's way. It's 5 PM and the temperature is down to about 68 degrees. Time to hunker down for a few days.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Here's why we love the Marathon Theater. We took this photo from the last row of tables, yes, this is the whole theater, it seats 105. You never have to wait in line. They have a few rows of seats but mostly tables. They have beer and wine. A pitcher of beer is $4.75. There is never a line to get in. You always know someone in the crowd. I like the sign when you walk in that says "The management has the right to cancel the movie if there is not a minimum of five people in attendance". Whew, we made it at the afternoon matinee, there where about 35 people. Jim Carey in Yes Man was just great.

Friday, January 30, 2009

He likes his privacy!
On Wednesday the Keynoter reported that Kenny Chesney had purchased the mansion on Caroline Street in Key West that had been up for sale for quite a while. Thursday, a moving van pulled up and started loading all of Kenny's belongings back into the truck, he was moving out. Evidently he was not happy with the story in the news. He had hoped to find a nice quiet place where he could remain annonymous, but that didn't happen. He purchased the house for 5.7 mil, now it's on sale for 6.495 mil. I guess Kenny doesn't know that the flipping season is over in The Keys real estate market. Now if it were me and I could afford that house on Caroline Street, I would have taken out an ad in the paper bragging about my purchase and inviting everyone over for an open house. I guess I just can't relate to the life style of a country western star.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The sunset was worth waiting for at Sunset Park this evening. There was a slight breeze, cool temperatures and a very clear sky. Once that baby hit the horizon, it fell very quickly. There was just enough time to capture a few photos.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

When the men go fishin'...
The women head to the Big Pine Flea Market. There were more booths than we can ever remember, and each one was packed with shoppers. We got there in plenty of time to get a parking spot right up front by the produce stand, and had time to hit all the hot spots like the $2 bracelet stand, the cosmetic booth, and Al's Watch stand had some darling hats. Afterwards, the weary shoppers stopped off for a gourmet breakfast in the back yard at the Stuffed Pig and admired each other's purchases and decided we must go back again soon. Now the day will be complete if the fishermen come home with a nice yellowtail catch for dinner.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
A Big Birthday for Walter Neary!

Today was the day, and we had quite a party to celebrate number 95 for a great friend, Walter. Everyone on Key Colony knows Walter. He drives himself down from Indiana every year to spend a few months with his close friends at The Cay. You may see him sunning himself on the beach, or walking in the morning, or maybe having a cocktail or two in the evening. Where ever he is, he is surrounded by good friends and always has a cheerful word or two. He'll be back again next year for another party, and I'm sure, many more. Walter, we can't wait to see your picture on the Smuckers jelly jar.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Our cattleya bloomed this morning. It's inside, of course because the outdoor temperature when we woke up was 57. It has warmed up to 66 and the sun is shining so I'd call it a bright, crisp day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Kevin's Amberjack

Kevin's Amberjack
Originally uploaded by sache47
No one else wanted to catch this one, so Kevin, the mate, took over
the rod and brought this one in on The Lobster Boat this morning.
Amberjack steaks, smoked amberjack for Kevin and his family.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Almost everyone in The Keys stayed up to watch the BCS National Championship game between the Florida Gators and the Oklahoma Sooners (whatever a soomer is). In the last few minutes of the game, the power went out all the way from Florida City on down to Key West, and after watching until after 11:00, everyone missed the end of the game, and power was out for about a half an hour. They could have listened to it on radio, but that's just not the same. Or, they could have just gone to bed early like I did when the score was 7 to 7, and read the results in the Miami Herald in the morning. Sometimes I am just so smart! All I had to stress out about were the PF, power failures, flashing all over the kitchen this morning. Some people lost their internet connections, but not me! What a lucky one I am.