The commission voted to sign a contract with Monroe County for the next 3 years instead of signing a 5 year contract to continue services with Marathon Fire/EMS. The cost will be more, but three of our commissioners, DeNeale, Schmidt, Vorick, think we will get better service. The Mayor, and Geraldine Zahn wanted to continue with Marathon. There were some very hard feelings after the Marathon City Manager wrote a letter a few months ago asking for about $ 600,000 extra from the last contract because according to him we hadn't paid our fair share. Mayor Ginger Sneed from Marathon was at the meeting to try to convince them to go with Marathon, but it was to no avail. Marathon stands to lose $525, 000 a year from this decision. Emotions ran high, and it was well attended. Many from Key Colony feel that it is time for us to organize our own fire department, but this will take time. The plan is that two firefighter/EMS personel from the county would be placed on the island (at this point there is no place to house them) or on Crawl Key, about 2 miles away. Should be interesting to see what comes out of this for our island, and how the rest of Marathon will feel when they no longer have KCB helping to pay for their big new fire station. By the way, this photo, not taken by me, was at the fire at Rocket Man's house in Marathon 2 years ago. According to Mary Schmidt, last year there were 50 calls to KCB, 10 of them were false alarms, no fires, one cat in a tree, and the rest EMS calls. Last year there were 1600 calls to Marathon. She says Marathon pays $160. per household for fire protection and in KCB we pay $325.
For the next five nights the International Space Station will be visible as it passes over the Key West Area. Note to self: Remember to get in the pool after dark, float on my back, and look up for something moving across the sky much faster than an airplane. It sure beats watching "America's Got Talent".
We had a great time on the Lobster Boat with Aaron and Samantha fishing for dolphin on Saturday. Samantha is Jack's granddaughter and her new husband, Aaron spent their honeymoon in The Keys. She has the Miller touch with the fishing rod and we brought in over 30 dolphin and a king mackrel and a black fin tuna. Yea, it's really hot down here right now, but the ocean is full of dolphin that are just begging to be caught, and the temps are just right for a relaxing noodle every afternoon. Tonight we put the black fin tuna that Aaron brought in to good use and seared it with black sesame seeds and served it with a little pickled ginger and wasabi. It was excellent. It was the last night for the honeymooners as they leave to go back to Milwaukee tomorrow, but have plans to hopefully return next year and try for some tarpon. Now how about a little dolphin for dinner, tonight, tomorrow night, the next night, etc. Fish tacos are definitely on the menu. Great times with new friends, thanks for sharing your granddaughter with us, Jack.
We asked Manuel to cut down the green coconuts by the laundry room because they were falling with an alarming thud every time we walked by. He did that, and also gave us a lesson on good coconuts vs bad coconuts. FROM NOW ON we will only drink juice from the good ones. Bottoms up! It's good for you.
It's a cloudy morning,perfect for a little carpentry project. Bill used the leftover scraps from the new fence to replace the rotted out wood in the orchid house. "Desire", Bill's vanda, loves her new surroundings and the misting she gets every day at 4pm.
When I say they're "in", I'm using the term loosely. They are about 30 miles out, and it was a rough day at sea, but someone had to do it. Bill had quite a catch on the "Reel Smiles" yesterday with Big Dave. Here they are along with the one wahoo that Bill brought in. It was a half day of fishing turned into a full day of fishing because nothing was hitting for the first 3 hours until they came upon about 50 milk jugs tied together and their they were keeping cool in the shade and just waiting to be hooked. So tonight it's dolphin fingers on the deck. Be there or be square!
As Doris, Dave, Bill and I noodled around and enjoyed a beautiful Mother's Day in the warm water, we noticed this young girl snorkeling around us and making several trips with a mesh bag back to the beach. Turns out she was collecting lots of litter from the ocean floor. Old cans, plastic pipe, big pieces of glass, snorkel equipment, she carried it all back to the beach, and was still busy at if for most of the afternoon. We looked over her collection, and thanked her for her hard work. Christina's grandparents own a condo at Ocean Front Condos and she comes down every weekend in the summer from Miami to check on the place. How great to see someone working hard to clean up the environment, and no, she did not find the diamond ring that the Steiners lost out there 4 years ago.
All of us (those survivors who are still around) wished Warren the best as he moves on to be near his kids in Denver. It was a great night, beautiful balmy weather, delicious food, and a rousing game of Alligator to top off the evening. The BIG money winner was Dennis, but Cole Tracy did well also. We shared memories around the table and told a few stories of parties in the ocean room, stories told around the pool, and summer days of seeing Warren multitasking in the pool, doing his walk and reading at the same time. He will be missed. You know everyone in the picture except for his daughter, Mary, in the green next to Warren. They will be flying out together on Tuesday.
Big celebration at the Brass Monkey today, and we were a part of it. It was a tense week in Marathon when the Winn Dixie gave the Monkey 30 days to move out after they refused to sell their liquor license. Winn Dixie owns the property. The town showed up to support the Monkey and threatened to boycott the Winn Dixie, and so their lease was extended. Part of the victory party today was 1000 hamburgers and hotdogs provided by Winn Dixie. The band rocked out with Clarence Clemons (Bruce Springsteen's Band) on the sax, and us in the Monkey for our first time enjoying the local crowd and the music. Yes, that really is Clarence Clemons, he just bought a house in Marathon and enjoys jamming with the band at The Monkey now and then. Doris even got a big smooch from local talent, "Rocket Man" from Porky's. Check out his jewelry and monkey hat! We decided we need to hit the local watering holes more often. It was lots of fun.
It's ST. PATRICK'S DAY and tradition is that everyone shows up in The Ocean Room at The Cay for a little Irish cheer. It was great to have Tom Storey here to celebrate with us and since his birthday was the day before, the partying seemed to just go on and on.
Cole and Rex stopped by, probably on their way to wrapping up the evening at Cabana Breezes.
We took time out from the party to watch the "big" parade as it went from 15th Street Circle, right past our driveway and on down 1st street. Lots of people got into the spirit of decorating their cars, and dogs, and bikes.
Dinner was at Sparky's. The green beer, cabbage and corned beef was enough to make your hair stand on end, right Bill?
This was one of the two swords that were brought in today, and here's our own Jack Miller, posing with the crew of the "Reel Easy" with the largest of the two, 300 pounds, caught in 2000 feet of water. It took a good hour and a half to bring it in, but it will be worth the effort for the swordfish steak dinner someone will be eating tonight.
It's beautiful down here today, look, people are even swimming in the ocean. Our friends, Karen and Steve, are coming down for the weekend and it's supposed to continue to be beautiful for several days to come. There is only one thing missing on thebeach, and that's me! I'm on my way!
A beachblogger has to find something to do when it is way too cold to be outside. I'm getting in touch with my Native American roots that I'm sure must be buried somewhere deep in my DNA. First, collecting and sorting the pine needles; some from Northern Florida, some from Withlacoochie State Forest, some from Big Pine. Then it's on to soaking them in boiling water and removing the caps. Bill slices the shells with his grinding tool attachment and drills holes (sorry about the noise on our porch, neighbors). Then the best part, coiling, sewing, coiling sewing, around and around. What a great way to pass the time while listening to a good book on tape. However, the sun is out, the temp is warming up to the 50s, so I must get down to the beach this afternoon. This squaw is turning into a pale face!
"Dear Abby", the men's acappella choir from Boston University is vacationing here at The Cay and treated us to a mini performance on the beach today. They were excellent! It sounded just like they had percussions backing them up, but no, it was just voice sound effects. Doug Enger's nephew is a member, and I am pretty sure he is the third from the left. If you haven't heard them, they'll be around all week and may do little street performing at Mallory Square.
It is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea---whether it is to sail or to watch it---we are going back from whence we came. Quote attributed to John F. Kennedy; Speech, Newport, Rhode Island, 14 September 1962 Public Papers of the Presidents