Monday – Feb 12
After about 6 weeks at Key West, we finally uprooted, and made the 70 mile trip to the Florida Keys island of Marathon.
Due to high eastern winds (20-25mph) and projected 4-6ft waves , we took the inside Bay Route from Key West to Marathon.
Most of the ride was uneventful and in deep water (25ft) and we were able to cover a lot of water doing about 18mph. During the last 20 miles the water got a little thin (4-6ft) and we went slowly/cautiously. Much of the ride involved dodging hundreds of crabpot markers.
We arrived at the beautiful Faro Blanco Marina & Resort about 2pm.
We spent the afternoon washing the boat and Gettin’ welcomed by the many Loopers who were already at Faro Blanco; Rula Bula, Ramble On, Craic, Pharm Life, First Forty ,and more.
The laid-back feeling of Faro Blanco was a nice change from the last 6 weeks at Key West.
We ended the night with dinner at the on-site Lighthouse Grill restaurant, which has a daily special up until 6:30pm. If seated before 6:30pm you can get $40 NY strip steak or Rack/Lamb for $19.95 + Half-Off drinks !
Tuesday – Feb 13
Tuesday began with breakfast @ a waterfront restaurant called Porky’s
During breakfast, Linda asked if anyone knew how many lobster or crab the fishermen catch in a typical lobster or crab pot. At least Rick knew the difference between a lobster & crab pot (we did not), but we were all naive about this type of fishing. So on the way home, I saw a fisherman in a boat yard with a lot of traps. I stuck in a quarters worth of questions, and got a dollars worth of answers.
1. The lobster traps & cab traps are different size, the crab traps being much smaller.
2. The fishermen fish for lobster vs crab based on the water temp; cold for crab, warmer for lobster, some times of the year both are fished simultaneously.
3. The fish companies typically have 5000 active traps at a time, and inspect about 500 traps a day, leaving the trap in the water for a week to 10 days between inspections.
4. There is usually only 0-1-2 lobster/crabs in each trap, but could be more.
After breakfast we had “Lawn Games Day”, with bean bag toss/cornhole being the game of choice. The setting was pristine, under some shade from the palm tress, gazing out to the Faro Blanco Bay area.
For dinner Tuesday, we went to the Marathon Grill & Ale House. It was basically just a bar in a strip mall with a very sleepy waitress. The food was ok. No Photos.
Wednesday – Feb 14th (Valentines Day)
Wednesday was a tough day.
We had to go to Breakfast, had Pool Day at the Faro Blanco Pool, and went to dinner (whew).
We enjoyed a full afternoon of drinks and camaraderie with Rick/Linda & many of our Looper pals at the pool.
After “Pool Day” , we went to dinner at The Sunset Grill, a beautiful setting on the South Tip/Bay Side of Marathon Island.
We were joined by Fellow Loopers; Rula Bula (Mike/Joanne), Craic (Tim/Patti), Ramble On (Scott/Linda), our on-board guests Rick/Linda , & special guest Francine Grace.
Francine is the 1st mate of one of my Fiat/Chrysler bosses, Joe Grace.
Joe follows the blog, and called to let me know that Francine would be in the Keys at the same time we were there. A few phone calls later, we had coordinated her visit to meet us at the Sunset Grill.
Thursday – Feb 15
Thursday was a little bit of “Work Day” in the morning.
I had been wanting to refinish the stairs of Gettin’ Looped since we left Lake St Clair.
Before we left Michigan, I had a LOT of boat prep related projects.
I completed the rear swim platform wood, but did not have time for the steps leading from the swim platform to the rear deck.
The project only took about 4 hours over 2 days, I was very happy with the results.
We then did a little more pool time with some Bicardi & coke, and then had an enjoyable dinner with our friends Pharm Life (Dennis/Dana).
Dennis/Dana took us to a place called Burdines. It was about a 15 minute walk from the marina, and included visuals of a boatyard with scrapped vessels resulting from hurricane IRMA.
After dinner at Burdines, we went back to the pool at Faro Blanco.
There was a 1-man, pool side entertainer providing night time entertainment.
After a bit of music, Looper Pal Dennis had a little discussion with the musician.
Dennis then returned from his boat and began accompanying the musician with his harmonica.
It was a hidden talent that Jonell & I had no idea of, in spite of multiple dinners with Dennis/Dana between Mackinaw City & the Florida Keys. BTW, Dennis also plays the Sax, pretty talented for a retired pharmacist.
Dennis Harmonica Video = https://youtu.be/ZQxxUXa75v8
Friday – Feb 16
Friday was “Beach Day” @ Sombrero Beach.
Billed as one of the top 50 beaches in the USA, it was very nice, but still recovering from the effects of IRMA.
Dinner Friday night was just me/Jonell/Rick/Linda, at a place called Barnacle Barney’s.
A beautiful setting during the day , positioned on the Bay Side of the Island, facing two small Islands.
Unfortunately at night you can’t see much other than the dark bay.
Friday was our niece Geena’s 18th Bday
Happy Birthday Geena Beena !
Saturday – 17th
Saturday was a very fun day.
We had a Dinghy Bar Crawl with about 10 boats involved.
We went to only 2 places (Burdines & Castaway), but it took about 6 hours and much fun was had by all.
After the Dinghy Crawl, we went to dinner with Craic (Tim/Patti) & Ramble On (Scott/Linda).
We went to dinner at an awesome place called The Florida Keys Steak & Lobster House.
I had 4 pieces of VERY GOOD Veal Parmesan (getting tired of sea food ??)
Surprise = too tired from the dinghy crawl, forgot to get photos
Sunday – Feb 18th
We had planned to depart Marathon & Faro Blanco on Monday, but due to high wind/waves (25mph/5ft) projected for Monday, we did a quick audible and left for the Island of Islamorada on Sunday.
Dana Hahn from Pharm Life got some good docking action shots as we fueled up before departure from Marathon to Islamorada.
It was a very fun, very relaxing week on Marathon Island.
Faro Blanco is an awesome Marina & Resort.
Next Stop = The Florida Key Island of Islamorada (Feb 18-21)