As we prepare to leave Orion Jr in Florida for the hot summer months (assuming Orion back in Hampton doesn’t sell), we started reviewing things that other boaters and experts recommended. On the exterior, the woodwork needed to be given some more protection from the sun, in the form of several more coats of varnish. Cathy took this on, finishing off (for the 3rd time?) Dave’s repair of the split in the starboard guide rail that he had epoxied together. She fit a teak plug and sanded it smooth once in place so the varnish layers could be applied.
There will still be plenty more work ahead before we leave the boat, but at least now there are a couple of bigger tasks behind us.
Seafood and More Seafood
We spent most of the weekend of Marathon’s Seafood Festival in the food tent helping to bread hundreds of pounds of fish and cutting up cases of lemons. In the process we got to know some local fisherman, a city councilman, the mayor and of course some fellow cruisers. All the work was not without its rewards, as we were served enough fried fish, clams, potato chips, smoothies, and Key Lime pie to be pretty full by the time we headed home – tired but having enjoyed ourselves.
It was also a bit of irony that when we introduced ourselves to a fellow worker, he said that he already recognized Dave, since he was a councilmember and Dave had spoken at 2 council meeting so far. The long day gave us time to chat about lots of things, some of which included the concerns of the boaters in the harbor. Richard even recognized our work at the festival after Dave addressed the next council meeting about the rates issues. It’s a small world here in Marathon.
Those who read this blog that are fellow cruisers may have heard the furor that’s been raised by the rate changes and anchoring restriction proposals. The good news is that there has been some progress. Dave’s efforts with the local media generated enough interest that an article was written about Captain Jack, a local 90+ year-old boater who has lived on the dock for several years. As the article went to press, he was given a reprieve from the higher rates. Finally, although we won’t be here to participate, the City Manager has agreed to a meeting with boaters at the marina before the end of March to discuss and possibly adjust the rates. So, there is hope on that front.
However, the anchoring restrictions are still an open question. We’ll stay in touch after we leave and we urge those of you who care about this harbor to do the same.
So, we’re heading out soon. We’ve topped off the water and fuel tanks, made sure the engine still starts, cleaned the dinghy bottom and filled the icebox and freezer to the brim. If all goes as planned, the next update will find us somewhere north, but likely still in Florida.