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Posted By Robin & Jim

We arrived safely in Marathon on December 1.  A nice welcome back to the Keys comes in the form of wildlife - lots of it!  There are sanderlings and herons on the dock, ospreys chirping overhead, pelicans, egrets, and cormorants.  My first job was to give the boat a good bath since she hadn't been washed in a long time and she was pretty salty, but this manatee kept coming over to drink the fresh rinse water from my boat washing. 

manatee

They really are pretty ugly, and they have the weirdest mouth!  Everytime I heard the loud slurping I'd have to stop washing the boat until the manatee went away.  It's illegal to give them fresh water because it encourages them to hang around marinas and humans - which increases the chance that they could be hit by a boat.  It's fun to see these creatures up close, but not when it puts them at risk.  It makes washing the boat take much much longer than usual, but that's a good reminder of the slower pace here in the Keys.

It was wonderful to see old friends on the dock - some who live here year-round, and other snowbirds who were just arriving for the winter season.  This is our fifth year here, and it's the closest thing we have to call "home". 

Christmas in the Keys is always a bit different...  we particularly like the holiday greetings that the Aquaduct Authority puts up, and the lighted boat parade is small but spirited.

keys christmas humor

It has been quite a year for us - lots of ups and downs.  The holidays were difficult (emotionally and logistically), with a long road trip that included stops in Virginia, Maryland and then briefly to NJ to see my brother and wrap up some estate issues.  He's head of the detective bureau in the town where we grew up, and I'm pretty proud of him. 

bob and robin

Thankfully the holidays are now behind us, we're back in our beloved Florida Keys, and now we're working on winter projects and boat maintenance.

We covered a lot of water miles this year, and we had more than our share of car miles too, but we'll focus on just the water miles - they are the best kind.  We left the Keys on March 7 and returned on 1 December, traveling a total of 5215 nautical miles from here all the way to the northern part of Nova Scotia, and then back down the Eastern Seaboard to the Keys.  (A nautical mile is 6760 feet and a statute miles is 5280). 

In that time we bought 4,124 gallons of diesel fuel.

While we're on the topic of statistics, since we retired in the summer of 2007 we've traveled 17,754 nautical miles.  We put an additional 4000-5000 miles on the boat before we retired, before we got the chartplotter system that tracks our miles traveled.  Since we bought ADVENTURES in November of 2002 we've made 11 trips up and down the ICW between Florida and the Chesapeake (or beyond). 

So far, we have lived aboard ADVENTURES full-time for 7 years, which has been wonderful, and we have no desire to live on dirt again!


 
1 Comment(s):
Dick & Alex said...
Congratulations on your safe travels! I've read some of your blog and appreciate the time you've put into sharing your experiences. We purchased our Defever 52 in 2006 with the plans to retire at the end of August this year and are planning full time live-aboard simalar to how you both got started. It's good to see people living the dream. best wishes, dr
January 25, 2012 11:41 AM
 
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