Adventures of Avalon, Part 3

In this the third and final part of our journey on Avalon, we travel from Key West back to North Myrtle Beach.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Just cruisin' and chillin' in Marathon

So I skipped a few days of blogging to go along with how life has been lately; very laid back. Even the ride up from Key West was like a pleasant walk in the park -- a park with calm seas, light blue water and classical music playing in the background. Captain Ken got me liking Vivaldi, Mozart, Handel and Beethoven a whole lot more on this trip. I do have to say though, the great composers do have the wide open, serene ocean to enhance the whole experience of listening to their music. Not that it's not good music anyway. The ocean and classical music just go together.

Here in Marathon again, we've kind of made ourselves at home. Monday, the day of our arrival, was unusually humid, at least compared to what I've experienced down here. It was a pleasant change from the windy days we've had though, which actually started right back up the next day. The past three days we've seen wind up to 25 knots again. It's made many of the things we want to do, like diving and snorkeling out on the reefs, a little to risky too venture doing.

After about six weeks cruising down the coast, we finally put our bare feet in some beach sand today. There really aren't many beaches in the Florida Keys, believe it or not, but there is one on Marathon just at the end of Sister Creek. After taking the dinghy down the creek we dragged it up onto the beach, worked on getting rid of all our strange tan lines, and then took a dip in the cool water. On the ride back we explored some of the quieter creeks off Sister Creek. The mangroves all around us made it easy to pretend we were deep in the Amazon or Congo.

We then spent the evening at the tiki hut in the Marathon marina. After having some pizza, we talked with some locals who are also living on their boats. Perpetual travelers, nomadic sailors, rambling spirits, they were the kind of people you felt like you knew your whole life. They gave us some fresh sweet corn, and homemade chocolate chip and pistachio cake, while we listened to Sublime, Pearl Jam and Bob Marley in the tiki hut. Then we rode back to the boat in the dinghy in the dark of night with boat anchor lights guiding the way and the wind at our backs.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pentecost Sunday at San Pablo Church, Marathon

Pentecost Sunday I went to San Pablo Church and took some pictures. It was the pastor's last day, so the church was filled with jovial farewells and much gratitude for the priest's 19 years of service to the parish. The farewell was fitting since it was also my last day in the Florida Keys.

Entrance to the Pilgrim's Path on parish grounds

More photos from San Pablo Church:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Homeward bound

Well, we left Marathon at 6:15 a.m. and arrived at Virginia Key just off the coast of Miami 12 hours later. The 112 mile trek shattered our former record of 90 miles in one day. So farewell, Florida Keys. A month of good times with you will not be forgotten.

Sunrise over Marathon 5/20/13

Hawk Channel seemed to live up to its reputation with big waves for about half the ride up to Miami. We passed through a storm around Rodriguez Key, and thought about anchoring there for the night, but the weather soon after cleared up so we pushed on. So our journey home has officially begun. Many of the sites we saw on the way down will be revisited with more attention. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hundreds of words about hundreds of miles

We've traveled so much the past few days that it's tough to remember many details. As we passed through the Golden Coast of Florida, with cities that have as many canals as streets, we saw many multi-million dollar mansions that didn't cease to impress us even when we remembered seeing the same ones on the way down.

One extra thing we did notice though was that many of the mansions seemed empty. They were well-kept with manicured lawns, well-maintained pools and all around pristine grounds; but not one mansion had a single person lounging in the backyard, or doing some yard work. The lack of life in these supreme edifices was perplexing, and I soon began to realize that the lifelessness kind of symbolized how lonely it must be to be rich.