Thursday, February 26, 2009
“IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE” The whirlwind of January actually began the last two days of December when Bryan DiVeto, our next door neighbor at CRC, became our first visitor from home. It was great to have Bryan on board to enjoy our front row view of the Miami skyline. After we posed for some pictures and Gary took his first swim in Biscayne Bay, we embarked on a dinghy trip during which waves drenched me AND our camera that I stupidly had in my pocket. Just as fast as you can snap a picture, the camera was ruined. Looks like the video to accompany our blog update will be a short one this month! Hopefully our visitors will bring cameras along, or we may have to resort to drawing stick figures like Nick James suggested. Our generous friends Kevin and Carol Tyler invited us to join them in Key West for New Years Eve and New Years Day. Let’s see…..we’ll need to think about that for a …..YES! We would love to come! Kevin and Carol and Larry and Debi Barden, boating buddies from Put-In-Bay, joined us for Eggs Benedict on board Tessa before heading south to the Keys. We had no idea what to expect of New Years Eve, which is part of the allure of Key West. You just never know what might happen. We had our choice of witnessing the midnight Conch Drop at Sloppy Joes, the Wench Drop at Schooner Wharf Bar, or the Drag Queen Drop. Instead, our group opted to view it all from the rooftop bar at the Crowne Plaza on Duval Street. Back down on Duval, the parade of New Years attire was fascinating. Our favorite was the full length fishnet body stocking. Gary is still whining because he missed her go by. We were so close to making our way back to the hotel without anything “Key Westish” happening when we all ducked into Fat Tuesday’s for just one more. Suddenly I felt fingers erotically making their way up my back when I heard Gary behind me say “It’s NOT ME babe!” and then a girl admonishing the woman that was crawling up my back that “She’s with a GUY!” Not an unusual event for Key West I’m sure, but it made us hayseed Midwesterners laugh like crazy. Gary and I woke up in Key West the morning of January 1st and wondered what the heck happened to December. It seemed as though we had just tied off on H ball (aka mooring ball 12) at Rickenbacker Marina, blinked, and here we were starting a new year. We felt the need to settle in to our new neighborhood and get some kind of reasonable routine going. One that included making some coin instead of spending it! Except….we have one more day to play with our friends in Key West. OK, we’ll get serious on January 2nd. Really. No more excuses. This is it. In another couple of blinks we are already at the end of January. Why didn’t January ever go by this fast in Ohio? Could it be because the sun shines here just about every day? Or that we can take daily walks along palm tree lined paths and deserted beaches? Or that we get to enjoy freshly caught fish for dinner instead of comfort foods? Or perhaps because fifteen days of the month we had company, and also ran five charters on Great White? It all adds up to one big wonderful blur! We loved having Jon with us for his birthday week. He crewed with us on a Great White charter, which turned out to be one of the best groups so far. They were an impressive group of young adults out for their own birthday celebration. By impressive, I mean very friendly, enthusiastic, well mannered, and appreciative of our efforts. Jon’s definition of impressive was directly related to the string bikinis, which prompted him to email pictures and this message to his friends. “It sucks to work on your birthday!” During his birth week, we shared oysters, crabs, shrimp, conch, and a sinfully delicious chocolate birthday cake. We enjoyed Tessa, Cranden Park Beach, Key Biscayne, Card Sound, Key Largo, Fort Lauderdale, and South Beach. Correction, Jon and I enjoyed South Beach. Gary…not so much. Dave Werning (without Lynnette due to her heavy work load at BlueWater Communications) arrived the day that we had a charter scheduled, so we relied on Jon to pick him up at the airport. Luckily, the charter was delayed and they made it back in time to jump on board. By Jon’s second charter he was experienced crew and a great help to me. It was cold and windy, which encouraged the large crowd to drink more to stay warm. Although the weather wasn’t what Dave was anticipating, he enjoyed the experience of a Great White party cruise, a chilly day in Miami beats a warm day in Perrysburg. The next day after dropping Jon at the Miami airport, Gary, Dave and I decided we might as well continue on down to Islamorada to find some warmer weather. We didn’t find warm weather but we found a lot of good scenery, good food, and good (memorable thanks to Brandy‘s martini shaking technique) drinks with good friends. Breakfast entertainment the next morning was compliments of Ava at Lorelei. Jage and her artist friend Mimi came to visit after exhibiting Mimi’s paintings at the Miami Arts Festival. After dinner, the girls joined us on Tessa for a nightcap and the phenomenal skyline view. We were having such a great time that we forgot they locked the marina gate at night….which led to the parking lot. Gary didn’t realize it when he dinghied them in and left them at the dock. Security guard Munchie (no habla ingles) came to the rescue, lifting the giggling, protesting women over the fence. Our dear friend Huggy Jean from Washington Colony vacationed with her friend Vicki in Fort Meyers, close enough for a road trip to Tessa. The time passed too quickly while we caught up, so we invited them to stay the night. The next day Jean took an ultra-light seaplane ride with our pilot friend Adrial, returning awed by the experience. With this hectic schedule of work and play, our time in Key Biscayne is flying by. We realize that all too soon it will be time to start the journey north for the summer. Because of this, we have a heightened sense of appreciation for every swaying palm tree, every sunrise and sunset, every warm breeze and sunny beach, every shade of ocean blue, every view of the Miami skyline, every new friend, and each new experience. Five months may all be over in the blink of an eye, but every detail is cherished, with or without a camera.