Thursday, May 18, 2017

Marathon: busy

        I have been busy and everything has been going remarkably well.
        Yesterday morning GANNET was professionally towed into a slip at the Marathon Marina.  The cost of the tow was covered by my new boat insurance that went into effect at 0001 that day. Once GANNET was secure, I made an appointment with the Customs and Border Patrol agent at Marathon’s small airport and was cleared back into the country by a friendly official.  Once that was done I returned to GANNET and made a reservation to fly to Chicago next Tuesday for $135.  That is a Basic Economy Fare which means I board last and can’t even have a carry on bag.  No problem.  My messenger bag and travel vest are enough.
        Today I bussed down to Key West to pick up the Torqeedo battery.  I also found other things I needed at West Marine and a much needed frozen margarita and excellent chorizo taco, both enjoyed while watching the zoo parade passing on Duval Street.
        I lived ashore in Key West for a few months between RESURGAM and THE HAWKE OF TUONELA and spent time there on both boats.  Carol and I were married in Key West.  So it could be said that I know the place, but along the waterfront I no longer do.  It is completely changed with an ‘historic boardwalk’ in front of endless bars and restaurants, all of which were busy in the middle of an off season week day.
        Walk only a block or two away from Duval Street and the waterfront and you are in a different town, quiet and uncrowded.
        I rode down and back on a public bus called the Lower Keys Shuttle.   From where I caught the bus to Key West is 45 miles.  The normal fare is $4.  But for seniors, which they count as anyone 60 or older, the fare is $1.  Down and back for $2.  Truly one of the great travel bargains in the world.
        I enjoyed the ride, facing Florida Bay on the way down, the ocean on the way back.  The land here is not attractive.  Low, flat covered with mangroves and scrub.  The water is beautiful in color and temperature, with the shadings of the depths clearly visible.
        Upon returning to GANNET I checked the charge of the new battery, which is 29%.  It is encouraging that I see that instead of ‘Error 33’, which is a connectivity problem.  I thank James for discovering a list of Torqeedo error messages and their meanings.
        I will charge it overnight and tomorrow morning see if I am again powered.
        Google Alerts, which I do not recall asking for, emails me whenever my words or photographs are used without my permission.  How they know, I do not know.  The above painting was in my inbox upon my return to the US.  I’m not sure that painting, however attractive, is consistent with my words.  At least they give me attribution.
        I have work to do before I leave GANNET.  I have gone over half the passage log, but don’t know when I will get to the other half.  Since South Africa I have shot a lot of video.  More than anyone could possibly want to view.  Some of that will be uploaded to YouTube after I’m back in Evanston.
        I see that now that I’m going to be around for a while, the Cubs are not playing well.