Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Marathon, #1

When I signed off on the last blog, I wrote that I wouldn’t publish another one unless something unusual happened to us here in Marathon—thinking a day to day routine would be boring and uneventful. Not so, I’m finding out—and we haven’t even been here a week! So, I’m going to number this as 1, as our first exciting experience—we don’t want to forget last night! Monday, February 2nd.

It started with a Looper party organized over the daily morning radio program broadcasted here in Marathon at 9am on channel 68. “Pot of Gold” had sent out the invitation to all Looper boats in the area (several mornings in a row) to come to their marina’s dock (City Dock) for a 5pm cocktail party—bring an appetizer and your own drinks—a chance for us all to get together, as we are spread out here in Marathon over several marinas and anchorages. What a great idea and what fun—let’s go!

As the afternoon progressed, we all anxiously watched the weather and the accumulating clouds and hoped the forecasted rain would hold off until after the party was over. As it turned out, there were 66 people attending from 34 boats—we had no idea that there were so many of us in the area! A group picture was taken—maybe it will appear in the next AGLCA mailing. The rain did hold off, but thunder and lightning made the party end much sooner than any of us would have wanted. Quickly gathering our coolers and dishes, we all hurried back to our perspective marinas and boats—many had left windows and hatches open.

Thankfully, we got to our boat just as a gentle rain began—so far, no problem. We were invited over to “Kismet” to have a drink (we’re so glad you’re here, Lisa and Jim!) and then walked down the dock (under an umbrella and carrying my shoes) to the restaurant here at Sombrero Dockside—meeting “C-Life” and making a table of six for dinner in Dockside’s outdoor bar. Under cover, still no problem—we’ve dealt with a lot of rain on this trip.

No sooner had we sat down and ordered drinks did the heavy rain begin. The perimeter curtains around the restaurant were lowered and we all felt safe, secure and dry—thunder and lightning were getting closer, but still no problem. Wow—how in an instant things changed. All of a sudden, a burst of wind blew out the seams in the curtains and the rain blew sideways onto us. Everyone got wet—at all the tables—and most people jumped up and headed inside to the bar area. (Not us though, the bar was way-too packed and we would have gotten even more wet just trying to squeeze in!) A weather “cell’ was over us—bringing winds of 60+ mph—just like a hurricane. Tables were soaked and plastic chairs were blowing over and across the floor. It was surreal—and we were standing outside under cover trying to stay dry near the kitchen! And as quickly as it began, it all stopped. Tables were toweled off, chairs were up-righted, new settings were passed around, we dried ourselves off, sat back down again and ordered our dinners—laughing and joking about our ordeal of the past 20 minutes. Kay even suggested we order hurricanes to drink! (That’s Pat O’Brian’s in New Orleans though!)

The band began playing again and our dinners came—we all enjoyed it tremendously. Having finished our meals, we asked for our checks to come from our still wet (and now cold and shivering) waitress, Stephanie. No sooner had she brought our checks back to the table than another “cell” blew through and the whole scenario began again. Truly, having had enough by then and all of us in some state of “wet”, we quickly said, “G’bye & G’night!!!” and dashed back to our boats. It was 9:15 pm. Whew—we’re so very glad we were right here tied to the dock and not on anchor. But what a night—what a memory!

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