Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cool Day In Marathon + RIP Rocket Man

Days on cruise:  294

A “cold front” blew in yesterday, so Saturday morning was cool and blustery by Florida standards in March. Dedicated to keeping up our exercise routine, we made good use of the Fitness Facility here at the Marathon Marina, had a late breakfast on board, then headed out for some fun.

Jim and Phebe have a rental car for the week, so the four of us drove to the eastern edge of the Seven Mile Bridge connecting Marathon to points west. The old railroad bridge that was then converted into a two lane road that parallels the highway has been converted for the last time to a bicycle-pedestrian facility, and at the far end, 2 miles away, sits the tiny island of Pigeon Key.

At Pigeon Key, Phebe spotted a large manta ray in the shallow water. He was a good 3-4 feet across. He’s the dark shadow crossing the white sandy patch in the photo below.


Another bridge leads down from the old  bridge onto the island. Tours are on offer for $12 but we decided not to partake.


Half a dozen homes and a couple other buildings occupy the island which is now connected to sewer and water supply, but not electricity.


A flatbed displays found beach treasures.


We heard from Gulf Crossing buddies Paul and John (father and son) on “Memsahib” in Burdine’s Marina, so went there for cocktail hour. They’re doing the Loop in their 50-year-old beautiful wooden sailboat and we enjoyed catching up with them.


After cocktail hour the six of us piled into the car to go to Porky’s for dinner, a place Bob and our son Ryan first visited 15 years ago while on a college tour, and Bob and Cathryn have visited 2-3 times since. 



We were met at Porky’s by fellow Loopers Mark and Allyn on Second Wind and their guests from Boston, so made up a table for ten.


Porky’s is an open-air restaurant serving mostly barbecued pulled pork, fish and chips baskets and the like. One year we arrived on Saturday night and had a hoot of a time listening to Rocket Man sing and play songs from the 60s. He was a Florida Keys classis beach hippie who apparently played here most Saturday nights, and the crowds loved him. We were looking forward to seeing him again.


Sadly, on arrival this time, we learned Rocket Man died of cancer last year.


It was a lively evening, and Jim and Phebe seem to have gotten a kick out of their introduction to Looper Life.


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