I was just sitting out on the dock here at A & B Marina in Key West this morning… Six AM on the dock is so awesome. The world is slowly coming alive. The Roosters are crowing from all over the area surrounding the harbor. Yes, Roosters. While some cities have rats or stray dog issues, Key West has roosters running all over town. The sound of a street sweeper machine is coming from Front Street cleaning up the trash from last night’s revelers. The eastern sky is slowly getting lighter with pink and orange colors revealing a few thunderheads pushing over the islands from the Gulf Stream. Sitting here with a cup of coffee watching the world wake up is pretty awesome. Soon, the charter boats will be firing up their engines and the tourist filled sail-snorkeling boats will be ready to head out. The heat is already brutal. Hopefully, the showers will keep it cool again today.
While the evenings are not as quiet, they are just as pretty. Each evening, the crews all seem to end up on the dock and dinner turns into a potluck. A din of music carries over to us from the Schooner Wharf and Conch Republic. The sailboats from all over the marina are coming and going with tourists eager to catch a sunset on the water. There is a deck hand on our dock sitting with a fishing pole. However, his line does not sit in the water; it stretches all the way up to the base of the dock with a dollar bill attached to it for bait as he waits for the next tourist to come along. Some nights, the guys break out the 300 pound test line and try their luck with the Man Test. The Man Test is when a mate tosses bait into the water on a 30 foot piece of line with a 12-foot hook and instead of the 30-foot line being on a pole, it is wrapped around the hands of the guy performing the Man Test. The goal is to hook tarpon which are not small fish. When a tarpon gets hooked at the end of the Man’s line it goes ballistic to the point where they become airborne and nearly pull the novice Man overboard. Boys will be boys.
The past few weeks brought on a bit of change on the Blue Heaven. With Tyler resigning, I had to hire anew mate. I found a guy named Matt Fueyo. He just got out of a stint in the army and a tour in Afghanistan.
He is a really nice guy as well as a hard worker who has a desire to learn. Heck, as I am writing this, the sun has barely crested the eastern horizon and Matt is on the back deck waxing. I like this guy. It can be challenging and time consuming to have a new mate onboard because you have to show them step-by-step the proper way that you want things done, but Matt is very receptive to what I want. Every drawer on this boat has been organized; every inch from the deck to the showers has been cleaned, waxed, and polished. But with every day of work comes a bit of play. We plan our day around being able to take an hour or two to go out and catch a few lobsters or spear a hog fish. The ‘lobstering’ has been better over the past week. The bugs are bigger and marching. By marching I mean that they are moving and when they move from one area to another, they tend to do it in mass.
Last week in Key West was Bike Week and the week before was Dike Week. The streets were filled with quite a mix of interesting people as those two weeks overlapped. The next few weeks will be very quiet. Then, in the third week of October is Fantasy Fest Week which has been compared to Mardi Gras. The marina will be full of nuts; Looks like we are in the right place.
Originally published by: Capt Ed Thompson