Friday, Sept. 8

Yesterday, we arrived safely and without incident to Naples about 4pm. Leaving Marathon around 1230p looked like this:

Ghost town was the first thing that came to mind.

I thought there would be stop and go traffic, but the 70 or so miles from Marathon to the mainland via Route 1, or The Overseas Highway, was pleasantly light.  

Before hitting the road around 1230p for our next adventure, we watched our home/boat as it was lifted out of the water and blocked up on stands. 

As I write this, I can’t help but wonder if my post from August 21 is somehow partially to blame for Hurricane Irma. I wanted a new adventure, but not of this magnitude. And weren’t adventures supposed to be fun? This last 5 days has been nothing short of hard manual labor.  And worry.

We did have a little fun yesterday on our way out of town.  We had lunch with Karen’s employers, Bruce and Sherry Popham and another couple she works with. Apparently, Bruce and Sherry have a long standing- about 13 years- tradition of going to the Cracked Conch Cafe for margueritas when the hurricane prep is done. 

Bruce and Sherry

From left: Joe, Bruce, Sherry, Tina, Flip.

This little cafe is famous for its fried conch sandwich. I tried it and was surprised to find it tender, unlike the tough, chewy bits in conch fritters. It reminded me of dense catfish.  Bruce and Sherry treated us to the drinks and lunch. We said our goodbyes and hugged everyone and wished all a safe journey.

It only took us 4 hours to drive the 221 miles from Marathon to Naples. It was comforting coming into Elaine and Allyn’s home.  We quickly made ourselves at home and ended the day with our usual ritual of our favorite drink – gin. 

Wednesday, Sept. 6

It’s only 8:30 pm and we are getting into bed, but we have pushed all day – for our jobs and us personally. Finally a chance to just BE. And think. Think if we have remembered everything.  Almost ready.  

This is how Karen left her office – 

The Boat Yard where we live now looks like this:

Our boat will be hauled tomorrow morning, then we are heading to Naples to stay at Elaine and Allyn’s house.

Karen and I thank every one for your thoughts and prayers, but we honestly don’t feel unsafe or in harms way. The entire east coast is in OUR thoughts and hope that this monster storm stays clear.

More tomorrow. 

Hurricane Prep – 101

This is Tuesday, September 5, 2017 and Irma is headed directly for the Florida Keys.  I have no photograph to go with this post.  I was busy all day with my job at Marathon Boat Yard, taking care of the most urgent business, like payroll and implementing our ‘hurricane plan’.

 I just read that Irma is the most powerful storm EVER recorded in the Atlantic Ocean.  By Saturday or Sunday, the future of our happy, quaint little town will be determined. Will the storm surge or the wind carry every thing away? Will there be bridges or roads left to take us home to see what is left of our homes, boats or businesses?  

Everyone in the Keys has developed a hurricane plan. Businesses and families alike have a list of things to do and things to pack – before evacuating.  Flip and I each went to work today to be part of the teams of our employers and co-workers to secure our buildings, inventory, office equipment, customer’s assets, lock down tools and equipment, gather necessary documents needed to conduct business remotely and for coming back to carry on.  The commitment of employees and employers goes both ways.  We are here for each other.  

Bruce and Sherry Popham, owners of Marathon Boat Yard , where I, Karen, work, have owned their business for 20 years.  This is the first time they will have evacuated. This is dire.

Flip and I have our own hurricane plan. When you have it written out, it doesn’t seem that bad.  We have gassed up our vehicles, both of which we will be driving out to the mainland.  We have our ‘re-entry stickers’ that residents need. All of our possessions we don’t want to lose will be packed securely in the car and truck.  We have jugs of water, a cooler of food, a box of wine and enough gin for 3 weeks. Our boat will be hauled out of the water on Thursday. Insurance companies tend to believe that is the best place for boats during a hurricane.  Boats are placed on boat stands, which are then chained together. Some yards will actually secure the boats to anchors in the ground, but they can’t do that here in the Keys.  Marathon Boat Yard is actually considered a ‘hurricane hole’ – a somewhat protected area due to surrounding trees and land mass. 

We have accommodations starting Thursday night on the east coast AND the west coast of Florida, depending on which way Irma decides to go. 

I will post more tomorrow. 

Sailing Around the World

No, not me and Flip. A man named Webb Chiles. Six times. Almost – he has one last leg to go in order to finish his 6th circumnavigation. At 75 years old, he still looks great and is very fit and agile.

I was lucky to meet Webb last week when he came by my work to ask if he could dock here for a couple of weeks – in his 24′ ultra-light sailboat.  At that time, I did not realize who I was talking to. Nor did I realize that this man had sailed west around the world – from New Zealand to Darwin, Australia to Durban, S. Africa then south around Africa to St. Helena and through the Caribbean to Marathon – alone in his 24′ sailboat. 

He has written many books on sailing, contributed many articles to sail magazines and maintains a website of his travels. With all of the nautical miles behind him, he has been a solitary soul for more time than he has spent with and around friends and family.  Yet, he is very friendly and sociable. We had him over for drinks the other evening and he asked us just as many questions about our life as we did about his.   

He will be here another week, then will take about a 4 month leave of absence from solo sailing to spend some time with his wife, before attempting to sail from Marathon through the Panama Canal to finish his sixth circumnavigation.

For more on this amazing man, visit his website at

August 21, 2017

Flip and I are still in Marathon, Florida – the middle of the Keys.

It has been a while since either of us posted.  Do I need to say it is becoming rather boring here?  Regardless, we still have our full-time jobs that we are committed to for at least 6 more months. After that, who knows?  

I also wanted to inform everyone that our new webpage is now


It used to be .com, but we just purchased .net. 

I feel like apologizing for such a boring life.  But we are still young – there WILL be more, and better, things to come.   ~ Karen

February 26, 2017

Life is good, still.  Flip and I have good jobs that we enjoy going to – if one MUST work, that is.

We have been here for 1-1/2 years now, but it still feels new to me.   Both of us enjoy being here together.  For the most part, after work, we come home and have a great, healthy dinner, then read, play music or watch something G or PG rated on Net Flix.

The days and weeks are speeding by.  Due to having to work, we don’t have any big adventures planned.  Most likely, our next sailing trip, other than ones we take about once each month for a day, will be to Dry Torgugas National Park, about 40 miles west of Key West.

I am still trying to capture great photographs, but they seem to be few and far between.



These three birds, I discovered, are  Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, wintering in the Keys.

Thanks for your interest!    ~Karen