Monday, February 5, 2024

Our Life in Marathon on a Mooring Ball

 In my last entry, I wrote about finally getting on a mooring ball in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida. I wrote about the fact that getting on a ball was something that we were really looking forward to. Why is that so important? I will try to explain.

Last cruising season we made our dream come true and went to the Bahamas. It was beautiful as advertised, but the season was exhausting. We were on the move constantly and that requires significant effort and some stress. This year, we were really looking forward to being attached to a mooring ball and relaxing. We feel confident in the moorings in Boot Key Harbor and there is plenty to keep us as busy as we want to be. 

Each morning, we start off by tuning in our VHF radio to channel 80a and listen and participate in the "Cruisers Net". This is a program that is run by the local cruisers that tells us what is going on in the area and also allows the boaters to ask for help or offer it. We also have a swap meet portion and then we have a trivia/joke section. It last about a half hour, but is a great way to start your day while eating your breakfast. 

Many mornings, I then head off to play some Pickleball at the adjacent city park. I usually play 2 days out of the week. I then need a shower. It is warm down here in the Floriday Keys and I am soaked with sweat by the time I play for a couple of hours. It is a great work out. We have a very nice shower house with 12 individual shower rooms that are well maintained. 

On Tuesday and Thursday afternoon at 2 we play Bocci Ball for a couple of hours. A social Happy Hour follows at one of the local restaurants. On Wednesday, we play Mexican Train Dominos at one. I have kind of become the organizer of the dominos. I make a radio announcement on the morning net and encourage others to join us. We have made a number of new friends while playing dominos. 

We have a music jam session at our Tiki hut on Tuesday evening starting at 4. We have some very talented musicians in the harbor of over 200 boats. 

Here is a shot of one of our jam sessions. Great music and everybody in encouraged to sing along. It amazes me how much equipment people carry on their boats.

We also have Cornhole on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening. I have only joined a couple of times, but I am getting better and hopefully will play more. 

With all of that going on, we still find time to do our normal domestic stuff like shopping, laundry and taking care of the boat. It really is as busy of a week as we want. The best part is all of the friends we have made. 

There is live music at many local watering holes. We made it out to see local "Trop Rock" legend Ty Thurman at Dockside one night. He was great as always. 

Ty Thurman on stage all by himself. He plays stuff kind of like Jimmy Buffet would have.

We enjoyed the evening with Geoff and Marsha and Mike and Debbie. Great times!

Our normal weekly activities keep us plenty busy, but there is more. During January, the Celtic Festival comes to the City Park. This year we decided to volunteer. We each worked a 3 hour shift helping park cars. For that we got a free T-shirt and free entry into the festival for the weekend. 

This is a shot of the stage. There were bands from Irleand and Scotland. The music was great!

Our great Friends Geoff and Marsha along with Kim sporting our "free" T-shirts. 

This is Jonathon. He is an interesting story. He wanted to volunteer, but needed a ride in from his boat. We were happy to go pick him up. He spent the day with us. He was a great guy and reminded us of our son, Scott. I promise there was tobacco in that pipe he is smoking. 

I was sitting on deck last night as the sun set thinking about our life here. There are days when the weather is perfect and days when it is windy, but this is an awesome place to spend the winter. To spend time in the Keys in an RV will cost you about $4000 per month for a space in a parking lot. We spend a little over $400 a month to moor our boat in Boot Key harbor and that includes our dinghy dock and shower/laundry access. We love it here. 

This was my view on this calm night. Look at all of those masts.

There are over 200 boats in the harbor.

That is what our life looks like here in Marathon. In my next entry, I will write about some other activities I like to do that can only be done in this area. I will also write about a visit from some special friends. 


  1. This post means so much more to us after seeing some of those things firsthand. You have a great lifestyle there; I can see how you would stay busy all the time.

    1. We really enjoyed sharing our lifestyle with you two. It is always interesting to compare with another couple that travels as much as we do.

  2. Stopping by to see what you guys have been up to and resubscribe as with other blogs, getting notices for updates are hit and miss. I heading back to read a few more posts from your past. Florida Keys for winter - nice.

    PS, we bought a place in Mountain Home about two miles from Highway 5.

    Mark from Missouri

    1. Good to hear from you Mark. Mountain Home is not too far from the ranch. If you are ever in our area, give us a call or stop by. Mountain Home is a beautiful place with excellent year round weather.