Can you guess where we are? It’s not the hurricane ravaged Sombrero Beach at Marathon Key. We sailed (yes, sailed and not motored) to this new place after 30 knot plus northern winds exhaust themselves at Marathon.
This key, where we are now, is a place where flip-flops are essential, if not formal wear, and you can buy a Cuban cigar, suck up a frozen fruit drink, lick a key lime popcycle or snack on crispy conch fritters at one of many street eateries. Its main street is Duval and whether you’re looking for a tee-shirt, diamond, sculpture, sex toy or a 24 hour drug store, you’ll find it there. You can canoe the city’s mangroves, watch roosters fly into trees, bicycle to the beach, visit its only cemetery or just walk the streets to inspect residential architecture, lush gardens to take in all sorts of afternoon delights. We’re here for five weeks. This is retirement!
However, paradise doesn’t prevent me from doing stupid stuff. While the wind whisked and sun warmed my body as I lounged in the cockpit, I paused to refresh myself. I put my iPad down, stood, quickly turned and started to descend the companion way steps to get some water. My mistake was heading down feet and face first (as if I was gracefully descending a red carpet stairway to receive an award), not the safe way which requires one’s feet and butt first facing the companionway stairs. My bare feet slipped out from under and I (oh, so inelegantly) skidded down the last four steps, backside banging against the stairs, dislocating my left shoulder (for the second time in two years), slamming my right foot hard enough to beak a toe, and totally bruising my pride. After a trip to the most kind and efficient Lower Keys Hospital ER), my shoulder is back together, painless, but I have a limping walk. The whole incident turned my “A” type enthusiastic energy into “B” type cantankerous crankiness. I am a prisoner in my own body. Just call me mayhem. Ugh!