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Getting to Know Marathon


Last march when we stopped at Marathon Key on the way back from the Bahamas, we docked at a private marina on the gulf side. We only spent three days there and really didn’t get to know/see Marathon as we spent one of those days in Key West. This year is a different story. We got a mooring ball after two days on the waiting list. But since we paid the weekly rate at Skipjack Marina, we stayed for 6 nights and came to the mooring ball on Sunday when the winds finally died down a bit.

Poll at SkipJack Marina

We are on ball F5 which is about 200 yards from the city marina services building and dinghy dock. Services include a community room with TVs and electrical outlets, so that you can charge your devises, a work room with circular saw, scrap wood, and other tools for community use, and laundry and showers. The city marina is a very short walk to the community park.

Bob at dinghy dock

Mooring field from the deck of Her Diamond

What an interesting place. When you sign up for the waiting list they give you the list of rules which include keeping your anchor light on at night, (usually on a ball you don’t have to do that) having a white light on the dinghy at night if it is in use, when the pump out boat comes to your section of the mooring field, when the community room is open, how to use the washers and dryers and more.

It is a very organized community of mostly live-aboard (at least all winter) sailors. Every morning at 9:00 am there is a cruiser’s net on the VHF/marine radio, channel 68 which gives you the weather, tides, what is going on in the area, a chance to comment on anything, things for sale/exchange and trivia questions. Anyone can participate, all you have to do is identify yourself with your boat name and the leader then acknowledges you. I am amazed at the variety of things you can do here. For example

  1. Yoga every morning Mon – Fri. at 10:00 in the park

  2. Dominoes/crafts in the community room.

  3. Happy hour in the tiki hut Thursday at 5:00 pm

  4. Tai Chi at local church on Monday evenings

  5. Community theater – they are always looking for volunteers

  6. Step group 9:00 am every weekday morning

Sheila and Bob at Celtic Festival in the Marathon Community Park.

Ram at the Festival - what a cutie!

It is a very popular place and I understand why, although the showers are luke warm at best. When we got here we were seventh on the waiting list. The list is now in the 20s. We are part of a group of eight boats waiting for a window to go to the Bahamas. When there is any wind from the north, the Gulf Stream becomes very ugly. So we wait! In the mean time I am doing yoga, we are going to the community theater to see Drinking Habits and we are meeting some very interesting people.

Used my metal detector in the park after the Celtic Festival. Found about a dollar in change - next I will try at a beach.

Took the dinghy up Sister's Creek. Big beautiful homes and this statue - we think he is playing golf.

We are riding our bicycles every day up and down highway 1 to get from West Marine to Home Depot to the marina to the park. A few days ago we got stopped by a police man who informed us that we were riding the wrong way on the sidewalk. We didn’t get a ticket but he advised us that we had to cross highway 1 and ride in the same direction as traffic – crossing highway 1 is no small thing as the traffic zips by all day long. Apparently there is some confusion about rules for bicycles that even the police don’t have straight. When I mentioned on the cruiser’s net that we had been stopped and asked for some clarification, someone got on and said the Sheriff said that you can ride either way on the sidewalk, just not in the bike lanes in the street. Who know??? This is the Keys!

More to come…..

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