10 June 2012

Final Status Report - Marathon

Marathon: the drive-thru key
At last our last night in Marathon (please, God, please, God)!  When we first came back to The States, we were moored at the Garrison Bight Marina in Key West.  Our hope (and therefore my plan) was to spend a few days there before making our way over to Marathon for our many and much needed repairs.  We were there not more than 36 hours when The Good Captain Jane noted that we had but a brief, one-day window of favorable weather by which to sail to Marathon.  As of the following day, and for something in the neighborhood of six days thereafter, the wind would be right on our nose.  Our abiding commitment to sailing when at all possible induced us to leave Key West early the next morning and make for Marathon.  I was not happy about this in the least.  I knew with the deepest possible intuitive certainty that a--wait for it--month in unscenic Marathon with technicians crawling all over our boat would catapult me into a state of serious antijoy and I was not at all amenable to starting especially before getting a few more days of the therapeutic benefits of Key West.  "But," offered our skipper, "the sooner we get there, the sooner we can leave."

...Oh, really?

Well, here we are, well beyond my worst possible scenario estimate of six weeks.  We have stayed longer and spent more here than it is advisable (psychologically speaking) for me to consider.  I have, according to our digital kitchen scale, 3.99 pounds of new owner's manuals to slog through.  We still haven't figured out how to get weather via GRIB files, though we have reason to believe we're getting much closer. The water heater, that once and future bane of my existence, is as broken now upon our leaving as it was upon our arrival, albeit for an entirely different reason.  Our generator, a.k.a. our air conditioner make possibler,  evolved salt stalagmite/tites, got repaired and just this evening initiated an auto shutdown a.k.a. died.  Both of these last two events occurred while docked here at the marina.  So to those Captain Ron fans whose favorite quotation is "If it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there" I say

...Oh, really?

Despite all this, I think I speak for both of us when I say we are more glad for our time here than we expected to be. The simple reason--the people. We have met so many exceedingly decent people here, so many that we hope to remain friends with for many hemispheres to come. That said, we feel lucky to be escaping (if escaping we in fact do) with our very lives. The reason there are so many good people here is that they get sucked in by the Marathon Vortex and never leave. It is with an uncanny consistency that we've heard people say they were planning to be here a week/a month/a season and that was two/seven/twelve/thirty-five years ago. They laugh with a laugh of disbelief, a laugh of the damned when they say this. Some still say they will leave some day; others don't.  I suspect they have given up hope.

What is it about Marathon, I wonder...fearfully...obsessively.  How does it get such a hold on people? Perhaps one of us will, from a safe remove, address that in a future post. But for now and to them we say: your inertia has been our solace and our delight. We are touched and honored that you took us in and made us one of your own. In return, we hope that we have

• been good listeners
• told a few good stories
• offered you water or a soda or a beer
• put enough fuel in your vehicles
• made you laugh
• returned anything you left on the boat
• made it clear how much we appreciate you

We thank you deeply.

Now, by all that is right and holy in the world GET OUT OF HERE!

(And if that didn't do the trick...)

"'Nother party on JOY next Saturday in The Dry Tortugas."

1 comment:

  1. I love reading this stuff, Vaca has memories (good and bad) for many of us who have called it home, and for some reason our memory still takes us back there.
    Mike from salt