HEART OF GOLD, a 31' Island Packet Sailboat Currently in Key West, Florida
Ship's Logs and Trip Diaries 

Detailed information on provisioning, checking in, marinas/anchorages, etc. is available at our SaltySailors.com website.

Florida 2007

April 27 - 28:  Dry Tortugas to Key West

The birds at The Dry Tortugas.  Picture by Tami Gilliam s/v Heart of GoldAn uneventful motor sail to Key West.  We did get to see a couple of sharks, a sea turtle, & some dolphins.  Thank goodness we arrived in Key West with a couple hours of daylight left.  Anchoring in Key West can be really funky.  Between the wind & the currents, it's really a guess getting the anchor set and there are so many boats.  We pulled up 3 times, looked around and ended up at the first spot.  Finally got it set to our satisfaction & enjoyed another beautiful Key West sunset.

April 28:  Key West

It's still a cool place to visit.  We've enjoyed a bit of looking around and are now getting down to business.  We moved the boat into Sunset Marina on Stock Island ... $1,000 a month!!!  But, we are all going to work and hurricane season approaches so we decided that it was a necessity. 

The big question facing us now is our insurance ... what do you think? 

Coastal Policy:  $1,700.00, does not cover any named storms.  $600 additional for a rider to cover storms, but it is lousy coverage.  By the time it would pay, the boat would have to be destroyed.  Sunset Marina is pretty secure.  The only problem we might have is storm surge, but we have floating docks and it would have to be a huge surge.  The docks rose to 1' of the top of the pilings in Wilma.  So what would you do?    Let me know what you think:  tami@saltysailors.com.

Thane started work today as a taxi driver.  Michael's looking & I figure I need at least a week to get caught up before I start working somewhere.  Plus we have to get bikes as the bus system is not reliable enough to count on getting to & from work.

May 5:  Key West

Today sucks.  We found a rental company that is selling some of their used bikes.  Thane started work today and ran by with his pink cab and bought 2 men's cruisers.  He brought them to the marina and put them in the bike rack.  He told me "they aren't locked, you need to go get locks."  In the time it took me to go back to the boat, pack up my backpack & lock the boat .... someone stole one of the bikes.  Dang. 

The marina is right by the Detention Center and the Homeless Shelter ... I should have known better than to leave the bike unlocked even for a minute.  I borrowed a bike from another tenant here at the marina and Michael and I rode around looking at the homeless people places for the bike.  I made a bunch of homeless people mad ... but in the end we always left on good terms.  They just didn't like this lady showing up in their "home" under the bridge or deep in the mangrove, looking for her bike.  They took offense by the suggestion that if I was looking in their area I believed they would steal.  I understand their feelings, but what are you gonna do ... I'm hoping it was a homeless person that stole it and they will be around so I can find them with it or if it was a detention person, maybe he just needed a ride to town and dumped it and it will be turned into the police.   

Well, lesson learned.   

May 6:  Key West

Happy Day.  Here's a tip for bike thieves ... don't steal something from a taxi driver!  This morning Thane picked up a fare at a trailer park and the bike was in the trailer park.  He did check the serial # to make sure he wasn't stealing someone else's bike before putting on his taxi and bringing it back to our marina.  This thief is gonna wake up this morning and find out someone stole his new bike! 

Drat!  The bike was stolen again this afternoon.  Definitely not going to keep our bikes in this bike rack in the future.

May 10:  Key West

Thane came home from work today ... with the stolen bicycle.  He found it behind a convenience store where the the drug addicts hang out.  They were there so Thane called the police.  The woman that had the bike said that Lucky sold it to her for $20.  Lucky is apparently well known by the Key West Police.  The police made no arrest, apparently you have to catch them in the act of stealing the bike before there can be an arrest.  

Hopefully this is the end of the stolen bike saga!

May 26:  Key West - Sidney Arrives

Sidney our new Quaker Parrot.  Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007Today we took the bus up to Marathon (a great deal - $2 each round trip) to buy our new baby bird.  Thane and I have taken a couple of trips up previously to find our new baby bird.  He is still being hand fed, but Thane can't wait any longer to get him and thinks that if we hand feed him for awhile he will be more attached to us.  Guess who gets to feed the bird twice a day?

Now in addition to me, Thane & Michael, we now have a bird and his very large cage all living on our 31' boat .   

Memorial Day

The gang on Memorial Day.  Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007It is a small world.  Thane met Sally and Roger, m/v Dream Catcher, on the Rio.  They have their boat at Tortugal.  I never met them while we wRacoon coming for a visit.  Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007ere there.  While reading saltysailors.com, Sally saw we were in Key West and contacted me thru email.  They are currently living in Key West too.  So, being cruisers, we got together for Memorial Day at Sally & Roger's.  Our friends Tom & Patty from s/v Liberty were also in town so we brought them along.  We had a great day reminiscing, cooking on the grill & swimming in their fabulous pool.  While in the pool, I noticed another visitor ... a raccoon.  Sally says they often visit for a drink of water out of her fresh water pool. 

June 2:  Key West - Nancy Forrester’s Secret Garden

We rode our bikes to Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden today.  It is a parrot sanctuary within a little garden with trails that lead around so you can look at the foliage, which includes quit a few orchids.  Very nice, of course, the main attraction for Thane ... parrots!

 Thane making friends.  Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007

A beautiful Macaw.   Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007

Other critters in the garden.   Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007

June 6:  Key West - Critter Day

A sick raccoon.   Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007We went out to go to town this morning and found this poor guy out buy the bridge to our parking lot.  We called the local Raccoon Rescue (yep, they have a raccoon rescue team here in the Keys) and they sent someone out to get him.  They said he would probably die.  A lot of the raccoons around here are catching distemper and the population is dying out.

Iguana on the run.   Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007Iguana on the Lobster Dock.   Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007We then went back to our boat only to see this guy running down the dock...he was not happy when we followed him.  He ended up jumping in the water and swimming away.


One of the interesting things here at Sunset Marina is the Fish Finder.  A head boat that goes out a couple of times a week.  It's always interesting to watch them sort the fish when they return to the dock.

The Fish Finder A small pile of fish.
July 8:  Gunnar & Grethe Visit Key West

Gunnar & Grethe, s/v Sailabout & me at the Southernmost Point. Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007Today Gunnar & Grethe, from the former s/v Sailabout (see story on SaltySailors.com) came to visit Key West.  Since they no longer have their boat and their house in Norway is rented for the next few months, they are doing a tour of the US.  They stayed with us for a few days and we enjoyed showing them around.



August:  Lobster Fest

Lobsters.  Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007Go figure???? Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007It's Lobster Fest time in Key West.  We went down to eat some lobster & watch the people.  We ended up not eating any lobster.  Let me tell you, the smell of that many lobsters cooking along with the oppressive heat makes you never want to eat lobster again.  But we had fun looking at them and getting a small glimpse of what's coming in October (FantasyFest!).   


Ron & Bette, s/v Frances V visit.  Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007

The next best thing to cruising, being stuck in Key West where your friends just might show up.  Lots of people stop by Key West so still we get to visit with our buddies.  Ron & Bette from s/v Frances VOn our new scooters.  Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007 stopped by for a visit so we did happy hour at Schooner Wharf & then went to the "All You Can Eat" King Crab legs special at the Half-Shell.

Also in August ... we bought scooters!  Yea!  We can now get around.  Bikes are great, but it is so hot here that if you don't ride the bike in the morning, you avoid it for the rest of the day.  Now with our little Honda scooters, we can get all around town.  Grocery shopping is a lot easier too. 

September:  Key West - The Poker Run

Nothing like about 10,000 bikes in town to generate a little noise.  Duvall and several other streets where lined with all kinds of bikes.  We fancied the Gold Wings ... okay, does that show our age???  Sure looks comfortable.

The Poker Run, Key West, Florida.  Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007 Just one of many with a message.  Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007 Our choice.  Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007 Monkey Biker.  Photo © Tami Gilliam, 2007

I know our lives are really too boring to keep up the log...that's why it's taken me so long to get it updated.  We haven't hit a reef, been caught in a storm, nothing! 

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