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So, a dog named Ringo is on the foredeck of a boat with a dog named Jasper and he says to Jasper...

Family, Friends, Food and Fixes

When we arrived in Key West last year and discovered Stock Island Marina Village, a two-week stay turned into a two-month stay and our mantra to friends and family was, “Come visit! Stay with us – we have plenty of room!”  We imagined hosting friends and family, getting the nieces and nephews and the goddaughters down here to snorkel, boat, and revel in what felt to us like the last outpost in a far-away archipelago.  And, we love to host.  Living on a boat for long periods of time and having a 90-pound calling card named Jasper, traveling can get complicated so we blanketed our snow-covered friends and family with invites.  We had some wonderful visits, but not the parade of merry-makers we had thought or hoped we’d have.

This season has been a wee bit different.  Maybe it was our write-up of the marina or all the colorful images we’d posted last year. Maybe it was that we couldn’t shut-up about languishing in the hot sun and warm breezes, harbor cruises looking for manatee, Heidi and Angie’s perfect cocktails by the poolside Salty Oyster Bar, or all the great food we had, or the lazy morning walks past crowing roosters and the kerfuffle of guinea hens.

If you can get to Geiger Key – by boat or by car – it’s a favorite of ours and of every guest we’ve taken there. The Summer Salad with blackened Hogfish, blue cheese, and raspberry vinaigrette was delicious. The menu is full of tasty choices.
Matt’s Stock Island restaurant, which is at the Perry Hotel right next to the marina, never disappoints. “Today’s Catch” seen here is Cast Iron Seared Grouper with Alabama White BBQ Sauce and a side of Cornbread Mash with a Sea Bean garnish. Go for the great food, come back for seconds on the Cornbread Mash…mmmmmmmgood!
This Grilled Cheese (Sharp White Cheddar) with Lobster, Tomato, and Avocado was a favorite at Blue Heaven but go for the beautiful outdoor space, great live music and creative cocktails from their outdoor bar.

Maybe it was the allure of being close enough to stick your toe into the celebratory chaos of Old Town Key West while keeping your bottom peacefully floating just far enough outside the fray to hear yourself exhale.  Or maybe it was just the snow… but when we made the proclamation that we were coming back to our home away from home at Stock Island Marina Village and staying for a spell this winter, the pencil-us-in dates quickly began to fill our calendar.

It’s been two months since we arrived and we’ve barely scraped a week together without visitors and we’ve loved every single minute of it, from the penciled-in to the pop-overs.

Crew positions filled. Engineer. First Stew. Chef. Bosun.
Several of our guests stayed at the beautiful Perry Hotel and thoroughly enjoyed their time there.
Sunny and Manny Hostin and their crew popped over for a raucous evening of fun and laughter and some of the best Jerk Chicken on the island courtesy of Yahman’s.

We’ve also learned that OLOH can handle a full house with ease.  Even the Captain’s Lounge, with its Pullman sofa and privacy curtain, became a perfect 4th stateroom and our nephew’s favorite place to “chill”!

It seems like we can never get enough time with family.  Thanks to our new friends Bob and Stephanie for capturing this great moment and sending it our way!
With the help of our resident towel-folding-aficionado and pal Ramie from Miss Norma, our guests were welcomed by turtles, swans or monkeys on their beds.  Sorry, she’s not available for hire, she only works for smiles.

Every new visitor to the Conch Republic usually has a “must-see” list and we knew the newbies would want to see Sunset at Mallory Square, the Southernmost Point, and Mile Marker Zero to start.

Representing from the Buckeye State, our people from Columbus, Ohio… by mid-visit we were referring to them as the “Professionals.”

There were visits to the Hemingway House, the Maritime Museum, the Butterfly Conservatory, the Truman Little Whitehouse, breakfast at Pepe’s, cocktails at Louie’s Backyard and Hogsbreath, an obligatory piña colada or two (twist our arms) at Sloppy Joe’s and a visit to Willie T’s to listen to an excellent musician and friend of ours, Jason Lamson (who can also be seen at Sloppy Joe’s, among other Key West staples).

Live music, dollar bills and good times at Willie T’s.
Jason Lamson plays at Willie T’s and other venues around Key West. He doesn’t always wear candy cane striped socks. He is, however, always terrific.

We had a terrific rum tasting (video to come) at The Key West Rum Distillery and an amazing night of dinner and drinks at one of the best-kept secrets in Key West, a speakeasy-style bar called Berlin’s tucked in the back of the infamous A&B Lobster House.

This corner view of Garrison Bight is brought to you courtesy of Berlin’s, a terrific treasure that makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Poppa and A.J. sport their serious face because they are getting ready for some seriously good BBQ at this floating restaurant called Smoked BBQ! We love this joint.

And countless strolls down Duval.  Sound exhausting?  Nothing that a respite on the top deck of OLOH couldn’t remedy with an OLOHrita or one of our favorite cold brews or a tool around the harbor on One Love.

Hanging with a great group of friends and celebrating the new year.
Our first gang of arrivals! Where else can you search for Manatees, chase the sunset and even sing Christmas Carols to the neighboring boats? The kids could have lived on our Boston Whaler One Love they loved it so much.
Exploring Cow Key channel with Cuzzie Lisa.
Heading out to Boca Chica sandbar with Momma J to soak our feet and let the hound do some swimming.
Citradelic is one of our favorite beers onboard (Funky Buddha Floridian and Modelo are as well).
Three generations…

And everyone was getting “their steps” so whatever we indulged in on our excursions were calories easily burned…at least that’s what we convinced ourselves of.

And in-between it all were reminders that we were on a boat.  Which meant things were going to break.  Two days before our Christmas arrivals, it was the A/C unit that cools the VIP stateroom and the mid-cabin stateroom.  Mom would be in the mid-cabin and she ran cold so if it didn’t get fixed before they arrived she’d be OK.  Sis and hubby were in the VIP and they ran HOT and it absolutely had to be fixed before they arrived. This was a big trip for them and getting Mom to come was no small feat – she doesn’t like to fly – and we wanted things perfect. After troubleshooting a low-pressure code we called in the experts from Mobile Marine Repair Services, they came the very next morning and surmised there was a small leak somewhere. The fix, get the pressure back up and see how long it stays there.  A temporary bandaid but the A/C was back up and cooling and we found another service provider we will use again and wholeheartedly recommend.

By 11 pm, after finishing touches on decorations and monitoring the A/C, we breathed a sigh of relief and called it a night, excitedly anticipating their arrival.  It was around 12 am, just as the sugar plum faeries began dancing in our heads that we were startled awake by an ear-piercing, high-pitched squeal.  Had a piglet been caught by the tail? Where was I?  What is going on?  Bilge pump?  No!  Fire? No!  The dreaded Carbon Monoxide alarm?  YES!  Shaking the faeries out of our heads we rushed down the companionway to find the detector in the mid-cabin sounding off.  From experience, we know detectors can be super-sensitive but we take no chances.  We reset it and waited.  10 minutes and it went off again, and then it was followed by the detector in the captain’s lounge – but the three other detectors in the near vicinity remained silent.  All the doors and windows had been shut and the A/C was cooling the entire boat.  There were no boats near us running their generators.  We had nothing on board that could create carbon monoxide.  Our house batteries had full power.  We were flummoxed.  We scrambled for our hand-held CO detector with its digital readout only to find it had corroded and was unusable (take the batteries out when your not using something regularly – duh).  We opened the boat up to let fresh air in and then monitored the situation, resetting the detectors.  To say we barely slept that night would be an understatement.  At some point early in the morning, the reset monitors stopped tripping.  We decided to confer with a trusted fellow boater who loaned us his battery-powered detector (thanks Jeff) and it found nothing. Everything was normal.  Still, we replaced the mid-cabin unit with a new one and bought an additional portable detector.

Captains A.J. and John troubleshoot the satellite dish from atop OLOH… We eventually brought it back to life but that was short-lived.

After that, the TV satellite dish went kaput and we called in the cavalry to help us put humpty domey onto the southern sky again.  That was met with only temporary success.  Just recently we discovered and repaired a random, slow, fresh-water leak which left gallons of water in the engine room and we replaced the seals on our A/C strainer when we discovered during regular maintenance that it was leaking seawater into our bilge.  It should be noted and not a surprise to any boat owner reading this that everything was working perfectly until the boat found out we were having guests.  In fact, there’s something breaking on your boat right now.

In the midst of all of the landlubber visits we were thrilled to have a surprise visit from our dear friends on Yorel where we spent a wonderful evening.  We enjoyed a lovely cocktail hour on Red Head along with the fine crew of September Song.  We welcomed our great friends from last season at Stock Island who recently arrived on Chasing 80.  We met the friendly crew from No Vacancy and got to get to spend some time with our new friends who are here on their beautiful floating home, Alzero.

Before our last guest headed out we took advantage of a spectacular day to take OLOH out for a Bloody Mary cruise around “The Rock.”  It was the first time OLOH has left the dock since our December arrival and it reminded us of how much we thoroughly enjoy this boat.

My Captain. My Captain. My Captain. Captain Ramie, Captain A.J. and Captain Sean.
Heading out to sea! Ringo, Jasper’s best Key West buddy is super excited for the ride and wouldn’t hold still for the shot!

If you’re wondering what’s next for us…you guessed it! More guests – and we can’t wait to show them our little piece of paradise.  Signing off for now from the last outpost on a far-away archipelago.

We leave you with yet another beautiful Key West sunset.

Please be sure to subscribe to our blog on the top right of this page to get notified when new content is posted.  And please leave any comments or questions below – we love to hear from you & know that you’re along for the ride!  For the very latest on what we’re up to, be sure to like us & follow us on the M/Y OLOH Facebook Page. You can also follow us on Twitter at @MYOLOH and for plenty more pictures and video find us on Instagram andYouTube.   

And that concludes your OLOH instructions. M/Y OLOH back to 1-6.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. "In fact, there’s something breaking on your boat right now." -- Oh thanks. Not that I needed that reminder, but yes indeed, you are correct! Sounds to me like you handled all the issues on OLOH quite effectively, although that CO2 incident would have had me sleeping on the bow! As always, love the write-ups and pics, especially about the yummy food and drink!
    1. Sorry for that reminder - just a matter of fact 😆. Also sorry that we'll miss you in the Keys this year but we look forward to a rendezvous with Endless Summer and her crew before too long!
  2. So happy for you guys. It all looks so glorious. Keep on keeping on. Looking forward to catching up in person. Keep sending our love to all that get to experience OLOH in Stock Island. Peace and Love....
  3. Memories that will last a life time or at least till the next cocktail! Looking forward to seeing you in March..... Thank you for everything - ps is there any Crown left?
  4. 😂! Loved this post ! Had our kids and grandkids fly to Nassau last year with plans to travel to the Exumas for a week! Ha! Boat issues kept us at Atlantis for the week (plus another 10 days after they left). We had a great time, but I can tell you that Atlantis is not cheap! We have been delayed this year, but will be in Ft. Pierce next week and heading to Exumas late March. Safe travels!
  5. I loved your write up and the great pictures. We had such a good time but it went by way to fast. You are awesome hosts and sure know how to entertain. Imagine a Christmas turkey cooked in a toaster oven . Delicious! Love to all!!

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