Being an all time fanatic of Jimmy Buffet and his lifestyle, we figured Cabbage Key was a good place for us. For all of you uninformed idiots, Cabbage Key is where J.B. wrote Cheeseburger in Paradise. And just to be thorough, he also happened to have left his picture signed and framed on the wall. What a great man.
Apparently the Great Depression was pretty bad. One strong man swore he would never be without a drink. "I'm leaving this dollar here, on the wall, with my name on it and a small picture of a coconut tree. If I lose everything, I'm coming back to this place for that dollar and I'm buying a drink." So the story goes and for the next 80-90 years, people have been taking the same Applied Economics to heart and attaching dollar bills to the wall. Writing will never do this justice: there is over $70,000.00 attached to the walls of this settlement...
We have come to the conclusion that only we can dock our boat. We have our system, though unorthodox and clumsy, we have our system. The second any individual attempts to help us out, our system changes from unorthodox to full blown pit stains. Dockmasters will never suit us. You can fill in the blank from here, I've given you all the details you need; we didn't break anything though.
F. Scott Fitzgerald found inspiration in this very area. Sailing in we found exactly 341, million dollar "Gatsby" mansions. The islands are small here and the community is even smaller. The few people that live around Cabbage Key have tradition built into the soles of their shoes. Everything is hand-me-down or "my grandfather built that." In a sense, there hasn't been anything new here in 70 years. Faultless.
Our time here was good enough to postpone our perfect weather window down to Marathon (Florida Keys). We met a cruising couple and enjoyed the next couple of afternoons talking, learning everything we can from the experience of others. Patty and Bill gave us a lot of confidence and continue, to this day, to help us out with weather forecasts and good phone conversation. I can't help but question how many more good people we can meet; every sailor is your favorite uncle that just so happens to be extremely knowledgeable and into philanthropy.
Our last night was fading and our next day was making its way into our plans. Every sail, every trip takes at least 3 hours of careful planning; 10 if you want to sail comfortably. We look forward to the day we can tow all the good people we meet with out 30 footer and sail to the next cheeseburger in paradise.
Well, we gotta go, we just got a new Bruce Springsteen album and it needs to be played 4 times tonight.