Saturday February 22, 2014
We had plans to leave today to head further up the Keys, slowly making our way to Miami instead of doing it in one quick jump, but we had a little bit of a hold up this morning. The 3M 5200 we had purchased to seal up one of the front ports in the v-berth was not the fast drying tube. Having completed the project around four o’clock yesterday afternoon, we didn’t read the part about needing 24 hours to set until it was too late. Looks like we were stuck in Key West for one more day. Neither of us felt like going to shore, there wasn’t anything we needed, we’d already seen all the touristy things to do there, and truthfully, we were kind of sick of paying the $6 fee to land our dinghy. There was one place we could go though, that wouldn’t charge us anything.
For the past few days we’ve been looking at Georgie and thinking ‘Poor thing, she has nothing to do on this boat’. Even in Isla at least there were always minnows and needle nose fish swimming right next to the hull for her to stare at, here there was nothing. Eying the small an uninhibited Wisteria Island that we were anchored right next to we thought, ‘Sure, why not? Let’s take the cat in to walk around’. We placed her in her harness that she normally wears on passage, clipped her leash on, and stuck her in the dinghy. She was not pleased about this part. In fact, I may have received a few new scratch marks to my arm while trying to wrangle her out of the corner next to the dodger where she likes to spend most of her days. Then a quick pass to the dinghy where we shoved off before she had the opportunity to jump back on the boat. Believe me, she was aiming herself to.
Just like her last dinghy ride in Guatemala where we were bringing her back from her catsitter’s, she whined and howled and made noises that would make all other cruisers in the anchorage think that we were performing acts of animal cruelty. As soon as the dinghy pulled up on shore though, she was in love. Not knowing what to think of the situation she sat in the dinghy staring out until we picked her up and placed her on solid ground, something her feet haven’t touched in four months. Then just like a scent hound, her nose hit the ground as she took in this unfamiliar earth, sniffing her way up and down a small patch of the coral lined shore. The search broadened as she made her way up to weeds and bushes, tucking herself under a shaded spot to sprawl out and chew on leaves and twigs.
When it was apparent that she would probably stay in this one spot all afternoon unless forced out, we picked her up and placed her down on the shoreline once more, keeping a slow and steady pace as she trotted along side. This is only the second time we’ve tried to actually walk her on her leash, the first time being when we first purchased it back in St. Augustine, taking her for spins around the boat yard. She wasn’t too ecstatic about it at that time, but now she was acting like a complete natural, filling the need for just a moment of the K-9 companion that Matt has been missing for the past two and a half years. The three of us walked about a quarter of a mile down the beach before we let Georgie off her leash to do a little exploring on her own. There was a noise in the bushes that caught her attention and she was keen to investigate.
When she didn’t come out and we were 90% sure that a snake lived in the hole that she was probing, we once more had to pick her up and set her on a new course where she happily trotted along side us again. In true cat fashion though, it didn’t take much longer after this before the amount of exercise became too great and she plopped on her side, thwarting any plans of ours to continue on. Giving her a pretty decent rest period we found out that this was in fact it for her for the day. Tugging on the leash did not get her moving again, but instead left a trail snaking through the coral as she dragged behind. Carrying her back to the beach by the dinghy we tried once more to get her to walk around, but her only interests were sitting in the tall grass under a tree. All in all her actual walk only lasted about five to ten minutes, with the other 45 minutes sitting and resting, but I think it was the perfect little escape from her every day boat life, if even for just a little bit.