Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Retirees with a zest for life

Since we started cruising, we've met a lot of boaters. Most of them are retirees, 65 and older. No doubt these are the same people who changed American culture in the sixties, and they are calling the shots again in their retirement. This new breed of retirees is amazingly adventurous. No matter their age, they are riding their motorcycles, hiking the Appalachians, working on their boats, honing their crafts, be it writing, cooking or playing some kind of musical instruments. My hats off to these people! They are my inspiration.

Over the Christmas holidays, we visited Bill and Joy in Marathon, the middle Florida Keys, a favorite destination for cruisers. We had met these fun folks in May 2004, first at Carolina Beach State Park in N. Carolina, and then crossed path again at various places in the Chesapeake Bay, Florida and later, Tennessee. They were cruising on Chandelle, a 44' Endeavor Catamaran, and this particular winter, she was berthed at her dock in Coco Plum in Marathon.
Chandelle leaving Carolina Beach State Park
We always discover new exciting places to visit or eat with Bill and Joy. One indelible outing was a bike trip with their friends (one fella was in his early 80s) to Big Pine Key for lunch. The less adventurous (that's Joy and yours truly) went by car. Unbeknownst to me, the National Key Deer Refuge is located right here at Big Pine Key. So after lunch, we drove around hoping to meet some Key deer. This was our lucky day. We saw several. One even came up to my husband and licked his hand! Even the Key deer could not resist the smell of pizza, which was what we had for lunch. A sweet encounter indeed.
Key Deer at Big Pine Key

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