Having a race partner from New Mexico this year does not afford us too much time to fly together. So with Caroline and
her sisters, Julia and Susie, in town for a few days, Wild Mama
hosted "girls day out"
on Sunday. The plan was to fly to Tavernaero, grab the car and drive to Marathon for lunch. But with the sisters three never
having seen Key West before, we opted for plan B and headed west . . . Key West, that it.
We stayed relatively
low over the Everglades to give the ladies a birds' eye vew of the river of grass and try to stay out of the headwinds
aloft. After passing over Tavernaero, we opted for some fish spotting off the coast of the Keys over the ocean. We spotted
many rays and some other larger fish, although zipping along at 140 kts, it was most difficult to identify what we saw. We
kept low until we neared Marathin and spied a very large rain storm looming in our path. We climbed to 600' nearly bumping
our heads on the clouds. Our view was completely obscured by the clouds and the ride was looking a bit rough so we opted for
Plan C - to land at
Marathon, have lunch and wait for the rain storm to pass.
One of my old favorites is the Island Tiki. We hitched
a ride with the FBO van and darted off for a leisurely lunch - soups, salads and Key Lime pie. The rainbow parrotfish enjoyed
a meal from us as well with the fish pellets that were available at the waterfront.
Once the storm cleared, we headed
west again and landed in short order at Key West International. Since our time was now a bit limited, we opted for the Conch
Train for the best overview of Key West. The tour is very informative, take you across most of the old section of the island
and provides a stop at the ice cream store to get the ever so yummy Key Lime Pie on a Stick.
With bellies full
and quite happy, we climbed back in Wild Mama
for the trip home. It was now getting dark; there were some lingering
rain showers in the area and the moon
was nary a sliver so we filed IFR for the trip direct to LaBelle and out over the Gulf. The ride was smooth, we had a spectacular
sunset and we had not the first raindrop hit us. We landed with a "chirp" very pleased with our days adventure.