Now, that the world is opening back up (kinda – let’s not jinx it), I can once again spread my wings and fly. My first true adventure in the new world isn’t across the pond, but in it – Key West.
Florida is open and boy is it open. It feels like the old days, pre-Covid, but Covid isn’t forgotten. They have pop-up testing centers all over.
I’m writing this from American Airlines Flight AA1751 on my way back to frigid Cleveland 🙁 Not excited.
This was my first Workaway adventure and it was amazing. Workaway.com is a website that connects travelers to hosts (people willing to offer room and board for some sort of help). The help can vary greatly from cleaning, cooking, animal care, child care, computer help, boat maintenance, etc. The exchange is 5 hours/5 days a week of working for free accommodation and food. Most even cater to your diet.
My host, Dasiel, needed help fixing up his sailboat, his home, for future ventures around the world, while hosting charters for clients at his different locations. So, if in the future, you’re looking for some exciting travel adventure he’s your guy. Hopefully, I’ll be helping work on his website, so more info to follow.
Way to take charge of your life Dasiel and do something you love. I’ve watched YouTube videos of people who circumnavigate the globe on sailboats and can only dream, for now anyway ;).
Currently, the boat is minus a mast and sails on it and in a boat yard on land. I am not the first workawayer he’s taken under his wings. He’s had several great ones, so I had a lot to live up too and one was still there the duration of my time. I had a wonderful experience with Dasiel and Workaway comrade Antonio.
The work varied from cooking, cleaning, and organizing to sanding, painting, and maintenance. The accommodation was a berth on the boat. It’s all I needed. A little bed, my backpack, and my thirst for knowledge and adventure. I dove right in to my first crew life experience.
It was a big adjustment to learn the tricks of the trade from land life to sailboat life. First, most important skill I learned, was water conservation. The holding tanks are only so big, so water is used very sparingly. The boat was on land, however, so there was a little room for error and my learning curve.
Second, you must get accustomed to small spaces. There’s only so much room on a sailboat. Small beds, small kitchen, and living space. Working with very little to make fabulous meals. I treated them to my famous Shrimp and Grits one evening.
Third, I walked and climbed a lot (which I, the fitness addict loved). There is no working bathroom on the boat, so when you needed to tinkle, you walked (about 1/4 mile each way). Same for the shower.
And, a neighboring hotel, The Perry, about a mile away, had an hourly shuttle to downtown crazy Key West. Once downtown, walk, walk, walk. I was in heaven. New sites, little bites to eat hear and there, amazing architecture and chickens, chickens everywhere.
I fell in love with the whole thing. The people, the experience, and sailboat life. Dasiel (the host) was a wealth of knowledge about everything sailing. I continued to pick his brain everyday and he gladly kept feeding me little tid bits of info on sailing. Taught me about even stricter water conservation and maintenance when at sea. Including taking showers in the ocean and then rinsing off with a tiny bit of fresh water and washing dishes in the ocean.
I’m now obsessed and can’t wait for my next sailing adventure, this time in the water.
As for Key West…That was fun too. I stopped and finally caught up with my friend Mark at Sloppy Joe’s after trying for years. He is the food and beverage manager and says compared to how it used to be they’re definitely suffering with Covid.
Had Dinner several times at Blue Heaven (my favorite)
Sunday’s I went to the only Catholic Church on the Island, Basilica of St. Mary Star of the Sea . I also went there to spill my guts (confession). I don’t like to go to my home church for that 😉 Pralines after to sweeten me back up at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen.
Dasiel had to leave us for 4 days to help a injured friend out and cover his charter.
So, we ended up helping another sailboat comrade, Jack, on his boat for awhile.
Jack’s history was amazing. What he has done in his short life was truly impressive. He’s probably 30 something, I’d guess, and has been a workaway all over Europe and elsewhere. He has an impressive story of turning what should have crippled anyone into a success in South America and has biked across America, and who knows what else, I was fascinated.
Sanding, sanding, sanding until Dasiel got back. Biked to downtown with my fellow workawayer. It was a blast. About 5 miles each way. He’s a biking champ. Rides everyday for hours and often well into the night.
And finally my Birthday. It was all about sweets. Antonio and I went on a dessert crawl instead of a bar crawl (as I rarely drink). I’d trade alcohol calories for dessert calories any day. Key Lime Pie, Ice Cream, Pineapple Upside Down Cake…Mmmm…did I say Key Lime Pie 😉
My dessert from Better than Sex a Dessert Restaurant.
Then a wonderful Swordfish dinner at the Conch Republic Restaurant.
Belly Full and back to the boat for bed.
Early morning drive back to Miami and flight home. A wonderful 39th Birthday gearing up for my big 40th down-under.