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" kw2.jpgon 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 kw1.jpgMarathon, 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 kw4.jpgwas 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.

Caroline, Terry and Julia on the Conch Train in Key Westkw3.jpg

kw6.jpgSteve, Susan, Bill Julia and Caroline on the "Party Barge" back in Alva, FL. After the great Key West adventure, the whole family came over for a boat ride on the Caloosahatchee River with Terry and Vern. 

With Vern at the helm, Terry gets to kick back and enjoy the west coast sunset. kw5.jpg