By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 8/22/2017
Occurred: 6/26/2017
Topics/Keywords: #Dominic #Gianna #KeyWest #WomanKey Page Views: 188
I put the finishing touches on my sunburn as we take the grandchildren to an uninhabited island. I'm the Professor.

Jenny let me know last night that we would be taking out her new boat today, and to plan an early start. Thus I was up at 7 AM (5 AM Arizona time) and at her house by 8. By 9:30, everyone thing was packed and the babies were ready and we went to the Marina to pick up the boat.

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Jenny's boat storage, the Garrison Bight Marina, had already lowered the pontoon boat from its drydock. It was already gassed up, as Jenny always fills the tank upon return.

At first Jenny thought it would be easier to pilot the boat without having to hold the baby, and I volunteered. Babies are required by law to either be wearing a lifejacket, or secured in one of these vests.

However, Dominc started fussing and only Jenny could calm him.

Still, even with a baby in a vest, doesn't Jenny look so professional?

Once we were out of the bight (a bight is a bend or curve in a coastline, river, or other geographical feature), Jenny allowed Zach to take over as we entered the deep channel.

One must admit that Zach has already mastered the "far gaze" employed by historical sea captains.

Gianna, continuing to bond with Zach's girlfriend, Shanti, would only wear her lifejacket if Shanti put it on.

Pussies with AK-47s get off the grid by hiding in the woods with a bunch of other like-minded morons. Real men and women get off the grid by living on a sailboat. And there's a surprising number who do.

We passed a number of parasailors being towed by island entrpreneurs.

With Zach piloting, Jenny was able to relax with Dominic, who'd fallen fast asleep. —That is, until she spotted "the biggest shark I've ever seen!"— in a shallow section. She then took over piloting, fearful that Zach might ground and sink us where we'd all be eaten by sharks, babies first.

Meanwhile, I was still smiling despite a growing realization that I'd gotten sunburned over the past few days of hanging at the beach. It's a bit embarrassing to come from Phoenix, a suburb of The Sun's Surface, where the temperature was 120°F, to get sunburned in Key West where the temperature wasn't even 90°F! But, of course, I haven't been out much, recovering from my broken leg.

The water here was, in some places, just a foot deep, according to Jenny's nautical GPS. But that's okay; the pontoon boat drafts less than that, and the motor can be raised and lowered as needed.

Our destination is called Woman Key. Woman Key is within the boundaries of the Key West National Wildlife Refuge. It's located in the Outlying Islands of the Florida Keys, it is in the southern Mule Keys, about 9 miles west of Key West.

We were not the only people going there. Snorkelers were massed over the reef just off Woman Key as we arrived. However, it turned out we were just leaving.

Now awake, Dominic managed to take over piloting duties.

Zach and I helped anchor the boat just off the north shore of Woman Key. The big people then schlepped the little people, towels, and lunch to the shore.

And then, low and behold—Gianna actually went into the water! That's how much she trusts Shanti.

Meanwhile, Dominic was itching to also get into the water. He can stand now, not independently but his legs are definitely strong enough to hold him up.

Such a happy baby!

Me and the boys.

Mother and sons.

So finally Dominic got to get wet! (Well, from the outside.) (That's Shanti and Gianna in the distance.)

When we'd gotten back aboard the boat, Zach sent his drone aloft to check out the island.

Zachary Rizzo
Zachary Rizzo
Zachary Rizzo
Zachary Rizzo
Zachary Rizzo

As the tide had changed, Zach had to pull the boat, complete with passengers and gear, into deeper water. Which, amazingly, he did. I am so proud of the splendid young man Zach has grown into.

I asked and Jenny allowed me to pilot once we'd reached the channel.

The GPS makes it easy to retrace our steps.

Back at home, the big people were exhausted but the little people, who'd mostly slept on the way to and from Woman Key, were still raring to go.

Fortunately, they can pretty much entertain themselves.