Just then a GQ-handsome guy in shorts and a tank top climbs down the steps of an enormously sleek 50-foot yacht docked nearby and walks past us.
"You guys have the best seat in the house," he says.
"It's great here," Ronnie says, popping open a Heineken.
I go inside to pour a glass of wine and notice our neighbor, Paul, who works at the marina and lives on the houseboat next to ours, making his way down the dock.
"Paul, come have a beer with us!" I call out the window.
"Oh, I haven't had a drink in 20 years!" he says, laughing. "I could have water though."
Several years ago, Paul and his son were driving to Key West when their car broke down in front of the marina. Richard let him stay the night in one of his houseboats. Paul has been here ever since.
"Where you guys going to eat?" Paul asks.
"I don't know," Ronnie says. "We've got a few stone crab claws left in the fridge."
"Well, we wouldn't want to waste them," I say, settling into my chair. "Look. The sun's about to set."
M.B. Roberts' last story for Travel was on mountain biking in North Carolina. She lives in Nashville, Tenn.
In Islamorada, you can count on striking scenery and savory seafood
Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar in Islamorada.
IF YOU GO
Lodging: Bud & Mary's Marina, P.O. Box 628, Mile Marker 79.8, Islamorada, FL 33036; 800-742-7945; www.budnmarys.com. Fishing charters, accommodations and dive shop.
Eating: Islamorada Fish Company, 81532 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, 800-258-2559; www.islamoradafishco.com. Seafood Market next door
- Zane Grey Long Key Lounge (next to Islamorada Fish Company, upstairs inside Worldwide Sportsman)
- Lazy Days, Mile Marker 79.9, Oceanside, 305-664-5256
- Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar, 96 Madeira Road, Islamorada, 305-664-2692; www.loreleifloridakeys.com
- Morada Bay, 81600 Overseas Highway, Morada Bay, 305-664-0604.
- Pierre's (next door), 305-664-3225
- Squid Row, 81901 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, 305-664-9865