We made reservations last year for spot 1. This is the best of the four as you are not facing your neighbor and do not have a sewer at your patio. Last year in this spot you would have had a nice bay view, this year the view is of parked boats and FWC trucks. Wake up call this morning was at 0500 due the FWC activity 20' from my window. The sites are essentially mostly level grass with a broken concrete pad. All 4 sites are full hookup. Wifi is free, as with the majority of free wifi systems it ranges from as good as nothing to slightly better than nothing. We used it as long as we were not doing much, if we needed to write a review, search for a restaurant, we would use the Verizon broadband. Laundry is free and in good shape. There are no amenities here other than laundry. Walking, biking, and all other activities are off Station. The Station also has a cerfew so you are limited in the ability to come and go. Walking and biking from the Station is along a very busy and noisy highway 1. Car is necessary. We enjoyed our two weeks but next year will skip Marathon and spend more time at Manatee Cove and NASKW.
My husband and I visited the Marathon Cottages and RV Park, Marathon, FL, a day earlier than our reservation began in November 2015. We were very happy that the MWR liaison, Tom (I think that’s right) was able to accommodate us. The most important change – coming soon – is that this USCG Station is planning to implement an electronic card system. Currently, there is a curfew of 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and midnight on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. You must phone from the front gate to ask that the gate be opened or you will have to find somewhere else for the night. We didn’t know about this when we booked our reservation. The change means that in the future, guests will not be restricted as we were, though it turned out not to be the problem we thought it might be.
OK location. Limited in walking area. Surrounding area primarily non-retail, non-tourist business in our opinion. No real amenities or facilities. Small RV site is all there is. NO access to any facilities (gym, bldg restrooms). No water access of any kind or boat, kayak, canoe launching. MWR rep greets on arrival; that is extent of involvement. Access in/out not a problem. With only 4 RV sites on one side of base and 4 cottages on other there isn't much activity. The young CoastGuardsmen were all polite. Really only negative is the Base not adhering to the published pet leash policy. Their station dog, Roscoe, was always loose without leash and peeing on RV wheels and dumping all over. Despite repeated comments to the young men outside and to #3 in charge maintenance chief, there was no interest, concern, or call to attention about the problem. Response was the master chief oic made base policy. Unsure of real meaning of that. I believe in everyone following all the rules.
This is our first day at this facility, and I hope to write more later, after we get a better feel for the place. But I just had to write about our experience with the boat rentals. One of the reasons we came here was the easy and relatvely inexpensive access to boat rental. For a year, my husband and I have looked forward to leisurley days out on the water hunting for lobsters and doing underwater photography. I was aware the cottages got first dibs on the boats, but I figured there would be some days available to us during our two-week stay. Right after checking in, I asked who we should talk to about renting a boat. I was immediately asked if I had sat through the 9.5 hour Coast Guard Class. No, I spent a couple of days doing the online Boat U.S. course which I was told was required--I had my card and a certificate. Well, the rules had "just" changed and now you needed to take a 9.5-hour course in a classroom, that was offered nowhere in the Keys. It's not the fault of the MWR folks here--they are frustrated that their boats are now sitting at the docks. Here is the real irony. My husband is a licensed boat captain able to pilot 100-ton vessels. His license is issued by the COAST GUARD, yet he is not allowed to rent a recreational boat here at the Marathon COAST GUARD station. He spent 96 hours in a classroom and a minimum of 500 days at sea to get this license. When I made our reservation, I was told this license could be used in lieu of the Boat U.S. course which I took. Carol Cox, CMSgt Retired, USAF
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