Monday, July 20, 2009

The Fun Continues in Key West

Location: Key West, FL

Greetings from sunny and hot Key West. The last few days the temperature has been 91 degrees with a heat index of 104! We don’t have air conditioning on the boat, so Capt. Jim hoses me down with water to help keep me cool. It is so hot, Capt. Jim and Admiral Sandy have been hosing themselves down too! Thankfully, it cools down after the sun sets and we have a really great fan on the boat to keep us cool while we sleep.

Yes, we are still in Key West. We decided to extend our stay here so Admiral Sandy and Capt. Jim could celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary on August 1st. They couldn’t think of a better place to spend their 20th anniversary: with me (of course) on the boat in Key West!

Chilling Out While Surfing the ‘Net
We are excited to have found an air-conditioned room at the Waterfront Market (at the end of our dock) where Capt. Jim and Admiral Sandy can access the internet for free… and dogs are allowed to “chill out” too. This is a great place to get away from the heat during the day when we are not snorkeling or sailing.

They also have a couch that I love to sleep on.

Here is a beautiful picture taken from the dock by Admiral Sandy early one morning as the sun was rising and the full moon was setting. You can see the Carnival cruise ship smoke stack in the background.

Camping Out at Jabour’s Trailer Park
One morning, I was taking my morning walk with Admiral Sandy and we discovered this guy “camping out” in the former Jabour’s Trailer Park. He was sleeping/passed out on some blue barrels inside the fenced area that once was Jabour’s. Apparently, he didn’t get the memo that Jabour’s is closed and people are not allowed to camp there any more… thanks to a developer that bought the property to build condos and then filed bankruptcy.

Halie & Matthew

One day while we were sailing, we caught this photo of the Halie and Matthew under sail. What a beautiful boat!

Another Beautiful Sunset

Here are photos of another beautiful Key West sunset.

As the sun was setting, Capt. Jim put me on top of the boat’s bimini. It was so comfortable, like laying in a hammock… I just had to take a little nap.

Special Roses
Every Friday, our friends Balk and Diane take flowers to the bartenders and servers at Schooner Wharf Bar to show them their appreciation for all their hard work. One Friday, Balk and Diane gave Admiral Sandy some roses too! The roses were beautiful and made Admiral Sandy feel special. How wonderful that Balk and Diane spread happiness to others with flowers!

Snorkeling at Eastern Dry Rocks and Rock Key
We heard from some of the charter boat crew that there is good snorkeling at Eastern Dry Rocks and Rock Key now because the “blue water was coming in”. When the gulfstream gets closer to Key West, the clear, cool water from the Atlantic moves in and creates great conditions and great visibility for snorkeling.

While snorkeling at Eastern Dry Rocks and Rock Key, Admiral Sandy and Diane saw two turtles and swam with them! They also saw some reef squid, beautiful healthy coral formations, purple sea fans, and many beautiful reef fish. Diane also found an Arrow Crab that looks like a granddaddy long leg spider with pinchers. At one of the mooring balls at Eastern Dry Rocks, they found an abundance of staghorn coral that they had not seen at any other snorkeling sites.

Preparing to leave. I am overseeing all the work to leave the dock:

Balk on the boat:

On the way to Eastern Dry Rocks:

At Eastern Dry Rocks:

A rain storm in the distance:

Admiral Sandy and me swimming at Eastern Dry Rocks. Isn’t the water beautiful? It's like being in a nice pool with the water temperature 90 degrees.

Sand Key Light:

Shrimp Shack
We visited a restaurant call the Shrimp Shack which reminded us of the Mayport fishing village where we live. While we were there, we listened to Barry Cuda and the Bong Hits for Geezers. This is a fun group that plays ragtime and other fun music. Barry Cuda plays the piano/keyboard, Kenny Fradley plays a trumpet and Richard Crooks plays the drums. The band was set up on a fishing boat and I got my picture taken with them!

Key West Free Beaches
There is an organization called Key West Free Beaches that is working to get a beach in Key West designated as a nude beach. The Key West City Commission is considering putting the issue on the ballot for the citizens to decide if they want a nude beach. We met the Chairwoman of Key West Free Beaches at the Shrimp Shack and had our picture made with her… fully clothed of course!

Mel Fisher Days Bikini Contest
Key West has a Mel Fisher Days celebration every year. Mel Fisher found the treasure of the wreck of the Atochia and the Santa Margarita. Although Mel Fisher is dead, his family continues his quest to find sunken treasures. One of the highlights of the Mel Fisher Days celebration was the bikini contest that was held at the Schooner Wharf Bar.

This wasn’t your typical bikini contest because the winner was the one who raised the most money for a charity. The winner received an Atocha coin from the Atocha valued at $1800, second place received an emerald from the Santa Margarita valued at $1000 and third place received a pearl from the Santa Margarita valued at $500.

This year, our friend and Schooner Wharf bartender Marissa won the bikini contest by raising over $1,100! This is Marissa’s third year to win! Here is a picture of Marissa, with her husband Mike and some of the Mel Fisher family.

Our friend William wanted his picture taken with this girl that was in the bikini contest. I wonder why?

After the Storm…
Recently, we had a storm hit in the early evening with 50 mph winds. It developed rather quickly, but we were able to get the boat closed up and secured before the storm hit. Unfortunately, we forgot that our companionway screens were on the deck, so they got blown into the water and sunk to the bottom. Capt. Jim is such a good swimmer, he was able to snorkel down below the boat and find both the screens! We wouldn’t want to lose the screens because they keep the bugs out!

Some of our boat neighbors had more serious problems due to the storm. The strong winds partially unfurled and tore the jib on Capt. Bob’s sail boat Double Decker that is next to our boat. Admiral Sandy called Capt. Bob and Capt. Jim helped him take the jib down so it could be repaired.

Capt. Jim also came to the assistance of Larry and Kristie on Banana Wind. Larry and Kristie’s son was on their sail boat that was anchored off Fleming Island and he called his parents to them to tell them that they had lost their anchor and the boat was drifting. So, Capt. Jim took them in the dinghy to their boat where they found their boat had drifted toward a bridge. Thankfully, they had also called Tow Boat US and they were already there to help them keep the boat from hitting the bridge.

Our other neighbors, the Blu Q charter catamaran, had problems when the strong winds caused their flag halyard to get fouled in the rigging. So, Admiral Sandy was able to help Capt. Steve as he hoisted Mo up the mast to fix the problem.

It’s great how the boating community helps each other whenever help is needed!

We wish you all a great week and we look forward to more fun adventures in the coming week! Please look for our next posting soon!

Coconut and Crew

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