A Travellerspoint blog

Key West, FL

We arrived in Key West on New Year's day. In approximate terms we have covered 1,000 miles, probably a little more, of which about half were on the open water, i.e. the Atlantic Ocean, and the rest on the ICW.

Despite the many years that Carol and I lived in Florida, she had never been to Key West and I had been here only for a few hours at the airport in 1964. So, this is all be new to us.

We are staying in a mooring field managed by the Key West City Marina. Of all the places that we have stayed, this is the one we like the least. Skipping all of the details, if someone had not been kind enough to help us tie onto the mooring ball, we would not have been able to stay here. In most businesses you don't make it extra hard for customers to acquire/consume your product; this place is a notable exception. And, after a long ride to the dingy dock, it's a1/2-mile walk to the showers which have been unfavorably compared to those in a Cuban prison.

Line_Dancing_Pelicans.jpgWe saw these pelicans line dancing on our way from the marina office.

We have about a 1.5 mile ride to get to the dingy dock, a lot of that ride is on exposed, open water. Not a huge deal as long as the winds stay under 15 knots. Otherwise it gets very bouncy and riders get very wet. This stay has shown us that our current dingy solution, an 11-ft. inflatable boat with a 4-HP motor, is not great. When we bought the boat the instructions were that 4-HP was the maximum size that could be safely used. With one person in the boat it may go 8~10 MPH; with two people that drops to about 6~8 MPH. In most cases this is just a matter of inconvenience and a longer ride. However, if we hit areas with strong tidal flows, it may be hard to make safe progress against the current. And, we met a guy who has the exact boat and he has an 8-HP motor and seems to do just fine.

Key West is pretty much a tourist place and economy with Navy and a Coast Guard bases. It is a good place to be a tourist; however, nothing is free except one public restroom. All other activities cost, even state parks.

The area is beautiful with an interesting history. The housing stock is fairly old. I guess that all the land was "built out" by the late 70's or early 80's. What's interesting is that there are no McMansions anywhere to be seen. The city must have ordinances against tear-downs. I assume that you can remodel the interior of any house as long as you leave the exterior walls as they were. This has really maintained the charm of the place. Many of the houses are hard to see from the street; the foliage can be very thick and very beautiful.Mixed_Greens.jpgBeauganvilla_at_wall.jpg

The historic, old town is at the southwest part of the island as is the port area. This is where we have spent most of our time as do thousands of other visitors. On Tuesday, 01/06, we rented a motor scooter to be able to cover more ground; the island is too big to cover on foot. Scooters are ubiquitous down here; if we lived here, we would have one too.

We did a bunch of touristy stuff including: going to the southernmost point of land in the USA;Carol___Me..thpoint.jpg Carol was very taken with this sign which shows the southern terminus of US1;0Carol___US1.jpg bougainvillea are like weeds here;Carol_by_Beauganvilla.jpg we saw the Key West lighthouse.Key_West_Lighthouse.jpg

There is a Hemingway House on the island that I had wanted to visit; he is, after all, my favorite author. Not only is nothing free, everything is expensive; So, we found this portrait in a hotel on Duval St. It had to satisfy my Hemingway jones for the trip.Me_and_the_MAN_.jpg.

Banyan trees are common in south Florida; this is a fairly large one.Banyan_Tree.jpg I have no idea what type of tree this is but it is huge.Carol___Ea..er_Tree.jpg

Duval St. is, more or less, Key West's answer to Bourbon St., pubs, t-shirt shops and restaurants. In the middle block of Duval is a huge Episcopal ChurchEpiscopal_..n_Duval.jpg, probably much needed by the passers-by, but underutilized. One street over, Whitehead St. is a lovely old, store church with stained glass windows. Old_Church_Window.jpg

On Monday, 01/05, Sue and Jay, having settled in on Ohio Key, came down to Key West and we went out together. We saw and toasted the sundown, with clouds maybe a 4 on a scale of 10, and went to dinner on Duval St.

Last night, Tuesday, we had a reunion of sorts. Two friends from the Whittaker Pointe Marina are in Key West. in 2007 our three boats were within 100-ft. of each other. Now, over a year later, they are probably within 1-mile of each other, although at a 1,000-mile change in latitude.Whittaker_..Reunion.jpg Wayne and Michael are doing well and, after about a year in Key West, will probably be moving on to other places. But, it was great to visit old friends.

We are waiting for yet another anchor to be delivered. We have the boat for a year and a half and are now on our 7th anchor. The event in Ocracoke made a deep impression on me. And since anchors address safety and security, it's a reasonable place to waste money. We'll keep four on board; two recommended by the US Navy; one by LLoyd's of London; the other is generic. Step two is learning to use them well, individually and in pairs.

After the anchor arrives, probably Thursday, and I have watched the Florida game on Thursday night at the local VFW post, we'll head back east to visit Sue and Jay. We should be able to anchor near their RV park on Ohio Key. I hope Jay will take me fishing so that I can pick up some tips.

Posted by sailziveli 05:53

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Wish we were there...Les and I do love Key West, the Pubs and the wings are great! Your entry is so very newsy....Jean

by jtbell112

GATORS RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!
How about them Gators!

Hope your trip stays wonderful, your photos are great, again keep up the good work!

Fishing, is not to hard, but to go fishing does not mean you will catch anything, but if you don't drop a line you will never catch anything!

Google, "The sport animal fishing show," and read all of the information and links provided there and you will go, Catching!

Regards and Love,


by wk2


Google, "The sports animal fishing show",
for fishing tips!!

Also, I just heard, Tebo will be back next year!


by wk2

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