Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ships At Sea

Law Enforcement it proclaimed loudly. I thought perhaps it was something to do with the National Marine Sanctuary.

I watched the Fury catamaran get underway from the Westin Marina. The boat here photographed between the marina buoys and Sunset Key in the background.

They call these machines rather uncharitably, head boats or cattle boats owing to the huge number of passengers they ferry out to the harbor to watch the sunset or to go snorkeling. For many people this is as much sailing as they ever do and the fact there is a functioning bar on board is all to the good.

This is the Western Union boat refurbished and operated by a non profit created in Key West after Historic Tours abruptly ceased operations. It's amazing to think this sailboat laid telegraph cable between Havana and Key West right up till the opening of World War Two.

When out to sea west of Key West, as you sail towards the harbor anxiously scanning the horizon for a first view of home these white buildings are what appear first above the water, shining bright white in the sunlight.

They sit behind the empty Truman Waterfront and used to house Navy officers.

Now the units are highly prized civilian condos and the gorgeous open space, formerly Navy property will soon be developed. Oh well.

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Take a seat on a sunny afternoon in old town. Admire the greenery shine in the sunlight, feel the breeze. Listen to the sounds of construction.

There is tons of refurbishing going on around town. We are told house prices Up North continue to plummet but down here the sights and sounds of Men At Work are on every street.

There is always more work to do.

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Signs Of Christmas

They are starting to sprout, as they should after Thanksgiving.

These chaps were busy decorating their guest house with boughs of something that was not quite holly and came out of a box.

Even I know that red plants in pots that appear before Christmas have something to do with the holiday. Some decorators are more blunt than others:

Some are more subtle where the decorations actually enhance the local architecture.

I'm scheduled to work Christmas night which I view as a good thing. Good for me because I get holiday pay and good for my colleagues who enjoy having the night off. Until then I shall enjoy the increasingly frenzied decorating efforts around town.

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Limin' In Key West

Amanda in the Virgin Islands lives with it all the time BVIs Limin'. Limin' is the art of not doing much Caribbean style, perhaps shooting the breeze or sitting in front of the store checking the phone.

I'm not sure ordering a delicious sandwich from Sandy's on White Street counts as limin' but lots of endless chatter does go on at the counter as people meet and contemplate their navels.

This is solo limin' I'm pretty sure.

Or this duo on the Westin dock decorated for Hanukkah.

I don't think there is any rule banning seagulls from limin':

This group looks too grumpy for proper limin' but it's probably the best they can manage this far north of the equator.

He's not limin' because he's reading.

And occupants of Fawlty Towers can't possibly do something as base as lime.

Or maybe they can. Key West as Doug Bennett This Week reminded me the other day is south of reality.

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Sugarloaf Channel

I have my doubts that this footbridge will reappear in this blog for quite some time. Cheyenne, my arbiter of good taste in dog walks gave this one the big thumbs down, or she would have were she equipped with opposable digits.

In the picture above the old Flagler bridge looked quite as appealing as any other of these old structures, the water pipe shining white in the winter sun.

It was heavily signposted.

Very heavily signposted. This bridge was built in the beginning of the twentieth century, not the middle. Perhaps they tarted it up in the middle of World War Two to make it safe for tanks or something.

Recently they lined it with metal railings to make it safe for increasingly dim witted humans. Oh, and they've added more labeling which my dog is unable to read.

Not only does she not have an opposable thumb, she also lacks the ability to read English. Just like these pigeons which can't or won't read all those signs. I didn't see one rule that outlawed mating in public on a fishing bridge but that's a given across the state of Florida.

Not only were these two misbehaving in public, they were doing it in front of a rapt audience.

I turned my attention to the scenery which was as delightful as usual. Sugarloaf:

Close up.

And I had all this to myself.

Except for the amorous birds and a very bored dog.

Under the circumstances I wanted to sit on the cement edge and dangle my feet over the water and contemplate the meaning of life. Which harmless activity has been outlawed by the safety obsessed.

So I leaned on the cold hard metal railing and tried to do the same thing.

Nothing deterred by the discomfort of metal on midriff I took up another equally useful posture to contemplate the meaning of blah...blah...blah.

The indefatigable pigeons were still at it when we left.

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