Friday, February 12, 2010

West Summerland Key

I used to come out here to walk and look at the water and there was no sign anyone else bothered to visit this break in the mangroves. Now we have improvements to the area, and the blight of signage is everywhere. I was rather wondering where the French and Vietnamese editions of this sign were located, but entry is forbidden so I turned away.
If like me you get stuck trying to remember what things are called there is a helpful sign for that too. However if you are caught with an undersized fish you will go to court and pay a very large fine. That sort of thing is taken seriously around here. We shit in our coastal waters thanks to not having a sewer system but we hate it when people don't obey size limits as it ruins the reef by reducing the wildlife that hasn't been kiled by our toilet pollution. Please don't be surprised there is no lifeguard here, but I suppose people can be stupid and think someone else will always be there to save them from themselves.The big tube is where you put your excess fishing line to avoid killing sea birds and turtles and stuff. I live in the keys and I do not fish. Go figure, it's like living in Pennsylvania and not being Amish. I like the views if that makes up for my inability to cast a lure:On the north side of West Summerland right before... well never mind exactly where, but there is a place somewhere around here where a curious hook of land juts out into the water creating a basin and a promontory where you can sit out in the sun and feel like you are at sea. And when you look north you can see the bridge between No Name Key and Big Pine Key that crosses Bogie Channel. No Name Pub is up there to the left:I don't chase fish but I do like to swim. Other people dive: Cheyenne was fishing too, looking for carcasses still lying around from the great freeze die off last month:
Behind the propane tank that probably fell off the deck of a boat one can see the new Bahia Honda Bridge.
Big Spanish Channel is deep, forty feet and as vast as an ocean. Especially when seen from Labrador height:One of the things I like about walking the Keys is how much it reminds me of being out sailing. In remote places the first sign of land frequently looks like this in the picture below. I included the rather sophisticated bubba stick for perspective. An island out in the ocean first appears as a shimmering line of disconnected dots that slowly merge to form continuous land and then become trees as you get closer:Like I said, dead fish everywhere:
We were out at the end of the promontory:
Sea level rise will put an end to this (as it will to all Keys living, hopefully after I'm dead) so I am determined to enjoy it while I can. My dog feels the same way:
If you forget to bring your Kermit chair, Nature has provided rocks for you and seaweed for your dog.
On cold winter days I don't envy other people out in their skiffs. On hot summer afternoons I'm out on mine.
And there I was- thinking about setting up a hot dog stand...
Imagine, Cheyenne and I had this idyllic spot to ourselves. It's there waiting for me to return and I'll bet when we do we will be alone again.
Some people manage to stumble across the parking lot but going for a walk is an odd thing for most visitors. I've seen a few cars parked here but their occupants at most wander disconsolately around the lot and then bugger off back to the Highway One Rat Race. Bad for them, good for me. By the way, West Summerland Key is located between Big Pine Key and Bahia Honda Key. It is east of the larger and better known Summerland Key and why it got it's name no one knows. Have a nice day.