Saturday, August 13, 2011

Travel By Water

The waters are supposed to be flat this time of year, with not much wind to ruffle them. The views can be tremendous if you like that sort of thing and I do. I spent years on California's central coast and the big draw there is heavy wave action producing surf crashing at the base of the cliffs that line the coasts. It's all very bracing stuff especially considering that an average summer day is lucky to see seventy degrees. I prefer this sort of placid scene:


Fat Albert is a constant presence in the skies over the Lower Keys, supposedly keeping an eye out for unauthorized traffic, boats smuggling Cubans or planes bringing drugs. Or vice versa, because smugglers are cunning devils.


Mind you, people have lived by smuggling for the longest time in the Keys. During the unpleasantness with the Northern States,Confederates ran the Union blockade even though Key West, a critical port, was kept in the Union by the garrison if not by the local populace. Then there were all the revolutions going on in Cuba that resulted in a lively trade across the Straits of Florida.


Prohibition was a blessing for the Keys as there was much alcohol to be smuggled. This weekend Key West attracts visitors with Captain Tony days and one of Tarracino's accomplishments in a long and varied life was a close shave with gun smuggling, which by his own account didn't quite come off.


These days smugglers, paid by wealthy Cubans in Miami (the Miami Mafia, the Cuban government calls them) bring relatives over in fast boats which is illegal all round. Cubans that make it across under their own steam, not smuggled, get to stay if they set foot inn the US, and their reward under this absurd "dry foot" policy is $8,000 to help them settle inn the US. Haitians need not apply as they are black and not fleeing communism.
For such calm waters inside the reef, this can be a wild and crazy place, out on the water.


The whole Cuban embargo thing is daft, rather like getting in the middle of a family spat. Fidel Castro married Mirta Diaz Balart in 1948, had a son with her and later got divorced. It may come as a surprise but her family were supporters of the Cuban president Castro ousted and over they came to Miami where they got elected to Congress and have been leading lights in the virulent exile community. Hence the continued and pointless embargo and the prolongation of the Castro government who blames all bad things on the US.


For all that the surface is placid inside the reef these can be wild and wooly waters. I like my ocean nice and flat and calm, but that's easy for me to say as I am not really the gun smuggling, dope running type.

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3 comments:

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Conchscooter:

What a pleasant insight into Florida's historic past!

What's the hooker situation like?

Fondest regards,
Your Pal, Jack

chuck and the Pheebs said...

JACK!!!

Turistas visiting KW are oft in need of anon hookups - so one may sate one's desires free of charge, often many times in one night.

That being said, I know of three guys who dropped $7,000 in an evening of debauchery without even making it to Duval.

Name your desire - it's here somewhere.

Conchscooter said...

600 dollars for not quite sex at the adult entertainment club. Those are some of the most entertaining 911calls" I've been robbed!" no if want to reply, you just let your little head do the talking...don't ask me why prostituion is illegal but it is.