Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Night Storms

Darkness and water.

In the city there was flooding, and on the south side of the island the ocean was trying to climb over the White Street Pier.

And over the West Martello Tower. That salt spray can't have been good for the gorgeous garden club plants inside.

The winds were strong but my Bonneville did not tip over.

Higgs Beach was wild and deserted at one in the morning.

The rain had stopped the wind was refreshing and one can hope that soon, in a few hours perhaps the sun will be back at last over Key West.

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Drowned Big Pine

Skies are still gray and nasty and promising rain though this evening the National Weather Service promises easing at last, though Mother Nature is quite the joker and after all this damp we are supposed to get a proper cold front tomorrow. Ab
East it should be sunny, if cold.

I took Cheyenne up the highway for a walk this afternoon, as her preferred neighborhoods are mostly under water. Kayak renters need not go too far to See The Sea !

I went into Big Pine's shopping center, home to restaurants, a library, a vehicle registration office and all the bric-a-brac of modern life. Which was held up a bit by the water that has invaded all our lives.

A kayak would have been of more use in the parking lot.

Torrential rain this morning caught me as I left work at six and I have to say my ride home today was in the worst combination of weather in which I have ridden a motorcycle for a very, very long time. Only snow and ice would have been worse.

The rain was as thick as syrup, visibility was perhaps 20 yards, and my high beam cut through the moisture and mist and darkness like a candle. Had it not been for the road reflectors I would have had no idea how to follow the highway. Beyond the rain I had very powerful wind gusts to contend with, luckily most of them coming from behind, not across the roadway.

By the time I got to Summerland Key I rode into the back of the storm which was rolling eastwards. Lightning and thunder flashed and crashed simultaneously and I was concerned that I might get hit by a lightning bolt. The highway was illuminated one second and plunged into total darkness the next. It was utterly wild and I never felt so alive.

The ride home didn't start well because when I left the city I took the bike path round the Marriott Beachside Hotel in an effort to avoid the usual flooding on North Roosevelt at the Triangle. It turned out the bike path, winding picturesquely through the landscaping led me astray. Suddenly I found the Bonneville sinking under me like a horse in quicksand.

I gunned the engine, which spluttered horribly, but the Bonneville rose up out of the primordial muck as though as scared as I was suddenly, of sinking out of sight. My legs, attempting to push us off the lawn sank into water that covered my calves, a sensation that freaked me out beyond reason. I nearly turned back to the police station to wait out the weather.

I was wet but my waterproofs kept me warm, the Bonneville shook off the water and ran perfectly all the way home. What a gruesome morning; I slept until one o'clock.

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Key West- You STINK!

From captkeywest, known to me as Robert, this poem about our favorite city. Robert moved to key West in the year of the bicentennial and has enjoyed living here ever since. He is the man who has introduced me to hidden Key West over the years after we first crossed paths sailing our boats through the Bahamas. He posted this poem as a comment yesterday on my Brigadoon essay, along with a joke which I used as my very first essay in June 2007 on this blog.

"In 1997 this poem was reported to have been found in a trunk at a storage area on the Navy Base. Author unknown, this poem was written by a serviceman stationed in Key West during the War. When the brand new Sculpture Garden at Mallory Square was dedicated in late 1997 a time capsule was buried at the Sculpture Garden containing information info about what political issues were happening (Standard Time Capsule Stuff).Included was a copy of this poem and if they open the time capsule as planned in 100 years, people will again get to enjoy this authors work, Dated 1942."

Beloved Key West

Key West, oh Key West you moth eaten town,
Your unpainted houses should all be torn down.
Your winters are damp and your summers too are hot,
The air is humid with mildew and rot.
The land of bad colds, of sore throats and flu.
Of stiff aching muscles, pneumonia too,
Your people dull witted and God, what a bore.Your streets are filthy as spring now approaches,
This materially adds to your crop of cockroaches.
The home of side porches and bumpy thoroughfares,
With slovenly girls and their awful bland stares.You live among roaches and don't mind the rats,
And all seem to thrive on mosquitoes and gnats,
You don't speak English, you talk Cubanese:

Inhaling sewer gas which you think is the breeze.
You make us pay double for all that you sell,But after this war you can go straight to Hell!
And when you reach Hades and Satan greets you,
You'll feel right at home, for he's a Key Wester too!
Yes, Key West. oh Key West, it isn't all gravy,
To be plunked at your feet by Uncle Sam's Navy.Have you ever wondered why none of us grieve?
Why all of us welcome the first chance to leave.

The worst of it all is you think you are swell,
You think that you are perfect - that gripes like Hell.
You're rotten, you're dead, and you think you're alive.,You think you're a place - instead you're a dive.
You're not worth this paper, you're not worth this ink,
You can take it from me dear old Key West, YOU STINK!

Wet Garrison Bight

Oh look, rain.

Unusual that in one of the sunniest places in the US.

I feel rather confined in my 800 foot stilt home.

However I am particularly glad I no longer liveaboard. A wet marina is no fun, believe me.

Day five of downpours.

I thought I might have liked a BMW roadster when I was hunting for a motorcycle four years ago. They are really good bikes which unfortunately force you to live with looks only a mother could love.

I guess most mothers would love a boring little van in flood weather like this.

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Blusterous Weather

Supposedly the rain is going to start easing up fornthe rest of this week.

Tell that to the wildlife ducking the showers and wind.

Gray skies are getting a little lighter but bands of storms are still dropping rain on already flooded islands.

The good news in the Keys is that these islands are geared up to deal with this stuff. It's hard to ignore the possibility of flooding from time to time when all you can see on all sides is tidal salt water.

Some people are so hooked on fishing for fun or profit, depending, they are out on the water in all weathers.

For a Labrador that loves to explore this has been a confusing period. Cheyenne's regular walks are largely under water.

Even gray and overcast has a certain attractive look.

But really, I'm ready for a return to boring sunshine and primary colors.

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