Leave home a few minutes early and instead of riding straight to work down the industrial suburb of North Roosevelt take instead the beach route.
Tourists out enjoying a sunset cruise:
Commercial fishermen homeward ploughing their weary way:
Landlubbers absorbing the astonishing view:
Some standing some sitting and some sprawling:
Others with their backs to the view get on with the all important business of getting spliced. For in the nautical world splicing is the art of joining two ropes indissolubly and almost invisibly. I used to be able to do a simple splice, once.
I've been married 18 years so that sort of splice I can still manage. I liked watching these two happy visitors adventuring far from Mallory Square on scooters no less, to enjoy their own tropical sunset.
To me, the cool part is they would never in life contemplate riding a scooter at home whereas in Key West such madness comes naturally. As naturally as the sun setting in a blaze of glory.
A mural by eric anfinson and friends with youngsters in Bahama Village who took it on as a summer project. According to an article in the paper it took 25 hours of work to bring the image to this formerly abandoned wall.
The face is named Isaiah by the artist but who or what it represents is up to the viewer.
Pirates do like to show up from time to time in the Southernmost City and for this the twelfth running of Pirates In Paradise they will be in town through the 4th of December.
I suppose it is hopeless to point out there never were pirates in Key West, a place with no harbor, no wood to repair ships, no water to refill casks and no steep tides to enable ships to be beached and have their hulls scraped. Besides all that Key West is not ideally placed for a sailing ship of the era to cut off silver galleons sailing out of Havana...but authenticity be damned.
They cut a fine figure, them pirates, even of some of them arrive by car rather than by square rigger.
He looks rather fearsome, she a good deal less so.
This dude has got either a toothache or a cellphone.
This wench has cleavage bless her heart.
You have to admire the dress sense of these wicked people.
Even their golf carts get the satin and skulls treatment.
This happy family of part time pirates was keeping busy between pillaging gigs.
This bodices and full skirts do something for me.
Cheyenne would murder me if I did this to her.
He was making a rope bell clapper. It looked like then kind of work a police dispatcher might take up to pass the time on long night watches at work.
I contemplated buying a sword from this itinerant salesman who offered me a fine palm trimming model for a mere $350. I think my wife might have done me unmentionables had I arrived home with the world's most expensive, and stylish machete.
And in case you run out of ammo they can train you in back up defense techniques.
Or the pirates will sell you jewelry.
Like a friend pointed out to me Key West is just one excuse after another for adults to get dressed up. Bring on the bodices!
Or the kilts.
As an aside Admiral Finbar of the Conch Republic Navy gathered by his schooner Wolf...
...not just to collect his laundry...
...but to burn the hurricane flag:
...to mark the end of another hurricane season as tradition dictates. But the ceremony was delayed and I had to leave trusting them not to make a hash of the job without me. Thanks to Wayne,