Monday, December 2, 2013

Historic Seaport, Key West Bight

There is a particular shade of blue that colors the early morning sky over Key West and I like walking under it. Here is the Galleon a Resort overlooking the marinas of Key West Bight.

A "bight" in nautical language is an indentation in the coastline suitable to use as an anchorage. Or as landlubbers might say in this case, suitable to line with a boardwalk and restaurants. Alonzo's, where locals eat happy hour seafood appetizers and drink rum. Highly recommended.

You can find mind numbing serenity here early in the day before the sun heats the air and causes it to rise creating water ruffling breezes. The water is like a mirror, just as I like it. No crashing waves tumbling on sandy beaches or breaking in a fountain of spume on rocky headlands.

It seems futile to add words to these banal colorful pictures. It was dawn, what else needs to be added?

Down on the docks life is jumbled, crowded and chaotic, defying the serenity of the surrounding waters.

"PRIVATE." Happily the boardwalk isn't and I recommend a dawn walk around here the next time you are in town.

One day at four o'clock I will recall this sign and I will get my phone camera over here. Not so far.

Fifty cent oysters and outdoor seating. A perfect fall evening in Key West.

Cheyenne needed a time out after a long downtown walk. She took it in front of the fancy Commodore, a restaurant whose hearth I have never darkened. My wife cooks a very edible steak for much less money. Plus I don't have to dress up at home.

More dawn nonsense. I am a sentimental sucker for color and simple compositions!

The roofline of the Conch Republic Seafood (not an eatery I would choose) more closely resembles a pagoda at certain angles...

This dawn and all it's colors just won't end will it?

Miraculously there are still a few commercial fishing boats that put in an appearance in the bight, the place that used yo be packed with them. They have decamped to Stock Island today to make room for wealthy amateurs and their plastic gin palaces.

This young lad identifies himself as a commercial fisherman by the style of the footwear he is carrying. His t-shirt is emblazoned with the initials of the Fish and Wildlife Commission, the former Marine Patrol. The white rubber boots are known locally as "Stock Island Nikes" so popular are they among the commercial fishermen now based in the harbors of Stock Island.

I am not alone in enjoying an early morning stroll along the waterfront:

Getting ready for a fishing charter:

Shipshape and Bristol fashion, is the way sailors used to describe having everything in order, including these neat coils of dock lines. I never kept mine like this as they seemed to retain water and encouraged moldy green stuff to grow underneath the line.

I think the city has done a nice job of making the bight accessible and pleasant for visitors.

Norberg Thompson was the man who got the plan going, and here he is with a monument to his name. Apparently he led a now defunct industrial enterprise including fishing in Key West and enjoyed recreational boating himself so I guess he had a stake in developing this waterfront! He was 65 in 1951 when he was killed by a cerebral hemorrhage.

The Key West waterfront is a gathering place for all sorts of characters, just as waterfronts always have been places of disrepute. Though you can't say that about the Key West Bight.

Well, she is a bit disreputable after a walk and several puddle baths.

The former waterfront market behind Cheyenne in the picture is undergoing construction to be turned into the new beer venue much discussed over the summer in a Key West.

Okay, I have a question. Why do people especially those of the male persuasion like to ride scooters while dangling their feet off their floorboards? I don't see any advantage except the possibility of breaking every bone in one's foot if the delicate limb hits the ground at speed or at an angle. The disadvantage is immediately apparent: you ride with your weight on your...gentleman vegetables, which I find painful. So why in the name of all that's sensible don't they put their feet on the floorboards intended for the purpose? Do they enjoy squashing their testicles? Really?

Key West on Dwellable