They call them, rather inaccurately "tall ships" but as you can see they don't sail themselves, and someone has to climb the rigging from time to time. Rather her than me.
When I have a hankering to get away from my desk during my lunch break the waterfront is one of the places I like to wander with my camera, to reset my internal voice that has been listening to unhappy people all morning.
When I bring Rusty to town for early morning walks the place he loves best is around Mallory Square and as much as I try to walk him in different parts of the city he always gravitates back to that end of Duval Street. I similarly gravitate to the fuel dock sticking out into the harbor.
This is where people who liver at anchor on their boats in the cheap housing known as the anchorage, come to park their dinghies and go to work or go shopping. It's where visitors get to meet their adventure boats for a day on the water, it's where you pay large sums of money to rent a dock for your boat whether you live in town or are just visiting. Once upon a time it was a commercial harbor for shrimp boats. Imagine that.
A bight in nautical terms is an indentation on a coastline suitable for anchoring a boat. This little bay was one such place and part of the original waterfront of the city that grew up around maritime trade. Gentrification pushed the shrimping fleet to Stock Island and their place was taken by a more genteel class of boater hat you see today.
In line with that gentrification they call it the Key West Historic Seaport, but to me it is still the Key West Bight. When I return from my retirement van travels I'd like to keep a boat here and live on it when not traveling in the van. I'd like to live in Key West and not have to earn a living. I will be old by then and a frail human so I should like a slow comfortable boat with an engine that would take me out to some swimming holes I know with minimum fuss and no faffing about with rigging.
The fuel dock will be hallowed ground for the stink potter I plan to become and my sailor friends will repudiate me as they go sailing by. I have not planned my life around other people's opinions and I fear it may be too late to start. So I shall own a boat with an engine and no sails and I shall be happy.
Actually I must say that walking the docks these days I am happy to know I have a van with a comfortable bed and powerful air conditioning which is not susceptible to dragging it's anchor. For now a van will do nicely.
On our retirement travels I promise I will poke around waterfronts and harbors and find out how it is to go sailing in distant parts. I look forward to seeing water where I have never sailed and have no desire to sail, like Alaska.