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It's blowin' in Key West!
Julie
04 March 2012 | Key West, FL
After spending Friday at a lovely anchorage in Newfound Harbor off Big Pine Key, we headed out on Saturday morning for Key West. It was a beautiful day and after only about three hours, we arrived at the harbor entrance and tied up to a dock at a marina in Key West. What a busy place! It is easy to see why Key West has the reputation of being party place as there is a bar or restaurant seemingly every few feet and there was a steady parade of tour/party boats, catamarans, and pirate ships in and out of the marina filled with tourists with drinks in hand! We tied up and settled in. That evening we went to a very nice restaurant at the neighboring marina and had a wonderful dinner – grilled mahi-mahi for me and sesame seared yellow fin tuna for Marc a shared dessert called “Chocolate Sin” which was delicious!

Sunday morning we woke to another sunny day and put on our walking gear and set off for a power walk around Key West. We entered a pretty development which turned out to be the former Truman Annex Naval Station that was auctioned to a developer in 1986. The result is a very attractive development of refurbished structures resulting in lovely homes, town houses and condos with white picket fences, and gorgeous flowers and shrubs blooming everywhere. Also included in this development is the “Little White House” that had formerly been the base's VIP lodge and was visited by numerous presidents over the years, though only Truman actually stayed there. It is now a small museum and we plan to tour it at some point during our stay.

Another amusing thing about Key West is the chickens. While wandering around, you will often see hens and roosters just meandering over lawns and down streets. As we were walking, we could see and hear roosters crowing from all quadrants which made me smile. Apparently at one point, they tried to control the number of chickens in Key West by trying to hire a “chicken catcher” but it was unsuccessful so instead they made the chicken the official bird of Key West and they remain!

We finished our walk and by around 11 am, the cold front that was predicted to come through had arrived. The sky turned black and the winds clocked around to the north, blowing around 25mph with higher gusts. The rain started and the temperatures dropped from 80 to 70 in an hour (I know I will get no sympathy from our Maine friends about 70 degree temps but a 10 degree sudden drop with stiff north winds felt significant). The picture featured shows the palm trees blowing in front of a neighboring resort. Marc headed outside about a hundred times to check lines, fenders and boards. We are tied up to a T head on a fixed wooden dock and with the winds rocking the boat, a lot of “tweaking” was required before he was satisfied that all was well. Of course colder temperatures and being plugged to shore power can mean only one thing – time to drag out the crock pot! We have a delicious smelling beef and bean chili that has been simmering in the galley all day!

The front is through though it is supposed to remain windy for most of the week and the temperatures are expected to rebound to around 80 in a day or two. We will be busy exploring Key West and all it has to offer!