Florida Keys Fun & Sun
22 January 2011 | Marathon, Boot Key Harbor, Fl
Anywhere from the mid-60s to 80 degrees!
Warriors of ancient India would blow conch shells to announce battle. Hawaiians used the large conch shell (Pu) as a trumpet in ceremonial fanfare often accompanying chants or to control little Gods. The sound could be carried as far as 2 miles!
Today, cruisers, whether in the Bahamas or the Florida Keys, signal the end of the day (sunset) with the blowing of the conch. Blow hards beware: You won't always have the edge here. The volume (loudness) depends on the style of blowing rather than breath capacity. Think of Louis Armstrong's lip lock on a trumpet & you will have a better chance of blowing away your audience with your style.
Well my dear Captain Bill has been perfecting his technique with his trusty 15' Lobatus Gigas, commonly known as the Queen Conch, that he discovered & tooled into a mighty fine sunset horn. Every evening he joins in Boot Key Harbor's conch cacophony contributing his mournful baritone sound to dozens of other toots, honks or brays.
Of course, the Blowing of the Conch Ritual is symbiotic to the Drinking of the Sunset Cocktail Ritual.
So, yes, this is how we while away our evenings aboard MV Ruby Slipper here in balmy Marathon, half way between Miami & Key West. This is a delightful welcoming after our adventurous passage from the west coast of Florida & the primitive backcountry route via the Florida Everglades.
Days are spent at the beach (one of the Florida Keys ONLY natural sandy beaches), doing boat chores (defrosting the 'fridge as I write this, as a matter of fact), reading & walking. Tonite having some Eastport Yacht Club friends over for dinner. It's especially nice having friends from home in this sunny climate.
What's in-store for us? Later this week, my sister Benita & our niece, Katana are visiting Miami Beach to commemorate the 5 year passing of our mother. We'll all get together for lunch & hugs & a teary eye or two, no doubt. Next week, our friend Deb Smith, of Annapolis is visiting us aboard for a few nights R&R.
And, after all our company departs, we'll cast off the mooring lines & head for Key West for about 1 month. Thanks to Bill being retired USAF, we've scored a slip at NAS Key West at Boca Chica, just minutes from the fun of Key West. Apparently the military-only marina offers a sandy beach & tiki bar. But the real excitement is when the Navy is undergoing exercises. I'm sure nothing is cooler than the sound of F-18's taking off overhead while aboard the comfort of your own boat!
After our month there, we'll head back home slowly for an approximate arrival around the first of May.
I've been have difficulty download the many photos I've taken of our passage so far. But do check out what we have in the Photo Gallery at the lower right side of the blog.
Missing you all & hope to hear of YOUR adventures.
Admiral Linda, Captain Bill & Crew Dogs: Murphy & Trapper