Sunday, January 14, 2018

Key West Seafood Festival

Today, Sunday, was the last day of the Key West seafood festival so we decided to buzz over this afternoon and see what all the commotion was about.  With the temperature peaking at 62 degrees and a north wind of 17 mph, we arrived at the festival shivering and looking for something warm to eat.  There was no line at the conch chowder booth so we headed over only to find out that they had run out of bowls.  Conch fritters were flying off the shelf next door so we got a small basket of that to tide us over.  They were hot and tasty with the cocktail sauce and cut the edge off our hunger as the pig we ate yesterday had faded.   Milling around we found a small line at the gumbo shed but a lady came to us and said that they would probably run out by the time we got to the table.  Fortunately, we managed to get the bottom of the pot scrapings poured over a bed of rice.  Not the best gumbo but at least it was hot and practically free.  Don't get me wrong, there were several succulent seafood plates served at various booths but we were forging on the cheap.  Many unique craft items were on display and for sale but we were there to just look. Besides, we don't have any room on Viridian to put another item.  Satisfied we had sampled the festival of Key West, we got back on our rented scooter for the last time and buzzed back to the marina.  Tomorrow the scooter will be gone and exchanged for a couple of bicycles.  That's a little news and here are a few views.

 What would a festival be without one of these birds sitting on someone's shoulder?
This bird is 30 years old!!!

 Strips of salvaged hurricane plywood nailed to crab traps served as stand-up tables

 Tables and chairs under a covering for those who don't want to stand

What do you do when you can't find your long britches?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Whole Pig and Random Pics

De Luna's Bar and Grill is located at Stock Island Marina, just a quick walk around the corner from where Viridian is tied.  We have noticed that in order to survive as an eatery on Key West you have to get creative and think of unique things that set you apart.  The competition for customers here is very intense but that creates excellent menus and the owners have to be at the top of their game at all times.  

De Luna is a Cuban family owned business.  Two generations work here as cooks, waitresses and bottle washers.  Today they had a handwritten poster nailed to a post advertising whole, 120 lb, fire-roasted pig plate special for $8.00.   Who could resists that?  Especially since most people have had their fill of seafood.  The only thing that was working against this strategy was that the wind was blowing away from the marina and out into a mangrove forest where only the alligators and iguanas could smell it.  Nevertheless, word traveled fast up wind and we staked out our place in line and soon had our platter of succulent Cuban roasted pig with Cuban spiced black beans & rice and yuca root. (Yuca root is also referred to as Cassava, Medioc or Mandioca and Tapioca throughout the tropical regions of the world it is grown in.  In the United States, the name “tapioca” most often refers to the starch and other derivatives made from the root.)  We were not able to finish our lunches due to the HUGE portions, but what we did manage to eat kept us till next day.

That's the "pig" news of the day and here are some random views around the marina.

 Checking the hind quarters

 Checking the front quarters


Why didn't we just half a plate?

 Guineas taking a dirt bath

 These things can swim like a fish!

 6 ft Tarpon fish cruising under the docks

 See the owl silhouette by the post?  Apparently this is a bird magnet rather that a bird repellent.

 These young men crew a crab boat with 500 pots deployed in the Atlantic Ocean off shoar east of Key West.  They run them every 3 days.  On the off days they take on fuel and earn money with their boat in other ways.  
 Santa Claus is coming!

Coconut Row is probably the oldest dock here on Stock Island.  Lots of liveaboards here.

 Coconut Row

 Mooring balls on Coconut Row

 Just a pinch between cheek and gum

 Meg and "Salt" the looper dog