Sunday, December 17, 2017

Getting Settled

The crew of Viridian will be docked in Key West for at least a month.  This is all new territory for us and getting our heads wrapped around navigating the island will take a few days.   Walking around in the marina we found a local art gallery and met the owner, Koz.  He was a wealth of information and had one good map of the area left which he gave to us.  Koz told us where all the free parking was and what places were a must to see.  Armed with a cartoon map of Key West and adjacent Stock Island, we now had to work out our transportation.  The choices were walking, taking a free shuttle bus from the hotel, taxi, uber, bicycles or scooter.  Most of the places we wanted to see were across the canal onto the island of Key West.  Everyone here seemed to be using scooters to get around on.  They were everywhere.  We called one of the recommended scooter rentals and soon had our own scooter to launch our first expedition onto the islands.  

Our first scooter trip was to circumnavigate the island of Key West and get the "big picture" overview and come back to Viridian and study the map to get oriented.  On the way we stopped at several strip malls to pick up some supplies and cruised through neighborhoods on the "middle island".  The next day we went to the far west end of Key West where the original "old town" section is.  The island of Key West is now three times the size it was originally,  Excavation for marinas yielded so much fill that the island was built East until it almost met Stock Island.  This area is called "New Town".

Saturday morning was boat cleaning time.  We spent all morning washing and cleaning Viridian and applying protective polish to the Strataglass bimini enclosure on the Flybridge.  For lunch we ordered sandwiches from the nearby tiki hut and didn't need another meal that day.  After showers we took the "free" shuttle bus to Publix to get a month's worth of provisions,  After putting all that away, we caught the shuttle bus again and it took us deep into old town Key West.  We had two hours to find the best Key Lime Pie on the island before we had to catch the shuttle back to the marina at 8:30 PM.  This pie was found at Pepe's on Caroline St.

Sunday morning started off with the final stage of cracking into that coconut we found off Pine Island back up around Ft. Myers.  Later in the morning the scuba diver boat bottom cleaner we hired showed up to scrub off the layer of slime we grew while docked in Ditto Landing all year.  He also replaced all the underwater zinc that was almost eaten away.  I asked him what he sees when he's down there cleaning boats in this marina.  He has seen sharks: hammerheads, bull sharks, lemon sharks, nurse sharks and others,  He has seen rays, eels, barracuda and all manner of reef fish.  One day a manatee came up behind him and pulled his regulator out of his mouth thinking it was a fresh water hose (they love to drink fresh water).  

Once all this was completed, we took the scooter back into old town, parked in the "free" parking area, and started exploring Duval St.  Duval St. is like the main drag in Key West.  All the shops and many restaurants are located there.  We also walked down side roads checking out some old houses and neighborhoods in the area.  

It will take several more trips onto the island to visit as many attractions as we can during our short stay here.  That's the news, now here are some views.

Viridian in her Key West slip at Stock Island Marina, FL

One of our Island transportation options

Key Lime and Coconut Cream Pie at Pepe's 

New Harley Fat Boy

Christmas Tree for Viridian

Drop-off and pick-up location for the shuttle bus in old town

Back to the coconut.  Must use the proper tool to open.

Didn't spill a drop!  It actually tasted GOOD.

I noticed this fantastic schooner docked on the other side of the pier from Viridian.  After talking with some of the crew I was stunned to discover that this was General George Patton's private yacht "When And If".  He had planned to sail her around the world, with his wife Bea, when the war was over and if he survived.  Sadly, he was killed in a car accident in Germany before he could make that voyage.  Check out the live link above for more info on this beautiful vessel.

Marina Pool Area

 Jason prepares to go under and clean the bottom of Viridian and replace underwater zinc

Sunday Lunch on Viridian

Meg and the Sponge Man

Typical Island shop

The area is covered with shops like this

Springtime in December

What is this house's story?

Old Florida House

Typical Old Town House

Very little sign of hurricane Irma here

 Rest Break

Off the main drag down a side road

Nice porch for a nap

Episcopal Church in Old Town Key West

The oldest School House (old brass bell near the flag)

Another view of the church

A real "Dollar Store"

Taking a rest on the dock

Sunset Dinghy ride through the harbor

Shrimp boats getting ready to go out at night

1 comment: