Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ship's bLog: Key West Sailing Adventure - Key West Florida Sailing Charters FL Sailing Charter Key West Yacht Charters

Ship's bLog: Tuesday, 2/22/11: Presidents Washington's birthday was today! Key West Sailing Adventure - Key West Florida Sailing Charters FL Sailing Charter Key West Yacht Charters

We have a busy week-it was a long weekend for many folks and Key West was full of tourists. Now, more of our customers choosing to go out to sea at least one maybe two nights at anchor during their stay. You really cannot appreciate what the Keys Style is unless you are at sea, this is an island town rich in history and in so much connection to the sea.

History Lesson of the Day, 1905-1912:
Henry Morrison Flagler built a railroad from Miami to Key West. The trip took eleven hours and cost $24.00 for a round trip, a considerable amount at the time, but now it takes about 4 hours more or less depending on flights into Miami, what you want to explore on the way down and it is much more relaxed and a better route than even the 1970's.

A family just got back today from an overnight and sailing charter at sea. "Frenchy" and Capt. Jim had a sailing fishing type of charter and with mom and dad, three children, it must have been quiet the experience for the family. The turtles were everywhere, and turtles were eating up any jelly fish or man o' wars out at sea, dolphins were coming up to the boat. "Frenchy" and Capt. Chris are going to turn around and team back up again for the first time since December to take two people out for two days Wednesday and Thursday nights. Boca Grande, Marquesa, and two reefs are on the plan so far, it just depends on the guests and what they want to do as well as the winds and weather. "Frenchy" plans to clean the Wild Thing tomorrow, shop for the other charter going back out to sea and has a sunset sail as well. Hopping from boat to boat is our newest member, "Sunshine" who is a boat cleaning fiend. Our staff is a nice blend of expertise. "Frenchy" was a Canadian figure skating champ and can hoist a sail as good as men on the helm, and "Sunshine" has a history of understanding how important it is to keep the systems and the boat in working order.

All of our staff work to make sure that provisioning the boat is according to wishes and personal needs of our customers. There is no one else that takes charters to stay on the hook/ at anchor that we know of and we have done it 14-15 years. Live like a local and follow the pirates' routes!

Thursday, another group takes out the Obsession and will be at docks for at least three nights. In their package, is included a free sail to the reefs at a time that they choose. Most of the Key West Charters to the reefs are set and only to one particular place without regard to weather or winds. We do take all those factors into consideration and take the customers to what we feel is a best choice for that day according to wind and weather. Other charter companies have only a set choice, and go there at a particular time; with us, you choose your time, no strangers on board, our crew take you out and first mates go in to the water with you to make sure that you are safe, having fun and are exploring/understanding the reefs.

As to the charter on Thursday; They check in while we are on the road in Ft. Lauderdale on Thursday. My wife, office mgr. and first mate that trains all of our help will have knee surgery. It is a busy week where our staff will really shine.

Talk about exploring me mateys! Argh!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ship's bLog: Key West Sailing Adventure - Key West Florida Sail...

Ship's bLog: Key West Sailing Adventure - Key West Florida Sail...: "Key West Sailing Adventure - Key West Florida Sailing Charters FL Sailing Charter Key West Yacht Charters If you plan to stay in Key West du..."

Key West Sailing Adventure - Key West Florida Sailing Charters FL Sailing Charter Key West Yacht Charters

Key West Sailing Adventure - Key West Florida Sailing Charters FL Sailing Charter Key West Yacht Charters

If you plan to stay in Key West during April or May, OR want to have a June wedding on a boat at sea with a dream honeymoon, OR maybe you have an interest in someday living on a sail boat for your retirement or just want to learn how to sail, start this Spring by staying on Wild Thing or Obsession and get some local knowledge from owner/operator Captain Albert Tropea, Jr.

"Our customers come to Key West looking for a bit of an adventure," states Tropea, "we check the customers and future sailors aboard one of the sail boats instead of a local hotel/motel/inn, show them the basic operations of the boat answer questions about nearby services, and leave them alone for their stay/sail charter to learn what it feels like to sleep on the boats, and then we come back at a time of their choosing to go sailing."

What is a sailing package, Albert? "If the charter is for only two days, we still can get a two hour sunset or day sail out of the harbor or if they stay 3 days or longer, a four hour sail/swim/snorkel at one of the reefs nearby."
What makes Key West Sailing Adventure different from the big sailing vessels and other charters? "When you book with us, we don't take a group of others out during the time you have your charter reserved with you. It is your boat for the time reserved for your private party. You may prepare morning coffee on the boat, have your privacy, cook on a gas stove with oven, store beverages either in your refrigerator or in an ice chest provided for you and only when you say is the captain and first mate to meet you and take you sailing."

Anyone that stays on either boat is made to feel welcome, comfortable and relaxed and to think of the boat as their own boat for the time that they are here in Key West. Prices have not been raised yet from the 2009-2010 rates and start at 295/night double occupancy on Obsession and 395/night on Wild Thing, with additional 45 per person over two people. Two couples and even two more children or single adults can sleep on the boat. Linens and towels with bathroom amenities included. Boat Showers on the vessels for a quick rinse, or take a long hot shower on land based private marina facility. Laundry room at shower house, and pool nearby if you buy drinks or meals.

Ship's bLog: Key West Sailing Adventure 2/20/11

Ship's bLog: Key West Sailing Adventure 2/21/11

Happy President's Day-we were up at 5:45 am to make ready both Obsession for a couple doing one of our stay/sail charters at the docks with a sail to the reef included, and an overnight for Wild Thing for a mom, dad and three children all under 12.

Linens, towels, food, fuel, captain and mate were put together early, with a last review of where to go and what to expect. The sail boat Wild Thing is getting ready to launch in a few minutes (at 11:10 EST) for their noon departure. They are just getting the fuel situation worked out and last minute check on systems. The first mate, "Frenchy" and Captain Jim will prepare the meals tonight with breakfast for the family and lunch included. They will sail all day tomorrow and go out exploring until around sunset tomorrow.

It is a beautiful Florida Keys day for a sail to uninhabited islands overnight at anchor with dinner for the family under the stars!

Todays History Lesson:

A vocabulary lesson when the locals talk and say "gulf side" that means Gulf of Mexico, part of the ocean partly enclosed by land.

Schooner is one of the larger sailing vessels having a foremast and a main sail.

Pelican: world's largest web-footed bird.

"Charter" in Key West is to lease or hire, and you have lots of choices from various sized schooners or sail boats, speed boats, fishing charters to catamarans some with a lot of people on them and a very few that only take private sails like us: www.keywestsailingadventure.com

The Key West seaport is on the Gulf side of the island. All size boats, ships, yachts and schooners can be found in this harbor.

Many people arrive by their own boat or yacht and live on them while here. The world famous schooner, Western Union was built in Key West in 1935. After many years away, it is docked here and a permanent part of our history. You may see other boat builders in the seaport area.

If you like pelicans, you will find them here. The pelicans hang around the docks until the day is almost over. They feed from fish the crew throw away when they fillet the fish caught by either themselves or the customers of the fishing charter boats. Pelicans can seem to embody a laid-back attitude almost lazy of hanging out relaxing just waiting for their next Keys meal. As you walk along you will see charter boats for fishing or trips to the Dry Tortugas. There is no drinking water at teh "dry" Tortugas, which explains the name.

This is where Dr. Mudd was in prison for setting the leg of John Wilkes Booth, the man who killed President Lincoln. Who knew that???!!

Thanks readers! That is your President's Day trivia and maybe the reason why you hear the negative phrase "his name is Mudd" meant derogatory

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ship's bLog: Key West Sailing Adventure 2/20/11

Ship's bLog: Key West Sailing Adventure 2/20/11: "SUN-day was wonderful in the Florida Keys especially in Key West this weekend. It is starting off tomorrow to be yet another fun fille..."

Key West Sailing Adventure 2/20/11

SUN-day was wonderful in the Florida Keys especially in Key West this weekend.  It is starting off tomorrow to be yet another fun filled and busy week!  We are having a staff meeting tomorrow, gearing up for overnight at anchor this week, and the boats will be occupied for stay/sail charters early in the week, then mid week after our   guests leave, we have another full set for both boats coming right behind them!  As my wife might say, "there is not enough room on the schedule to place a leopard frog" and we like it that way; sharing the boating/sailing Key West Experience, locals' style.

Today's trivia/ history lesson:
1868-1898: was when Cubans came to Key West to avoid military service in Spain (well, there's news to me, someone fleeing to our country to avoid serving war?) In 1869, Key West became the biggest cigar making industry in the U.S.  and it was during this time period, that the worst fire in Key West history destroyed over HALF OF THE ISLAND!  In 1898, the U.S.S. Maine sailed from Key West to Havana and was sunk-this started the Spanish/ American War!  How's that history buffs!  Canons rolled out firing right here in Key West.

More recent history is that Mallory Square Dock is the original place since 1880 to enjoy the sunset and a favorite for years. This is where folks just would start clapping at sunset and cheering.  Now yo will see free entertainment, arts that you may buy, usually some type of food offered too on the Square each evening 2 hours before and after sunset.  The entertainers do pay for their spot to perform, and they do rely on tourists to offer tips as do the artists, jewelry designers and other crafts offered must create a little fun for you, and please offer a tip for their hard work!  The Square has always been a focal point for Key West.  In the last 15 years many improvements have been made to this docks.  If you are in town on the right day, you may be able to watch the tug boats working to move a large cruise ships away from the dock.  Usually most cruise ships are gone by sunset.  Occasionally, a cruise ship might over stay their time but you can usually find a nice spot to get above it all to see the sun go down....BETTER YET< plan a sunset cruise with us, or a half or full day and roll into sunset.  Tell us what you want, it's all your boat for your private group or a cozy time for just you and someone special and time of the day you want to go..... see us at  www.keywestsailingadventure.com 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ship's bLog: Ship's bLog Glorious Weekend in Florida Keys!

Ship's bLog: Ship's bLog Glorious Weekend in Florida Keys!: "Ship's bLog February 19, 2011 We are really hopping from boat to boat this month and the next! If you are planning to stay with us, bette..."

Ship's bLog Glorious Weekend in Florida Keys!

Ship's bLog February 19, 2011

We are really hopping from boat to boat this month and the next! If you are planning to stay with us, better call now for April and May.
Weddings will start booking too, so if you or a friend have a wish to be wed on the water, I can do it; I am now a 'captain-minister' for at sea weddings.
Key West is one of the top locations next to the Las Vegas wedding destination for weddings. I can put it together really quick and easy; we have wed over 60 couples in recent years, so let me take the stress out of your dream tropical wedding. I do everything, flowers for the bride and groom, nice cake with star fish and shell appointments made out of icing, help you find the court house for the license and answer any other questions.

Today's Weekend Trivia:
What is a catamaran? Looks like two boats put together!

Key West was at one time the richest city in the state of Florida. If you stop at the corner of Front and Duval, you will see two things that are a part of Key West. First the large First Union Bank originally built in 1886 with the huge mahogany balcony; how the heck did they get that up there?!

Next, if you stand on this corner long enough you will probably see every kind of transportation we have on the island. Taxi cabs, ped-i-cabs, automobiles, trucks of all kinds, shuttle bus, city bus, tour bus, two wheel bikes, three wheels and tandem bikes, mopeds, motorcycles, conch trains, trolleys, roller blades, skateboards, and walking. That is at 17 so far. To the left at the end of Duval you will see glass bottom boats.

Continue on Front Street to the boardwalk. At the foot o Front Street is A & B Marina. Here you will start to see all the forms of transportation we have in the water. Look for catamarans, sailboats (we are at the historic seaport near Schooner Wharf), schooners, motor boats, yachts, cabin cruisers, cruise ships, charter boats, tug boats, military boats, ferry boats, canoes, kayaks, row boats, water taxis and jet skis.

You know for a two by four mile island, we certainly like to have a lot of options to be on the move!

Get out on the water and sail with us! Join us again - Back tomorrow with another segment on the history of Key West and how we are doing sailing!

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Captain Albert, owner/operator, with
Ronda, wife, first mate, chief bottle washer, laundry, boat cleaner, chair psychologist office manager, et all

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ship's bLog Friday its the weekend in Key West its cookin' 2/18/11

Ship's bLog - Missed yesterday's history lesson but got a lesson in folks that drive crazy in Miami!!! back in the Keys, safe and sound ready to take on the world again.....This morning, Pete who stayed with us called at 7:30 am to say he had a wonderful sailing excursion yesterday and to please save him a spot in April.  We are almost booked totally for this month and March, with a tentative on the only time we have open! So if you sailors plan to board, ye better get shakin' argh me mateys! hoist that sail mind your way out the harbor....

Fun Phrase of the day; since we missed our history lesson - Key West Vocabulary and did you know that...

Today's History Lesson:  
Alright class, take your seats whilst this cap'n tells you about our history lesson back a long time ago...
Florida became the 27th state in the United States during this time period.  1849 was when the first turtle cannery opened and Key West was the richest city per capita in the state of Florida also this time period.  In 1856, the first US Navy station was established in Key West.  Then in 1958 the Coast Guard Building was completed.  The State of Florida seceded from the United States / UNION during the Civil War (and Key West still has that Conch Republic mind even today).  During this period Key West was the deep south seaport that was held by the Union.

Folks were starting to find ways down to the seaport town, and a much larger population of 2,302 called Key West home.

See you next time, in the meanwhile, get down to Key West and get out on the water sailing!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ship's bLog Key West History Lesson 2/16/11

Ship's bLog 2/16/11 -Today Capt. Brad and "Frenchy" - (Nancy from Canada) was happy to report brisk but very good half day sail with 15 knots of wind and perfect skies. "The color is so blue in the skies today" remarked Captain Albert, "that it doesn't even look real!" he exclaimed. That's how it is; colors change daily both in the sky and on the water. Five French Canadians down from the frozen north enjoyed a wonderful day.

Today's History Lesson from 1822-1829 (Key West)

The island of Key West was sold to John Simonton for $2,000.00 (guess we know why we have Simonton Street) now you could not even buy a square foot for that! Anyway, back to the lesson; In 1822, Key West was established as a "port". Cubans moved here with their cigar making businesses. Another business was letting sea water into the marsh lands, waiting for evaporation and then harvesting the salt. Many of the retired pirates became carpenters or workers in the wrecking business which was the main industry at this time. (Also wrecking was "glorified and dignified way of being a pirate" my wife Ronda said). The first Post Office opened in 1829. A conch Shell was blown if mail arrived which it did unless there was a wreck or a sea turtle was sighted.

Population was growing; now a busy little sea town and port of about 300 total residents.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Warm and Wonderful Key West Historically speaking...

February 15, 2011

First Mate Nancy said it was so much nicer out and that sunset sail on Sunday, February 13th was incredible. We had a bit of chill the day before, but we all think we are freezing if it is less than 70 degrees.


Today's history from 1513 - 1821

The first important name connected to Key West was PONCE DE LEON who claimed it for Spain. (I did not realize that, did you?) The Indian tribe living here at that time was called CALOOSA or may have been known as Calusa. Pirates used the waters off Key West to rest between attacks and to hide their loot. Fish and sea turtles were part of the daily food. The US Coast Guard was here in Key West from 1820 chasing out pirates, wreckers and rum runners. In 1821, Florida became a territory of the United States.

That's your daily history lesson! Join us again and post anything you want to share.

The Southernmost point in the United States Key West, is located 157 miles from Miami and 90 miles from Cuba. This island is one mile wide and only three and a half miles long! You can be anywhere in Key West by bicycle or even by foot is little time. You are on "Key West Time" and we like it a lot more relaxed and much slower here.