Keys to The Keys History go way back to the 1500's.
The Florida Keys were called "Martyres" in 1564 Map drawn by Frenchman Jacques le Moyne. Spaniards name them "Los Martires" supposedly because of the twisted shapes of the Keys. I had never heard of this and was surprised that anyone even knew about the Keys back then. Both versions of this spelling was used on early maps. Members of Ponce de Leon's 1513 expedition first applied the anme Los Martires when this conquistador received possibly undeserved credti for the discovery of Florida. It's probably a good thing Ponce de Leon did not have a lot of money or battalions to his expeditions else we may have had a whole different history of name sakes or a more intense French holding. Good old Ponce luckily was not a pirate in his travels!
Substantial history indicates that Sebastian Cabot actually discovered Florida mainland at least the most northern of the defined Keys in 1498. It is believed that Columbus saw the southernmost Keys in his 1492 voyage of discovery. Columbus was sailing from the Bahamas in search of Cuba, when he made a reference to small islands, inaccessible to sailors because of the reefs and shallow water, seen to his north.
Something that is yet to be proven are very recent finds in Illinois and up the Mississippi as Memphis is actually an old Egyptian name and gold statues were found in caves at the end of the Mississippi. The middle eastern evidence is just now beginning to be unveiled and may be written into text books (do schools still use books now??) Lest I divert too much, back to the facts jack !
More likely is the possibility that unknown slavers were the first to come to the Florida Keys. Enslaved Indians from Florida were in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Dominica before Ponce de Leon organized his 1513 voyage.
Little is known to this reader how the slaves came to be sold by their fellow Africans in the first place to the United States at first (didn't you know this? Black tribes sold those defeated into slavery first; I wish we could make that more obvious in our history). However, I think as a sailor myself, maybe when Columbus, Ponce de Leon and other travelers could not "shang hai" their help, maybe that is how this whole slavery from Africa was fueled. Things happen at sea even today makes this writer wonder what we don't know.
I'm just saying, get out to sea and hit some waves, sailors overboard, terrible sickness and death at sea, well, it could get desperate. Then what do you do with a full boat of folks once you don't sail? Sell them into the country you retire? It's a bothersome history to me as it is. Just wondering what happens at sea now with pirates makes me wonder about these things. Next time someone gets you going on the slavery issue, just remind them "a black tribe that won a war sold their captors first." Terrible thing this whole war idea even today; there is always somebody lording over somebody. Our son is serving in GTMO and we have conflicted ideas of sorts why this world has some types of slavery all the time. He's doing a good job best he can as a Navy sailor.
I suppose that is why I love the idea if things get rotten in our life and times, we will "throw those lines, push of the docks, hoist those sails and make sharp that turn" and take off for parts unknown and unchartered. It's in a sailor's blood and often leads to new explorations and new settlements. I think we like the idea of tying up to an island somewhere nearby someday and not be a part of the madness just enjoy sailing.
Maybe that is the main reason I have continued with this Company so long is that I have to believe the mainland and big city stressors just get that old urge to run away and explore and the juices flowing for adventure!
Our history of the Florida Keys is knee deep in cultural diversity. How people end up in the Florid Keys, is a library of stories not one the same. It doesn't matter your background, color, ideas, lifestyles, we boast as "ONE HUMAN FAMILY" which is a bumper sticker that someone came up with in recent history and offers it free around town so go ahead and make this your next scavenger hunt when you come to the Key West area.
Call Captain Albert anytime seven days a week, 9 am - 9 pm
305 304 4911 when you are ready to go and do something different from a regular "inn" or boxed in hotel room experience. You will come back from staying on board a boat and sailing with a fresh view of life we promise.
It still happens to us and we have done this for years. Especially if you stay overnight at sea; there is hardly anyone but us that takes charters out to stay on anchor; it's just something about just watching the sun go down and a captain and first mate serving you dinner under the stars. NO T.V. to haunt you with the latest conquest and death tolls of the latest global war or disaster, or the canned crappy "breaking B'S" news; just the sounds of the waves lapping against the boat and if you time it right, you sit up all night watching the moon go across the heavens instead of CNN or the latest on Fox's Nearly News (sorry news casters; you just don't impress me much with your offerings; maybe come down here and let's put you out in the water ten or more miles out away from electronics and garbage!). Anyway, get away from whatever has it's hypnotic hold on you to stay up glued to the idiot box all night.
Got Key West Time to spend? Spend it with us; April-May-June- lots of openings but we are getting more popular and filling up fast.
Until next time, keep your back to the wind, keep your sails full and don't forget to tip a sailor or your waitress/waiter when you are in town.
Ronda first mate/ wife/ bottle washer/ office manager, et al
on behalf of Capt. Albert busier than a one armed pirate.