We have been busy with many new boating friends joining us since our last blog and recently returned from a four- day vacation in Central Florida. It is always a magical experience to come over that Monroe County Line and we breathe a sigh of relief to be able to escape "far from the maddening crowd". The drive down the Keys out of the Miami airport will certainly put you in a different frame of mind; but there are many more Key West direct flights especially coming out of other Florida locations. We know that South Caroline, Texas and Atlanta Georgia have been getting good connecting flights.
We have certainly enjoyed the cool mid 70 degree nights, and the mid to upper 80's all month long, so if you have been here before you know that March and April through May can be the best time ever.
Today's Historic Comments:
When John Lee Williams traveled the Florida Keys in the early 1830's making observations incorporated in his book "The Territory of Florida" he wrote, "The Florida Keys are altogether an extraordinary archipelago of the islands and reefs".....Williams never intended his book, published in 1837, to be a literal, historical account, .....In his assessment of the island chain, however, he is correct. With the world's coastlines mapped, geographers know there is, in character and composition, no others archipelago on this planet to duplicate the Keys. (As written in the foreword of "Yesterday's Florida Keys" a book I am enjoying these days, written by Stan Windhorn and Wright Langley. I am amazed at the information not only as seen through the wonderful black and white photographs of days gone by but also the geography notes. "The age of the Keys is as debatable as that of a fading movie queen," states the writers. Historians point out that the Florida Keys are 50,000 years old but many geologists believe they could be 100,000 years older! Wow, that is an aging movie queen and we have some of those queens on Duval Street today doing live shows. The disparity in these estimates of the Florida Keys time line comes from the fact that the Keys were slow in emerging from the coral, limestone and oolite foundation with the emergence of these materials coming at different times. Geologists suggest that most of the Keys have been above and below water four times since the Pleistocene Era.
More important it seems than who these earliest visitors were is what it is that they saw. Ponce de Leon, sailing down the Florida coast from St. John's River to the Florida Keys, observed islands saw the more common trees found in the Caribbean and other island which would have been tidal flats but for their solid cover of red mangroves. In these dark web of jungle like appearance comprising the interior were panther, bear and the now protected tiny "Key" deer.
Ponce de Leon found local tribes of Indians, said to be large in stature seven feet tall Caloosa Nation Indians which may be an exaggeration of their height. These non-agricultural non-socially developed tribes were separated by the Everglades from the other part of their tribe that controlled much of the land from the Florida West Coat south from Tampa Bay.
These islander Indians were living in ease, on easily obtainable shellfish, and probably the first people "living on Key West Time".
We hope that you won't wait so long to the next Ice Age to come down and find your more relaxed vacation with us on board one of our boats, sailing the old pirate or Indian routes, lounging around in the tropical sun.
Call us soon for summer packages and rates. The snow will thaw soon where you are and we know you will have cabin fever. Call anytime between 9 am - 9 pm seven days a week.
Captain Albert and first mate/wife/office manager et al, Ronda
March 28, 2011