Monday, March 28, 2011

Ship's bLog-Key West Sailing Adventure March over view

Ship's blog-Obsession and Wild thing both had the best month in 14 years this March! We want you to know we have lots of openings for your summer plans; both Easter and Memorial Day have last minute cancellations but won't last long, since we noticed this morning that there are many getting snow north of Key West. Thinking about coming down, call us early while you have some options. We like to encourage our guests to stay the first night at the dock, sail out and stay overnight the 2nd (and 3rd night) experience the wonder of the Florida Keys at anchor under the stars, then return to spend their last night finishing up fun on Duval and shopping. We call it the "Key West Sampler" different from anything you could do at the hotels or on board any other boats.

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

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ship's bLog: Ship's bLog-KEY WEST Sail boat Charters for the weekend 3/7/11

Ship's bLog: Ship's bLog-KEY WEST Getting ready for the Weekend with both Sail Boats. We still have a lot of Spring Break action in Key West with more families than ever coming down when the kids under 18 are out of school. Moms and Dads just wanna have fun! Wild Thing is being prepped today for the weekend. Guests on board Obsession are here through Sunday. We had Kuni and Jeff celebrating their 25th Anniversary with us and today they say good bye; we will miss you and hope you enjoyed sailing with us!

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.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ship's bLog-KEY WEST 3/7/11

Ship's bLog-Key West Sail Boats have another banner weekend! The weather has been cooperating, but we do enjoy a short burst of rain now and then to keep the Keys Kolors of our beautiful spring time. Both boats are turning around; one of the boats went at sea over the weekend, and our two couples are reliving some fun memories and headed back home. Jeff and Kuni are going to arrive this afternoon, celebrating their 25th anniversary! They will take a four hour sail to the reef included with their stay. What fun. Live a dream second honeymoon!

Some Historic and Fun Things to look for in Key West Historic Seaport: (Remember the scavenger hunts when you were a kid? You get to be a kid again in Key West, just pace yourself).

As you walk around the seaport area on the harbor walk, look for these fun things:

Red Pepper Car created by local artist Dick Moody. It still is around and it's been several years now.

Large mural on a temporarily closed huge building done by famous international artist Wyland - who also has paintings exhibited on Duval Street.

Sign that shows mileage to Hawaii, Virgin Island, St. Elizabeth-Jamaica, Puerto Rico.

Look for a bowline knot or fisherman's bend knot.

Who does the statue represent? It's surrounded by restaurants that feature favorites of seafood, fishermen, and turtle racing.

Just walk around the Historic Seaport near our boats, you will find all these landmarks.

305 304 4911

Remember, you can make your own history when you visit with us. Live like a local, sail out to pirates' routes, argh, me mateys!

Capt. Albert and first mate, Ronda/ wife person
Who does that statue

Friday, March 4, 2011 Sail Boat Adventure Packages getting attention from Miami Families in March spring break!

Gmail - Buzz -
Key West Sailing Adventure packages are catching on with families from Miami. Just because it is spring break, your family would enjoy staying here late March or early April.

The Blum Family from Miami just booked one of our last minute openings in March, due to a cancellation on our 37 Ft. O'Day with lots of room for two small boys and access to the downtown museums with the nightly arts / entertainers sunset festival just a few blocks away. Once you park, most of the time you will just walk around the general vicinity of the sail boats. Restaurants, great Ice Cream Shop for breakfast/treats/ lunch sandwiches at the head of the dock, 2 nearby coffee shops (including wireless access at one on Caroline St.) are a short stroll away.

Yes, there will be some lively activity from the college crowd, but if you get up with children early to swim at nearby pool and get a lunch at Dante's Restaurant, you can take a taxi to Fort Zachary Taylor, visit the Eco-Discovery Center just to the right of the entrance first with a wonderful movie about the Florida Keys and the life forms unique to our area.

After you spend a 45 or hour tour there, then take a tour of the fort, proceed to the sandy beach with shallow water areas that are protected by large rocks, enjoy the snack bar, bathrooms and outdoor showers, rent an umbrella, kayaks, cool off under the whispering pines and if you bring your own goodies, there are BBQ pits and picnic tables to set up a lunch of your own.

Florida Keys is relaxed and low to no crime compared to the larger cities. Police are ever alert and friendly to our visitors with children.


During the 50's the area still had an influence of the Navy and gradually, people who visited decided to stay. The biggest worry during this time I have been told was the mosquitoes and since then, the Mosquito Board and services have educated and created guidelines to help residents get pests at bay with responsible use of water and keeping alert of problem areas.

In 1970, Sea Turtle Cannery was closed (Now there is an internationally famous Turtle Hospital in Marathon, about an hour away; but don't just show up; tours are monitored for size for the comfort and care of the turtles, so call ahead to make reservations and get tickets and pricing).

1975 Coast Guard moved onto the Navy Base. 1988 Boat Building resumes.

During the 70-80's Key West saw a "face lift" generated from our Alternative Life Style couples coming in taking great care to restore the Old Town Key West historic homes. You will see many of these homes on Fleming and Southard Street, along with our favorite restaurants, Cafe Sole top of the favorite list, Michaels nearby, and also Manga Manga, all around these streets that feature some of the most beautifully restored homes that came over from Turtle Cay on ships and boats from the Bahamas, lovingly put together, board by board, over 120 years ago.

Key West started to see some shifts in how the town was operating. Also in the 70's - Shrimpers moved over to the next island, Stock Island after living and working in the Historic Seaport off William Street. Downtown Key West and the Historic Seaport took their fishing and conch industry roots and turned the area into a tourist interest area. Stock Island got it's name from the cattle industry once actively being handled there.

In the 1970's - Tourism is growing and continues to be the main industry, with the fishing and shrimping industry holding steady.

NOTE: populations grew from 15,000 in the 40's to over 60,000 residents in season in the late 90s. Over 400,000 in 1998 people visited Key West in one year and now days, that probably is more like one to two million.

We have seen many changes recently in the shift of Key West the party town to a more accommodating town for families.

Alternative couples still find Key West a wonderful and welcoming destination too. There is a popular saying here; one human family - we do embrace different cultures from all over and accept them as our own, and do defend them too.

You will note that chickens and roosters and Key West Cats still stroll around. BUT PLEASE --- don't chase the chickens; a sheriff almost ticketed my adult step son stating that he would be cited for MOLESTING THE CHICKENS. I am not kidding folks. Our animals have rights too and wild kitties get shots and are neutered.

The Key West tourism industry has over the past 12 years started focusing on families more, and the airport service has improved with more connections. The airport was recently renovated to accommodate the additional legs from many more cities. Pricing has moderated and many from Florida cities should check to see newest available connecting flights.

Atlanta, Memphis, Dallas, and other larger cities in the South East have improved their connections with us.

Drive or fly, the door is always open!

CALL CAPTAIN ALBERT OR RONDA 305 304 4911 9 am - 9 pm any day of the week because we are always on
what Howard Livingston and The Mile Marker 24 Band says is


March 4, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Key West Sailing Adventure: The Sailboats Wild Thing and Obsession are busy again this weekend! A Ship's bLog: March 3 - 2011

Key West Sailing Adventure: The sailboats Wild Thing and Obsession are busy again this weekend! Ship's bLog: March 3rd 2011

We just love March high "season" when we have so much fun, that people could not stop hugging me at the docks the other day. We had a family with children at sea for two days and they just could not be happier. It is one of those memories that far out lasts just a stay at a hotel. If you need an adventure experience to remember your Key West visit, truly you need to have a stay/sail charter with us. Family and Alternative friendly, we want you to enjoy the fun and feel of sailing with us.

Reasonable rates for extended stays of six or more days are available to you.

History Lesson of the Day-

We are up to the time period that was some of Key West's toughest years. However, the island ways are different from being on the mainland. Even with folks you are not close to, during harder times, you just work harder shoulder to shoulder. After all, if you are on an island, you just have what you have sometimes.

The Western Union was the last large boat built before the industry closed. Big News-hurricane wipes out the famous Flagler Railroad in the 30's. The islands were cut off from the mainland. Locals volunteered FOUR MILLION HOURS OF FREE LABOR to rebuild the island and work on the railroad. In 1941 the US Navy renews it's activity in Key West. The "big wars" happening during this time made Key West a critical location.

Hold your friends close, but keep your enemies closer; that is a saying that you would never understand unless you have been stranded on an island!

In other words, during hard times, on an island- you got what you got, make the best of it and wait until tomorrow to not be happy with your troublesome neighbors. Help out a brother or sister. Resume the battle lines another time.

You might actually bury that hatchet.

Good words, coming from the Conch Republic from Ronda and Capt. Albert; hey, someone share this with some of these crazy folks at war overseas. Save a sailor and a soldier, work with your enemies with their problems like islanders.

What if the world was bombarded by solar flares, world wide quakes or storms, or major planetary disasters, huge meteorites (like we had happen a couple of years ago at our Sugarloaf House when we were pounded for two and a half hours with thumb size meteors; I had to medicate Ronda when I said "what if those meteorites were the size of this house???"
Keep that emergency closet ready like we do for hurricanes. We don't worry about that much, we still party and have fun, but islanders prepare and relax in the sun until rough times. We know we have our friends and frienimies standing by.

Ok pontificating over argh me mateys! Git yer stash and swag it down to Key West Sailing Adventures, Inc. 201 William St. Historic Seaport right next to Schooner Wharf Bar and Restaurant, Key West.
]305 304 4911 9 am - 9 pm

PS: We own the weather but you know that by now...
Have a good afternoon, see you next time!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gmail - Search results -

Key West Sailing Adventures, Inc. Ship's Log/Blog
Today's History Lesson 3/2/11

The past week, we are enjoying a busy time on both sailboats with happy clients and busy crew members. This weekend we march into March like a lion with Thursday check in of two couples on Wild Thing and Saturday Obsession has a couple checking in. Both stay/sail charters have opted to stay several nights to enjoy the ambiance of living aboard a vessel in the Historic Seaport.

Today's History Lesson: 1921-1934:

Wrecking licenses were stopped. Cigar makers moved to Tampa, salt pond venture stopped. In 1932 the U.S. Navy station closed. In 1934 the City of Key West was bankrupt and the government stepped in to help with the rehabilitation.

This sounds familiar with our country's current condition. However, South Florida seems to be going into a tourism boom as the situation in Mexico, the middle east and other parts of the world have their share of problems right now, discouraging potential tourists from visiting outside the United States. We are located in the American Caribbean with the Temperate Zone changing to the Sub Tropic Zone at the Monroe County/Dade County line, located just above Jewfish Creek as you begin entering into the Florida Keys. Spring travels at 17 miles a day from the Equator, and arrives here in Key West first, weeks before the rest of the country. Come down and see for yourself what a trip out into the ocean will do for you and your state of mind.

We are "livin' on Key West Time"

Welcome everyone to your dream vacation!!! 305 304 4911

Call us for your ideas if you can dream it we will do it!

March 2, 2011