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Month: January 2021

This and That

This and That

14-JAN-2021 Thursday – Stock Island Marina, Stock Island FL (0 nautical miles 0 statute miles)

24°33’54.4″N 81°44’16.7″W Stock Island Marina, Stock Island FL
24.565116, -81.737974
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Dale and I are back to being Empty Nesters. The girls have returned to Minnesota, and Dale’s brother Bruce and his wife Diana have returned to Cape Canaveral.

This and That – End of the Holiday Season

Yes, we really did see a real Flamingo in Florida!! An America Flamingo! It’s unusual to see a wild flamingo in Florida. The America Flamingo, once common in Florida was hunted out of existence for the plume trade in the 1800s. However, every now and then an off course flamingo from the Bahamas or Mexico ends up in the Florida Keys.

American Flamingo at Sammy Creek Landing, Sugarloaf Key

This and That – Along the Way

This and That – Out and About

This and That – Dining Out

And the Bubba goes to the ‘Hogfish Bar & Grill’. (People’s Choice Award)


This and That – Looking for the Green Flash

Like all good tourist we’ve been to Mallory Square for sunsets.

15-Jan-2021 update on the pedal pub – The tiki hut pedal pub was stolen on Jan. 13, 2021! Tyln Earl Morlang, 26, of Independence, Missouri, was spotted by the U.S. Coast Guard just off Fort Zachary Taylor State Park intoxicated, alone and slumped over the wheel. The boat was damaged with burn marks. Morlang had built mini fires, using lighter fluid, in cup holders, water jugs and coconut shells to stay warm. It melted a lot of stuff.
He remains at the county jail on Stock Island without bond.

Checking out the Southernmost Point at 8:30pm. We still had to wait in line, but not too long.

Floccinaucinihilipilification

Pink lawn flamingos are NOT native to Florida. They are native to Leominster, Massachusetts, which bills itself as the Plastics Capital of the World. Union Products plastic company hired Don Featherstone, a sculptor at a nearby art school. His second project was to sculpt a pink flamingo. The first pink flamingo’s name was Diego.

There are more fake flamingos than real. Ornithologists estimate that there are only 950,000 flamingos in existence today compared to millions of plastic ones. Don Featherstone kept 57 in his backyard.

In 2009, the city of Madison, Wisconsin Common Council designated the plastic flamingo as the city’s official bird.

Drolleries and Yuks

How did the flamingo avoid the bird catcher?
– It stood still on a lawn and acted like a plastic flamingo!

Why did the young flamingos get in trouble?
– Their father finally put his foot down.

What do pink flamingos have on their front lawns?
– Plastic Italians.

Dale told me I had to stop acting like a flamingo.
– Reluctantly, I put my foot down.

At the Cat House

At the Cat House

02-JAN-2021 Saturday – Stock Island Marina, Stock Island FL (0 nautical miles 0 statute miles)

24°33’54.4″N 81°44’16.7″W Stock Island Marina, Stock Island FL
24.565116, -81.737974
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Along the Way

At the Cat House (A.K.A. the Hemingway House)

Ernest Hemingway was a famous for having polydactyl cats after being given his first polydactyl cat by a ship captain. Hemingway named her Snow White. Upon his death in 1961, his former home in Key West, Florida became a museum and a home for his cats. The Hemingway House currently has fifty-five descendants of his cats. About half of which are polydactyl. I’m certain we saw almost all of them!

Cats with thumbs, or any extra toes on their paws, are known as polydactyl cats, ie, cats with many digits. … (Pterodactyls were flying dinosaurs. They might have had extra toes 😉)

I never figured out where the litter box was.

Beginning in 2003, the Hemingway House museum was embroiled in a nine-year legal struggle against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) over whether the Animal Welfare Act of 1966, which typically regulates zoos and circuses with big cats, applied to the museum’s six-toed cat population. The USDA even sent undercover agents to monitor the cats in 2005 and 2006. The museum owners contested the USDA’s claims in court.

In 2005 an investigator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) examined the cats in 2005, they concluded: “What I found was a bunch of fat, happy and relaxed cats.”

In 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that Animal Welfare Act of 1966 applied to the Hemingway House because it used cats in advertisements and sold cat-themed merchandise. (thx Wiki)


Next stop was the historic 65-foot Key West Lighthouse across the street that was built in 1825. The story goes, Hemingway used it to find his way home after nights on the town.

Next stop Southernmost Point. 90 miles to Cuba.

1:30pm status: 1 Cuban coffee, 9,088 steps, 37 chickens, 2 roaming cats plus over two dozen Hemmingway cats and way too many tourists.

We caught the shuttle back to the marina.

Every picture has a story

We were sitting on yes dears‘ helm, looked up and thought what the ???? as a giant box floated by.  I had to go take a picture. It was a houseboat relocating to the adjacent marina. It had to have been briefly on the Atlantic Ocean in order to get here from anywhere! I’m impressed.

7 Diamonds is back at Stock Island Marina and there’s a 30 something party on board. 7 Diamonds is a Numarine 32XP expedition yacht, built in Istanbul, Turkey, that newly launched in 2020. She’s 106 feet and sleeps 12. Her asking price was £9,500,000.

Next door’s boat had it’s toybox open.

Good Night


Floccinaucinihilipilification

Polydactyl cats have been extremely popular as ship’s cats. Although there is some controversy over whether the most common variant of the trait originated as a mutation in New England or was brought there from Britain, there seems to be agreement that it spread widely as a result of cats carried on ships originating in Boston, Massachusetts, and the prevalence of polydactyly among the cat population of various ports correlates with the dates when they first established trade with Boston. Contributing to the spread of polydactyl cats by this means, sailors were long known to value polydactyl cats especially for their extraordinary climbing and hunting abilities as an aid in controlling shipboard rodents.  Some sailors thought they bring good luck at sea. The rarity of polydactyl cats in Europe may be because they were hunted and killed due to superstitions about witchcraft. (thx Wiki )

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, a polydactyl ginger tabby named Jake holds the world record for the most toes. Clocking in at a whopping 28 toes, Jake had seven toes on each paw—and each toe had a nail and pad.

One last story from the Hemingway House

During World War I, Hemingway worked as an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross. He served on the Italian front and suffered a severe injury the night of July 8, 1918, while handing out chocolate and cigarettes to soldiers. Hemingway was struck by fragments of an Austrian mortar shell. He was wounded in the foot, knee, thighs, scalp, and hand. In all, he absorbed more than 200 pieces of shrapnel—by his own count, 237.

In the aftermath of the explosion, the injured Hemingway reportedly carried a man to safety. (He was subsequently awarded a medal of valour for this action, among several others.) Hemingway was ultimately taken to a Red Cross hospital in Milan, where he met and fell in love with a nurse named Agnes von Kurowsky. At age 26, von Kurowsky was seven years his senior. She did not fully reciprocate his love and refused to marry him.

She inspired the character “Catherine Barkley” in Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. He got even with her at the end of the book. He killed her off.

That’s it 2020

That’s it 2020

31-DEC-2020 Thursday – Stock Island Marina, Stock Island FL (0 nautical miles 0 statute miles)

24°33’54.4″N 81°44’16.7″W Stock Island Marina, Stock Island FL
24.565116, -81.737974
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida

Along the Way

We decided to go visit Fort Zachary before lots of other tourist ventured out. We were there by 9:30am.

The three nautical mile limit refers to a traditional and now largely obsolete maritime boundary that defined a country’s territorial waters, for the purposes of trade regulation and exclusivity, as extending as far as the reach of cannons fired from land.

The ocean beach was too rough to swim. Besides, there were lots of jellyfish.

We stayed the course and walked the city.

Revelers

We truly hadn’t planned spending New Year’s Eve on Duval Street but we did. The evening was subdued. More than anything I was stunned at how many parents with small children were out! I can’t imagine any conceivable reason why any parent would bring underage offspring to Key West, other than being selfish. There is truly nothing here for underage children to do. Even the hotel pools are not youth friendly.

OK. Back on task…

I didn’t have my camera and my cell phone was at 30%. Key West has a mandatory mask mandate that about 70% of the people follow. It also has a 10pm to 6am curfew that was strongly enforced. Key West is usually packed with 50,000+ people for New Year’s Eve. There was probably about a quarter of that here this year.

$10 cover charge, but it was worth it. We stayed for less than 5 minutes ’cause it was tooooooo COVID friendly. No one was wearing masks (among other missing apparel).

With the 10pm curfew in place Sloppy Joe’s did not drop their New Year’s Eve Conch Shell and Schooner Wharf did not lower their Pirate Wench from the mast of a 100 foot schooner.

The Bourbon Street Pub did keep alive. However, “Sushi”, local drag queen Gary Marion, was dropped early (at 9:15pm) from the Bourbon Street Pub back patio balcony in a giant red stiletto. For social distancing reasons tickets to the event was limited. We watched it from over the fence from the adjacent street.

Had we been inside….. photos copied from Rob O’Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO and Florida Keys News Bureau

Happy New Year!

Fair well to the old
Welcome the new,
Be healthy and happy,
And may all your dreams come true.