Sunday, May 5, 2013

Three days in Key west

The last three days we have been doing Key West and environs.

Key west reminds me a lot of New Orleans. It is about as congested with tourists because they bring  a couple of cruise ships in each day which add a few thousand tourists to the old town section. Many of the buildings are in similar style to those of New Orleans and just as old. The shops aren't as tacky. 

I took nicer pictures of Key West but somehow lost them. This is
the only one I found. It isn't typical of the old town area. 

 Parking is strange here. First of all it is hard to find. Then, when you find a spot, it is parallel parking on a narrow street. After maneuvering the F-250 into the spot you pay $2.00 per hour at pay spots on each block. If you pay for say 4 hours as I did and then decide to move to another area, guess what, your parking was good only for the block you first parked on. If you move, you pay.

Statues of dancers in front of the Key west Lighthouse Museum.

Parking aside, we have enjoyed the keys a lot. The birding has been great. The people are friendly. It has been fun.

My last blog I reported on the heavy rain we had as we arrived in Key West. It set a record for the day. Brenda was sitting in the truck waiting for a break and took the following picture through the windshield of the truck. I thought you might enjoy it.

View through car windshield during rain storm.

Yesterday we took the ferry to the Dry Tortugas. The Dry Tortugas are on the bucket list of every serious birder. Many birds migrating across the Gulf of Mexico from Central and South America stop here. At this point they are nearly dead and must refuel and rest before they go on. On some days during the peak of migration thousands of birds crowd onto the 16-acre main island. Birders can just sit and watch a fantastic variety of birds come in the few trees that are there. We were there after the peak migration so we didn’t see lots of birds but we did see a few we had never seen before.

The winds were above 20 knots but the ferry handled the seas pretty well. We sat up front so we could see the horizon and get a good view of things. The view was interesting.

Grand view from front of ferry.

Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, Florida
On the way back the ferry captain took the boat close to a key where Masked Booby nest. Brenda rushed out to get a good look while I was talking to a nice young Army couple from Kansas. These folks asked us what some of the birds were they had seen. When Brenda came back in aglow after seeing the Masked Boobies the fellow asked us to show him a picture of them. He said, “I think any day I can see masked boobies is a great day.”  I’m not sure how he meant that.

We head north tomorrow. We have now pulled the trailer 3,499 miles. We’ll pull it nearly 2,000 miles more before we turn west to head home.


  1. I would think UN-masked boobies would be the thing! Yes we remember the birds there, but I don't think we really had a good appreciation for their arduous journey to get there. We also snorkeled, and took a tour of the fort.

    1. Right! But the way he said it made me bust up. His wife didn't even blink.

  2. We thought the Dry Tortugas were great!! We took a catamaran. Real fast. I think Dianne got a good picture of a boobie. Happy to hear you're having a good time. We're stuck in SOCAL. Saw the Phil with Lang Lang on Friday. Wonderful, but not a Boobie. Keep having fun!!

    1. We took the catamaran. What a great trip. It was less than half fullmaybe about 70 people on board. we asked the skipper how fast we were going - 30 knots. It would take us 17 hours to make the crossing in Sea Change but 2 hours in the cat.

      When we arrived at the marina we started to board a cat that we thought was the ferry. It was a private yacht! Wouldn't that be nice?