Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Keys

Peppermint and I are here on the Florida Keys. This apparently is the prime season to be here, as there is a conveyor belt of cars north and south on the islands only road highway 1. The main commodity here that is abundant and free for now. Sunshine.
Tourism is the second largest commodity here, followed by the selling and building on the keys. That last commodity is in short supply as almost every square inch of land has been developed.
We are doing our share of touristy things in order to blend in with the locals.
The other day we took a spin on the original African Queen.
Looking Forward on The African Queen
I thought the little boat was merely a movie prop, but it is a steam boat built in England in 1912 that steamed along the rivers of Africa delivering supplies. Director John Huston used it for some of the shots in the movie, It sat rusting until 2011 and now with a Yamaha outboard it navigates a channel in Key largo.
Actual Florida Lawn / Pool Man In His Natural Habitat Along the Route Of The African Queen
The boats steam engine is restored and the boiler is undergoing overhaul in a northern state where they know what a boiler is.
One of the coolest tourist things we did was ride a steel boat with plastic windows on the bottom of its hull 7 miles out to sea to the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary.
The sanctuary is a living protected coral reef that supports an amazing spectrum of life. We saw several parrot fish, nurse sharks sergeant fish, big fish little fish, and lots of coral dancing with the current.
 Bonaparte’s Gull
On the way back to shore one of the passengers Dr. Jill started to feed the gull’s cheese puffs. Soon our ship was surrounded with diving chattering Bonaparte’s gulls. It was all a grand sport until a couple of passengers sitting aft got nailed with gull poop. Not to worry the crew rapidly responded with sanitary wipes and the dirty passenger was all cleaned up, and the gull feeding ceased.
Another stop was the Theater of the sea. This attraction has magnificent gardens. Orchids abound at every turn. They also do shows with rescued parrots and marine mammals, that they acquired because they were injured, but now for some reason (profit) they breed their own dolphins, and sea lions.
The parrots all squawk and do tricks, like putting the round peg in the round slot, the star peg in the star slot, and on and on. Young girls make the dolphins preform leaps and jumps, and they stress conserving the resources of the ocean, to an audience of adults that have plenty of children and haven’t’ a clue or care, aboot the stress humans are putting on the things that keep us alive. Especially the ocean.
California Sea Lion
Nothing says we care aboot the planet more than a captive domesticated California Sea Lion doing the same tricks I saw at the San Francisco zoo in the 1950's

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