18 April 2013

The Conch Republic Celebration of Independence

Tomorrow begins the 31st anniversary celebration of our Independence from our northern neighbor   the USofA. You can read the history of the CR here!

With our mighty arsenal we have maintained our independence and allow the USofA to maintain a presence here via US Navy and US Coast Guard facilities!  This year due to sequestrations issues the USGC is not able to participate in the reenactment of the Bloody Battle of Independence where one of our mighty navy vessels bombarded a CG cutter with stale Cuban bread (our weapon of choice) and left over Bloody Mary's, Margaritas and Mojitis.  There puny return fire from water cannons was ineffective - just helped sober up our brave crew!

At any rate we have started a collection of spare nickles and dimes in the Republic to send to the nickle and dime Congress!  If they refuse the offer we will donate it to the USCG Foundation instead!  In the spirit of good neighbors we have forgiven the $182 million accrued interest on the $31 billion debt they still owe for 1982 wartime reparations!

Other events include the worlds longest parade from the Atlantic to the Gulf; a Drag Race down Duval St featuring some of our best Drag Queens; a CR Military Reception hosted by our CIA (Cuties in Action); Conch Crawl (worlds longest pub crawl down Duval St). Also, returning this  year is "The Awesome Second Time Arounders" a/k/a "Thunder on Duval". The group consists of former high school, college, and military marching band members ranging in age from 18 to 85!  They dominate Duval St while there!

Our military is a "farce to be reckoned with" and will be a potent presence throughout the celebration and on Friday, 26 April will be on full display at KW Seaport.

I know you want to join the celebration.  You can see the full schedule of events here!

Hope to see you there!    

Always at home, no matter where we are!!

10 April 2013

A Day Under Sail

A number of our friends here have joined the Key West Sailing Center.  For your very reasonable annual dues you get the free use of the sailboats the Center maintains.  They have sail boat races regularly, usually on Thur and Sunday and all seem to enjoy it.  BJ has shown a real interest in trying out sailing and today, Jerry Manchester, a friend and experiences sailor took us out for the afternoon in one of the Clubs 19 ft O'Day sailboats.  It has been pretty windy this year and we have not been out in our kayaks nearly as much as we would have liked so this was an alternative!

The Center is in Garrison Bight which is home to the few remaining real houseboats that use to be common here but have been gradually regulated out of existence except for the few last ones here in the bight!
Houseboat Row in Garrison Bight

One of the houseboats as we head out!

The bight is also home to Charter Boat Row where the boats for hire all dock.  So it is a busy place, But, we cast off and Jerry sailed us right out thru the channel and into the open water.  Actually Sigsbee where the Navy RV park is was on our east and Fleming Key was to our west and we had a mile plus between them.

Shortly after we exited the bight channel Jerry turned the tiller over to BJ!  And, away we went in a pretty brisk wind.  She successfully dodged all the boats tied up in the city anchor area and got us to clear water north of Sigsbee.  Jerry being the master sailor continue to manage the main sail we were safe!  He showed us how we could tilt the boat (probably not what the sailors call it) and recover.  I was surprised our maneuverable the boat was in the brisk breeze!  It is the first time I have been on a sail boat under sail!  While I missed the comforting roar of a motor, it was a very enjoyable afternoon.
BJ checking her mainsail!

BJ & Jerry checking her clearance with a nearby boat and holding on tight to the tiller!
Hey, I'm just along for the beer!

Always at home, no matter where we are!!