Monday, April 6, 2020

Key West - Roosters and Hens and chicks

The Key West rooster in all his glory
Key West is famous for the roosters that roam free and six-toed cats. The roosters are everywhere and they somehow seem to avoid being run over. All cars stop for them if they want to cross over a street, no contest. The roosters are brightly colored but the hens not so much.

things start out promising
Then reality sets in
At first, you'll see hens with quite a brood of chicks but as the year progresses, the brood gets smaller and smaller. Still, there are plenty of roosters and hens so enough survive to sustain the population. The roosters are mostly all look-alikes but not all. There are a few oddballs pitched in to keep things interesting. They mostly hide in the corners but you see them once in awhile.

And the misfit is over in the corner
It's starting to warm up big time. The highs are typically in the lowe 80's now and we run the A/C in the afternoons. Ann does her painting in the cockpit and I'm downstairs doing taxes, Facebook stuff, or articles for Waterway Guide. It's the same sort of work we would be doing if we were up north at home - except we're warmer, just waiting for the things to settle down.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Key West - Festive and New Market opens for take out groceries

A celebration?
We were on our daily afternoon walk when we noticed that the store owner was out front of New Market which is next to Harpoon Harry's. I walked over and he said he was takeout only groceries which amounts to walking inside the door and ask the store manager what you want. He then goes and delivers it to the table at the store entrance. They were concerned about elderly relatives and wanted to take additional precautions. It seemed reasonable to me.

Blooming all by themselves
The streets are still deserted but there are signs of a revival in places, witness the colorful balloons on one side street. Westmarine is all sold out of balaclava as one means to cover your mouth. We're just careful not to walk too close to anyone and there are lots of wide-open spaces now with all the crowds gone.

Mallory Square is closed so we see the sunset from our doick now
The high winds have gone and it's warming up, we don't mind. It's still cool enough at night for a good night's sleep without the airconditioning running.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Key West - Some close, some stay open - cops around

BOs Fishwagon looks a little lonely
BOs Fishwagon is still open for takeout although they don't seem to be doing much business. Waling along Elizabeth Street, Harpoon Harry is open for takeout but New Market next door is closed. The sign on the door said it was only for two weeks due to a concern about bringing the virus back home to elderly relatives, understandable.

Harpoon Harry's is still open for takeout too
There was a great commotion by Only Wood and the workout center. I counted eight Key West police cars with their lights blinking at the scene. I never figured out what the issue was but the cops were out of their cars talking to a group on the sidewalk. I didn't realize that Key West even had eight police cars!

I didn't know there were eight police cars in all of Key West - they all must have been here!
As we sit on the back of Fleetwing, we're watching two police officers walk along the dinghy dock and we're guessing they are looking for people not allowed in. Key West is closed to tourists and anyone new coming from somewhere else. The US1 blockade is still in effect and the police are to enforce the marine rules of no new transients too. As I'm typing this, Ann just called me and said the police just took someone off a dinghy in a stretcher (7:20 pm). That's kinds of scary although we don't know the cause of the problem yet which leaves it to our imagination for the moment. I'll find out tomorrow morning when I talk to the dockmaster. 

Meanwhile, we had a great dinner of Skillet Balsamic Chicken and Mushrooms. Ann found the recipe in a magazine and it went together beautifully. We do eat well on Fleetwing!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Key West - Renovations

Renovation Time! No access for five months!
The city marina is old. The other marinas have passed it by in the measure of facilities for boaters. The showers were ancient and toilets were few. Finally, the city decided a renovation was in order and started on the project this week for the city marina showers and heads. When I asked how long it would take, the dockmaster just smiled and said it's due to be done by August - but in Key West we always double the number of days to get anything done. I said I was familiar with that from the time I spent in the Caribbean, it's called "island time" which does not equal our time, it's always longer, much longer.

A very odd view of the dinghy dock at Key West, where is everybody?
Hopefully, we're out of here by the time it's finished but that means we have to send our laundry out to be done since the laundry is part of the upgrading project. We tried that for the first time this past Thursday and it worked out better than I expected. Okay, I thought, we can handle passing the laundry bag to the guy on the dock and getting it back about two hours later, good service, plus it keeps us out of crowds. The clothes come back clean and pressed, not hard to take.

As you would expect, the dinghy dock is not at all crowded anymore. You want a dock, no problem, just motor right up (but pay the monthly fee). We're up to 38 cases here in Monroe County, higher than I wanted but better than most anywhere else for the same population.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Key West - Osprey Harassment

He's about to take off! 
We occasionally get a bird perched on top of our mast. It provides a magnificent view, I guess, of the surrounding territory. The trouble is that they tend to "let go" from that perch and I have to clean it up.

In the air!
Given that, I encourage the bird to move, in this case, an Osprey. I'mi sure he was surveying this domain for food from his high perch. I was not keen on that idea due to past experience with what's left. So I pounded on the shrouds but it had no effect. I tried the halyards, same result. Then I went forward and pulled back and forth on the furled jib and that did the trick, off he flew.

There he goes!
Dennis, the one that runs the Breezin charter was near and he took photos of the event which I've included in tonight's blog. The last entry is a video of the Osprey flying away. They truly are beautiful birds but you really do not want them at the top of your mast.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Key West - A Zoom Family Get Together

Here you see the Zoom app on our iPad with each attendee getting a screen with audio
We expanded our Family Get-Togethers to twice a week. After discovering Zoom (app for Apple, Android, or PC products), we've enjoyed the last meeting so much that we'll have two meetings a week now. Everybody gets a box on the screen with audio so everyone can hear and see everyone else. It works without a hitch and best of all, it's completely free.

So today we had my daughter and her two kids in Pennsylvania, Philip and Monique and their three kids in Connecticut, Shirley and Raechel in Indiana, with us in Key West. The connections were flawless and we all had a good time seeing each other. It's no substitute for in-person meetings but it's a big step up from just texting.

I'll end with a flower, I mean, do you really want to see more virus news?
Florida just declared a statewide stay at home directive for the next 30 days so we have to sit tight until things ease up. Our county has 27 cases but the daily increase is now down to 1 or 2 a day, much less than last week. That helped, no doubt, by the blockage of US 1 where only residents of the Keys are allowed in. Over the weekend, the police turned away almost 1000 cars, that's got to help slow down the spread.

Our only concern is the hurricane season coming up, we really need to get out of the Keys before then, the middle of July at least.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Key West - Walks in the shade and alleyways

Eaton Street Seafood Market still has takeout but no eating outside
We always go out for a walk in the morning before the heat of the day. In this day and age of social distancing, the walks are somewhat modified. We were headed away from the docks and as we walked on the sidewalk, we saw one person headed our way. As he got closer, he stepped out into the street (there's no traffic!) and walked by. When I looked back, he had returned to the sidewalk. He had maintained the requisite 6 ft easily and then some.

It's becoming a common occurrence on our walks. We even do it. We saw a man walking a dog towards us so we crossed over the street with Hoolie on the other sidewalk and continued on, it's become second nature. When standing in line at the bakery shop, the people stand 6 ft apart. It looks a little strange but as time goes on, it looks less strange every day. Such as the times.

Schooner America 2.0 is locked up tight, waiting for the virus to subside
We use Winn Dixie's home delivery today to get groceries. Our "shopper" identified herself via IM and we chatted back and forth as she looked at our list and tried to find the items we had specified. It's in real-time. She couldn't find a few of the items and even said the bagged salad I had listed didn't look so good. I told her to buy what looked best and to substitute similar items for other things on the list if they didn't have them in the store.

When she was done, she texted me when she was leaving so I met her at the end of the dock and loaded the cart. The cost by the month was $15 and there was no extra delivery charge above that if the total of the groceries was above $35, we easily passed that hurdle. However, I did give her a good tip. We are really loaded up on boneless chicken breasts. It's like a universal meat and there are a zillion recipes for dinner with chicken breasts.

We continue to bide our time, watching the news occasionally, we can't take the news all day, just in small doses. The route into Key West is still blocked and they are turning away hundreds of cars with people that are not residents of the Keys. As one person said, we are the nation's largest gated community. The virus ought to die out if the people that have it are isolated and no new cases are allowed in. We'll see.