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Monday, December 28, 2015

Things have changed...The New Security

Sunday Dec. 27, 2015

The security situation has changed since our last year’s visit to say the least. Number one on the list is a directive from the Pentagon. If a gate isn’t manned 24/7 with armed guards, it is to be locked and secured. (This directive is military wide) So how does this effect us? Well, first of all the man gate down on the West end of Trumbo Point was manned by the Coast Guard from 6 or 7am to 10pm with unarmed Coasties. Hence this gate is closed permanently. We now can’t walk to KW tourist districts as quick. It is about a 15 minute walk or 5 minutes by bike. We’re here for sun and exercise hence, thank you the extra security and health benefits. Up at Sigsbees, the other campground the Navy now mans their gate 24/7 with armed guards. The Navy hospital even has locked gates. For the life of me I can’t figure how they operate! It is still open, but the main gates are locked shut.

Another major step in our campground is the elimination of one huge overflow field. What this means is that many, many campers who head down here after the holidays will be turned back. Last year, at one point there were 750 camping units here. Only around 400 units will make the cut this year. I really feel good that we came down early in mid December! This last down sizing of the campground area is in part from, as the gossip goes, a retired Admiral who was parked in motor coach over in the 700 area, refused to move when sites became available in the 500 and 600 block areas. The base commander took care of that this year.

Another issue came up concerning campers walking along the former seaplane landing zone. They said that helicopter operations would be happening and this might be a safety issue. So, Helen and Carol won’t be walking the shore and looking for Conch Shells at least in this restricted zone.

We’ve also noticed more vehicle patrols around the fence lines. That makes us feel safe. Of course, there is three tanks filled with three million gals of aviation fuel just feet away from the campground. We wouldn’t feel a thing if that went off.

A Good Biking Day!

Enough on security, this morning we set out early for a round, around the island. This gave us ten miles with another mile of cruising around the Bohemian back street just below Duval and Thomas Streets. Things were pretty quiet in the neighborhood. At a corner stood two women and a man, nothing unusual, as the man took a swig from a giant bottle of Budweiser protruding from a brown paper bag. Moving along, we pedaled toward the community swimming pool and the first class public park. The city has put a large chunck of money in this section of town. With the new there is always the old. Here the old stands out with Bohemian art that adorns a home here and there. Of course there is a fine line between art and just plain junk.

 Cruise Ship leaving just after sunset!
How the other half lives!

This afternoon we went up to the Navy Gateway Lodge to watch the Patriots and Jets, but a few southern boys were already watching some sun belt teams playing. No problem, we plugged in our computers and did stuff online. This evening, it cooled down a few degrees to the low 80’s and we were due for a night ride with the bikes. This year we decided to wear some reflective vest for extra safety. Our lights, front and rear were flashing, our helmets on, and we set out for our first ride down to Mallory Square. The sunset was history, but we did manage to see a cruise ship pulling away from the dock. I snapped a couple of photos for the blog. The ride continued past the waterfront to where the super rich yachts are moored. A stop for another picture of how the other side lives. Our attention quickly turned to the street just beyond the Westin Hotel. A fire truck, ambulance, police were gathering around an injured pedal biker. We never did find out if he got bumped or took a flop. He was holding his left shoulder. One has to be careful in KW both in the day time and especially at night. Soon our illuminated bikes, vests were heading north towards the campground.

That is what we saw and did.

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