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Friday, March 25, 2016

Waning Days in Key West

Waning Days of Key West

Lunch at Salute Restaurant with L-R Me, Helen, Georgio, Paul, Sharon, Jan & Rich
It seems that over night Key West has changed, at least in the weather department. The wind is now out of East and very steady and strong, I mean a good 20 miles per hour with gust to 30 mph. This isn’t totally bad because the temperature now climbs to the upper 80’s and the strong wind keeps us cool. Because we are located on the easterly side of the campground, next to the paved tarmac, we don’t experience the slight dusting of Coral dust that blows off the gravel streets downwind from us.
I have mentioned, in a previous blog, that our friends are leaving daily for their homes, in the southern parts of the US. I believe that about half of the park is now vacant. It is sad to see them leave! I know that leaving early would be a mistake because even thought it was a mild winter in New England, winter isn’t over until the middle of April. Maybe April will be wet in New England?

Night Riders

Now that the weather is hotter during the day, it is a perfect time to bike in town at night. People are out and exploring the inner city neighborhoods and this gives one a completely different perspective of the homes and landscaping. Many have landscape lighting that is very cool. Some have stained glass front doors that pop with Key West colors. Most of these back or interior streets have little or no traffic. Our bikes are well lit front and rear. We set all of our LED lights to a blinking pattern. If they can’t see us, it is because they are blind!
Tonight, we biked across town over to the end of White Street to the Bocce courts. At night, the pros gather for intense games. Unlike our leisurely morning games these are serious and cut-throat. Sharon & Georgio play on Thursday nights. I was amazed to see how many teams and people playing. I counted over a hundred players. After watching for a short period of time, we headed towards our campground. Helen’s headlight unclipped from the handlebar at an intersection, I was able to pick up the pieces before any vehicles destroyed the five pieces on the roadway. I couldn’t get it to work, so I had Helen follow me closely. Her red blinking rear light along with mine kept us safe. Back at the ranch, I was able to reassemble the light and got it to work perfectly.

The William Trump

Our Tour Guide
I had heard from the camp host that one could setup a tour of one of the Coast Guard Cutters. Well, I went over to the Coast Guard Headquarters and the tour was setup for last Friday at 11 am. I had three couples going on the tour. Friday morning was hectic! Before the tour, I moved our 5th wheel to a new site closer to the internet repeater. I did manage to be ready for the 11am tour. One couple backed out, but four of us showed up. Our Coast Guard guide started by explaining what their mission was down here in Key West, the Gulf and even on the Atlantic side. He then started at the bow of the ship and explained all of the surface compartments and functions. Entering the ship, I was sort of surprised that most of the interior was air conditioned. As we continued the tour, I was also surprised to see what powered this “Intercepter Cutter”…two four thousand horse power turbos with each having twin turbo chargers. On the electrical end, the William Trump can produce enough electrical power to power three sister ships at once. We were allowed to take some photos, but on the bridge, which is pretty sophisticated, we could only look and gawk! Impressive, I would say best describes the bridge.
Ready to launch!

Our tour ended on the aft deck. This happened to be at the exact time of a launch of their well boat from the interior of the ship. The rear gate opened and the powerful fast water craft moved out into the water. I was allowed to video this part of the tour. Hopefully, I will be able to insert the link to this launch in this blog.

That is what we saw and did!

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