Posted by: nosmokingsails | March 7, 2011

Key West

Okay, I’m a really awful blogger and I haven’t blogged in over a month, and we have been in Key West since the first day of February!

What have we been doing here?

Well, the first three weeks passed pretty quickly with us searching for jobs (mostly for Rob, but even I tried to be a vet assistant!)…it took us three weeks before Rob fixed some treadmills at a gym and landed us free memberships for the rest of our time here and then proceeded to get a head bike mechanic position at a bike shop!  We were excited, but lately Rob works 65 hours a week and I’m working overtime, too, trying to make up hours for when we plan to sail north offshore.

We enjoy the gym memberships because of the free showers!  Before that, we had to pay $4 per shower at the docks.  Not fun.  And we also have to pay for dingy dockage here, $80 a month, which isn’t ridiculous but it sure makes us miss the free dingy dock on Block Island.  Our boat is also anchored across the main ship channel to the north-west of Key West, which means it’s a longer dingy ride to shore, and the wind and the waves can make it a wet dingy ride pretty easily.

I work mostly at the library, which sadly has no comfy couches or chairs for people to lounge in, but it is open most days, so that’s good.

I love the banyan tree in the library parking lot:

The other trees around town are also really cool.  Most of the houses literally look as if they are squeezing their way up between massive trees that seem to be the ones in charge here.  The stray chickens everywhere also seem to hold places of power (especially when some houses have a sign outside their fences telling tourists to help the locals by killing off and eating their stray chickens!).  Cats are also – everywhere.  Some clearly look like strays but others look like plush little toy pets.  I once spent the evening throwing bits of tuna at the shy ones, which they ate ravenously once I walked at least 5 feet away.

There are also some unusual restaurants here, like this one, which is parked in a gas station parking lot:

In general, we like Key West but I don’t think we love it yet.  I’m not sure I can ever stay in a place with no actual woods (even if the streets have almost as many trees as a forest), and no hiking trails within walking distance.  I miss nature.  And by nature, I don’t mean the rowdy tourists stumbling down the streets with open beer and mixed drinks spilling out of their hands.  That’s one thing we definitely strongly dislike about this place.  But we can avoid the (one) street with a bar on every block.

I do love the artsy side of this city – all over there are bikes painted with all kinds of things, pirate bikes, hippy peace bikes, polka-dotted bikes, and flowery palm tree bikes.  I love three-wheeled adult bikes that have a huge crate in the back so you can ride all over with shopping bags and all kinds of things with you!  I also love the cemetery, where so many graves are on top of the land in pretty white blocks of stone.  There’s a banyan tree there, too, that seems to cuddle all the graves under it and causes the ground to rise and fall around it.

I still haven’t made my way to Fort Zachary Taylor, where there are some hiking trails apparently, though it costs money to enter the park.

We’ll be here only a couple weeks more or so, and then we will be doing a super scary and exciting offshore passage north – speeding past all the places we stopped on the way down, hopefully even speeding past the creepy Cape Hatteras (but only if the weather is supposed to be PERFECT)…and we aim to reach RI by mid-April!  Hopefully, weather will not deter my dreams of being once again in the arms of my beloved Willow.


Stay tuned for more photos and stories about Key West, which I hopefully will get the chance to post before we leave!  Much love to the northerners we will be seeing soon!  And apologies to anyone on our way north that we won’t actually have the chance to stop and see!



  1. hi kris & rob: it’s good hearing from you again. i hope your trip back here will be a smoother one than your trip down. your mother mentioned that someone else will also be sailing alogside of you coming back. that also is good.i also will be leaving on aPR. 1st for texas for 5 weeks. glenn is flying up to get me and he will take me back home during mother’s day week. i hope you will be here. i know you will be sailing for block island sometime during may. you’ve traveled to many parts of the world, kris,now had the opportunity to see a lot of your own country. i know you must have enjoyed this sailing trip. be careful. hope to see you in may, love you , grandma. happy sailing.

  2. Great to read your March 7 blog.I also spent some time in KW about 15 years ago.Lots of drinking going on then also.Shoreline -beaches nothing to brag about but the people watching (including bikes ) something to behold.Try to get a look into Mel Fischers museum and also read up on the sinking of the Atochia investigation revealed not all nails put into hul as required. (Just like building bridges in R.I.) Have a safe trip back and as I know you will watch the spring weather patterns very carefully. The best to you both. Ken Harvey

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