Key West is the Florida Keys. It is my kind of place. I’m just too late getting here. Forty years ago would have probably been just about right. Laid back, Famous for it’s attitude of any thing goes. It’s still close enough that you can get the feeling.
You’ve gotta love a place where chickens roam free. They were brought in by early pioneers and Cuban cockfighters and are part of the island's quirky charm.
Of course now they are a source of controversy. Those that hate them say the flock has grown beyond charm. It seems that the population is now over two thousand. They never sleep and crow all the time. So the chicken war goes on.
Conchs, Key West natives, are an independent bunch. In the 1980’s when federal agents tried to blockade US1 to curb smuggling, residents succeeded and formed the Conch Republic. The mayor declared war on the USA. Then surrendered and demanded $1 billion in foreign aid. The blue Conch Flag still flies over many houses and businesses.
I roamed the streets all day just enjoying people watching. I found two public boat launches. One is like down town at the end of Simonton Street. It is a sand ramp be a boat could be launched from there. Parking might be a problem. There are only about a dozen trailer spaces. All were empty when I was there.
The other is in Garrison Bight. It is a nice paved ramp. $5 to launch and $6 a day to park. I actually went there by water and stayed on the outside of the dock for about an hour while I walked a short distance to a grocery store.
I also had to do a tourist thing or two. I did enjoy into the Mel Fisher museum ($12). Man that’s a lot of silver. Bought 5 pieces of eight to give to the kids. Not the real ones of course. You can buy some of the real stuff.
Found some commercial fishing guys unloading their boat and a conversation with them.
And a charter boat that had just come in. He had a couple of black fin tuna and several small king mackerel .
Spent the whole evening at the Schooner Wharf Bar. The prices were good there as most of the patrons were locals.