Wednesday, October 31, 2018


When I moved into this neighborhood, I was told of the Halloween tradition. The streets are blocked off and hundreds of children flock to our streets. Yes, I said hundreds. Residents will set a table in front of their decorated home with candy and treats.

Kids and adults both crowded the streets in full costume. It is a huge events.

Sunday, October 28, 2018


For those of you who do not know what Fantasy Fest is, here is a history lesson:

"Fantasy Fest is an annual 10-day party in paradise for grown-ups. Started in 1979 by a small group of Key West locals, the party was created to bring visitors to the island in what was a typically quiet, but beautiful season. It worked. Fantasy Fest has grown every year since its inception and is now the wildest extravaganza around! Fun-loving revelers from around the globe bring their creativity and imaginations as they descend upon Key West each year in October for 10 days filled with costuming, parades, libations, and excitement! " (

It was estimated that roughly 60,000 visitors gathered Saturday night for the flamboyant parade. I believe it!

Fantasy Fest is different for everybody. For me, I don't really want to see painted... or unpainted, boobs walking down the street. And truthfully, I don't understand why a woman would want everyone staring and taking pictures of her naked body... in public... by strangers. But, to each his own. 

We had some really cool floats this year. The theme was "OH...THE GAMES WE PLAY". The floats were very good this year. My favorite was the big dragon above the Ice Wall, complete with skeletons climbing the wall. Game of Thrones theme. And the makeup was awesome. I have never had luck with pictures coming out, so I didn't even try this year.
Photo credit to @mrossi3672
Pic: Carol Tedesco

I'm ready for our little island to go back to normal. Oh, wait... it's almost "SEASON", which means the Snowbirds flock to our islands to winter in our warm climate. (sigh) That's what happens when you live in a place called PARADISE!

Sunday, October 21, 2018


The wind forcaster lied! 10 mph... Pfft, I saw whitecaps! And there was foam on the ramp.

The plan was to leave the boat ramp on Blimp road and head NW hugging the shoreline. The Paddling Guide said to make a left after the last WARNING sign. Well, I think the landscape has changed slightly between the time this book was written and now.... and I think Irma could have helped with sign removal too. I knew that the map in the book, and Google had discrepancies. So, I thought I would be smart and make a rough map from Google, and trace the route on it. HAHAHAHAHA. It was a good plan, but things look so much differently when you are actually THERE on the water. Sheri and I decided to just go where we wanted to.
We had to stop and take a water break.
The road leading to the boat ramp is called Blimp Road, because that is where FAT ALBERT lives. The blimp, known as FAT ALBERT, is a Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) in military parlance, is part of an Air Force program. Albert keeps an eagle eye on air and sea traffic from the Caribbean Sea to Tampa Bay.
Fat Albert in the background.

If the wind gets too strong, they bring him down. That should have been our first clue that the wind was stronger than forecasted. But, we wandered around the mangroves for awhile. Didn't see many fish. Scared up a couple stingrays, and saw one small nurse shark. 

A few years ago I had picked out a handheld GPS that I was going to buy. Life got in the way and I did not get it. Until today, I didn't think I really needed one. But again, I will start shopping for something so  I can chart routes. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018


A friend recommended this paddling guide. There is a list of launch sites and routes. Each route gives you details, such as the length of the route and what you might see.

My goal is to paddle every route. This weekend, my friend Sheri and I paddled ROUTE #14. The water was like glass and it was a very easy and relaxing 3 mile paddle. The hardest part of this route was the launch. I'm not as agile as I once was, so boarding the kayak is not graceful. I knew the day would come when I turned over my kayak, and this was that day. 

This route is in very shallow water, and we did not expect to see all the fish that we did. We scared many nurse sharks, hammerhead sharks, stingrays, a few barracuda and saw a couple tarpon in the deeper section of the route. 

This guy never moved, just posed for his picture, and let Sheri pass right next to him.

It was a beautiful morning. Route #14... check.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


or is it just a Tropical Storm now? Nope, she decided to ramp up the winds again.

Leslie can't decide about anything. Which way to go? I think I might just make a U-turn.  She is wandering aimlessly in the Atlantic, no particular direction.
This is Leslie's past track... she seems to just be wandering.

I have had several people remind me that "Leslie" is in the Atlantic. I feel that Storm and I have more in common than just the name. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. Leslie is staying out on the water and not causing anyone harm, just staying to herself.

We missed Michael, but now we are going to watch Nadine. They are saying that she is poorly organized and starting to weaken. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 8, 2018


Michael... a name that used to make me cringe... but that's a different story. Today, I will update everyone on the weather situation here in Key West, Florida. 

Hurricane Michael is well to the west of us, but we are seeing the effects at the fringe of the storm. Wind, rain, and an angry sea. A little flooding here and there, but that's nothing new to Key West, and it drains off quickly.

There is, however a storm in the Atlantic, Leslie. Looks like she might go toward Spain.... I want to go to Spain!

Saturday, October 6, 2018



At the end of my block, there is a small salt pond connected to the Salt Run Channel. Occasionally, I will haul the kayak down and paddle the channel if it is too windy for open water. This summer, the pond was properly named. It was named after the man living across the street. For 60 years he kept the area clean and launched the skiffs that he and his son built over the years.

This week a sign was posted. I then noticed pipe a few feet from the edge of the lake... almost in a straight line. This morning I walked down to get a closer look, and saw a notice posted on the pole. About four months ago I heard a rumor that a gazebo type structure was to be built on the lake, and I thought the city was building it. It seems, by the notice, that someone didn't get a permit. Oops, someone messed up!