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Hurry, not Here
Written By: OC Fotoguy
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    Especially for me it’s slow low gear.  My casual walk to a 5-star comfort station enjoying the fragrance of the flowers and beauty of the tropical plants in Truman’s Anwx section of Key West was briefly interrupted by a herd of yuppie clones clad in their uniforms and clumped close together as they sped by on their bicycles.   They need to lighten up, relax, and shed their city ways.   This is no place to hurry, be regimented in a formation, or have an agenda to comply with.  I know that.  I wonder how long it’ll take for it to dawn on them?
    A couple days ago it was day number 30 of my Adventure XVII, that makes it about 20 percent over.  I have a red 30 on my calendar to remind me or I wouldn’t know it.  I could take up this le’id back style permanently, but I’d miss Seacret’s Radio’s Bloody Mary Contest, Fager’s Island BBQ feast right off the Raymond’s grill, and my steamed crabs that I catch in the Chesapeake Bay.  I’m resting up from yesterday’s kayak trip and waiting for one of the biggest parties Key West throws.   Duval Street will be blocked off to traffic, there’ll be thousands of partiers, and lots of music and events.  I’ve fallen into a routine that works: a good meal, a nap, then meander to Sound Check at the Green Parrot, then Blu, fire juggling unicycler, the other street performers in Mallory Square, Scott Kirby at the Smokin’ Tuna, John LaMere at Willie Ts and the dropping of the wench at the Schooner Wharf to count down 2014 and kick off 2015.  I’ll see if I get that far.
    Yesterday bright and early, shortly after 9 a.m., I was paddling my kayak from the Simonton Street beach towards the cruise ship docks, then a stop at Zachary Taylor State Park, on past the Southernmost Monument, to pull out at a little beach just past the east end of Duval Street.  It was gorgeous on the water, 82 degrees and the water was fairly calm, at least when the jet ski crazies didn’t whiz by.  I paddled by a city-sized cruise ship, turned towards the east and saw the profile of another cruise ship approaching on the horizon.  The alarm sounded in my brain.   That voice that tells me what to do was screaming - you can’t be near that ship when it passes.  Last year I was - the harbor pilot boat’s captain ordered me to paddle to the dock wall and hold on tight.  I found a steel ladder and hung on.  As the ship passed, with no warning, the water dropped what seemed like 10 feet, then it did it again, and scared the bejusus out of me.  For several seconds I was not in the kayak.  It was below me; I was dangling in the air and I was holding on for dear life!   I had no idea how long it would be before the ship would pass me, but that was not going to happen again.  I expect things like that to unexpectedly happen.  I need to prevent them from happening a second time.   I knew there was a small beach where the park and cruise ship pier meet, so I headed for it.  As I approached I could see large signs saying to stay a 100 yards away.  No matter - my safety was more important.  I could also see a person sleeping on the beach.  I thought maybe the signs applied to the land behind it.  I pulled my kayak way up on the beach and walked towards the State Park’s beach.  As I watched the ship approach, I decided to go back to the kayak and secure it so it could not wash away.  On the way two park employees rode up to me in a golf cart and asked if that was my kayak.  I said yes, and as soon as the ship passed I’d go on my way.   When I got to my kayak I saw there was a woman sun bathing who had a pet dog (there was also a sign that said no pets allowed); I saw another person in a hammock behind the bushes, and the guy was still sleeping. The ship was approaching. I was a little hungry so I got the piece of leftover pizza from my bag and cold ACB and sat down in the sand.  The ship passed.  I took a couple pictures and relaxed since I was in no hurry.
    Several minutes later I heard authoritative yellying coming from behind me.  I looked over my shoulder and three federal police officers were coming towards me with great big guns hanging from their waists.  One was yelling I was in a restricted area and water vehicles were not allowed.  As the woman laid in the sun and the other two slept, I told them I was only there to avoid the cruise ship.  Two continued the loud warnings simultaneously, that only cruise ships could be at the pier, and that they could impound my vehicle.  I cut them off and asked the one that wasn’t yelling what they wanted me to do.  He said, move my kayak about twenty feet towards the state park.  I did it and asked if I moved far enough; he said, yes. They left and I finished my ACB.  I pondered what had happened.  It was OK to have a dog here where no pets were allowed and for street people to sleep, but beaching a kayak here to stay safe prompts two state employees to appear and three yelling armed police.  I laughed, I was safe. I finished my ACB, dragged my kayak back into the water and paddled on my way!
    Birches Produce Stand on Rt. 611 across from the airport has delmarvellous local sweet corn, now.  Ask me about a free photo.  On the down slide, watchin’ and lovin’ it!!!
Bob R  o.c.FotoGuy
more photos @ picasaweb.google.com/o.c.fotoguy2009
& facebook.com/OCfotoguy
PHOTOSAsYouWantThem.biz
articles @ Coconuttimes.com 
 
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