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Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Wrecker's Race!! Top priorities when visiting Key West included!

The Wrecker's Race!

"Sailing"  from the album "Shanghai'd and Marooned in Key West (things could be worse)

To hear and download my music

(also available on iTunes, and CD Universe! Search "Key West Chris")

The Wrecker's Race!

In Key West every year there is an on going event called "The Wrecker's Race". It is held over four months every winter. The reason it's called The Wreckers Race, is because part of Key West's history is steeped in salvaging wrecked ships that were destroyed when they hit the reef, several miles off shore. When this would happen, those in Key West would sail out to the wreck, save the crew and then proceed to unload the ship of it's cargo for themselves.

While this sounds like looting, it's actually not and was 100% legal. As soon as the ship hit the reef and was destroyed, with the hull torn out and the boat sitting on the reef, the insurance paid for all of the cargo, as well as the boat itself. During this period in time, Key West was the richest town in Florida! This took place up to about 1890.

It's the most natural thing, when living on an island, to go sailing! There are sailing and yacht clubs around the island, as one might expect. Many people live on their boats here as well. In short, the water is the crux of the reasons Key West exists. Everything revolves around the water here. Yes, we have bars. Alcohol is the biggest business economically in town, but bars would never be here were it not for the water. The main reason bars are here in the first place was to give a recess to those in the fishing business. Way, way, way back Captain Tony's Saloon doubled as an ice house for the fishing industry. Word had it that in the early 1800's the water came right up to Captain Tony's... it wasn't Captain Tony's then of course and I don't know what it's name was at that time. However, sailors would come in on their off time for some beer or rum and who knows what else?

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Captain Tony's Saloon, Greene Street, Key West, Conch Republic.

If you are coming to Key West, here are your top priories:

1) Get out on the water

2) Go see Hemingway's House

3) Catch Barry Cuda at B.O.'s Fishwagon Friday's 6 - 9

4) Get Out on the Water

5) Catch Bill Blue for a Soundcheck at the Green Parrot 5:30 - 7 Fridays

6) Get out on the water

7) Catch Michael McCloud at Schooner Wharf  Wednesday - Sunday, Noon - 5 

 8) Get out on the water

9) Relax at The Cork and Stogie

So hopefully you get the idea that heading out on the water is imperative when going to Key West? If you don't get out on the water when you're visiting Key West, you just don't get it. Hey, you're on a tropical island that is in the United States, yet at the same time it's a different country, The Conch Republic! Why would anyone not head out on the water here? Hello. This island is 107 miles from the mainland and is where the Gulf Stream originates, as the waters of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico merge and bring temperate weather to Ireland and Great Britain. There are even palm trees on the south coast of Ireland! Guess where the seeds for those got their start?

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(Palm Tree in Ireland)

So, it goes without saying that getting out on the water is seriously what you want to do in Key West!

Every year, The Schooner Wharf Bar holds "The Wrecker's Race" and everyone on the island is grateful for it! The race runs from Key West to the Sand Key Light, about seven miles west of Key West. It's held once a month in January, February, March, and April. I've had the pleasure of being in the race around five times or so and this year I was invited by the boat Blue Ice, a 47 foot (16M) sailboat, to join them with Captain Bruce at the helm! What a wonderful time and day we had!

Pictures speak better than I ever can, so enjoy and a big thanks to Evelina, the owner of Schooner Wharf Bar who organizes all of this and also Captain Bruce and the crew of Blue Ice! A great list of passengers as well. Everyone had a complete blast too! The icing on the cake (Blue icing?? HA HA! ) was that we finished second in class!!!!

The Blue Ice is available for all sorts of endeavors! Check them out on their website for more!

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Blue Ice at the dock before leaving

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At the dock

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Leaving Key West Bight

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A beautiful sailboat visiting from the BVI

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Captain Bruce at the helm, leaving Key West Bight

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There's a party below decks as well!

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The America cutting through the water!

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Our sails

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The host of the event, Evelina at the helm!

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Aboard Blue Ice in the race!

Thank you for reading the blog! The next should be up within a couple of days... Big, Fun news on the way!!!

Thank you!!!

To hear and download my music

(also available on iTunes, and CD Universe! Search "Key West Chris")

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