Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Turn Of The Keys

All set up and ready for the Florida Keys "vacation" to begin? Well, maybe not as quickly as we thought. Because about the time we got all set up, took a dip in the salty tasting pool and our first snorkel inside the reef, the weather began to take a turn for the worse. How worse? Oh you know, the usual- high winds, gusts to 70 at places, heavy downpours, tornado watches, that sort of thing.

So the nice neat camp set up below started to unravel in the wind shortly after having been put up and we quickly tore it down considerably faster than we had put it up- and secured everything as best we could.

We had purchased several fresh green plantains and we fried them outside in the wok over the butane camping stove we carry in the van. When just barely crisp, we dipped them in hot sauce and ate them the way we often had them in Roatan, when we lived on the island off the coast of Honduras. It put us in the mood of the islands... and I suppose it was a bit prophetic, as we often had some knock down drag out storms roll in off the sea there as well.

Past the silhouette of the Christmas tree in the front of the coach, the sky began to show signs of change for the worse...

It wasn't long before the Keys had a real fresh water lake, and in case you didn't know- there are no fresh water bodies in the Keys---until now that is!

Torrential rains continued to fall through the night. By just before daylight, the rain and the wind were at their worst.
At first daybreak, the light of hope that the worst had passed began to fill the sky.

These trap floats were strung from the awning and outcroppings of a fifth wheel rig before the storm. The rig and the floats were all in a completely different location the morning after- moved voluntarily to take the rig off the seawall where the water was washing over as the wind and waves picked up.

All the next day, a stiff breeze blew, clearing out what was left of the storm clouds.

The Christmas decorations began to appear again as the winds abated. The Keys were headed back to the fun in the sun paradise they are considered to be....

A few miles up Rt 1 at the working artist's community, the giant lobster once again marked an open for business artist colony, and it almost seemed like the two day storm had never happened. The puddles will be absorbed into the porous sandy soil in short order. We'll be back in water-sport mode in another day or so as the waters of the sea clear up. Here, when it's over, it's over. Up north, the shoveling and melting will take considerably more time...and not be near as much fun!

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