Florida National High Adventure Sea Base

HAPPY BLACK FRIDAY!

Have you ever wondered what the Florida Sea Base sign was for as you drove by it going towards Key West? Well I did, so I stopped in for a visit and ended up getting a personal guided tour out of it.

The Florida National High Adventure Sea Base is a high adventure program run by the Boy Scouts of America in the Florida Keys rivaling its counterpart Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico. The main Sea Base is located in Islamorada with other Florida Keys locations on Summerland Key and Big Munson Island.

The camp began small, but started growing immediately. The Florida Gateway High Adventure Base (as it was known then) opened on May 15, 1980 with 800 scouts attending the first summer. By 1982 construction and renovation was complete and the name was changed to the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base. In December 1982, the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America was given Big Munson Island from Homer Formby. Big Munson is an untouched, uninhabited island over 100 acres in size, located off Big Pine Key in the lower Keys now used for the Out Island Program. In 1984 the new Scuba pools were dedicated, and in 1987, more land was purchased for future expansion. The Sea Base Fleet of boats includes 16 26-foot Dusky drive boats, a 33-foot Dusky fishing boat, two 18ft flats skiffs, three 46-foot Newton Dive boats, two Corinthian 45-foot dive boats and many charter sailboats. Motel style housing is available for scouts lucky enough to be chosen to attend this prestigious camp.

You can find this Boy Scout haven for high adventure at Mile Marker 73.8 bayside. Who knows, you too may get a FREE guided tour! :-)

          

          

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In Two Oceans At One Time

Two Oceans At One Time

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Have you ever been in TWO oceans at the same time? I HAVE! :-)

Want something WILD and DIFFERENT to do this weekend? This fits the bill and will be something to brag about in the years to come.

Underneath Tea Table bridge is the FIRST chance to comfortably walk under and actually see two different bodies of water at one time. The Atlantic Ocean to the right and Gulf of Mexico to the left. Yes, I know that one is officially an ocean and one is a gulf… but, the blog title ‘In One Ocean And One Gulf At The Same Time’ just doesn’t do it for me! :-)

You can experience this too or just go down and see it for yourself at Mile Marker 79.8 on US-1 north or south. Either way, go with a friend for safety reasons because the rocks when wet can get slippery and for someone to take your photo.

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Porky’s Part 1 & Part 2

Remember the Hollywood blockbuster movie from 1982 called “Porky’s” about a group of teenagers out for a good time with names like “Pee Wee”, “Meat” along with an overweight bar owner named “Porky”… well, this blog has absolutely nothing to do with it! :-)

I found this BBQ cooker sitting beside a bamboo fence mounted upon a mobile trailer that can be towed to your next cookout! It’s at a local hangout known as ‘Pontoons’ where you can dine at a waterfront table watching sailboats slowly pass while enjoying a waning pastel painted sunset.

You too can “Pig Out” with your own portrait of this uniquely shaped oinker. To find Porky Pit BBQ, go to Mile Marker 108.1 as you head south on US-1 and take the access road once on the 18-mile stretch bridge and follow the road to its end.

In the same theme, pictured below is Porky’s BBQ Bayside which is the former hangout of such notables as Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth Taylor & Jimmy Hoffa! The asinine entrance, 9 pork butts, count them up there’s actually nine… ASS OF NINE! :-) You can find this Porky Pig paradise just before the 7-Mile bridge at Mile Marker 47.4 on US-1 bayside.

         

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The Wright Brothers… Orville, Wilbur & Agustín?

Though not a Wright Brother, Agustín Parlá Orduña was also a historic record-breaking American Key West aviator.

Known as the “Great Cuban Aviator”, Agustín was born in Key West, Fla. on October 11, 1887 of  Cuban parents exiled during the struggle for their country’s independence. He was the first man to fly the 119 miles over the sea from Key West, Florida to El Mariel, Cuba on May 19, 1913. Not bad for a man of 25 years! Just think, from the first flight by the Wright Brothers on December 17, 1903 to crossing an ocean 9 years 5 months later facing near certain death if lost at sea for failing.

You can find this scaled replica paying homage to a Key West hometown hero inside of the ‘El Meson de Pepe Restaurant’ at Mallory Square in Key West hanging from the rafters for all to marvel. Below is shown a section of the wall dedicated to this fearless act.

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Working At The Bus Wash!

IMG_1519Have you ever wondered how in the world do they wash school buses? OK, I haven’t either! :-) Everyone has seen a car wash and used them many times, but have you ever seen a bus wash? Well, wonder no more, I your wacky roving reporter stumbled upon this once-in-a-lifetime find!

To find this exclusive oddity that’s not listed on a single tourist guide… but mine! :-) (and for that I’m truly sorry) hehehe Go to Trumbo Road on the east side of the Harbor Walk district of Key West, drive down a few hundred feet to an unmarked road’s opened gate which is Ruth Alice Campbell Drive. Turn right and again go down again a few hundred feet where you’ll see it on your left.

AND YES, IT’S TOTALLY FREE! (then again… who’d pay to see it) :-)

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Fly Repellent Water Bags… Say What?

Myth Busters, where are you when needed! There’s several on-line versions of this fly repellent wives-tale. It’s said by putting pennies in a clear bag of water and hanging it by a window or door helps keep flys away.

In my research I found that the water can contain a drop of bleach to deter algae and should contain either one or four pennies. The theory is that it confuses the flys thinking that it might be a spider web, larger predator or something they’re not sure of and chooses to fly elsewhere.

Now I’m here to tell you that some swear by it and others denounce it as a pile of rubbish. While at this particular restaurant ‘Hogfish Bar & Grill’ there were still flys seen buzzing around the dining area… now who’s to say that there wouldn’t have been more if the bags weren’t present?

You can find these fly deterrent bags of water by going to Mile Marker 5 and turn left off of US-1 South at the Burger King. Then go down 1-block turning left onto McDonald Ave that turns into Maloney Ave, turn right onto 4th Ave, left on Front Street and there you will see it on the right a half mile or so at the Hogfish Bar & Grill.

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Picnic Where Others Don’t! – A Civil War Fort

Let me ask you guys, when was the last time you took your woman on a picnic where others don’t? Not a crowded city park, I mean somewhere that no one would expect!

We went on a bike ride ending up at a Civil War Fort all alone 10′ above the crashing waves on a corner bench. As you can see, it’s a view to die for looking out over the ocean in the shade of an 80 degree cloud-free sky for a memory that will be etched in her mind forever. I’m telling you guys, I earned major brownie points!!! :-)

Key West offers so many of these opportunities if you’d only be willing to think outside the box. Be different, be daring, be imaginative, be willing to go places that others don’t! For starters, there’s an abandoned US Navy base, abandoned US Army Cold War Missile Base, along with your choice of three sparsely populated Civil War Forts that always make for great scenic view and lasting memories.

You can find this pure heavenly view at the West Martello Tower Civil War Fort on Higgs Beach in ROMANTIC Key West! :-)

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