When we volunteered at the art show this past weekend, we got two half price tickets for a tour of Pigeon Key, a small island just 2 miles off Marathon Key. So last Thursday we decided to take the tour. The Island was used by Henry Flagler as a work camp for those building the 7 mile bridge for the train going all the way down the keys to Key West. Four hundred men lived on the island at the peak, with water brought in by train.
Fara Blanco lighthouse on the gulf side where we got the ferry to Pigeon Key.
Many of the original buildings are still standing although Irma moved a few of them off their original foundations. The Island is only accessible by boat as sections of the original bridge are being renovated. Pigeon Key is supported by the Pigeon Key Foundation and is beautiful, now used as a research center and environmental educational facility.
Dutch tour guide, Riet, and one of the original buildings
Side by side old and new 7 mile bridge.
The tour was about an hour and then we had a picnic lunch and stayed for some additional time so that Bob could spend time in the museum and I walked the circumference of the Island. I sat on the beach and watched a very entertaining pelican for about a half hour. The water was a beautiful shade of blue and the wind was just right. Loved it!
I could have sat there the rest of the afternoon!
I love these birds!!!!
Then Friday after our “walking” class, yoga and finishing the laundry (thank you Bob), we took the dinghy over to Sombrero Beach to see a 130 pound loggerhead turtle being released into the ocean from her stay at the Marathon Sea Turtle Hospital. Lady Bradley had been in the turtle hospital for a number of months after having a fin ripped off by something in the water. The crowd started gathering at noon for a 1:00 pm release.
Move over Rubio - we want the turtle!!!
All of a sudden we saw a few camera crews gathering around Senator Rubio. Not sure exactly what he was promoting, other than himself, but it certainly caused a lot of attention. The crowd got a little upset as people crowded around Rubio, blocking the turtle which we considered the main event. But finally Lady Bradley was released and we got to see an amazing site.
The crowd cheered as she “ran” into the water and caused a wake as she headed out to the ocean. People watching started to cry – it was very moving.
When we got back to our dinghy this young duo was also heading back to their dinghy – Tanner offered to help us pull the dinghy back into the water. The tide had gone out and the entire dinghy was now on the sandy beach completely out of the water. It was so nice that he offered to help but I did question to myself (actually I think I did say something out loud) how old we must have looked to this 26 year old, that he felt he needed to help the old guys. Anyway, we started talking to these two nice young people and learned their incredible story. They had just sailed an Amel 44 from Panama to Marathon (1600 miles) without a motor! They had encountered severe weather but after 11 days, they made it. They invited us over for a beer and to see the boat, which Tanner bought cheap and is fixing up to either sell or charter. Glad we saw it and glad it is not our project.
The wind has picked up and should continue to be windy all day Saturday and Sunday. Saturday we went to the local movie theater to see The Upside. A cute movie theater with about 100 seats with tables so that you can have a beer or a hotdog while you watch the movie. What a beautiful movie. It is very uplifting and funny – I highly recommend it. Back in Punta Gorda we had purchased a number of cheap movies to take with us to the Bahamas for those days when we just wanted to sit on the boat and do nothing. We watched the first of them yesterday – The Longest Ride, also a touching, romantic and funny movie.
I am reading a good book that was recommended to me by Nikki. Love Life - Walk. It is written by a guy (Frugate) who lost two children, one to suicide and one due to an overdose. It is a collection of his experiences as he walks across America holding a LOVE LIFE sign, trying to prevent people from committing suicide; a very interesting collection. People stop him everywhere to ask about the sign at which point he tells them his story and they share theirs.
We made water yesterday with no issues (#2). Today we are off to Publix to replenish the refrigerator. We are going to try to pull our folding dock cart behind the bicycles. I will let you know how that goes. There are salsa dancing lessons tonight at the theater – free if you are members of the theater. I am thinking about it – more to come………….