Oceania Riviera: Key West: Saturday 21 March 2015

26 03 2015

We arrived at the Navy pier in Key West, Florida, so had to be shuttled from there to Mallory Square, downtown. Our first task was to find a taxi to get us to Kayak Kings for our mangrove maze kayaking adventure. Pete was our taxi driver and he took a bit of a shine to Sue. We hired him to come back and pick us up and to take us around the main sites of Key West once our kayaking was over. Which he did. More on that later…

The mangrove maze kayaking was just AMAZING. AJ (the owner of Kayak Kings) was our leader (there were only two of us under his guidance). We left the Cow Key Marina and skirted some mangroves close by that were the roosting location for heaps of pelicans. After going under a road bridge and along a canal with waterfront homes on one side and mangrove thickets on the other, we split our paddles in half and entered a tiny channel using a half paddle ‘canoe style’. Inside the mangroves was just unbelievably beautiful and so far away from the sounds of ANY civilization (except when planes went overhead). It was a jungle in there, but with well-defined water channels. There were lots of little creatures in the water – star fish, various corals, thousands of small cassiopeia jellyfish (which swim right side up, but live in the algae upside down!), some tiny fish and fish that were up to 6” long. We didn’t see any manatees, but what we did see was pretty amazing.

I thought I heard banjos...

I thought I heard banjos…

Cassiopeia jellyfish look like small flowers when they are upside down

Cassiopeia jellyfish look like small flowers when they are upside down

After we got back and changed into dry clothes and shoes, Pete turned up to take us around town and show/stop at the highlights – Southernmost Point, Hemingway’s house and the rare polydactyl cats (6-toed cats), Kermit’s for key lime pie (OMG!!), and the port area for the yachts.


Polydactyl cat at Hemingway’s House

Then we walked some of Duval St and had lunch at The Lazy Gecko (excellent Cuban sandwiches – Sue’s vegetarian, so she asked for hers without meat and with extra cheese [cheddar] to complement the provolone). Duval St was PACKED with people, many of whom were likely on Spring Break.

Cuban sandwich

Cuban sandwich


We had to be back on board the ship in time for a 4:45pm sail away (all ships docking at Key West have to leave port before sunset so that the locals and visitors can view the sunset unimpeded!)

Our last dinner on board was at Red Ginger, the specialty Asian restaurant. We sat with Bill and Miriam (ex UK and Australia and other places), and Ed and Lil (also veteran cruisers). My meal comprised rice paper vegetarian spring rolls, crispy skin chicken, and a mango tapioca with ginger biscuit. All delicious.





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