Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunset Sail in Key West, Florida

One of the days we were in Key West, Florida we decided to take a sunset sail and walked over to the historic seaport, where, at the foot of Greene and Elizabeth Street, we signed on to sail on the Jolly II Rover Schooner!

It was the only square rigged topsail schooner sailing out of the seaport, the same kind used by infamous pirates, rum runners, and those who first sought the freedom and solitude of the Florida Keys hundreds of years ago. This promised to be an exciting adventure on a beautiful evening!

There were 12 other customers aboard that evening, plus the captain and two mates, and we sailed out of the harbor along with other sailing ships and catamarans and fishing boats that were for hire, into the bay to watch the sunset.

We passed another schooner leaving the port.

The mates on the Jolly II Rover asked if anyone wanted to help hoist the red sails, and my husband was one of the volunteers.

It was hard work, but he loved having the chance to do it!

We sailed past our hotel, the Westin Resort and Marina.

The captain wanted to take us into the Atlantic Ocean first, as we had a couple of hours to sail before sunset, and the sky was turning stormy.

The views on the water were magnificent! All ocean and sky!

Today is the Christopher Columbus Day holiday, and I can tell you that sailing on the vast ocean gave me an even greater respect for the sailors of long ago who took their brave voyage that led to the discovery of the Americas.

The captain offered to turn the steering over to anyone who wanted to try, and yes, my husband volunteered again! Where was I? Taking photos, of course, and staying safe and sound in my seat!
My husband was able to steer close to the other schooner we saw earlier.

When we were side by side, the crew on our schooner "fired" the ship's cannons on them in true pirate style! Notice their startled expressions -- please click on all photos to enlarge. They fired back, but they were no match for the Jolly II Rover!

The captain now took the wheel and steered us back into the bay.......

....and my husband got a chance to sit for awhile and enjoy the trip.

We saw rain far out in the bay, and we were worried that we wouldn't see a sunset that night.

But, luckily, the rain stopped and some of the clouds opened up. Please click on to enlarge all the photos of the water, as the views were incredible!

The sun sank lower and lower....

The clouds made the scene even more magical, as the suns rays seemed to reach across the sky and bring it from darkness to light.

As the sun set on the water absolutely gorgeous colors appeared..................

.........until the last rays lit the horizon on fire!

After the sunset, when darkness descended, the Jolly II Rover headed back to the port.
It was the perfect end to a perfect day, one that gave us the gift of an anniversary memory to be cherished forever!


Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Pat, what gorgeous sunset pictues. It looked like your honey was having the time of his life steering the boat! You guys must have had an amazing trip. I'm happy for you.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Pat,
Your sunset pictures are breathtaking. Looks like your husband was an old pro with the boat!

Hope you are having a great day,

Picket said...

Wow Pat..what an amazing post! Happy belated anniversary to you girl! Was your hubby a pirate in another life! lol lol That sounded like so much fun! Thanks for coming by and yes Angie reads my blog but Tammy is the mother of little Isabella and she also has read it and called me crying telling me how much she loved it and loved me for posting it! (Angie is my baby daughter-in-law who thinks I am her mama! lol) I will be praying for your sweet daughter and the delivery of that precious grandbaby that all goes well. Take care dear friend and have a beautiful week!

jeanne said...

Pat, What an adventure you had on the big ocean today. I have been in the ocean many time as I grew up in Miami. Boating, not sailing, was a big part of our lives. The ocean is so vast it can be overwhelming. I am happy you were able to get those fabulous photos at sunset. What a wonderful memory you will have of Old Key West. Lucky you.


Lisa B. said...

Just beautiful Pat! Wonderful sunset shots!!

I swear if it weren't for family I would hop on a sailboat and be gone!! The most restful vacations I've ever had were sailing. It is just a different world on the water.

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

After living on the gulf coast of Florida for 20 years, I never ever got tired of seeing the beautiful sunsets! They were always much better in the summer during the rainy season. In the winter there are less storms and less clouds in the sky. It looks like you had a perfect cruise!

An Enchanted Cottage said...

Oh my gosh - what breathtaking photos! I think I want to move there :) And I love the song you picked to go with this post!!...Donna

steviewren said...

Your pictures are really remarkable. I've never seen prettier pictures of sunsets. No joke. Really wonderful. You came home with lots of special memories.

As I think back over all the things you have posted about recently I just have to say....What a nice summer you've had!

imjacobsmom said...

Spectacular sunset, reminds me of heaven. It sounds like it was a trip of a lifetime! ~ Robyn

Willow said...

Great sunset photos! You're right, they are magnificent, especially when they are enlarged. What a fun trip for you two.

Rhonda said...

What a beautiful cruise! I think your husband stayed busy but it looked like he was having a good time. What lovely sunsets. . .wish I was there right now!

Mrs. B said...

Hi Pat! Wow, that looks like so much fun! I love old ships. Your husband looks like he was having a great time. Those sunset pictures are breathtaking!

Lovella said...

Pat .. . such an incredible way to spend a special day. .the sky pictures were incredible from the boat. . Thank you, for sharing.

CatHerder said...

As usual, great pics...we did one of those sailing journeys too...we were two knots below top speed they said....when i get on my desktop i will post some old was AWESOME...hubby had black and blues inside his upper arm from rigging the sails....i was holding on for dear life when wave crashed the deck...i could never understand how they could serve liquor on these things...half the people had to go below when we hit a top was such a RUSH...thats when i fell i LOVE WITH SAILING!

Anonymous said...

Oh Pat my soul was in my stomach seeing those photos. Stunningly beautiful and oh those colours. Amazing and what a marvellous way to spend your anniversary.

I learned to sail on rivers as a kid and I now wish I had studied seamanship too. What a marvellous adventure. You'll have to get your hubby a pirate hat for Christmas. :-)

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat!
Incredible photos! What a great experience! That had to be so fun for your hubby! All he needed was one of those big captain's hats and a peg leg, ARRRRRRRRRRR Cap'n!!
Hugs, Sherry

Nihal said...

A late but an equally warm and fresh wish for you Pat on your Anniversary, hope it was a special day as you liked to be. I, too love boating, sailing, cruising.. briefly all about sea. I appreciate your 'blue' notes from my most favorite spot, FL.

(( Teddy Bear Hugs )) and Much Love.

Gina said...

What a wonderful experience!..would love to do this one day!..and the sunset is so gorgeous!..great photos :D

Camille said...

Beautiful!! I'm so glad you took so many photos of your vacation. I'm enjoying them.

I agree about the sailors of days gone by...they had quite a bit of courage, but then the rewards were remarkable, as your photos illustrate.

dana said...

OK, after you open your restraurant in NYC, you need to put your little photography gallery right next to it---and in the front window should be a huge print of that wonderful sunset. I just can not imagine how breathtaking it was to actually be there and see it while it was happening!
Your hubby looks very pleased with himself as he held the wheel on that boat!
What a fun trip you guys must've had!!! Dana

Darius T. Williams said...

Looks great - I'll be in Key West next month...can't wait for the key lime pie.


Mama said...

Pat what an incredible anniversary trip you both had, the sun sets were wonderful and your hubby really looked like he was enjoying his time on the Jolly II Rover, what a unique experience, Congratulations on your BFF award and your cat does look really happy on your new mat, which is wonderful too, big hugs, Kathy.

ps, We went to dinner last night hosted by my hubbies collegues in Singapore and I had to eat sea snails with chopsticks ugh.., sometimes business trips are not so pleasant haha. speak soon, Kathy.

Cori G. said...

Hi Pat,
I've been itching to sit down and read this post. They don't make ships like they used to do they. There's something about them that just stirs deep within the heart. Such a gorgeous romantic evening and what a special occasion. It looks like V had a lot of fun!

xo Cori

Beverly said...

Oh my, Pat. What an awesome experience. I would have loved it, too.

Susie Q said...

Gorgeous photos but that sunset is breathtaking!

What a most wonderful time. Key West is so beautiful. A belated happy 34th. May there be 34 more sweet years together! Heck...go for 54 more...: )