Day 2 - Key West

Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas

Our first full day on the Vision of the Seas! I had my melons-and-scrambled-eggs breakfast and gathered up all my cameras. The rest of my party took one look at the pouring rain and decided to stay on board. After all, we'd all seen Key West many times before. But I adore Key West and wasn't going to let a little rain deter me. I put on my rain jacket and headed downstairs!

Vision docks at the Navy Yard so we had to take a free tram into town. The tram was open-sided so there was a bit of rain involved, but that's all right. That's what the rain jacket was for. And then it was a quick sprint to the Audubon Museum.

That was my afternoon. Sprint to the Audubon Museum. Take a bunch of photos. Sprint to the Key West Museum at the Custom House where they had a great exhibit on Cuban photography. Sprint to the Seawreck Museum. Sadly, the tower was closed due to the high winds, but I got to see the rest which was quite interesting. Then sprint to the Aquarium and pet the sting rays. All in all a lovely time! Plus I got to see lots of chickens, which I love.

The ship was departing early due to the high winds so I hunkered down by an open window to take photos. Some passengers near me were scoffing that there had to be three workers manning the lines, but I have the highest respect for those linesmen. During a cruise in Hawaii our boat snapped seven lines, as I recall, and had to flee port because of the danger. Linesmen are always in some danger and in winds like this the danger is higher. If one of those lines snap it could easily kill them. Never mind the risks of being swept out to sea.

We had to hold in place for a while until we got a tiny break in the winds, and then they worked like clockwork to get those lines free so we could get out to the open seas without slamming back into the docks. We did it!

Then it was dinner and rest!

I took 554 photos with my Canon EOS40D today. I'll have to count up the other images at some point.

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
Porch at the Audubon Museum

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
Super-cool piranha sculpture by Sculptor Stanley "Barefoot" Papio in front of the Key West Museum

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
Amazing photos of Key West and Cuba by talented photographer Rob O'Neal

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
Chickens are everywhere on Key West. There used to be cockfighting on the island and then some person in taxation wanted to tax all the chickens. They were all set free overnight and now they're everywhere :).

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
Detail of a boat chain

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
One of the many cool artifacts at the Shipwreck Museum. This organ hails from Vermont.

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
A view from the tower of the Shipwreck Museum. This shows how close some cruise ships get to town. Today the museum let you climb halfway up, but the top half was closed due to high winds and monsoon ;).

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
The dock birds were very precisely segregated. The black birds flew in one line, while the white birds flew in another.

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
Heavy lines kept the ship against the dock in the high wind and waves.

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
Dock workers braving the elements.

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
Substantial wave action. The ship had to hold in place for quite a while, waiting for a break in the waves and wind before they could risk pulling out.

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
Removing the lines.

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
Waves were relentless.

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
"Dive to the Max" by sculptor Raymond Karpuska, by the main pool on board.

Key West - Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas
The dockmaster followed us out in our wake, ensuring we made it out safely. Another job I have a lot of respect for.

My FitBit reported 7207 steps, 3.1 miles, and 35 floors.

A few brief notes.

Key West is an amazing place and many of the fun sights are clustered right around the center. So even if it's rainy, don't give up! Just focus on those museums or, heck, bars, if that's what you're into. Sample the fun which is Key West. And watch for those chickens! They are everywhere and quite cute :).

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