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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Port 1... Key West

The first port on our Magic cruise vacation was Key West. We chose the hop on hop off tour. The tour took us to historic sites, and explained the history behind Key West which was quite interesting. In 1860 wrecking made Key West the largest and richest city in Florida and the wealthiest town per capita in the U.S. A number of the inhabitants worked salvaging shipwrecks from nearby Florida reefs. Numerous vessels would patrol along the Florida Reef looking for wrecks. The wreckers would normally anchor at night in protected anchorages
along the Keys, and then sail out in the morning to see if any ships had wrecked during the night. As a result, a ship that ran on the reef during the night might attract a dozen wreckers by the afternoon of the next day. The first wrecking captain to reach a stranded ship became the wreck master, determining how many wreckers he needed to help salvage the ship, and directing the operation. Wreckers had an obligation to save passengers and crew of the wrecked ship which differentiated the "salvaging" from outright piracy. The wreck master would then salvage as much of the cargo as possible, then take it back to Key West to be auctioned. Key West is a quaint
town. The streets are lined with pastel little houses trimmed in gingerbread designs, one of my all time architectural favorites of that time period. We toured the Shipwreck museum. Then we toured the aquarium where we got to pet and feed the stingrays. There would be pictures of this event, but all you can see in the pictures is us
leaning over into the pool with our larger than life butts sticking up in the air. They are not attractive pictures. After the feeding and petting of the stingrays, I got to hold a baby alligator. He seemed quite comfortable perched upon my arm with his mouth taped shut. I just hope the tape thing didn't give my husband any ideas. Looking at the beautiful fish made me all the more excited for our snorkeling excursion scheduled for the next day. My friend and I browsed some shops in spite of the totally bored looks we received from our men, and I did not buy a single pair of shoes... Just a itty bitty purse. So, hubby was happy and I was a happy little seal.

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