Great night last night! Absolutely fantastic!

Christmas Boat Parade!

Schooner’s Wharf and the community sponsor an annual Christmas Boat Parade. Last night’s parade was the 17th annual one.

I had never before been on a boat for the parade nor watched one. My loss! I made up for it last night however!

I was a guest on the Fury. The Fury is a 77 foot catamaran. Three levels. A commercial vessel, it takes people out daily for reef exploration, jet skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving and other varied water sports. In the evenings it has sunset cruises. A big business! Literally thousands of people enjoy water related activities on the Fury yearly.

The people who operate the Fury are very generous. They contribute to all sorts of Key West charities, including reef restoration. An environmentally cognizant organization.

Concierges are an economic life line for the Fury. Lodging guests are referred to the Fury if they seek water sports. Last night was a special pay back time by the Fury to the Key West concierge industry. All concierges were invited free to enjoy the Christmas Boat parade on the Fury!

I was fortunate to be invited also.

What an evening! What fun!

The evening started with cocktails on the Westin dock. At 6:30 we were lead onto the boat. We left the harbor at 7 and entered the parade.

Twenty seven boats were entered in this year’s parade. Some big, some small. Lengths ranged from 15 feet to 100 plus feet. And all were decked out with thousands of lights and other holiday paraphernalia!

Each boat was decorated in a unique fashion. Xmas trees, Palm trees decorated as Xmas trees, Santa Claus and a nativity scene. And even frosty the snowman! A big time effort and expense in the decoration of each boat!

There is also $21,000 in prizes for the winning 12 boats. But I assure you none of the decorating and participation was for the money. This parade was strictly a holiday fun party for all involved!

Two boats especially struck my fancy. Key West is a fishing town. Lobster and crab abound. So one vessel had a large sign composed solely of lights on its side that read SANTA CLAWS rather than Santa Claus! Cool! The other boat that received a huge applause each time it drove by another vessel was a smaller one with the nine Hanukkah candles and 2 Stars of David standing tall on the boat.

On the Fury we were eating and drinking and dancing the night away! Had to be at least 100 people on board. Top shelf liquor and a great buffet. And the music was terrific! The boat had a 1960s theme and the music was generally from that era. Beatles and the like. I even heard a song I have not heard in years. The singer escapes me but the words do not…16 tons and what do you get, another day older and deeper in debt! How true! Nothing changes!

After the parade I sauntered down to Schooner’s Wharf. My very good friend Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24 were playing. It is always good to see Howard! At the end of a set, he came down from the stage to give me a big bear hug and kiss. On the cheek of course!

Howard’s musical career is careening ahead! In addition to headlining in the keys, he is playing in Nashville and opening in Las Vegas. Run, don’t walk, to see him and buy his CDs! You will love his tunes, most of which he writes himself.

One of his songs has a line…I’m living in Key West time! Howard is and so am I! Thank You Lord!

I was up early this morning. That snow and cold front that has moved from the mid west to the northeast is arriving in the keys. Yes, even Key West gets cool weather! I left the house this morning at 6:30. It was 72. By 8 it had dropped to 67 and is still dropping. And we are being hit with a sleeting type cool rain at the moment, though it is not really sleet. But it pierces and so feels like it.

My 93 year old father lives in upstate New York. I speak with him daily. He tells me the temperature this past week ranged from 8 degrees to 20. And I am complaining about a few of the coming days in the 60s! Such is life…

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