It’s not about China, true enough, but this is a site about my attempts to understand China, and that certainly cannot be done while I’m worn out-therefore a vacation was in order! Here are some of the better pictures that came out while we were on the Carnival Imagination and during a short stint within Key West, Florida. I think its a bit funny that during our four days on the boat, I didn’t manage to get a single picture of anything inside. Then again, that might not be a bad thing. This first picture is one of my favorites, taken from the aft-most deck on the boat at about 6am. We had gotten up to watch the sun come up (something that I consider a must if you are on open water), but it was still a bit too early and very dark. I didn’t think there was a chance that this picture would come out, in part because it was taken without a tripod in low light, and also because the humidity was so high that the lens kept trying to fog. I think that the fog may have actually helped the shot, giving it an plastic look. Shooting anything on the ship was very tricky, as the movement of the boat made it hard to get any sort of low-light shots without having them blur. As such, a tripod may have been more of a problem. I suggest clicking on each picture so you can really see it clearly, they are very large.
The sun came up pretty quickly after this shot was taken, and it became a little bit easier to get some good pictures. Cloud cover was perfect, resulting in those really rich golds and pinks. These shots are the best of the bunch, but even they do not come close to really capturing the scale or color.
The tugboat out in the distance is similar in size to a large yacht. Gives you some perspective on the scale.
Our boat docked in a navy port near the southwest side of Key West. It was pretty impressive to watch something so massive parallel park without the help of a tugboat. As we were coming in closer to the dock, I got this picture of the port itself. I think the boat in the distance is part of Royal Caribbean’s fleet. While we were in Key West, I was told by our slightly loopy bus driver that Key West had over 450 boats dock at it’s port within a single year. For an island that survives almost exclusively on visiting wallets, it was no surprise. Key West, a tourist haven, has somehow embraced it’s predominantly foreign customer base, while still maintaining a feeling of exclusivity.
For one reason or another, I didn’t manage to take too many blog worth picture on the island itself, at least not pictures that really convey anything about Key West. The picture directly below was taken slightly east of the Southernmost point in the United States. Standing on the Cement Pier alongside me was a very local, very sun-aged individual with a piece of styrofoam, a blowtorch and a scraggly looking dog. I watched as he set his stuff down, turned to the dog and began explaining to his companion that it was important for them to observe the rules this time, or that they wouldn’t be allowed to stay.
The Southernmost point was perhaps the dullest thing we saw. There was a huge line of people waiting to get pictures of their family in front of the large marker, but we didn’t have the slightest interest in doing so. The above picture was close enough for me, much quieter and free of any forced sensation of travel accomplishment.
I leave you with one last picture; a Church, with clouds rolling in just before it began to rain.