I awaken to the sounds of Key West in the morning: the crows of the Gypsy Roosters. I am surprisingly pleased by cockadoodle doo of these colorful, feral fowl, feathers of ebony-teal and the orange of a tabby cat. Their noisy calls tell me it’s not to early to get up and brew a cup of Earl Grey.
While the Gypsy hens scratch I peck peck peck at the keyboard, indulging my addiction to SEO forums and maybe sketching an article to flesh out later.
Once it’s light, Karma (my new dog) and I head out for a walk, winding along shady lanes, white picket fences dripping with the shocking pink and purple of a thorny boungainvillea vine. Destination: perhaps dog beach, a narrow strip of sand and palm trees between Louie’s Backyard and the Coconut Beach Resort. (Waddell and Vernon Street.) Summer storms washed away much of the sand, revealing huge coral boulders, and significantly lowering the water level!
Eventually we find ourselves at the Coffee and Tea House on Duval at the corner of Louisa. I go for the espresso, the New York Times and the converaation. There is no wifi at Coffee & Tea and place attracts people who have something to say.
This morning, for example, I met Diane Nyad, a long distance swimmer in town preparing to (she hopes) swim the Florida Straits from Cuba to Key West. Nyad, who is 61 now, got back into long distance swimming when she turned 60. “I wanted to prove it is never too late,” she told me. Renowned as one of the greatest long distance swimmers in the 70s, she last attempted the swim between Cuba and the Southernmost City in 1978. After nearly 42 hours of high winds and seas, she threw in the towel. She’s ready to try again – has her visa and is in shape for the swim; now she just needs the wind to lay down and the water to stay at 82 degrees.
The middle of my day is spent back at the cottage, nose to the keyboard grind, writing and working on client sites … I do stop for an hour to do yoga – I recently joined an online yoga site and I am finally back in the habit of a daily practice. Nothing makes me happier.
At the end of the day I head to the beach at Fort Zach for an afternoon workout. I’m not going to give Diana Nyad any competition, but I am getting back into the swim of things, crawling from one end of the swim area to the next. Yesterday afternoon I went around 6, swam my course and then watched the sun go down. It’s quiet now, and I shared the beach with only a handful of other people.
That will change as the season unfolds and the tourists and snowbirds come down. And as the water cools, I am not sure how long I will keep to a daily swim. Here’s hoping the warm water lasts another month.