Thursday, April 09, 2015

Florida Keys Ocean Fest


Cudjoe Key, Florida (high 85, low 75)

The winds have been blowing 16-18 mph for the past two weeks, so we haven’t taken the boat out.  I managed to pick up a cold, so I spent 2 days feeling pretty rotten, so we haven’t done anything exciting.


Last Saturday, we went down to the Truman Waterfront in Key West to visit the Eco Discovery Center.  If you get to Key West, be sure to visit the wonderful Eco Discovery Center.  It’s free and parking is also free.

They have wonderful displays, including a great movie about the ocean as well as a 3D video where you think you’re actually underwater once you put on the 3D glasses. 

Saturday was the day for the 6th annual Ocean Fest at the Eco-Discovery center.  We missed it last year because the seas were calm and we decided to do our own “Ocean Fest” out on the boat.

It was a fun event lasting all day with lots of fun things to do for kids and adults alike.

The power company had free lifts in their energy buckets. 


Rides for the kids.


There were a lot of vendors selling locally made arts, crafts and the like.  We always enjoy seeing the things these artists imagine.  One lady makes the most incredible fish wall hangings that are made from coconut palm trees.  She gathers scraps the rest of us throw away and makes beautiful works of art.

There was a local photographer there taking pictures.  He kept getting in my way…   :).   His pictures turned out much better than mine.  Click on the link HERE  to get a better look.

The event was sponsored by Mote Marine Lab and Dr. Vaughn who is the head marine biologist, was there making announcements one minute and dancing to the music from the band the next.

Dr Vaughn marine biologist in charge of Mote


The famous artist, Wyland was also there painting with some of the children.  Later on, he did a few paintings and sold them for $2500, with all the money going to charity.  They told us that these paintings would instantly be worth $9000 in one of his galleries, one of which is in Key West.  We resisted the urge to make a quick $7000.   :)

from Wikipedia:

Robert Wyland (born 1956), known simply as Wyland, is an American artist best known for his 100 Whaling Walls, large outdoor murals featuring images of life-size whales, and other sea life.

 Wyland's connection with whales began when he was 14 on a visit with his family to Laguna Beach, California where he saw the ocean for the first time and witnessed several gray whales migrating down the California coast towards Mexico. In 1977 he moved to Laguna Beach and in 1981 painted the first of his 100 Whaling Walls at a Laguna Beach parking lot.


Here are a couple of the finished paintings that he sold.

Wyland- artist painting

Wyland- artist with painting that sold for $2500

and here is Wyland


The main reason we went to the Ocean Fest was to see our favorite local musicians, Howard Livingston and the Milemarker 24 Band.

He was described as Jimmy Buffet on steroids.  The show was free and we got a nice shady seat under the canopy. As usual, they put on a wonderful show.


If you come to the Keys, make sure to go see them, or click HERE to listen to a sample of some of our favorite songs.  They are definitely an entertaining band. 

When the festival ended, we decided we would drive down to Mallory Square and watch the sunset celebration.


As the sun starts to lower in the sky, the boats start their nightly parade in front of the pier.

Mallory Square

The street performers get set up to start their shows. 

Remember a month or so ago I told you that we met a sword swallower on the bus?  He’s in Ripley’s Believe it or Not.  Here he is again.

sword swallower

It was a LONG sword.

sword swallower

There were no cruise ships in port, which is very unusual.


People line up along the pier and wait.  This time of the year the sun sets behind the island and not into the water.  It’s better in the water, but whatcha gunna do?


On the way home, we saw the most amazing full moon rising over the water along one of the bridges.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t stop for a photograph. 


the end

the end


  1. Great "The End" picture. With shorts like that, you could say you were sitting around Key West... :cD

  2. You know you are starting to know the Keys when you can recognize Howard's picture before you said who it was.
    Glad you finally got to see the Sword Swallower in action. Kathy and I saw him last year.and he is good.
    Keep enjoying the Keys so we feel like we're still there through you pictures.
    Be Safe!

    It's about time.

  3. Sorry to hear you had a cold but glad to find out about the Discovery Center and the Ocean Fest. Love your pictures of the sailboats.

  4. Still having too much fun there in the Keys, keep up the good postings.


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