Ahoy landlubbers, Captain Kidder has finally returned to terra firma! Our final stop on this year’s Caribbean Book Tour & Rum Festival was lovely Key West, Florida. (Where it was sunny and warm!) We had a marvelous time cruising, boozing, and snoozing. (Three of my favorite pastimes!) A large number of my blog followers (two people) have asked me to regurgitate my favorite moments aboard ship….. I learned that S.O.S. means Save Our Ship. (I thought it meant Save Our Seats at the midnight buffet.) Actually, if the ship starts to sink, S.O.S. should stand for “Save Our Stuff!”
On day three, the Captain insisted that I see the bridge. I was not interested in seeing his dental work, but I took a quick peek just to be nice. (He had more crowns than Henry the VIII!) I shouldn’t have asked about the Panama Canal, because that led to a conversation about root canals. (He probably thought the life boat drill was a dental instrument!) In any case, he was often sober, so we had a pleasant voyage. (Except for a minor incident in Guatemala. Who knew she was a minor?)
Speaking of pleasantries… we met a wonderful couple on the last night of our voyage. Two highly talented and charming artists, Gus and Margaret, who now live in the Charleston area most of the year. We enjoyed a steak and lobster meal at the Polo Grill and got to know each other quite well. (Miss Margaret is also an author!) What a fine way to conclude a memorable cruise! Meeting nice people is always the best part of any trip.
Several of my Floridian blog followers have asked about the location of this year’s ceremony honoring the winners of the 2018 Florida Book Festival. (My last history book, TURBULENT TIMES won the Gold Medal for “Best U.S. History Book of the Year.”) I believe the event will be held at the Four Seasons Resort in Orlando, but I will confirm the place and date shortly. (After I receive my room assignment.) Last year I had to sleep in the parking lot, which was a little noisy.
When we arrived in Key West, I held a short book signing at Mel Fisher’s Treasure Museum. As some of you know, I once owned a marine archaeology firm (Treasure Island Group) and spent about 20 years scouring the Laguna Madre (along the Texas coast) for the final resting place of Jean Lafitte, the famous pirate. I loved every minute of that work, so speaking at the museum was a joy.
The late Mel Fisher was the one who discovered the 1622 Spanish wreck “Nuestra Señora de Atocha.” The ship was located on July 20, 1985, and it contained roughly 40 tons of gold and silver! (Valued, so far, at about $450 million dollars!) Believe it or not, only half of the ship’s contents have been located. What most folks don’t know, is that the ship also contained some of the world’s most valuable emeralds, taken from the Muzo Mine in Columbia. All that glitters is not gold!
As a special treat, I will be attaching a couple of photographs from my Key West presentation. Please note how cool, calm, and collected I appear to be on the front steps of the museum. This was due entirely to rum! Even more impressive is the fact that a local photographer was able to capture a photo of a very young lady who had just listened to my lecture. (PLEASE NOTE HER FACIAL EXPRESSION, WHICH REVEALS THE BRILLIANCE OF MY ORATION!)
Until next Sunday, I bid thee a fond farewell. Verily I say unto thee, cover your mouth when you cough! (Let’s Get Through With The Flu!)
Love to all,
****** Photographs attached!