As I drive alone, south to the Florida Keys, I’m passing one strip mall after another. There’s the occasional beer joint , and old trailers, a little off level, in parks that are full. Junk cars and boats, whole or in pieces, litter lots and yards. Then, I see a stack of lobster traps at the end of a road. When you go over the bridges, you see the Keys’ crystal emerald waters. It’s a long painful drive. The air is clear and fresh except when it is interrupted by the smell of salt marshes and Sargasso seaweed baking in the hot July sun.
The Keys really haven't changed much through the years.
I am headed to Key West to see Capt. Seth Salzmann. He is the captain I mentioned in my last letter, a schooner captain. I met him in Beaufort this spring aboard a Malabar sloop. John Alden had never designed her as a sloop. She was a schooner missing her main mast. Malabar VII, built in 1926 in Wascasset Maine, was preparing for her journey north to Seneca Lake in upstate New York.