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21 February 2014 @ 08:36 am
100 miles from Paradise  
We stopped at Key Largo last night.  Saw the dilapidated remains of the boat Bogart used in The African Queen, still afloat, if barely.

A hundred miles from Key West; about seventy from where we'll be camping and observing the slightly southern stars.  (We can actually see Alpha Centauri and the Southern Cross, near the horizon after midnight.)

Here is my slightly bohemian visage:


Decided to grow out my beard and see whether I like it.  Right now it just makes me look like another scruffy retiree.

Michael LillieMichael Lillie on February 21st, 2014 11:05 pm (UTC)
I disagree
I say it makes you look content not scruffy.
(no subject) - mswagner on February 22nd, 2014 05:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
et in Arcadia egobooapostle_of_eris on February 23rd, 2014 12:43 am (UTC)
(What the hell is the African Queen doing in Key Largo?
My immediate reaction was "wrong movie!")
joe_haldemanjoe_haldeman on February 24th, 2014 12:57 pm (UTC)
wrong boat? Wrong movie?
It would make an interesting mash-up. Peter Lorre picking leeches off Katherine Hepburn and eating them. No, wait, that's The Raven.

(Anonymous) on March 5th, 2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
da queen
Some info about the African Queen display . . . the Google citation reads, in part,

". . . . the boat used in the 1951 movie The African Queen starring Humprey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. It is located at 99701 Overseas Highway in Key Largo, Florida.

"The boat was built of riveted sheet iron in 1912 in the United Kingdom for service in Africa on the Victoria Nile and Lake Albert where the movie was filmed in 1950. She was used by the British East Africa Railway from 1912 to 1968 to shuttle cargo and passengers across Lake Albert.
"According to one source the boat is a construction by the marine architect Isaac J Abdela of the Abdela & Mitchell shipyards on the Stroud Canal at Brimscombe, Gloucestershire, England.[2]
"According to another source it was built in 1912 by Lytham Shipbuilding and engineering Co, as evidenced by the boiler plate and Lancashire records. Naturally, many vessels of this type built by different companies resembled each other, but the distinguishing feature lies in the fact that 'African Queen' has a vertical boiler, whereas Abdela used horizontal boilers on vessels of this size.

"The boat was found in Cairo, Egypt in the 1970s. It still had coal in the bilges. It was purchased and shipped to USA. For a while it was located at the Holiday Inn in Marathon, FL owned by John Linebaugh.[citation needed]
"The vessel was refurbished, including installation of an interior steel hull, and restored to service as a tourist boat in 2012.

I'd like to know how long it was outside the Holiday Inn. I think it was there in the 80's, when we first went down to a Hemingway conference. I took a ride in it in the mid-or late 90's, and helped the captain shovel "coal" – charcoal briquets – into the ancient engine. We pulled up to a dock abaft a convenience store and I climbed up to buy a big bag of same.

It was noisy and fun. Glad to see it's back in service.

joe_haldemanjoe_haldeman on March 9th, 2014 12:49 pm (UTC)
Re: da queen
Did I manage to send that three times? Sorry!

We have moved on and are now at the Will MacLean Folk Festival up in somewhat northern Florida. Music! Fattening food! Tempting hand-made guitars!


joe_haldemanjoe_haldeman on March 9th, 2014 01:00 pm (UTC)
Re: no place like home
Someone just slipped a love note under my door here at the Holiday Inn. It says "Thank you for staying at [resort name]". God, I love the personal touch!

joe_haldemanjoe_haldeman on April 8th, 2014 12:29 pm (UTC)
the Bogart boat
I forgot to mention the Hemingway connection to the African Queen. When Hemingway survived two airplane crashes (!) in Kenya in the fifties, it was the same boat that brought him out of the jungle. Bloodied but unbowed, they say.

He was a frighteningly accident-prone man, which I suppose Freudians would call a death-wish. Do psychiatrists still play that tune? I think he was very clumsy at times, perhaps while drinking, and unlucky to boot. The impressive scar on his forehead came from an accident in a French toilet -- he thought he was pulling on the cord that flushed the john, and instead it dropped the skylight on his head! He also shot himself in the legs -- both legs! -- while gaffing a fish in the Gulf of Mexico. I guess it was a shark, and they wanted it dead before they brought it aboard. So Hemingway tried to shoot it, and got himself instead. (When the boat came back to shore, he made some joke about shooting the most dangerous animal on Earth.)