The locals gather around the grand wooden bar at all hours, from breakfast until last call, listening to the radio and watching the weather reports on TV. The marina is always buzzing with activity. And when the sun finally sets, you can hear the call of Conch shells celebrating the end of the day and the promise of the night to come.
But late at night, strange things have been know to happen in the harbor, I’ve actually seen a man tow a dinghy — swimming across the harbor holding the rope between his teeth because the motor had broken down.
Late at night, it’s eerily quiet crossing the harbor over to the sail boat. It’s easy to get lost in your thoughts. The sky and water are the same shiny black ink. It’s at those moments that I often wonder where the name ‘Boot Key Harbor’ came from.
According to legend, a stylish young woman, visiting from up north, her feet tired from dancing all night at the Brass Monkey, took off her very expensive boots with 4-inch heels and tossed them one by one into the harbor during a 3am crossing. According to the story, somewhere, at the bottom of the harbor is a size 6 pair of Valentino black suede stiletto ankle boots mysteriously still in pristine condition.
Every once in a while, I think about those Valentino boots and what they must have meant to her and how she could have let them go so easily.