Monday, April 30, 2018

Conch Republic Navy Schooner Sea Wolf Readying for the Attack.
     Saturday evening at  7:00 PM the Conch Republic Military Forces attacked the U.S. Coast Guard in the remembrance of the Battle for the Conch Republic on April 23, 1982.   The Coast Guard Cutter lead the way out across from Mallory Square and the Conch Republic Army brought it s guns to bare from the land while the Conch Republic Air Force attacked from the skies.  On the Water, the Conch Republic Navy made a classic pass along side of the Cutter.

     The battle was on, and the proceeded to start throwing loaves of bread and water cannons at each other from the seas as the Air Force strafed from above.  This time honored reenactment of the battle for Key West Harbor is steeped in tradition and is still a lot of fun to watch as everything from dinghy's to yachts filled the waters.
The Battle is on.

The Conch Republic is a micro nation declared as a tongue-in-cheek secession of the island of Key West, Florida from the United States on April 23, 1982. It has been maintained as a tourism booster for the city since. 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Reflections: An Evening on The Dock at the Hurricane Hole

     The water and the sky are joined bu the line of boats and the Mangroves at the Hurricane Hole this evening.  The contrasts of clouds , sky and water fill the palate of Mother Natures mural give you a very pleasing and relaxing aura as your relax on the docks.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Diageo All Eyes on The U.S. Spirits Market

     Diageo has underperformed its Spirits peers YTD. We see this as a buying opportunity given its solid organic sales growth and strong cash generation. Our proprietary US Spirits wholesalers survey is reassuring regarding market growth and Diageo's brands. Reiterate Overweight.  Our 5th US Spirits survey highlights the confidence of Spirits wholesalers regarding volume and premiumization potential over the rest of 2018. Among US distributors, >50% of our respondents are optimistic about the next 6 months, like our November survey.  The distributors expect low-single-digit volume growth, with further improvement in the on-trade. The premiumization outlook remains solid, driven by dark spirits, which implies further positive mix and is a bellwether for the market's health, in our view.

     Diageo's organic sales growth looks set to accelerate driven by US, India and EM.  We expect +3.2% organic sales growth in North America for Diageo in FY18, which looks set to accelerate to 3.6% in FY19e. Closing the gap with the market within the next 12 months looks possible, driven by Brown Spirits and Tequila, while the drag from Ketel One and Ciroc vodka (only 10% of US sales) is likely to fade. We expect emerging markets growth to accelerate, with India (10% of Diageo sales) growth set to bounce back to 8% post a weak H1 affected by regulations. Overall, we expect Diageo's organic sales growth to reach +4.7% in FY18e (H2 +5.2%) and to accelerate to +5.3% in FY19e. Thanks to cost savings, we forecast average organic EBIT growth at c.7.3% in FY18/19e.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Top 10 Spirits in America

     The Spirit Business has issued their annual Top 10 American Spirits and Rums made two of the positions.  This is a good indicator for the category this year.  The group received 20 million responses, which were analyzed to determine the popularity score across several categories including food, media, technology and sports.   The results revealed the nation’s favorite spirits brands, which ranged from vodka to gin to whisky to rum and even liqueurs.
     It’s no secret that Americans are big fans of their spirits. Last year, the industry experienced record sales in the country, hitting US$26.2 billion, according to trade body the Distilled Spirits Council.  Sales of both domestic and imported spirits were up 4% in the year, while joint volumes rose 2.6% to 226m cases.
Spirits now own 36.6% of the total alcohol beverage market share, marking the eighth consecutive year that the category has gained market share against beer.

9. Captain Morgan
Diageo-owned rum brand Captain Morgan was described by fans as “good value for money, good quality, refreshing, trustworthy and must-have”.  The rum brand is most popular with Generation X (49%) and is more popular among men than women.  In the US, the brand recently expanded its portfolio of shot-inspired spirits with a watermelon variant and a coconut-flavored expression. Diageo also tweaked the bottle design of its Captain Morgan rum in the US to create a “more modern brand visual identity”.

2. Bacardi

     The world’s best-selling rum brand is also one of the most popular spirits in the US, scoring the coveted second spot.  Bacardi is described by fans as: “classic, good quality, refreshing, familiar and trustworthy”.  The brand recently unveiled its latest effort to tap into premiumization with the launch of two new expressions: Bacardi Añejo Cuatro and Bacardi Gran Reserva Diez.  Meanwhile, the brand continued its Sound of Rum campaign with the launch of a limited-edition rum in collaboration with Trinidadian DJ and music producer Jillionaire, who has been appointed as the brand’s ‘minister of rum’.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Today Key West is Losing a Great Friend and Musician

Gary Woods Sr. Playing at The Bull
     Gary Woods Sr. is heading up to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to live, and today and tonight will be his last Key West performances.  He and I go back seven years when he first came to Key West and tied up his boat on the same dock that I live on.

     Gary has had the best of times and the worst of times here in Key West, but he is feeling the need to be nearer to his grand children and feels that it is that important for him to back to an area that is closer to his roots.  Family is so important to him, and I'm glad he is able to slow down a bit and get closer to them.

    He lost a son, and a wife while here in Key West, but he has had the opportunity to do a whole lot of things that were on his bucket list as well.  His Hurricane Hole Karaoke has been happening weekly for better than six years and came to an end last night.  He has played and singing most every venue in Key West over his years here, places like Captain Tony's, The Bull, The Tiki House and so many more.  Drawing a crowd everywhere he plays and a great following that will surely miss him.  It all comes to an end tonight at the American Legion between 7 and 9:30 pm.  Gary I'm very happy for you and what you are doing, because it is what you truly want, but you will be really missed down here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Alcohol Awareness Month and College Drinking

     April is Alcohol Awareness month and it seems like many young people are getting the message. The good news is that they're are drinking less than previous generations. Surveys of 8th, 10th and 12th graders show that rates have been steadily declining. The current cohort of college students are consuming less alcohol than in previous years, and their non-student peers are drinking even less.   There is speculation that the "Generation Z" cohort tend to be conscientious about what they consume and are not interested in repeating the embarrassing antics of earlier generations. They seem to be more accepting of others' choices, including not drinking.

     But overuse of alcohol is still taking a big toll on college campuses. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking,  about 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault and nearly 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.

     The drinking culture can vary from college to college but at schools where spectator sports are big, drinking rates tend to be higher. A study on the correlation between March Madness participation and college drinking found that one-third of students over 21 and one-fourth of underage students engaged in binge drinking when the school team was part of the NCAA Tournament. They also found that when alcohol was less available at sporting events there were fewer "arrests, assaults, ejections from the stadium, and student referrals to the judicial affairs office," -- all unfortunate situations that can have an impact on a student's academic future.

     There is a lot more to this, and you can read about it at

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Plastic Stirrers, Straws and Cotton Wool Buds Could be Banned in England as Early as Next Year

     Billions of plastic stirrers, straws, cotton wool buds could be banned as early as next year, Theresa May will say today as part of a bid to rid the world of all single use plastic.   The Prime Minister will use the announcement to call on all other Commonwealth countries to join in the fight against plastic pollution at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in London.   The ban - which will not include plastic straws required for medical reasons -  could be in place by next year, sources said.   Official figures show that Britons use 44 billion plastic stirrers and 42 billion plastic straws every year.   Mrs May will today describe plastic waste as "one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world".   She will say: "The UK government is a world leader on this issue, and the British public have shown passion and energy embracing our plastic bag charge and microbead ban.

    We've already seen retailers, bars and restaurants stepping up to the plate and cutting plastic use throughout the world, it's only through government, businesses and the public working together that we will protect our environment for the next generation.  This is getting to be a huge issue that needs to be addressing.  The entire world has a role to play in turning the tide on plastic.   There are over 150 million tons of plastic in the world's oceans and every year one million birds and over 100,000 sea mammals die from eating and getting tangled in plastic waste.

"We use them for four seconds and then they last for centuries There are replacements for these "utensils" that leave almost no footprint on the oceans or the land.  It will cost a few pennies more than plastic, but the cost in the future will be worth the difference today.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Emperor Private Collection Rum Aged in Bordeaux Wine Casks From Château Pape Clement

      Premium rum brand Emperor has expanded its range with a new product launch, a “Private Collection”, limited edition bottle aged in Bordeaux wine casks.   The Mauritian blended rum is first aged for two to five years in French and American oak barrels, before being finished in recycled oak casks from Bordeaux Château Pape Clément.  Only 15,000 bottles of the expertly crafted limited edition are available.   Château Pape Clément is one of the oldest Grands Crus of Bordeaux, dating back to the 13th Century.  The new rum was launched at this year’s Rhum fest in Paris earlier this month.

     Christophe Aulner, the Lookout Group executive chairman, said: “We’re very proud to be expanding the Emperor range at such an exciting time for the premium rum category. Emperor is a combination of heritage, innovation, dedication and passion and we have no doubt its unique style will resonate with discerning drinkers globally.”   “We have put a lot of time and effort into each step of the production and maturation of Emperor, using selected casks and techniques that push the boundaries of the category. We’re looking forward to meeting rum lovers on our journey and developing their understanding of our unique rum terroir.”

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Pelican in the Mangroves

      This is a picture of a pelican that I really love.  I caught this female pelican cruising under the mangroves as I drifted along the edge of the mangroves.  She wasn't disturbed by my presents so I got the chance to get some really interesting pictures of her.  The light was filtered bu the leaves of the mangroves and the ripple of the water gave this picture a real painted look to it.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Sharing the Docks with My Fine Feathered Friends

     One of the best things about living on a boat in a great marina is the bird life that is always around you.  This is the time of year when you get to spend time with most of the breeds that pass through here every year.  Just this morning as I was walking back to the boat with my groceries I came across a young Osprey that was sitting atop a lamp post eyeing the waters for a meal.

     This afternoon, I came a cross a few pelicans that were sitting
under the mangroves and a couple more sitting on a fishing boat and looking for a free snack from the bait boxes.   Gulls, Cormorants, Egrets and Heron all regularly stop by to visit us here at Sunset Marina on a regular basis.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Trump Visits Key West for a Couple of Hours

     Yesterday was "Trump" Day here in Key West.  The crowds wee on United Street instead of Duval which battles drug trafficking along with partner countries and agencies.  “This was an education. We’re talking about drugs and stopping these drugs and other things, human trafficking and other forms of trafficking,” 
as usual.  The motorcade drew a large crowd as Trump's entourage proceed to Fort Zack for their meeting with the Joint Interagency Task Force South,

      Trump Is the first sitting president in 55 years to visit Key West, bringing a crowd all along the motorcade's rout from NAS Key West to the JITFS meetings.   The Presidents Motorcade made a trip from NAS Key West on Boca Chica down US 1 to South Roosevelt, Atlantic Ave., White Street, and on to United and the entry to the JITFS.

     All in all, an exciting day for Key West.  Not the type of thing that you see every day,

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Reviving and Remaking the Lime Rickey Cocktail

     The Lime Rickey Cocktail was a very popular during the early 1900's as a gin cocktail and later appeared at the soda shoppe's as a non-alcoholic beverage.   Sometimes referred to simply as a "Rickey" or "Gin Rickey," the drink was famously concocted at Shoomaker's Bar in Washington D.C., by bartender George A. Williamson back in the 1880s, purportedly in collaboration with Democratic lobbyist Colonel Joe Rickey, soon after, it became a worldwide sensation when mixed with gin.

     During Prohibition, the soda shoppe Lime Rickey became very popular and remained that way until the sixty's and and seventy's.  Today is seems to be making more appearances both as an alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage.

Bahama Bob's Lime Rickey Cocktail

  • 2 oz. White Rum
  • 2 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
  • Top Up with. Club Soda 

 In a shaker filled with ice, combine white rum, lime juice, and the simple syrup. Shake until chilled and add soda water and stir.   Pour into ice-filled tumbler and garnish with lime wheel.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

What a Great Spoof on Alcohol Labels

     This is a great article I ran across in the Huffington Post the other day.  I hate to say it, but there just may be more truth to it than most of us might be willing to admit.  It is a great read anyway.

If Alcohol Labels Were Accurate, This Is What They’d Tell You


One shot of “Vomit Everywhere,” please.
If that’s what Jägermeister were actually called, we’re betting there would be fewer rounds of “Vomit” going around in bars. But if we’re being completely honest with ourselves (like Rachel Page was when she came up with this brilliant project), then we’re pretty sure that almost every alcohol label would look a whole lot different.
Page explained the idea for the project came to her after many nights of working in a bar and, for the record, her favorite drink is “Crying Alone,” also known as Moscato.
The only thing we know for sure? Page is hitting us right where it hurts with these hilarious captions:
·         “Crying Alone”

Rachel W. Page/TSM
·         “Vomit Everywhere”

Rachel W. Page/TSM
·         “Sugar”

Rachel W. Page/TSM
·         “Dancing On Tablés”

Rachel W. Page/TSM
·         “Text Your Ex”

Rachel W. Page/TSM
·         “NEW BFFS”

Rachel W. Page/TSM

To read the descriptions that accompany the photos, head over to and follow Rachel on twitter or Instagram.

Read the article in its entirety at 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Craft Bourbon Distillers are Looking at Introducing Rum

     Craft bourbon distillers have been growing for the past several years as drinkers rediscover heritage

and new styles of brown liquor drinks.   Some might call it a boom. But many distillers have seen the boom-and-bust cycle of liquor popularity before and are exploring ways to hedge their bets against another bust.    

     "We're definitely on an upward trajectory," says Maggie Kimberl, a whiskey writer and historian. "There are a lot of people who have opinions about whether we're at the bottom of the upward trajectory, the middle, the top - but most people feel like we're somewhere in the middle."   But with booms come busts, and the bourbon industry is historically cyclical.   The first big bust was during Prohibition. "There was a city called Tyrone, Ky., which is near Wild Turkey, that was basically wiped off the map by Prohibition," Kimberl says. "It was a very small town that had two or three, maybe four bourbon distilleries in it, and when Prohibition came about, that town ceased to exist."

      Then American whiskey boomed again between 1945 and about 1970.  After that, "people were starting to turn to wine, beer and clear spirits."   "Bourbon was not especially popular at that time."  Then in about 2000, bourbon distilleries started seeing renewed interest in their products. In 2016, bourbon and American whiskey sales topped $3 billion.  "But there are always people saying this can't last, it's going to end soon, the bubble's going to burst."

      That's especially the case lately, as national media have started turning their focus to other spirits. For the past few years, outlets - ranging from Forbes to - have been predicting the "rise of rum."   Some bourbon distillers are diversifying into other spirits like rum.    "It does bear out a little bit in consumer spending, I think."   "But it's not something where somebody is going to say bourbon is out and rum is in and the bourbon bottom is going to fall out."

     Big beverage conglomerates are set up to weather changes in consumer tastes. "They all own rum, or several rums, but they all own bourbon, Scotch, tequila, vodkas, all of these things," so they're not worried about the next thing. "They have the next thing."

     The small distillers can take a lesson from this.   And that's where the small stills like a 26-gallon comes in. 
The craft distilleries can use the small stills to make a few different spirits like rum, agave-based spirits, and a single-malt whiskey.   This isn't unusual for craft distillers, especially since bourbon has a multiyear aging process.   "

      The craft distillery business like so many other businesses, diversity is often the key to longevity.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Diplomático Launches 2004 Single Vintage Rum

Diplomatico's New 2004 Single Vintage Expression
     Venezuelan rum brand Diplomático has unveiled the latest release in its Prestigeous Single Vintage collection,If this one is anywhere as good as the two previous ones, 2004 Single Vintage will be hard to get your hands on.   Diplomático 2004 Single Vintage is aged in Bourbon barrels and Oloroso Sherry casks
      The limited-edition expression is crafted from several casks of special reserve rum, each selected by Nelson Hernández, maestros roneros and master blender.  Distilled in vintage copper pot stills in 2004, the rum has been aged for 12 years in American white oak casks that previously held Bourbon.   These aged rums are then blended by the maestros roneros, before being left for a further year to mature in ex-oloroso Sherry casks.
     Nelson Hernández, maestros roneros at Diplomático, said: “In a time where the ultra-premium rum category is entering the spotlight, and rum is finally being recognised as a quality sipping spirit, we are looking forward to seeing the 2004 Single Vintage reach its fullest potential.” 
     On the palate, 2004 Single Vintage is “well-balanced and incredibly flavorful, with toasted wood and spicy notes”.   Hernández described the rum as being “slightly more dry and oaky than that of previous years.”  Less than 4,000 nine-litre cases of this limited-edition expression will be available globally, with each bottle carrying a RRP of US$120.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Key West is Back to Normal for Us

     Sitting in the helm, looking to the west out of the marina and you have another of the beautiful sunsets that Key West is so famous for.   I so enjoy them, and especially from the high view from the helm of our home.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries Introduce Bly Silver Rum

     American spirits producer Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries has expanded its range with the launch of Bly Silver Rum.   Bly Silver Rum is distilled in small batches using molasses sourced in Pennsylvania.   The distillery’s new white rum is produced in small batches using molasses sourced from the Pennsylvania countryside.
      Barry Young, master distiller, said: “For Bly it was my goal to push the flavor profile so it had a good amount of flavor, picked up the characteristics of the molasses and was not over distilled, which can create a neutral spirit that has no flavor at all.     Rum is produced using the distillery’s ‘unique’ mash method, which gently warms the molasses rather than cooking it, to prevent a burnt tasting spirit.   Each batch produced yields 600 bottles of Bly Silver Rum, which has “notes of butterscotch and vanilla” with a clean finish.
     Bly Silver Rum is now available through Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board stores, as well as in other US states, including  California, Delaware, Florida and Illinois.   The spirit will roll out to further states, including Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, in May.
The Bly Silver Rum joins Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries’ core range, which also includes Boyd and Blair Potato Vodka.

Friday, April 13, 2018

WOW What a week this has been!

Marta and I in 2008

     Monday we got the boat back after the repairs were completed from Irma's rage and we spent

Tuesday getting moved back on the boat,   Wednesday was a work day and Yesterday was Marta's and my 43 Wedding Anniversary.

     Did I mention that yesterday was a work day as well?  What I'm saying is this week was really special and we have really enjoyed it.  The smiles are running from ear to ear.

     This is all I have, promise I'll be back to normal by tomorrow.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Injectable Bio Chip Created to Monitor Alcohol Use

The Chip When Compared to a Penny

     There has been a tiny biochip in the US developed to be injected into the body to monitor alcohol levels over a prolonged period, with the aim of supporting patients in substance abuse programs.  The chip has been developed by engineers at the San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, and can be implanted just under the surface of the skin and is powered wirelessly by a wearable device, such as a smartwatch or patch.
     “The ultimate goal of this work is to develop a routine, unobtrusive alcohol and drug monitoring device for patients in substance abuse treatment programs,” said Drew Hall, an electrical engineering professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering who led the project.   “A tiny injectable sensor—that can be administered The Chipin a clinic without surgery—could make it easier for patients to follow a prescribed course of monitoring for extended periods of time.”    The chip itself contains a sensor that is coated with alcohol oxidase, an enzyme that selectively interacts with alcohol to generate a byproduct that can be electrochemically detected. The electrical signals are transmitted wirelessly to a nearby wearable device such as a smartwatch, which also wirelessly powers the chip. 
     Breathalyzers are one of the most common ways to monitor blood alcohol levels, but are clunky, require patient cooperation and can be inaccurate, Hall noted, while a blood test is accurate but requires the expertise of a trained professional. 
 “We don’t want the chip to have a significant impact on the battery life of the wearable device. And since we’re implanting this, we don’t want a lot of heat being locally generated inside the body or a battery that is potentially toxic,” Hall said.  A provisional patent on the technology has already been filed, and researchers have tested the chip on pig skin, with plans to extend trials to live animals in the future.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Emperor Rum Reveals Two New Expressions

Emperor Lily White Rhum
       Emperor Rum has added two new expressions to its portfolio, including an aged white rum and a super-premium limited-edition bottling.    The new variants, called Emperor Lily White and Emperor Private Collection, were unveiled at Rhum Fest in Paris last weekend (7, 8 and 9 April).
     Emperor Lily White is bottled at 42% abv and is a blend of rums aged up to 12 years. It is charcoal-filtered and described as “elegant, rich and surprisingly intense” for a white rum.   The Private Collection is also bottled at 42% abv and was first matured for two to five years in French and American oak barrels.   The liquid was then finished in Château Pape Clément oak casks to deliver a “rich rum” with “warm, spicy notes”. Only 15,000 bottles have been created.
     Christophe Aulner, the Lookout Group executive chairman, said: “We have put a lot of time and effort into each step of the production and maturation of Emperor, using selected casks and techniques that push the boundaries of the category.”     Emperor will be supporting the growth of its rum range with a social media outreach programme this year, which will aim to educate consumers about the brand and encourage online interaction through new visual assets.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Journey is Complete, Sanity Too is Back in Her Slip

Lil Sanity Headed Back to Her Slip.
     Five Am, we were up and packing up all of the stuff that has kept us going for the past 4 months
.  Move Lil Sanity into a temporary slip and headed for the boat yard.   At 8;30 am, the hoist slipped around her and the crew begant to hook up the sling and she was lifted off of the stands and headed for the water.

Sanity Too Splash Time

     Somewhere in the area of 9:00 am, the boat slipped into the water.  The journey back to Sunset  Marina was underway.  It took us just a little over an hour to complete the journey and back her into her slip and secure the lines.  With a little bit of work to fix a couple of things she is now in full operation tonight.  The AC has just about got the boat cooled down, so sleeping will be comfortable tonight.

Sanity Too Enters Key West Harbor

     Now as the sun is setting on Sunset Marina, I can take a picture
from the front deck and enjoy the beauty of the day turning into evening.  Thank goodness we are back home again.

Sanity Too Sunset in Her Slip