Boca Chica Key is an island located nearly 5 km’s east of the island of Key West. The island is mainly covered with salt marsh...
Boca Chica Key is an island located nearly 5 km’s east of the island of Key West. The island is mainly covered with salt marshes and is a home to the largest Naval Air Station in South Florida. The U.S. Navy’s presence in Key West is noticed in 1823 when a Naval Base was established to stop piracy in this area.
The Lower Keys Florida was home to various wealthy shipping merchants whose motor vehicles (owned for a business) operated from these waters. All this drew the interest of infamous pirates such as Captain William Kidd who used the Florida Keys as a major place from which to prey on shipping lanes. (17.1)
Boca Chica Florida is a strip of public land which is backed by the Naval Air Station which regularly flies jets off the runway. They fly loud simulating aircraft exercises, but the Boca Chica beach is open to public use. The telephone pole lines along the coast have been washed away by the hurricanes and never replaced. Geiger Beach on Boca Chica Key has become a spot for locals; they visit the place and relax.
The subtle combination of the natural beauty and the manmade touches have created an interesting post-apocalyptic yet almost sorted out the landscape. One can find remains of the refugee boats, a shoe wall for ‘lost soles’ and a large and complex driftwood lean-to. It was rumored that all these things were made by a local who was sadly not permitted to stay at the place.
The Navy still takes care and maintains a presence in Key West on Boca Chica, but major portions of the island are today vacant. Two years ago, several submarine pits and 122 acres of land were put up on a sale at a price of $21 million. The property includes seven fingers cut coral canals that are 100 feet wide and more than 20 feet deep which are directly connected by a water entry channel that provides a way to Boca Chica Channel and Key West Harbor.
These days’ people come to enjoy and relax on the remote beach for these strange attractions and wildlife. Surely this place is a little bit bizarre but somehow it feels at home and gives a pleasant feeling. It is the only legally sanctioned ‘nude beach’. After a point, you may see the sign: “Clothing Optional Beyond This point”. If you are going along with your kids make sure you read the notice board. Many visitors come here to sunbathe in the nude. Alongside the naked folks, you may see lean-tos made of branches and rock way created by adventurous locals. (17.2)
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