If you love classic movies like I do, you'll love this story. "The African Queen" is a classic movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. The movie was released in 1951. Bogart won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as a crusty sea captain transporting city girl Hepburn through thick swamp land in Africa on a rickety old boat...the African Queen.
In 2001, the boat fell into a state of disrepair and the owners had to give it up. It got so bad, that the boat ended up on the scrap heap at a local Florida marina. Enter Florida Keys sailing tour operators Lance and Suzanne Holmquist. They bought the African Queen and put about $70,000 into it to get it back into shape. Now, it's so nice that they are chartering it out! Day cruises start at $39 and dinner cruises at $89. It's home port is Key Largo, Florida (the name of another Bogart classic). I wonder if they did that on purpose?
If you're going to Florida on vacation, I think a detour to Key Largo to see the African Queen would be well worth your while. Next time I go, I'm going to take a cruise on this movie classic. The "Queen" is only 30 feet long, so it's bound to be an intimate cruise experience. Talk about a great subject for photos and video...I'm really looking forward to it!
Here's a link to get more information about the African Queen charters: http://travel.usatoday.com/destinations/dispatches/post/2012/04/book-passage-on-the-restored-african-queen-in-the-florida-keys/676339/1
[photo by TRF Mr Hyde@Flickr.com]