23 December 2009

The African Queen rests in Key Largo Florida

On an early morning walk we came across the African Queen along the waterway, between the yachts and tourist haulers. It's not a gardening topic, but also not to be missed!

The gentleman who told us her history, Jimmy Hendricks, said his family owns the boat.

They have a link on their Princess glass bottom tour boat site here.

It was built in 1912, and was used from 1912 to 1968. Then it came to America.

Hendricks said that England would like to take the steam boat home and restore it.

In 1996, the New York Times (link here) ran an article about the African Queen arriving in Connecticut.
In that article Hendricks is quoted as saying that people did not recognize it when he first began showing the vessel in Key Largo because it was too clean and too well maintained.

In case you don't recall "African Queen" the 1951 movie, here's the synopsis -
An unlikely romance blossoms between Charlie Allnut, a gin-swilling river pilot played by Humphrey Bogart, and Catherine Hepburn's Rosie Slayer, a prim spinster sister of a missionary. The couple struggles against Germans, in a fight that culminates with the explosive-laden vessel destroying a warship.

This one is the real deal. It was used as a ferry for decades and is featured in a movie.

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