When we began the journey at Mile 0 in Key West, we never imagined the road would lead us to Mile -1!
Wisteria Island is a small island just off Key West. It sits 400 feet from Sunset Key, playground of the mega rich. But Wisteria couldn’t be more different.
We had just arrived in Key West and were looking for a place to park. Our search led us to a dead-end road that butted up to the Coast Guard, with a small public dock off to one side.
As we drove by slowly, Ethan was just walking up from the dock. He had just tied up his dinghy, and he looked up at the bus in interest.
Sometimes Jose and I both experience a moment of….how to describe it…sometimes when we meet someone, both our ears perk up at the same time.
This has happened multiple times. It’s almost always when we are looking for something in particular. When the right person passes by, we both seem to feel the same ‘ah ha’ at the same moment. And it always turns out to be someone who we really connect with.
That happened with Ethan Vaughan. He looked up at the bus, while Jose and I said to each other, “I bet he knows where we can park!” We stopped the bus and Ethan walked up to the door.
Long story short, Ethan recommended the perfect spot where we parked the bus for days right on the water. Then we got to talking, and we learned at Ethan has a liveaboard sailboat anchored just off Wisteria Island. “Wisteria Island?” we both asked, intrigued.
Two days later, we met Ethan at the same dock and jumped aboard his dinghy to go visit Wisteria.
What makes Wisteria Island so special?
It seems that the history of Wisteria is very complicated. What we did glean is that it is in a certain limbo due to legal battles over zoning and ownership.
Nearby Sunset Key has been developed and houses the vacation homes of some of the wealthiest among us. Wisteria, in the meantime, remains a completely undeveloped, Caribbean desert island.
It seems the situation with Wisteria is ever-evolving. Just as the eco-system of usage of the island.
Locals go there to congregate and socialize, just as we do at city parks. Many livaboard sailors, like Ethan, anchor their boats off Wisteria. Some people have camps on the island itself.
And this has led to community. We are very grateful to Ethan for showing us around the island, and to everyone else we met for being so kind and welcoming to us.
Guitar on the Beach
What island beach would be complete without a few guitars knocking around?
After touring the island, we sat down to play a little music together. The moment Ethan started playing, our eye brows went up. In a flash, I had the recorder out and got Ethan’s permission to record. Jose did the same with the GoPro.
And then we just sat and played together for over an hour.
For a musician, it’s the best feeling to sit down with a stranger and play together effortlessly. Ethan is immensely talented. And it makes me smile to think of the random string of events that led to that jam session, on the beach of desert island in the Caribbean.
That is life, is it not? When you follow your gut and open yourself to saying hello to people, to accepting their invitations, the domino effect that follows can lead to amazing experiences.