If you have ever spent any amount of time around the sea and in waterways, you will know that the locals have their own navigational aids. In North Carolina’s Outer Banks on the island of Ocracoke you will see empty Clorox bottles bobbing in the water. You have to ask a local in order to know if the bottle marks where you should go or where not to go.
All over the Florida Keys and in the Caribbean sticks and now some PVC pipes are swaying in bodies of water, sometimes the only guide you might have.
Well, in the Upper Florida Keys there is a cut from the bay near Tavernier Creek to Cowpens** that is called Toilet Seats. It is marked with some bright-painted toilet seats and some derelict toilet seats, but all of them are clever.
My Friend Joy (from my earlier boating days in the Bahamas) and I have put several toilet seats in this cut, but they have not fared too well with the blows and hurricanes that whip through the Keys.
Our toilet seat was painted with "Chloe and Joy, Eau de Toilette", weren’t we clever?
I remember other catchy quips painted on the seats: Ed’s Crapper; Royal Flush; Pottying in the Keys; Baron’s Throne; Louise and Tammy’s Turd’le; Doug and Vickie’s Hook, Line and Stinker and others that the sea has claimed.
I have to give credit to the great skipper Patrick who stopped, backed up, moved left or right for me to get just the right shot. Thank you, Chico.
This really is folk art, and I love it! Art and the sea is thalassa therapy for this NC innkeeper.
** Years ago, natives corralled the manatees, also known as seacows into pens for food. This area is now called Cow Pens. More local lore is that sailors long at sea looked upon the manatee as mermaids. Now do we believe that? They must have been at sea a very long time.