Well, to be honest, the “African Queen” is not my favorite Bogart or Hepburn movie, but it is definitely a classic. And while Key Largo is more well-known for “Key Largo” having been filmed here, the connection with the boat from the African Queen is an interesting one. When we first relocated into the are, “The Queen” was available for some tours, but that ceased before we had the opportunity to go on one. Then she was on display for a while without being able to take tours, and that, too, sadly stopped. I always personally hate to see something iconic fall by the wayside and so I felt a bit of a pang to hear the news, and then didn’t think much more about it.
I don’t actually recall when I heard that someone had, in fact, stepped in and felt so strongly about the “African Queen” that she was to be restored to once again take to the waters around Key Largo. Now, there can be a little confusion because in the lapse of time, one of the local glass-bottom boat operations used the term “African Queen”, but the correct web site to go to is: http://africanqueenflkeys.com The story of how it all came about is of course fascinating and the types of tours they do are even better than before.
What brought all of this to mind was not that we’ve managed to take a tour yet, but “The Queen” comes past Horizon Divers as she chugs out the canal to get to the ocean.and we’ve seen her several times. My husband snapped a photo the other day as the dive boat was coming back for the day. It’s difficult to see the boat in this picture, but their web site has some really nice shots.
Since we’re on the subject of Key Largo and Bogart movies, a quick word about the Caribbean Club. The big sign about the movie being filmed there is hard to miss and you can indeed walk the same ground as did Bogart, Bacall, Robinson, Huston, etc., The Caribbean Club is a bar though, not a restaurant, and it is one of the more colorful late night spots in the area. I usually swing in there for one drink when we have company that asks to see the place. You can sit at one of the tables in the back overlooking the Bay and sip your beer, rum, whatever, and imagine what it was like in 1947 as they were filming. (Well, the movie was released in 1948, so maybe they filmed it that same year.)