Key West Newbie Gouge for 2019 Come Around

Posted: 8/13/2018

Gouge for those attending their first Key West come-around

(Key West old salts are also welcome to read in case they want to refresh or are experiencing “senior moments”)

Come-around

  • Theme for Key West 2019 is Fun, Fellowship, Memories.
  • Several meals, Happy Hours and activities on-site under a large tent.
  • Several organized meals and/or activities off-site.
  • A schedule for the entire week will be published in a separate document.
  • You can participate in as many or as few activities as you desire.
  • Come-around fee – to be determined at this time
    • Fee is based on expenses (rental of tent, tables, chairs; cost of disposables, food, special events, etc.) and the number of participants.
    • The Key West come-around fee, which does not include the MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) camping fee, is usually in the range of $75-$100 per person. Information pertaining to the MWR camping fee is included in the “Campsite/vehicle registration and fees” bullet of the CAMPING section below.
  • All participants are asked to provide some appetizers, desserts and a potluck dish – details to be published in the event Plan of the Week.
  • We usually have about 20 – 25 RVs and sometimes have non-RVing grads who stay off-site and join us for activities.
  • Weather
    • Less than paradise-like weather conditions, i.e. cold and/or rainy, are possible.
    • Packing appropriate inclement weather attire strongly recommended.

Access to camping facility

  • Participants having DOD issued ID card – you do not have to do anything in advance to be admitted to the camping site.
  • Participants who do not have DOD issued ID card
    • Background check will be required for all event participants not having a DOD-issued ID card. This includes any guest(s) of a person having a DOD-issued ID card.
    • Upon satisfactory completion of background check, participant’s name will be added to the list of event participants approved for access to designated areas of NAS Key West (NASKW), e.g. Truman Annex and Sigsbee and Trumbo campground facilities.
    • Participants not having DOD-issued ID card will be required to present driver’s license to the sentry at the gate, sentry will check name on driver’s license against list of participants not having DOD-issued ID card who are approved for base access to designated areas.
    • Tom Wolfe ’70 (co-firstie) to collect required personal data for those impacted participants and coordinate completion of required background check with MWR/NASKW Security.
  • See DRIVING DIRECTIONS section below for directions to campsite location.

Camping

  • Location – vacant field at the Truman Annex to NAS Key West.Being able to camp at Truman Annex is both a treat and privilege. The USNA Alumni Association RV Chapter is one of only a small number of groups allowed to camp there overnight.
    • The field where we camp is right by the water.
      • Click on the hot link above
      • Campsite is the open area located ~10 o’clock from the white circular structure on Whitehead Spit at distance of ~600-700 ft. from the reference point.
    • You can watch cruise ships arrive and depart and enjoy the small beach. (In the past Cuban refugees have been known to come ashore at night!)
    • Campsite is within easy walking distance of downtown Key West.
  • Dry camping – no hookup facilities
    • Strongly recommend arriving with your fresh water tank full and your gray and black tanks empty.
    • Potable water and dump facilities are available at both the Sigsbee and Trumbo campgrounds.
    • Clean restroom and shower facilities and a nice gym are available at the Truman Annex Fitness Center.
      • Fitness Center is located ~75 yards from the campsite.
      • The restroom and shower facilities are available 24×7 for our group.
    • Generators
      • Can be run except during “Quiet Hours” (10pm – 07am). There are no quiet hours police, just common sense and consideration for fellow campers.
      • Vertical exhaust pipes (often referred to as Gen-turis) – in the interest of both common sense and consideration for fellow campers, let’s all ensure that we have the ability to direct the exhaust from our on-board generators away from our next-door neighbors’ entry door and immediate surroundings.
  • Campsite/vehicle registration and fees
    • Campsite/vehicle registration and payment of campsite fees are accomplished at the NASKW MWR Campground Office at Sigsbee (Building V-4113, across from Commissary).
      • Payment can be made via either cash or a valid credit card. Personal checks are not accepted.
      • Campground office hours are 09am – 3pm (M – F).
    • Event participants have two options for registration and payment of campsite fee
      • Option # 1 – Register at the campground office at Sigsbee before proceeding to the campsite at the Truman Annex. The potable water and dump station facilities at Sigsbee are conveniently close to the campground office.  If you need to dump tanks and/or take on/top off potable water, this option provides a convenient opportunity.
      • Option # 2 – Event participants are permitted to drive directly to the campsite at the Truman Annex, unhook the towed vehicle and return to campground office in the towed vehicle to register and pay campsite fee. Participants who choose this option and who arrive at the Truman Annex campsite at such time as to make returning to the campground office the same day not feasible are permitted to return to the campground office at Sigsbee the following day.
  • All vehicles are required to register in order to access the facility.
    • “All vehicles” means just that – all vehicles, e.g. RVs, towed vehicle, motorcycles, etc.
    • The usual vehicle information, e.g. vehicle’s VIN, license plate number, proof of valid registration and proof of insurance is required to register the vehicle for access to the facility.
  • Campsite fees for 2019 not yet published but expected to be similar, if not the same as 2018. Fees for 2018 as follows:
    • DOD ID card holder – $16/night
    • Non-DOD ID card holder – $20/night

Driving Directions

  • Notes:
    • In Key West street names are often painted on light posts.
    • There always seems to be street construction somewhere in Key West. While the directions below are believed to be accurate, they will be verified via on-scene route reconnaissance several days prior to come-around arrival date.
    • Southbound on US 1 – monitor your speed as you come off the bridge approaching mile marker 35, someone is often “taking pictures” as you exit the bridge.
    • Editorial comment – good idea to monitor your speed throughout the Keys – ‘nuff said.
  • To NAS Key West Campground Office at Sigsbee from US 1
    • Turn left onto S Roosevelt at the stop light as you enter Key West.
    • Take S Roosevelt to Flagler Ave (stop light).
    • Turn right onto Flagler and follow it to Kennedy Dr (stoplight).
    • Turn right onto Kennedy and follow it straight into Sigsbee.
    • After entering Sigsbee bear right where the road splits. There should be signs pointing toward the Commissary and Navy Exchange.
    • Follow the signs to the MWR Campground office (Building V-4113, across street from Commissary).
    • Additional notes:
      • The speed limit on base is strictly enforced.
      • Google Maps, GPS, etc. will likely show a more direct route to the NASKW MWR Campground Office at Sigsbee as you enter Key West. This route would be via N. Roosevelt from US 1 (right turn onto N. Roosevelt at the stop light as you enter Key West).  While the directions are accurate the right turn into Sigsbee from N. Roosevelt is extremely tight for larger rigs.  Therefore, following the directions provided above (left turn onto S Roosevelt from US1 at the stoplight as you enter Key West, etc.) is the recommended route for larger units.
  • From NAS Key West Campground Office (Sigsbee) to Truman Annex (see recommended alternate route below for larger rigs)
    • Exit Sigsbee and turn right at stoplight on to Roosevelt Ave. (Note: This turn can be tight for larger rigs if there are cars in the left turn lane on N. Roosevelt).
    • Continue to Palm Ave (stoplight, by municipal marina).
    • Turn right onto Palm Ave and follow it to intersection with Eaton St.
    • Turn left (~45 degree turn) onto Eaton St and follow it for short distance to White St (stoplight).
    • Turn left onto White St and follow it to Southard St (stoplight).
    • Turn right onto Southard (another tight turn for larger units) and follow it through the town to the gate at Truman housing area.
    • Proceed through the gate and past the entrance to Ft Zachary Taylor to the guard gate at the Truman Annex.
    • Turn right after entering the Annex and drive toward the beach. You will see us on the big field to the left.
  • Alternate route from NAS Key West Campground Office (Sigsbee) to Truman Annex (recommended for larger rigs)
    • Exit Sigsbee and proceed straight through the stoplight at N. Roosevelt onto Kennedy Dr. to intersection with Flagler Ave. (stoplight)
    • Turn right onto Flagler Ave and follow it to White St. (stoplight)
    • Turn right onto White St and follow it to Southard St (stoplight).
    • Turn left onto Southard and follow it through the town to the gate at Truman housing area.
    • Proceed through the gate and past the entrance to Ft Zachary Taylor to the guard gate at the Truman Annex.
    • Turn right after entering the Annex and drive toward the beach. You will see us on the big field to the left.

What to bring:

  • name tags
  • Food items to share
    • 1 light snack for the Sunset Cruise (cruise participants only).
    • 2 appetizers for Happy Hour – see Plan of the Week for assignments.
    • 1 side or dessert for the fish fry (date TBD but most likely Friday), BYO meat if you don’t eat fish.
    • Favorite tailgate dish(s) for the potluck dinner (date TBD but most likely Saturday).
    • 1 Sunday brunch dish (Suggestions: egg casserole, quiche, scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, toast, sweet rolls, donuts, muffins, fruit, Mimosas, Bloody Marys, etc.).
  • RV items and non-RV things for the white elephant auction that you know your shipmates are just dying to own. Proceeds from the auction benefit the chapter.  Remember – one person’s “junk” is another person’s treasure.
  • $$$$ (checks accepted), reminder – you can’t win at the auction if you don’t bid!!!
  • Books for free book exchange (not part of the white elephant auction)
  • BYOB inventory for Happy Hour, etc.
  • Camera/smartphone/tablet – remember…memories!!!
  • Personal recreation equipment as desired, e.g., golf gear, diving gear, etc. – lots of opportunity to “play” in Key West – see “Miscellaneous” section re motorcycles on base.
  • Navy paraphernalia (if you have any) for individual campsite and/or table decorations.
  • Any USNA memorabilia you may wish to share with fellow participants.
  • And last, but definitely not least…proper attitude for experiencing a week of FUN, FELLOWSHIP AND MEMORIES!

Miscellaneous

  • Fire ants
    • There is risk of the presence of fire ants at our camping location.
    • Some years are “riskier” than others.
    • Firsties will have fire ant repellant available for event participants as may be needed.
  • The Miccosukee Resort & Casino
    • RV friendly overnight lodging facility enroute to Key West.
    • Convenient and affordable, excellent jumping off site for final leg of journey to Key West!
      • Located along SR 997 just north of intersection with US 41.
      • Dry camping in designated area – no charge.
      • Must obtain parking pass from security to display in vehicle.
    • Key West “newbies” are encouraged to place something USNA related in their rig’s front window so they may be easily recognized by other chapter members who are heading to the come-around. This provides opportunity for early welcome and any additional late-breaking and/or miscellaneous “gouge” before they proceed down the overseas highway to Key West.
    • Scuttlebutt says it wise to arrive no later than 1630, after which designated parking area is known to sometimes fill quickly.
  • Motorcycles on base
    • Must be registered per vehicle registration instructions cited in the “Campsite/vehicle registration and fees” section above.
    • Must comply with following safety considerations:
      • Motorcycle’s safety and signaling equipment fully operable.
      • Required PPE (personal protection equipment) for rider and passenger
        • DOT approved helmet
        • Appropriate eye protection
        • Gloves
        • Long sleeve shirt or jacket, i.e., arms fully covered
        • Long leg wear, i.e., legs fully covered
        • Closed toe shoes
        • Reflective vest (clothing) if riding on base at night
  • Bicycles on base – persons riding bicycles, scooters, skateboards, etc. on base must be wearing following PPE:
    • Helmet on head and fastened.
    • Shoes, shirt and shorts or long pants.

 

 


«
»