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    Key West - sextant and octant
    From: Jackson McDonald
    Date: 2014 Sep 23, 11:43 -0700

    Last week we visited the so-called John James Audubon house in Key West, Florida.  We learned that when the renowned ornitologist and artist visited the Keys, the house did not yet exist.  It was built a few years later by Captain Geiger, a local "wrecker" who made a fortune salvaging cargo from ships running aground on the reef just south of Key West.   The Key West wreckers were a tough lot, one step above pirates.  They would light fires at night in places designed to trick sea captains into hitting the reef.   So much for navigational aids.

    In the house, there is "The Captain's Room" containing a sextant, an octant, and a few other nautical items.  These pieces never belonged to Captain Geiger but are supposed to be typical of his era (mid-1800s).   The curator shared with us some of the documentation in her files.   See attachments.  The curator said the reference to Captain Morgan in one of the documents is, of course, unfounded. 

    JMcD



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