007 Travel Story: Florida (USA) 2019: Searching for “Orchidae Nigra”November 24, 2022
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Bond locations of this story:
The start of the “Moonraker” boat chase in River St. Lucie
Miami International Airport
Sunday 14th of July 2019
Waking up early during a vacation is nice… or not so much so… but anyway, we took our bags and headed towards Miami. Before that, however, we had one really interesting place to visit: a city called Port St. Lucie, where parts of a famous boat chase from “Moonraker” (1979) were filmed. The chase where Jaws (Richard Kiel) and his men are pursuing 007 (Roger Moore) starts there. And we tried to find a very rare orchid – Orchidae Nigra 🙂
We had booked a river cruise in St. Lucie River before our trip and arrived nicely before the scheduled time to the marina and found a boat called “The River Lilly II”, which belongs to River Lilly Cruises. “The River Lilly II” is a 36-foot, 34-passenger Custom United States Coast Guard inspected and certified passenger vessel. It has bench seats that accommodate 2 passengers per bench. Seats have cushions on both the backrest and seat. We were the first customers on the spot. The owners Stephanie and Eddie Hamrick were already prepared to start the cruise.
The cruise along the river was really nice, definitely one of the highlights of our Florida tour. We saw many interesting animals, and of course it was nice to see the places where they filmed “Moonraker” back in the late 70’s. Steph and Ed were really nice and showed us the exact place where the boat chase started. The end of the boat chase where Jaws and his boat go down a waterfall was filmed at Iguaçu Falls at the border of Brazil and Argentina.
Besides the river being a Bond location, you can see many lovely animals along the way!
After the river cruise we were already very hungry, and it was time for Mamma Mia! We found the Mamma Mia Osteria restaurant from Port St. Lucie, where one choice on the menu was Eggplant Mamma Mia.
Then our journey continued to Miami and it was time to return our rental car Huyndai back to Sixt car rental office, which situated in downtown Miami. We had chosen the place of return wisely because there was a petrol station close. Our last hotel of the tour, Hyatt Regency Miami, was also a walking distance away from the Sixt office. The address of the hotel is 400 South East Second Avenue.
Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Miami
Address: 400 South East Second Avenue
Room Type: Deluxe Queen, two queen size beds
Price: US$ 182,04 (157 EUR), breakfast is included
Booked: via booking.com
We checked in to our hotel and relaxed a bit before heading one more time to take a look at the lovely Miami skyline.
Hyatt Regency Miami Hotel’s logo can be briefly seen in one shot of “Casino Royale” (2006), when Bond (Daniel Craig) is in a taxi’s backseat driving to Body Worlds Exhibition. However, that scene was then filmed in Prague, Czech Republic.
Monday 15th of July 2019
“James Bond, British Secret Intelligence agent, number 007, was sitting in the international transit lounge at Miami Airport. He was drinking bourbon whisky. Bond had arrived in Miami earlier that day after completing a dangerous mission in Mexico. Now it was evening, and he was waiting to catch the next plane to New York. Suddenly, an announcement came from the airport’s loudspeaker system:
‘Transamerica Airlines regrets to announce that there is a delay on Flight TR618 to New York. This is because there is a technical problem on the aircraft. The new departure time will be at 8 a.m. Please will all passengers for Flight TR618 go to the Transamerica ticket counter. Arrangements will be made for them to stay in a hotel tonight. Thank you.’”
“‘I’m pleased that we’ve met here by chance. We must have a drink together,’ said Mr Du Pont. ‘What will you have?’
‘Bourbon with ice, please.’
Mr Du Pont called a waitress and ordered drinks. ‘I was sure that I recognized you,’ he continued. ‘I was flying on the Transamerica flight to New York tonight too. When they announced the delay, I saw the look of disappointment on your face. I went to the ticket counter and checked the names on the passenger list. And there was your name – James Bond.’”
Bond is back at Miami International Airport briefly in John Gardner‘s “Nobody Lives For Ever” (1986), when he is flying from Zurich, Switzerland and going to Key West, but he is interrupted Miami airport.
“The food was reasonable, the flight boring, the movie violent and cut to ribbons. It was hot and crowded when they landed at Miami International, soon after eight in the evening. Sukie and Nannie were already at the Delta desk when he reached it.
“Okay,” he greeted them. “Now we go through Gate E to the PBA departures.”
He handed them the tickets for the final flight.
“Key West?”, queried Nannie.
“The Last Resort, they call it”, said Sukie, laughing. “Great. I’ve been there.”
“Well, I want to arrive…”
The ping-pong of an announcement signal interrupted him. He opened his mouth to continue, expecting it to be a routine call for some departure, but the voice mentioned the name Boldman.
“Would Mr James Boldman, passenger recently arrived from Zurich, report to the information desk opposite the British Airways counter. Mr. Boldman, please.”
Bond shrugged. “I was going to say that I wanted to arrive incognito. Well, that’s my incognito. There must be some development from my people. Wait for me.”
He pressed his way through queues of people and baggage waiting for him to be checked in. At the information desk a blonde with teeth in gloss white and lips in blood red battered her eyelids at him.
“Can I help y’awl?”
“Message for James Boldman,” he said, and saw her glance behind his left shoulder and nod.
The voice was soft in his ear, and unmistakable.
“Good evening, Mr. Boldman. Nice to see you.”
Steve Quinn pressed close as Bond turned. He could feel the pistol muzzle hard against his ribs, and knew his face to be etched with surprise.
“How nice for us to be meeting again. Mr – what do you call yourself now – Boldman?” Doktor Kirchtum stood on his right, his big face moulded into what appeared to be a big smile of welcome.
“What…”, Bond began.
“Just start walking quietly out of the exit doors over there.” Quinn’s smile didn’t change. “Forget your travelling companions and the PBA flight. We’re going to Key West by a different route.”
John Gardner: “Nobody Lives For Ever” (1986).
In “Casino Royale” (2006) Bond (Daniel Craig) chases terrorist Carlos at Miami airport, but none of the scenes were filmed in Miami. Instead they were filmed at three different airports: Nassau International Airport in Nassau, New Providence Island, The Bahamas, Dunsfold Park Aerodome in Dunsfold Park, Dunsfold, Surrey, England and Ruzyne International Airport in Ruzyne, Prague, Czech Republic.
In the “Casino Royale” soundtrack there is a song called “Miami International“.
Our Lufthansa flight took off, and it was a really smooth flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Frankfurt airport is also a Bond location. In the Frankfurt airport they shot one scene for the movie “Diamonds are Forever” (1971), starring Sean Connery as 007. In the movie scene diamonds are being smuggled from Amsterdam via Frankfurt airport to Los Angeles, USA.
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