Clambering up a coconut palm can be a fraught business. But there are worse dangers in Miami

Coconuts, sharks and barfights: Alex James goes on holiday

The fact that the local equivalent of blackberrying involves perilous heights and a machete, and delivers something that is unforgettably delicious and achingly hip to boot, just about sums it up.

We took the kids fishing today. They wanted to swim first. As we anchored up in the bay, I spotted one small(ish) shark.

If we hadn’t been eye to eye with countless 10ft alligators in the Everglades yesterday, I think they would have been more apprehensive about it.

The biggest danger we all faced was actually the fishhooks flying about as the little ones waved their rods around.

The six-year-old caught an amberjack straight away and the look of delight on her face was matched only by the boys’ glee at the cruising 4ft barracuda, attracted by the groundbait.

But the flora and fauna are nothing to the people.

The children’s godfather lives here. We went to the local bar last night.

As we sipped martinis outside, a girl pulled up in a bright green Chevrolet Camaro. She was wearing a cropped top and hot pants: smoking hot – Marianne Faithfull in 1967, basically.

My friend said: “Nice car.”

She said: “You want to come for a ride?” But we made our excuses and went inside to get another martini.

When we returned, she was punching the life out of the guy we had been sitting next to.

And as I write, I can hear the wail of sirens over the whirr of cicadas: the exotic tinged with danger. It’s alluring.

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