Florida Keys

Florida Keys
Parrotfish

Friday, May 22, 2015

Good-Bye Florida Keys

 

Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 92, low 72)

 

We left the Keys on Wednesday morning, spent the night in Naples at the Club Naples Rv Resort, and made our way back to Tampa/Wesley Chapel yesterday. 

When we left the Keys, the winds had calmed down and the seas were flat calm.  Just like we like it!  It sure made it hard to leave.

good bye Keys

We had an uneventful trip, which is always a good thing, especially after seeing all the recent pictures on Facebook showing so many catastrophic Rv accidents.

 

We took our time getting ready to leave.  It was so darn hot that anything that needed to be done outdoors was a real struggle.

The boat is covered, and taken to it’s summer home.  Most people “winterize” their boats, but we “summerize” ours.

You have to place a tent like structure under the cover to prevent water pooling and that takes a little time to get it right. 

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We think we have snagged a canal space to keep our boat next winter.  It’s behind our site and up a few spaces, so it’s not too far from home.  If nothing changes, we will be able to keep the boat in the water instead of having to trailer it every time we want to use it.   Yay!   The only issue there, is that we will probably have to get the bottom painted, otherwise we’ll end up with a hull full of barnacles.

The following picture is what they look like.

barnacles

 

Before we left, we took a day trip up to Islamorada.  The water is always to pretty and blue up there and it’s always a nice drive.

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Overseas Hwy

There were a lot of people out enjoying the water.

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We took a walk on one of the fishing bridges. This is the bridge left over from the old Flagler Railroad.  I love the architecture of these old bridges.

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The Royal Poinciana were in full bloom and could be seen all along the Overseas Highway.

Royal Poinciana

 

We made a stop at Robbie's Marina to watch the tarpon feeding.  Robbie's is a must see for a Keys visit.

Tarpon feeding at Robbies

A fisherman was cleaning his catch and throwing the carcasses in the water, which in turn attracted quite a crowd.

Tarpon feeding at Robbies

Tarpon feeding at Robbies

 

Southern Stingrays

southern stingray at Robbies

5-6 nurse sharks came by to check things out, but unfortunately the fisherman (typical) threw such large pieces into the water that no one could eat it.

 

Tarpon feeding at Robbies and sharks

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We see a lot of these creatures, but I’m not sure exactly what it is.  It looks similar to a jellyfish, but kind of like a nudibranch, or maybe even an anemone. 

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We sure had a fun time in the Keys this year.  Since we bought our new RV lot, we are much close to Key West and now it’s a lot closer. It’s always fun in Key West!

Good-bye Keys, we will see you next year. 

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Another Amazing Nature Encounter

 

Cudjoe Key, Florida (high 88, low 80)

 

It’s getting really warm here in the Keys and we’re starting to dream of the cooler days and nights in the mountains.

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The winds have picked up making it too rough to go offshore, so we decided to pull the boat out of the water and start our preparations to leave the Keys.  We’re both kind of sad thinking about leaving our beautiful islands as we’ve really gotten into the routine here.  Despite the heat, there are still plenty of fun things to do.  We’ve been riding our bikes, swimming in the wonderfully heated pool and soaking our tired and aching bodies in the hot tub.  We haven’t made a run to Key West for sunset lately and may not have a chance before we leave.

Last week, we met up with Paul and Marti after following their blog for years.   They are very nice people and we really enjoyed meeting them in person. We’re meeting again this afternoon. 

 

Paul and Marti Dahl at Geiger Key

We are planning on leaving next week, so we’ve been working every day to get all the preparations done.  Having a boat that lives in the Keys, adds another big chore to the list, but it’s finally cleaned, organized and covered.

Owning a RV lot adds a few more chores to the normal preparations.  We’ve been painting our picnic table and deck box, replanting and moving plants.  We made arrangements to have our concrete patio cut down a little.  The way it is now, the motor home has to be right up next to the concrete deck so that the slide doesn’t hit the electric box on the other side.  Our lot is a pull in lot, but with the concrete patio so close, you tend to scrape your tires.  Land is extremely valuable here in the Keys, so lots tend to be small.  We have plenty of patio space, so we figure if the deck gets cut down a foot it will make it easier to pull into our lot next year.

We planned on leaving Monday, but the boat took longer than we expected, so now it’s Tuesday or Wednesday. 

 

On my last blog post I wrote about seeing three sea turtles mating right in front of our eyes.  If you missed that post, you can read about it HERE.  It was quite an amazing thing to witness.

We never expected to see anything like that again, but about two days later, we were coming back in from snorkeling on Looe Key Reef and we saw another amazing encounter.

We were back in the channel right in front of Venture Out and we spotted some dolphin splashing around.  We’ve seen them splashing before but it’s been when they are hunting and feeding.  Dolphin work together to catch their prey.

Years ago we saw several of them circling fast around a school of some sort of yellow fish.  All you could see was a yellow swirl in the middle. It was quite amazing seeing them work together for the good of the pod.

This time, as we approached the dolphin, we noticed they didn’t swim off as they usually do.

 

Dolphin Mating near Venture Out channel

As we watched, we discovered there were at least three dolphin and maybe four.  Okay, now we know what’s going on!  We aren’t as naive as we were a few days ago!

The wind and current was moving us around all over, so it was pretty hard to get good pictures.  We saw them jump almost all the way out of the water. 

One swam right at us and stuck it’s head up to check us out.  Missed the picture though.  :(

Dolphin Mating near Venture Out channel

I’m not exactly sure what we’re looking at here, but for sure it’s at least two dolphin.

Dolphin Mating near Venture Out channel

 

Dolphin Mating near Venture Out channel

One thing we saw quite a lot was dolphin swimming very very fast on it’s back.

Dolphin Mating near Venture Out channel, swimming on his back

 

We think it may be the dolphin equivalent  to an after sex cigarette.  :)

Sorry about the fishing rod in the middle of the photo.

 

Dolphin Mating near Venture Out channel - swimming on back 

It was an amazing site and in all the time we’ve spent out in a boat on the ocean, this was the first time we’ve seen dolphin mating. 

Yep, it was another amazing day out on the water, but unfortunately the last one for this trip.