Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Snorkeling at Bahia Honda State Park

Big Pine Key, Florida   -  Sunshine Key Rv Resort
Yesterday, was to be our last really warm day for a while since a “cold” front is heading all the way to the Florida Keys! 
It was in the mid to upper 70’s yesterday, but today’s high is only getting into the low 60’s.  It’s real windy too.  The sun is shining, so I don’t think the day will be too bad.
We haven’t found any great places close enough inshore to snorkel yet, but Al was determined he was going to at least get wet.
We headed the mile or so over the bridge to Bahia Honda State Park and launched the kayaks.  This is a very popular park and the beach gets pretty crowded.  We had been waiting, thinking some of the visitors would have to back to work.  SmileIt didn’t appear they did, and the park was also full of kids.  Don’t they have school??
Al brought along his new Hummingbird Fish Finder so he could tell what kind of bottom we were in.  Fish don’t normally hang out on a flat sandy bottom.  They prefer some sort of rock, or reef structure so that they have  hiding place.  The water is so clear, we really could see the bottom very well, but we though maybe with the Fish Finder, we would find a good spot to snorkel.  It did start picking up fish that we didn’t see, and it also gave us a depth and water temperature, which was 74 degrees.   brrrrr…it was going to have to be pretty nice before  I was getting wet!
The water was clear and surprisingly calm.  The forecast was calling for 15-20 knot winds, so we figured it would be choppy.
kayaking at Bahia honda SP
It was nice and calm, with an incoming tide.
kayaking at Bahia honda SP
We paddled at least a half mile offshore to about 10-11 feet of water.  Al decided this would be a good place to get wet.
He thought he could put on his shortie wetsuit in the kayak since it zipped up the front.  Well, that was easier said than done, I’m afraid.  Smile
al putting on wetsuit in kayak
Our Sea Eagle kayaks proved to be very stable with all the struggling, twisting, turning and grunting that was going on!
He finally got the wetsuit on, and then discovered the strap on one of his fins had come loose. We got it fixed and overboard he went.  
I immediately heard a gasp, some mumbling that I couldn’t understand because he had the snorkel in his mouth…then a big splash.  At that time I decided to put my camera back into it’s waterproof bag! 
As it turned out, he had to dive to the bottom to retrieve the fin that came off.  That darn strap had come loose again, and he lost both fins.   He was cold, out of breath and had no fins.  The snorkel trip was over before it even really started.
Next, was how to get back into the kayak without fins to give you that little extra push?  It was a bit more difficult than he figured on and in the end, he used my kayak and swung his legs up over and into his boat.  It wasn’t pretty, but he got back in.
Okay…lesson learned….new fins.   Practice getting back into kayak in shallower water…and wait until the water temp gets back into the 80’s!
I guess we’ve lived in Florida too long and our blood got thin, because there were lots of people snorkeling and swimming with no wetsuits at all!
We ended up just paddling around.  The water was so clear and pretty, it was a nice day.
kayaking bahia honda sp
I did a little experimenting with the new Picasa features.  I kind of like the next pictures.  What do you think?
These were both taken yesterday at Bahia Honda.
kayaking at Bahia honda SP
After we finished kayaking, we headed back home.  I have been wanting to sit outside on the patio and read.  I finally got the chance.  I opened up a bottle of Asti Spumate that I had left over from New Years eve, and enjoyed my evening.
**catching up on blogs….go to previous post I just did to see pictures of mangrove kayaking at Curry Hammock State Park***


  1. Sounds like a wonderful fun day, but a short snorkelling expedition. i love working with picasa, nice shots.

  2. As much as we all would have enjoyed the pictures of your husband trying to get back in the kayak, you were wise to put it away! :))

  3. Cathie
    That wasn't a picture of Al trying to get back into they kayak (that was way uglier), that was him trying to get into his wetsuit!

  4. I think I would be perfectly happy to kayak in that water and maybe skip the snorkeling! I love all the little goodies with the new picasa. Nice experimentation, Karen

  5. When I was growing up in PA. and I'll Wisconsin is the same. 75degrees was about the normal summer temp for the water, unless you had a week or two of unseasonable hot 100 degree weather.Donna on the other hand waits until the water reachs 90 before she will consider swimming.I would have been right in there Al. Be safe out there. Sam and Donna..PS 75 is warmer than Disney keeps Shark Reef.

  6. Sounds like a lot of fun! love the pictures

  7. I'd love to be kayaking right now even if it did seem to cold to snorkel. Sounds and looks like a lovely day. Sorry for the lost fins but I guess if they wouldn't stay on, it isn't much of a loss.


  8. What a frustrating episode for Al!

    I like the Picassa photos, very interesting.

  9. I feel sorry for Al. I can just imagine how tough it was to get back in the kayak. But I'd be waiting until the water got a whole lot warmer before I would go in it.

  10. Great way to spend the day. We are expecting a low of 23 tonight in the FL panhandle:(

  11. Poor Al, all he wanted to do was get in the water - too bad about the fins. :( Hope the cold front passes quickly.

  12. Even with the short-lived snorkeling, the whole paddling day was pretty!

    P.S. tell that brave-talking Sam that I didn't see HIM hopping in our river when he visited Wisconsin last summer!!! LOL

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard


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