Florida Keys (high 82, low 71)
Our weather has been pretty consistent in the week that we’ve been here. We got a decent rain one of the first few nights that washed off the pollen. The wind has been gusty most days, but we really don’t mind…in fact it feels so nice, especially at night with the windows open.
Kayaking has been more of a challenge though. The Florida Keys are situated so that you can boat, fish, dive, snorkel, and kayak either in the Atlantic Ocean or the Bay side (really more like the Gulf of Mexico to me). Unless we’re having a hurricane, you can usually find a nice calm place to get in the water.
Yesterday, the winds were supposed to lay down, so we chose to have a picnic and kayak trip on what we call Geiger Key Beach, which is on the Atlantic side. It’s near the little water front bar we like to go for their famous Hogfish Sandwiches. We decided to stay away from the restaurant…..too many calories.
Here is a picture I borrowed from Margie of the wonderful Hogfish sandwich. I never seem to be able to focus long enough to take a good picture of it. I am not a big seafood person, in fact I only started eating fish a few years ago. It has to be white meat with absolutely no fishy smell or taste. This is one good sandwich! It’s bigger than it looks.
Anyway, we set up at this nice little rocky beach which is right across from the Naval Air Station flight line. We had a nice shady spot to eat our lunch and read.
We’ve never seen much jet activity there before….until yesterday. I don’t know what was going on, but their was a lot of activity yesterday. I love to watch military jets. There is something about the sights and sounds of those huge engines…..wow!! We were sitting very near the end of one of the runways.
Every so often a huge F-16 or something similar would take off right over our heads. Most of them appeared to be the same type of plane, but one was different. It was so stealthy that I didn’t even know it was coming until it was overhead and then gone in a split second. Al thinks maybe it was an F/A-18 Super Hornet. It was SO cool! It actually gave me goose bumps. Try as I might, I was unable to get a picture of one of those planes….they move so fast. It was a thrill every time one would take off though, and then to watch them “playing” in the skies above us. What a great job those guys have. Can you imagine the view they have when flying over the Florida Keys? Probably not nearly as much fun flying over Afghanistan though!
Al just found an article written for the NAS Key West newspaper. It appears what we saw yesterday was part of a training mission. A squadron of F-22 Raptors was there for two weeks training. I don’t know when the two weeks started, or ended, but hopefully we can go back and see them again. I can’t tell you how cool it was.
One plane that took off appeared to be different. It was blue and white….No not, Air Force One, but Al thought it belonged to some special dignitary. I didn’t get a great picture of it. It was much smaller than Air Force One.
Our plan was to kayak the area, but once we arrived there, we noticed it was pretty choppy and the wind was fairly strong. I decided to go to plan “b” and just jet watch and try to read my book. It was so nice sitting there. Al decided to go snorkeling and see what was on the bottom. He saw a few tropical fish, but nothing too exciting. No sharks yesterday.
We ended up meeting a couple that was here from Denmark. You never know who you’ll meet in Florida.
Last night, Baxter attempted to get in his blue bowl. It houses the glass water dish for the cats and every time I try to fill it up, he used to curl up in the bowl. He doesn’t really fit anymore, but don’t tell him.
Here is a picture taken on December 12. He still fit in the bowl. He was about half the size he is now.
The plan today is to get an earlier start…..and probably kayak the Bay side. The week-end folks will start arriving today and more and more snowbirds are leaving every day. We are expecting a rally this week-end, so I’m sure we’ll be getting lots of neighbors. That’s okay, as long as they don’t stay too long.