Florida Keys (high 83, low 73)
Yesterday, the plan was to do a little geo-caching. For those not familiar with the sport, it’s like a treasure hunt. There are little “caches” placed all over the world….lots of them. Some are small, the size of a bullet, some are large like a small tool box. They all have a place to write your name and date you found it, but some also have “treasures.” Most of the treasure is junk really, but it’s the fun of the hunt. There is a Geo-caching website where you can check out any caches in your area. Type in your zip code and you’ll find some nearby caches. I guarantee you….wherever you are, there will be some caches.
What we have found so interesting about geo-caching, is that you will find some little hidden places in the area that you may never have discovered. Most caches give a little history of the area. You might find that perfect little place that only the locals know about. That’s the best part.
We have a Garmin 60CSx handheld gps.
We use it for geo-caching, as well as hiking and kayaking. It helps to keep us from getting lost. You can “mark” way points along the way and then find your way home by back tracking on those way points. It also has a feature called “tracks”. It shows you where you’ve been, how long you’ve been gone and how far. Handy for finding your way back….always a good thing.
For Geo-caching, you can find caches on the internet (free) then download them to your gps. It will direct you to the exact gps coordinate and then tell you how far in feet you are away from the cache. Of course it’s not exact, so you do have to hunt for these treasures. The small ones are especially tricky, but fun because people use their imagination in placing these. There are little hints given and sometimes you still cannot find the cache.
I remember one where they had painted the box to look exactly like part of the sign it was attached to. It took us several visits to actually find the cache, even though we knew exactly where it was!
Here are a partial page of what I found when I typed in our current zip code.
You can check off the ones you want and then send them to either your smart phone, or you’re gps.
There is also an app for Android phones, and probably i-phones as well.
Unfortunately, yesterday, I didn’t take the time to send any numbers to the gps, thinking I could do okay with my Droid phone. Since I have never used the Droid for geo-caching, I didn’t have it down pat, plus my phone kept running out of juice. Next time, I’ll use my Gps and have it fully loaded with local caches.
So…our geo-caching trip yesterday was a bust….but we did find a great waterfront restaurant for lunch.
There was a pretty view. Some people here told us they saw dolphin playing in the waters, but we were there on an outgoing tide and didn’t see any dolphin.
This is the view from our table.
Al had the coconut snapper wrap….delicious.
I had their famous “fish tacos.” Sounds yucky, doesn’t it? They were very good too!
You barely knew the fish was there because of the cabbage and pickled red onions….boy were those onions good!
Afterwards, we wandered around the area and took some pictures.
Here are some beautiful frangipangi plants. These are the flowers that are used to make the Hawaiian Lei.
The flowers come out first, then when they drop off the leaves follow.
I wish you could smell them.
As we wandered around the docks, we saw beautiful yachts, old wooden boats, and lots of sailboats.
Here is a huge bunch of lobster and crab traps. Lobstering is big here in the Florida Keys.
We’re not far from Cuba. This sign just about says it all.
This was some kind of Italian roadster. Very expensive, I’m sure.
The tide was going out, the winds and seas were calm.
back home for sunset at Sunshine Key.
Al was up late watching the basketball game, so we’re not getting too early of a start (as usual), but the winds are calm again, so we’re going kayaking around Sunshine Key again.