Florida Keys (high 84, low 74)
The plan yesterday was to launch the kayaks right here from Sunshine Key and head towards the Atlantic side. We sure like the location of this campground as it gives is lots of kayaking options, depending on the wind and seas.
By the time we got the boats in the water is was nearly 3 pm, and the winds had kicked up a bit, and were coming from the east. It was a little choppy on the Atlantic side so we decided to stay in the Bay or Gulf side. No problem, plan “B” is also good.
We followed the bridge to the next island.
It was low tide, so we could see all the critters on the bottom.
I saw a pretty starfish. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a pretty picture of it. It was a bit smaller than a dinner plate.
You can see in the picture above where the channel is on the right is deeper and to the left is sea grass and only a few inches deep.
I did find a huge Horse Conch. It still had the critter inside. It went back into the water when I took the pictures.
We paddled over towards a sand bar and island that was full of birds. I spotted this big white bird. I was hoping it was a White Heron. They are rare, but are found here in the Florida Keys. After I got a better picture of it, I discovered it was the common Great Egret. The difference is mainly the color of their legs. Heron’s have yellow legs, Egrets have black legs.
We found a little ledge that looked like there might be some interesting things down below, so Al jumped in and did a bit of snorkeling. Almost immediately he started spotting lobster. He counted about 10 or 12. I had our Garmin 60 csx Gps, and marked a few spots….for future reference.
He saw a few tropical fish too. He snorkeled around for a while, towing his Sea Eagle behind him.
We saw some others doing the same thing.
and more paddlers.
Here is a nice Prevost parked on one of the waterfront sites. Unfortunately, (and you can’t see it from the picture) there is a group of people camping right next door. One of their tents is so close to the Prevost bedroom slide that they could probably open their window and touch the tent. They have quite a conglomeration of stuff in the campsite….trailers, cars and junk. There are rules here about what is allowed on each site, but unfortunately no one enforces the rules.
The lack of enforcement, is one thing I don’t like about Sunshine Key Rv Park. It gets especially bad on the week-ends when all the summer residents return to their week-end sites. I guess it’s cheaper is several families share a site, so there will be multiple golf carts, many people and vehicles parked at some of the sites. They tend to take over the beaches and you can hear their music throughout the park. You start to think you are in another country, but come Monday morning, everything is back to normal….until Friday!
You don’t see this during the winter months. I understand it gets worse later in the summer, and that is why we won’t be back until the fall.
We have almost always had a boat. We bought our first boat before we were even married. Most of the time we lived in Tampa we had a boat. We sold our big boat before we moved to Georgia, but Al started “whining” and we got another small fishing boat. We sold that boat before we sold the house, and guess what? Yep, he’s whining again.
Being here in the Keys is making it worse, seeing all the nice boats and places we can’t go in the kayaks.
Yesterday, I saw this boat while kayaking, and I knew the wheels would start turning when Al saw it.
It is a Sea Eagle with a motor! You can see it’s a bit larger than the kayaks.
What Al doesn’t remember is that I don’t go offshore in a small boat. He also doesn’t seem to remember that our storage bays are all stuffed full and we have no more room in our truck.
Our next boat? I don’t think so. Dream on Al!
Poor Al, everyone has a boat except him.