Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Another Beautiful Day in the Florida Keys


Sunshine Key, Florida (high 83, low73)


My cold is still hanging on, this is day three and I’m getting tired of it.  I can’t take anything to relieve the symptoms due to the high pressure I’ve previously had in my eyes.

I’ve been taking Echinacea, but this time it let me down and I actually got sick this time.  Hopefully, it will shorten the length of the cold and actually, I think I’m feeling better today. 

Fortunately, I haven’t been too sick to go boating and we took the boat out again yesterday.

We trailered it about a mile down to Bahia Honda State Park, but when we arrived, the park was closed.  They had no more parking places for cars, or boat trailers.    That was a bit of a surprise.  They let rv’s park in the marina parking lot.  I questioned the ranger if they were spending the night and she said some of them had campsites but were just waiting until their site was ready?  I don’t understand that.

Here’s what I think is happening.   You can’t make camping reservations in Florida State Parks until 11 months prior to your intended stay.  So if you want March 3, 2014 reservations, now is the time to book it.  (good luck)

You can only stay 14 nights then you have to be out one night.  Now wouldn’t you think there would be a lot of single days available showing on the reservations?   It appears most people get their sites and stay all winter.  How do they do that? 

Years ago, in Oscar Shearer State Park, we discovered that they let the people move into their parking lot for one night before they checked back into their sites.   Now, isn’t that defeating the purpose of the 14 day rule?

No one is going to make a reservation for one night, so they effectively block the entire winter season.

I believe that is what’s happening at Bahia Honda as well.  I think the rv’s leave their sites and move over to the parking lot at the marina for one night until they can move back in.  That doesn’t give anyone else a chance to get a reservation, it prevents the boaters from using the boat ramp, and these people get a free night.

In my humble opinion, I think they should make people leave their sites for 3 nights before they can check back in.  That way, someone could at least stay for 3 nights in between reservations, and it might make it a little more fair.   The people that have booked their sites all winter are mostly out of state people and the locals don’t have a change to camp at the state parks.

So….that’s my theory.  I guess it’s just sour grapes that I can’t get a site at a state park in the Keys in the winter.

After we were turned away at Bahia Honda, we decided to go back to Sunshine Key and use their ramp.  They charge $12.00, but we bit the bullet and paid the price.  The ramp wasn’t quite as nice, but it was fine as long as we came back before dead low tide.

We motored out of the marina past all the other boats and through the channel.


The water was calm and clear.  We love looking at the pretty water of the Florida Keys.




We  anchored offshore from Bahia Honda beach and did a little reading.   It was a little breezy, so we decided to look for a spot where the wind was blocked by land.  The water is only 77 degrees, so wind blowing off the water is a bit chilly.

No snorkeling for us until that water warms up (and I get over my cold).


We saw a large Ray swim by and also a small shark appeared to be feeding nearby.   We also saw two fish flying through the air at least 50 yards.  The big one appeared to be chasing the little one and they were both jumping out of the water and flying along.  It was pretty cool.  Sorry, no pictures of that.

After a few hours, we decided to ride around for a while.  Our fish finder was showing lots of fish.  Maybe Al should bring his fishing pole next time.



We decided to call it a day about 5:30 and took the boat out at our marina.  Their ramp ends abruptly, and with a real low tide, you might not be able to back the trailer far enough into the water to load the boat.  I was a little worried about that, but we were fine.  We had decided if the tide was too low, we would just tie the boat up to one of the floating docks and leave it there overnight.  After we loaded the boat, we drove all the way back to our campsite…a whole tenth of a mile! 

It was another good day on the water in the Florida Keys.

No sunset walk for me.  Al fixed me dinner, and I went to bed.  Fortunately, I didn’t have any coughing/choking attacks during the night, so I slept well.  Al decided to sleep on the couch, to stay away from my germs.  Sherry had a good idea about using a disinfectant wipe to try to kill some of my germs.  Thanks, Sherry.  Good idea.


  1. I'm not sure either how you get a reservation at Bahia Honda. We are planning for next winter and for three weeks in a row at 8 a.m. I tried to get a reservation. (11 months prior to our stay) I had two computers and my cell phone ready to grab a site. Could not get one. I even changed parks and tried to get one at Curry Hammock. No go! I really thought with a little patience and persistence we'd get one. If anyone has some advice I'd sure appreciate it.

  2. Sounds like some 'permanent' campers have the system rigged at those state parks!

    Beautiful color in the Florida Keys water - great photos!

  3. Sorry you have a cold still hanging on :-(
    All the things I've heard about trying to get a campsite in FL, I'm glad we have a job down there for the winter!

  4. Karen, the instructions in this video will help you get over your cold faster, or at least relieve some of the pressure.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  5. The head cold I had lasted over two weeks. Good Luck!

  6. We've been passing colds back and forth between us for a couple of months. We've had to enforce a "No Kissing" rule in our motorhome. :c(

  7. At the state parks in Indiana you can get by the 14 day system by the first 14 days reserving in your name and then another 14 in your husband, or child, etc. Now isn't that wrong! People sure know how to get around the system don't they. I agree with you they should have to leave the site for at least 3 days to give others a chance. Maybe your boat ride is helping you and your cold. Better get out there again tomorrow....

  8. We have almost the same problem in Ontario with our provincial parks. trying to get a reservation is almost impossible but they do have some first come first served sites they do not advertise.
    But with rates now at $40. a night for no hookups and not RV friendly we pretty well stay away.
    Looks like a great day out in your boat.
    get well soon.


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