Friday, April 19, 2013

Snorkeling, Fishing and Spearfishing in the Keys


Ohio Key, Florida (Sunshine Key Rv Resort)  high 86, low 78


We took the little boat out yesterday, for what was supposed to the last time for this trip.

As the day progressed and we started thinking about packing up and leaving, we started talking about extending our trip….just a little longer.  We may extend our stay 2 more days.    Al still has a few pest control customers and they are due, which is the only reason we’re not staying through May.     Very soon, those customers will be gone and we won’t be on such a tight schedule.  Very soon.

Anyway, we had a good day, despite strong winds, currents and murky water.  For some reason the past two days the normally clear water has gotten very murky.

We paid our $12 and launched at the marina at Sunshine Key.  They keep a chain across the ramp to prevent people from launching without paying.  We explained we would probably return late and confirmed they would not lock the gate on us.  We were assured the chain wouldn’t be locked.   (It was)

We headed out of the marina into the channel and noticed it was choppy and windy, so we didn’t go too far. As long as we can get out of the wind and into some calm water, we’re happy.

There are some mangroves around and we’d seen fish in that area.  Al had his mind set on catching a mangrove snapper for dinner, so that is where we anchored.


He fished a while and got no bites, so he decided to snorkel a while and see what was down there.

He found a nice spot while snorkeling and saw a bunch of mangrove snapper, lobsters, lion fish, anemone, parrotfish, mutton snapper, angel fish, lettuce slugs, and much more.

I always send Al out as the scout.  If he finds a good spot, then I go in.   After he came back and told me all that he saw, I decided to snorkel it as well.  We decided to have lunch first, and by the time we finished lunch, the tide had changed and the visibility was gone.  I have done a lot of diving in low vis, but the older I get, the more particular I get, so I didn’t get in.   We were hoping for the visibility to improve as the tide started coming back in.  It didn’t.

We moved the boat a few times, he snorkeled several times and fished in between the snorkeling.  

He caught another little yellow fish with a black spot.  We’re not sure what kind of fish it is.  It wasn’t a keeper.

Al's spotted yellow fish..stripes with black spot

While he was fishing and snorkeling, I spent my time reading and photographing the wildlife.

This cormorant spent a good 5 minutes splashing around taking a bath.  I don’t understand why they need baths when they live in the ocean!

cormorant bathing

This yacht came by with his “toad.”

boat with toad

This guy spent the afternoon kite boarding on the other side of the bridge. 


This is Al snorkeling looking for the “honey hole.”


Leaning pelicans

leaning pelicans


three pelicans


4 pelicans one cormorant



After moving the boat closer to where he had seen all the fish, and still not catching anything, he decided to take matters into his own hands and go spear fishing. 

The black thing he is holding is a spear gun for all of you non-divers.

Al the spearfisherman

Al has spear fished using a scuba tank, but I don’t remember him ever doing it while snorkeling.   When you are underwater, you’re not bothered as much by current, the choppy water or winds.

Spear fishing while snorkeling proved a lot more difficult than he expected. While he was aiming the gun, he would be drifting away. 

Needless to say, he came back empty handed and we had frozen pizza for dinner….instead of snapper.

Sometime after 5pm, we decided to call it a day.

The chain was across the launch ramp and fortunately Dewey (employee of the campground) was there with a key. 

Dewey told us a sad story.   Wednesday night, there was a fatal accident on the Seven Mile bridge.  It’s the longest bridge in the Keys and the last bridge before arriving here at Sunshine Key.  It turns it the fatality was a 79 year old man that had been a winter resident here.  His wife was seriously injured as well.  It really hit home, when we realized they were our neighbors.   This couple obviously was enjoying a nice life and wintered here for the past few years.   Very sad.

After cleaning the boat and showering, we took a walk around the park for some sunset photos.

These are two of the brand new rental trailers that are on the waterfront.  They are real nice and brand new. The two bedroom ones can be rented for $220 a night (plus taxes), $1320 a week or $3960 a week.

Life in paradise ain’t cheap!

Sunset at Sunshine Key Rv Resort rental trailers  

But, oh what a view!

Sunset at Sunshine Key Rv Resort

Sunset at Sunshine Key Rv Resort

Sunshine Key sunset


  1. Wow what a terrific day you had. Al is nothing if not determined. Those snappers should have been more cooperative! Gorgeous views. No wonder you don't want to leave.

  2. Love the keys if the weather is good, but like you said a very expensive place to go.
    Another fine day on the water for you guys too.

  3. Pizza is a good consolation for not catching any keeper fish.

    You certainly are having fun and making the most of you visit to the Keys, and not for $200 a night! :cD

  4. Awesome header photo.

    Good idea to send him out as the scout. I like the idea of reading, taking photos, and sunning myself.

  5. Yikes on the cost. I guess they get it anyway :) We really hope we can get there somehow!

  6. Looks great! Boating in the Keys? I would stay a couple of weeks longer:)

  7. Sorry to hear about your neighbors..The ambulance comes on a regular basis to Sun 'n' Fun. A resident counted 8 times in one day! But you had such a beautiful day to counter a bit of sad news. Your boating news is fueling Eldy's wish for a boat up here in Sarasota!

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