Florida Keys, (high 81, low 71)
The cold front has passed and with the high humidity, it feels warmer than it is. The best place to be is out on the water, so that’s exactly where we’ve spent most days.
I am happy to say that the new boat motor is running beautifully and starts on the very first turn of the key.
We either launch here at Sunshine Key, or right up the road at Bahia Honda State Park. When it’s windy out, we prefer Sunshine Key because there are a few little islands nearby where we can get out of the wind and waves.
Yesterday, the weather report called for light winds and calm seas. A perfect boating day, so we got an early start.
Since we started coming to the Keys a few years ago, we had always noticed, this beautiful little island right offshore by the 7 Mile Bridge. It was a little far to kayak unless you had some flat calm seas, and our old boat motor was a 1986 model, and had a little hiccup when you started it, so I never felt comfortable going too far.
Yesterday was the day to visit this little island, which when we approached it, our marine GPS told us it was called Money Key.
The water here is actually more green/blue, but the picture made it look dark.
There are a lot of little mangrove islands all along the Overseas Highway, but this one was a little different, with beautiful palm trees growing on it. I’m guessing they were planted and not naturally growing.
Isn’t it beautiful?
As we approached, we could see the shore was rocky, so we had to be careful and approach carefully.
The water was shallow, and we had to watch the limestone rocks, but we managed to anchor close enough not to have to swim in.
There were several little mangrove trees, which will eventually make their own little islands.
We walked around the island looking for any no trespassing signs. We saw none, but did see signs of a few old campfires and of course some trash. Why people have to leave their trash on a beautiful place like that, is beyond me.
We did our part and picked up some trash.
My pictures really didn’t show the beauty of this little island. I’ll have to go back and see if I can improve!
This is the lower part of the 7 Mile Bridge that you can see (and hear) from Money Key. We are on the Atlantic side. The other side of the bridge is the bay side. Surprisingly, there is some differences in these waters.
Next time, we’ll bring some chairs and sit under the shade of the mangroves and enjoy the cool breezes and warm waters.
I Googled “Money Key” this morning and the only thing I found was that the reason for its name was because pirate loot had been found on it in the past. While there yesterday, I actually did a little treasure hunting, and I found some old rusty pieces of something. Metal hinges from treasure chests? My imagination ran wild with the possibility of finding gold, rubies, emeralds or silver. :) Here in the Keys is where Mel Fischer found the wreck of the Atocha in 1985. We actually met him in person a year afterwards. The Atocha was a Spanish galleon that sunk in 1622 with some 450 million in gold, silver, and jewels. Mel Fischer became a very rich man that day.
After exploring the island, we went back to the boat, ate our lunch and lounged by Money Key for a few hours before we decided to cruise over to Bahia Honda State Park to see if we could find Pam and Vic. They were going to be kayaking there.
We never found Pam and Vic, although it turns out they must have been paddling around the island at the same time we were driving around it. Pam said if they would have seen us, they would have asked for a tow back in. :)
We did see this Florida spiney lobster? Can you see his antenna?
The night before, we had met up with Pam and Vic for a few hours at our favorite place, the Sunset Grill. We sat downstairs by the pool and enjoyed catching up with them. We first met them back in the Tampa area a while back, and have been trying to get together ever since.
I had my camera with me, but neglected to take the first picture. We just couldn’t stop talking long enough to think about pictures. Actually, Pam had someone take a picture of us all, so I’m waiting to steal hers when she posts it to the blog! If you haven’t already, check out Pam’s latest blog post about their ride over to Pigeon Key. She has some beautiful pictures.
Pam and Vic are going to the Dry Tortugas National Park on Monday. It’s about 70 miles west of Key West. They will be coming back into Key West just in time for the sunset celebration on Mallory Square, so we’ve made plans to meet them there. I’ll have to see if I can have a margarita without spilling it all over my lap. And that is all I have to say about that!
We haven’t done much other than boating, but a few nights ago, we did go see the Blues Brothers, who put on a fun show for us here at Sunshine Key. Tina Turner was supposed to play, but she was injured in a car accident, so Jake and Elwood stepped in and took her place.
We had a good time, and even stayed out until 10 pm!
We thought we might go back out in the boat today, but we Al wasn’t feeling well, so we went to the flea market for some produce and then to our new favorite store, West Marine.
Nothing much else for now, so I’ll just post a few more pictures.
How about this action shot of al throwing the anchor.
and the pretty clear water.