Friday, April 25, 2014

An Amazing Day


The weather gods are still cooperating, so we went back out to Looe Key Reef for the third day in a row. 

We no sooner than got hooked up to mooring buoy #4, than I looked down and saw something very odd right below the boat.  It looked like a big brown log.  I kept looking and then about decided it was part of the mooring buoy, when it moved.

It was a giant jewfish.  As I explained before, the politically correct name is now goliath grouper, but we’ve always known them as jewfish, so that’s what we call them.

This guy must be the one that our neighbor Ron told us about which is estimated to be about 300 pounds.  Ron is a part time captain for the Looe Key Dive Shop boat.  He told us that this jewfish usually comes right up to their dive boat as soon as they get to the spot. 



Fortunately for us, we had gone to a dive shop prior to going out to the reef and I bought a cheap underwater video camera.  I’ll post more on it later, but so far, I think I’m going to like it fine.  I had no time to read any manuals or learn much about the camera, so I was shooting blind, but I got some decent videos.

The visibility had dropped significantly from the day before and the water was pretty murky, but the murky water was 2 degrees warmer, so I didn’t mind the trade off!

The jewfish swam away from our boat, so  we didn’t think we’d see him when we got into the water.

Al got in first and as soon as he put his face into the water he discovered this huge guy right under our boat!

I jumped in as quickly as possible and pushed the button on the camera, hoping I was actually shooting video, but not sure I was.

The video needs editing, but I was able to take a few snapshots from it and I’m posting a few now.

I don’t know if you can tell the size of him by the photo, but if it helps, that is our boat above him.






After a few minutes the jewfish swam away to spread joy to other lucky snorkelers.

We swam around for quite a while.  We saw either three sharks, or the same shark three times!  He was always going away from me when I saw him, so I didn’t worry.  My method for not stressing when I see a shark is to concentrate on something beautiful, so that’s what I did.

I got some video of some beautiful fish and when I have time, I’ll share some with you.

It was an amazing day even with visibility being less than we had hoped for. 

We gassed up the boat at the marina and felt pretty good about the $24 cost to top off our tank, because the guys before us spent over $700 to fill up their fuel tanks!

We rushed home to shower and see if we could make it to Springers before happy hour ended at 6pm.   We made it there and ended up chatting with a few locals.  This one woman we met had the most amazing stories about finding bales of marijuana and cocaine in the shores around here and in the Bahamas.   I’ll tell you more about that later. 

On the way home, we saw the most amazing sunset.  The sun appeared larger than normal last night looked like a huge orange ball.  Unfortunately, in my rush to make it to happy hour, I neglected to bring my camera.  But oh the pictures I have in my mind!


the end



  1. Oh my gosh. What a treat. I have never seen a jewfish. You got some awesome photos. God job!

  2. wonderful pictures I can't wait til we get down to the keys. We are in Savannah, Ga. now. Looking forward to seeing your video.

  3. Great pictures-you won't get any like that up here in the GA Mountains! :-)

  4. It is just wonderful to live the keys through your posts. Thanks so much!

  5. Oh my goodness! I LOVE the underwater photos! Can hardly wait to see more! When we wintered in Florida, my little Panasonic Lumix (that I loved) bit the dust one day while out riding, so we made a quick stop at a store and I bought a little pocket size Olympus "Tough" camera that also shoots video and is shock proof because I often take pictures while riding on the back of the Harley...and it is waterproof up to 16 feet because I always take pictures near or over the water. So far, so good. :-)

  6. Now thats one huge fish, so great that you got some nice shots of him.

  7. Wow, what a huge fish he is! Spectacular to be able to swim with such beautiful creatures.

  8. That is a lot of grouper sandwiches right there!

  9. Beautiful photos of all those tropical fish. I still don't care for the idea of getting into the water with sharks nearby though.

  10. I hope no stupid people go out and try to catch him.


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