Posted by: mckenzie68 | June 18, 2010

The Florida Keys, specifically Key Largo … June 16 or Day 59

We were up early and off to the beach to speak with the hotel’s water sports company to find out about taking a tour of the Everglades area.  We arranged for one called the ‘Everglades Enviro Tour’ which would take us out into the water where we were told we’d likely see all sorts of creatures while learning all about the area.  That suited us well…so we decided to grab a quick breakfast before meeting our Captain at 11:30 am.

At 11:30 am we headed to the dock and met Captain Lee, a slight woman of 32 (who looked 21).  She was really cool – she had followed her passion and given up her conventional career as a teacher and become a boat captain.  She was such a neat person to speak with, as she was obviously loving her current life and was very proud that she owned her own boat.  Captain Lee told us that she was obsessed with the ocean…and I think that she was in the right place for who she is right now!

The tour started out with us jumping into a zodiac type boat and heading out into the Everglades National Park.  The water around the Keys is really shallow – and I mean really shallow!  The boat we were in only sat 8 inches under the water, which is perfect for some of the areas that we were going to visit.

We learned that only a small portion of the Everglades are made up of the marshy swampy images that are shown on television.  Most of the Everglades are made up of the ‘wandering trees’ or Mangrove trees that spot the water.  The natives called the Mangroves, ‘wandering trees’ because their roots look like they are walking – plus the mangrove tree groups are literally spreading out.

We skulked around that area for a bit, looking for a number of different animals ranging from Manatees to Horse Shoe Crabs and finding none.  We did find a Pygmy Sea Horse, and some Egrets.  Captain Lee did her best to find where the critters were hiding, but we just didn’t have any luck.  She was a wealth of information about the wildlife, plants and the impacts man is having on both…plus how the Keys came about.  She also told us about the best snorkeling areas, she had been out that very morning.  It’s really too bad that we didn’t see more, but all in all, the tour was pretty good.

When we got back to the beach, we were SO hot!  During our tour, we had jumped into the water (that was fun!) but we needed more…so we dropped our stuff off at our room and went straight to the pool.  Man did that feel good!

Once we were out, we dried off and headed off to grab some pop and stuff for our room and to fuel our bikes.  We had a really nice night just hanging out and chatting.  Tomorrow we are off to Key West…to see the southern most point of North America, then we turn around and start our journey home.  In a really round about way, but we are on the way back none the less.  Not sure how I feel about that!



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