If you do decide to go down to the Florida Keys for a visit, make sure that your trip doesn’t coincide with one of the summer holidays. We thought we had everything planned perfectly for our trip, but our last day on the water was July 3rd. Prior to July 3rd, we hadn’t dealt with real crowds anywhere – not on land and especially not on the water. All of that changed on July 3rd, when the Fourth-of-July crowd rolled into town.
The raucous party-hearty types actually began trickling into town late on July 2nd, but we didn’t have any interactions with them that night, so they were of minimal concern to us. However, that all changed early the next morning when they arrived in force and began to unwind just as soon as they parked their cars. With some effort we got our kayaks put into the water, then split up – Cindy went to hug the shoreline for her underwater video footage (which you can view below), and I went sailing further afield.
While things were beginning to turn into a wild booze-fueled party on shore, we were still very much alone out on the water… until about mid-morning, which is when chaos arrived in the form of a go-fast, plastic-fantastic, Cigarette boat – which exploded out of a narrow mangrove-lined channel and roared through the shallow bay at full throttle. Keep in mind that the posted speed was 10 mph and “No Wake”, and the water was very shallow outside of the marked channel – as the go-fast tossed huge waves behind it, completely ignored the channel markings, and proceeded to plow a deep furrow through the delicate ecosystem with it’s propellers.
That was just the start of the bedlam on the water, as more go-fast boats came blasting after the first one, and the shallow bay became one big wave-tossed bathtub full of ear-splitting noise and boat engine exhaust. We tried to continue doing our own thing for awhile, but it became evident that we might get run down and injured by the powerboats – so we cautiously retreated back to the resort, pulled the kayaks, and prepped for an early morning departure the next day.
We ended our evening by going to Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen for one last meal. Cindy chose the whole mangrove snapper (below) and maintains to this day that it was the finest seafood meal that she’s ever eaten.
So there you have it – visiting the Florida Keys through the eyes of two dedicated introverts. We didn’t party, or go to the trendy places, or hang out with crowds; instead, we kept to ourselves and – except for the last day – had an absolutely delightful time exploring the Keys by boat.
All photos taken with an Apple iPhone 5S
Video taken with a Sony waterproof digicam