The Florida Keys – Day 5

The Pelican – Key Largo, Florida

On our penultimate day in the Keys, we decided to move further back up the coast – both to get a head start for when we actually headed home, and also to see and experience new sights and eats. We left our wonderful suite at the Gulf View Waterfront Resort in Marathon, and switched it up for The Pelican cottages in Key Largo. Whoa. There was barely enough room for us to park, let alone with a long trailer and two kayaks. The cottages were perfectly fine, but the entire operation was extremely cramped and short on space all around. And it wasn’t just this place – all of the other rental places around us were equally cramped and short on real estate. However, they did have nice landscaping to make up for the lack of space.

Tropical blooms – Key Largo, Florida

As soon as we got checked in and settled, we worked to get out on the water. It was a challenge, but we got there eventually – and Cindy was able to see all sorts of new things underwater.

The underwater bounty – Key Largo, Florida

We had a great time out on the water, exploring amongst the mangroves and seeing completely new critters under the surface – but eventually the weather turned on us and we had to run for shore, due to a pop-up squall. Once we got the kayaks secured, we walked to the end of the resort driveway to one of the highest rated seafood eateries on Key Largo – Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen.

Dinner at Mrs. Mac’s – Key Largo, Florida

Mrs. Mac’s was everything the glowing reviews said it would be and then some. The food was absolutely superb. So much so that we ate every meal there during our stay in Key Largo. When we finally pushed ourselves away from the table, we strolled down to the end of the dock at the resort for one last photo of the day.

Last shot of the day – Key Largo, Florida

Photo info:
All photos taken with an Apple iPhone 5S
Video taken with a Sony waterproof digicam

The Florida Keys – Day 4

Sailing in the Atlantic – Bahia Honda Key, Florida

We went further afield on the fourth day of our visit, taking the kayaks with us down to Bahia Honda Key – which is one of the first places in Florida where we had tent camped together many years before. There we initially put both kayaks in the water, but it was too rough and windy for Cindy’s smaller kayak, so we pulled hers out and went on with just the bigger trimaran. Even then – compared to the mild and placid conditions on the Gulf side – we were really tossed about in the much rougher sea state of the Atlantic. We sailed up and down the coastline, put into the beach when we tired of the constant thrashing we were receiving, then sailed in the Atlantic some more, before finally deciding that we’d taken enough of a beating and headed back to the launch ramp for the day.

Cindy’s video doesn’t show it, but our sailing trimaran caught the interest of two no-nonsense border patrol officers, and they really gave us and the big kayak a lengthy and detailed examination, peppered throughout with lots of questions. Not ever having received that kind of attention from law enforcement before, I was a bit concerned about all of the focus we were getting from them – but they eventually were satisfied and moved on with their patrolling.

We didn’t take much in the way of photos on this day, simply because the conditions were so rough on the Atlantic side.

Photo info:
Video taken with a Sony waterproof digicam

The Florida Keys – Day 3

Launching the kayaks – Grassy Key, Florida

Day 3 began with a brief torrential downpour of rain, just as I was beginning to launch the kayaks for the day. But that was okay – the rain didn’t last long and the squall blew out to sea quickly. As I was getting the kayaks prepped for the day of activities that we had planned, a visitor showed up – a black spiny-tailed iguana (Ctenosaura similis)! I had no idea they had lizards that large in the Keys, but then again this was our first visit where we were up close and personal with nature.

Unexpected friend – Grassy Key, Florida

Once we had both kayaks out on the water together for the first time, I went sailing all over the place, while Cindy went slowly exploring the shoreline with her underwater camera, as you can see in the video below.

With another fun day behind us, we returned to the resort and pulled the kayaks from the water, just as more rain squalls moved in for the evening.

End of the day – Grassy Key, Florida

I do love the water down there in the Keys. There is abundant life all around and never a dull moment if you’re into nature like we are.

Just after sunset – Grassy Key, Florida

Photo info:
All photos taken with an Apple iPhone 5S
Video taken with a Sony waterproof digicam