The Florida Keys have wildlife ashore and a-sea. My mama told me it’s not polite to stare at strange people, so I’ll skip describing shore wildlife here. On the aquatic side, we discovered some gems today.
One of our cruising guides, Active Captain, offhandedly mentioned a mangrove tunnel to explore, so we set off in the dink. This unassuming entrance led into a primordial path almost one mile long, winding though the mangrove island. Notice the waves at the entrance: the wind was blowing about 15 mph.
Inside, the world was silent and the water like a mirror. We could easily imagine being transported to some pre-historic era. Peg is seriously into mirror shots!
Toward the other side of the island the tunnel opened up into the mangrove-lined lanes we’ve become accustomed to.
Along the way we saw many of these small brown/tan jellyfish fluffing their way along. Other waterborne creatures ducked out of sight as we approached, leaving ripples on the glasslike water.
Earlier in the day I took my bike to shore in the dinghy and pedaled about six miles to pick up items at West Marine, a dive shop, True Value, and Publix. As Ieft the dinghy dock to take my loot back to the boat, I spied a trio of manatees in the tiny harbor. I got Peg and we spent a delightful few minutes floating in the dink as this Manatee, Mommatee and Mini-tee swam around us. The male was especially curious, coming right up and looking at us. Unfortunately I did one of those dumb camera tricks where I recorded my lap for a minute and then turned the camera off as he surfaced to look us in the eye. His interest in us was amazing. Funny how something the size of a small submarine can be so cuddly.