|Happy to wake you! See you again soon.|
Sport fishing strikes me as a curious “sport”. Armed with nothing but hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of boats and gear, and copious amounts of beer, these intrepid athletes set out on the sunniest and calmest of days. Once at their chosen destination, they pit themselves against some of nature’s dumbest creatures to see who can reign victorious in a classic struggle of man against beast. If they are clever enough to trick a fish into biting their lure, then the real fight begins. Again and again, they must turn a little handle in a single direction to slowly reel the monster in. No chef beating eggs has ever had to use his wrist and forearm more vigorously. Once the beast is finally in the boat, the coup de grace comes from a swift blow to the head. Or, failing that, the fish will soon be dead due to simple suffocation.
|Out for some sport.|
|Burning fuel, burning money.|
After leaving Stock Island (Key West), our next stop along the Keys was the Bahia Honda State Park. This was an interesting anchorage. It was wedged in between two bridges. The old bridge had a section taken out to allow sailboats and their tall masts through. The new bridge was much lower, so barred our passing any farther.
|Coming into the anchorage at Bahia Honda, through the old Overseas Highway bridge.|
After refreshing ourselves with ice cream, we stopped by the ranger’s nature station, then hiked up on the old bridge to check out the view. The clarity of the water in the Keys easily rivals that of the Bahamas. I guess that makes sense, since we are at about the same latitude. It is a wonderful thing to be able to look down in 20 or 30 feet of water and easily see lobster traps, turtles, and fish on the bottom.
|Looking down the old highway.|
|Heading back into the park from the old highway.|
|Enjoying a swim in the crystal clear waters at Bahia Honda.|
|Monashee leaving the park, as seen from the old bridge.|
|Gliding through the clear waters. After they took this picture, the boys ran down to the water from the old bridge, jumped in the dinghy, and caught up with us before we left.|
Contest Winners:For those that have been following the blog, you will remember that in my last post, I introduced a mysterious sea creature, and asked for your thoughts on identification.
Out of thousands of entries (OK, actually two), we had two Grand Prize winners, so congratulations to you both!
The first correct answer came from Diane, Evan and Maia, salty veterans of the sea that they are. They not only identified the creature correctly as a Sea Hare, but also provided it’s full scientific identification, all the way from the Kingdom (Animalia) right down to the genus and species (Aplysia dactylomela). As a biologist, I love that they gave the full classification.
As a prize for Diane, Evan, and Maia, here is a picture of a sister ship to theirs, which we saw in Robbie’s marina in Key West.
|Spelled slightly differently, but how many Ceilydh's can there be out there?|
|A full length picture of the bird outside our boat, which it appears is probably a Sandhill Crane.|
Thanks for entering the contest, everyone! For anyone who wants to learn more about Sea Hares, here is a link to an interesting web page that describes the one we saw. If you don’t want to go to the effort of reading a whole separate page (lazy! - how will you ever learn?) , I believe the creature we saw was a Sooty Sea Hare, whose Latin name is Aplysia brasiliana.
They are officially my new favourite hermaphrodite.