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Keys: Day 3

Ahhhh...the day I'd been waiting for had arrived in beautiful fashion.  Sunshine, warm breezes, and a day spent on the ocean.  We had chartered a boat to take us on a 6 hr. fishing/snorkeling adventure off the coast of Key West. 
Just us.  On a boat.  Fishing.  Snorkeling.  The good life. 
Correction.  The great life!
Capt. Kyle, with Dream Catcher Charters in Key West, was a champ at finding great spots for both fishing and snorkeling.  (Of course, he'd better be...that's what we paid him to do :) ).  He was great with the boys, too, which always makes for a very happy mama. 
We chose to do some fishing first.  The water was calm and you could see fish swimming around the boat.  So relaxing.  On the way out to our fishing spot, we saw dolphins playing around and showing off for us and another boat.  I've seen lots of wild dolphins before but never putting on the show these 3-4 were.  They were just a few feet from the other boat, jumping and flipping in the air like you see trained dolphins do at shows with trainers.  It was captivating to watch.  So captivating, I was distracted from taking pictures...I watched instead of filmed.  They were amazing.  Alex and I also saw a small shark surface while we were headed out as well.  Those are always cool to see...from the safety of the boat.  While fishing, we saw a couple of sea turtles.  Now that was awesome!  I've never seen sea turtles in the wild.     
Scott had the first catch of the day...a beauty of a Blue Runner.  The boys were next to follow with catches of their own, both nice sized Grunts.  (We were catching and releasing everything we caught).  We were using little fish about the size of my finger
as bait.  They looked too small to be effective, but effective they were.  My first catch came along finally and it was a Grouper.  How can a fish be so ugly yet so funky at the same time?  Along the course of the day, I could tell what kind of fish I had on
the other end of my line by the way it felt as I reeled it in.  Groupers were the toughest reel.  Grunts felt heavy, but easier than the Groupers.  Blue Runners would fight then rest for a few seconds, then try to run with the line again.  Yellow Tail Snappers would just swim every which way as you would reel them to the surface. 
One time Scott caught a Blue Runner and it was injured too badly to release, so Capt. Kyle cut it up and used it as bait on a heavier line.  He had something on the line and started to reel it in.  It became increasingly hard for him and then all of a sudden whatever was on there, got off.  We were all surprised when the line surfaced with 
half a grouper still on the hook.  His minnow sized fish caught a nice grouper...which attracted a much larger fellow.  What was even more crazy was that it happened again on my line a few minutes later, this time with a Blue Runner.  We suspect the big eater was a Barracuda.  One was spotted using our boat as a shelter soon after the second feasting had occured.  The Barracuda was like the length of my leg.  (I tried not to think about the fact that I was about to get in the water with creatures such as this and bigger in a little while).
Tim was getting so excited about snorkeling, he kept asking if it was time to get in yet.  We finally were headed to the snorkeling spot and he grinned the whole way there, sitting on the front of the boat...being the captain, I'm sure, in his own little world.  (I wish I could visit his
little world...he's so happy there and it seems so fun!) 
At the reef we were going to snorkel around, the boys were in the water in a quick splash.  Although they had never been snorkeling in the ocean before, they had no problem taking to it.  Let me interject at this point, I would really LOVE a waterproof digital camera.  Between the boys and the fish/plantlife we saw, it's almost too much to even try to remember.  
We snorkeled for quite a few minutes before seeing a fish, but the ocean bottom was so beautiful it didn't matter at the time.  Before long, we found the honey hole of fish.  We found them and they were so beautiful!  I don't know what all of their names are, but I did see all the same types as we had caught, plus so many more!  Yellows, black and white stripes, "Dori", other blues, white/silver...they were just amazing.  God blessed us with a display of His creativity.
Having our hearts content of snorkeling, we climbed back on the boat to talk of what all we saw.  Alex leans over the side and immediately says there's a huge fish down there.  He said he saw it under the boat before he came aboard.  Yes, it was another Barracuda.  Yes, it started to sink in I was the last one on the boat.  Yes, this means I was just feet...maybe only inches...away from this massive, meat eater of a fish.  I was glad it was Alex who saw this beast and not me. :)
We headed to the south end of Key West to do a little more fishing before heading in to shore.  It was such a beautiful day and a great day to be on the ocean.  Stepping back onto land, we all were wind blown and sun kissed.  The only thing on my mind...when and where we will do it all again next time.  Time can only tell.
Being in Key West, we had to go to the buoy landmarking the most southern point of the USA.  Stopping for ice cream on the way, we found the marker without any problem.  As I was there, reading that Cuba was only 90 miles away, being as far south as one can get on US land, my mind went to Alaska.  Sound strange?  Not to me.  Half my heart is there in that wonderful most northern state of the USA.  In likewise fashion, in AK, off the island of Little Diomede, one can see Russia.  (Read more about this here). 
We made our way back to our room at Parmer's to enjoy an evening meal of pizza and Key Lime Pie.  I'm still searching for the best tasting Key Lime far, the one I made a couple of months ago is still my favorite.


  1. Great post... Looks like you all had a fabulous time in Key West.


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