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  Some more from the Florida Keys
  Posted by: jackL on Jan-12-14 6:31 PM (EST)

Saturday Jan 11, at Bahia Honda State Park

We did a nice long paddle today on the northern side of the keys to keep out of the south winds. After driving by several of the endangered, 3 foot tall Key deer, we launched at the Koehn Ave boat ramp on Big Pine Key and then made a mile long crossing heading north east to the southern tip of Mayo Key where we rounded the tip and paddled north west in the Big Spanish Channel, hugging the mangrove shore line. When we reached the northern end we continued across the shallow quarter mile cut to Annette Key and continued in the same direction. Usually in this cut we see lots of good size sharks, but the wind whipping through from the south east was making too many waves for bottom viewing. At the northern tip of Annette we pulled into the shallows for a lunch break and then crossed the cut there to the southern tip of Cutoe Key where we paddled to it’s end. We had reached our turn around time here, so returned via the same way we came.
We didn’t see many undersea critters, (one small ray, one Bonnett head Shark, a few decent sized barracuda and some sharks that we couldn’t get close enough to identify) but we did enjoy the beauty of the under sea bottom here and there, and the vast panorama of the other off shore keys.
On the crossing back to Big Pine Key we had a neat experience. Off in the distance, several hundred yards away we could see a lot of splashing , and decided to change course and head toward the commotion to see what it was. As we got closer, we guessed it was Dolphins but then the splashing stopped, so gave up the chase and got back on our homeward course. About ten minutes later, we heard the distinctive noise of Dolphins blowing, and looked in that direction and realized that they were coming right toward us.
It appeared that they were in a feeding frenzy, and didn’t even see us. They were leaping every which way and making tremendous big splashes. We sat there mesmerized as they closed in on us and for a few seconds we thought we might be in for a swim. A pair of them surfaced on one side of Nanci, and then dove directly under her and surfaced on the others side, while another pair did the same to me, but one of them turned after it came up and looked right into my face from about five feet away. Without even thinking I was talking to an animal, I exclaimed: “Why hello there”. While this was going on, some were in front and others in back. We ended up counting eleven and there might have been even more, which is the largest pod we have ever seen.
We couldn’t have asked for a better trip ending.

We had a few more awesome trips in the past week prior to this one, but I'll get arrested for various reasons if I post them, so as much as I would like to I'll just keep them for close family members.

Jack L

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Messages in this Topic


  Thanks Jack
  Posted by: dougd on Jan-12-14 9:32 PM (EST)
Needed to read something like after dealing with ice and wind today although it did warm up to the 40's!

  Posted by: magooch on Jan-13-14 9:16 AM (EST)
That's not fair. You pique us with that tease and then just leave it hanging. How does one risk arrest by merely paddling?
  Certain No no's !
  Posted by: jackL on Jan-13-14 11:31 AM (EST)
As I tell my adult kids: what you put in print on the net can come back to haunt you.

Jack L
  It's called "Arrested Development".
  Posted by: spiritboat on Jan-13-14 12:20 PM (EST)
LOVE that thrill and uncertainty of paddling with dolphins...Never know what's going to happen when around large-brained aquatic creatures who can also communicate among themselves.
  Posted by: on Jan-13-14 12:33 PM (EST)
Having that many dolphins that close to you, and having them checking you out must be a totally awesome experience. I know it would be for me, and I envy you the opportunity for that kind of interaction.

Have had similiar experiences with river otters, but I don't think that comes remotely close to having "close encounters with dolphins".

  Talking to Dolphins
  Posted by: barracuda on Jan-13-14 3:13 PM (EST)
Sometimes it does seem like are talking to you and you should say something back
  Posted by: scupperfrank on Jan-13-14 3:25 PM (EST)
But you're probably safe because the big guy isn't warching as much these days, perhaps not at all any more...

You guys aren't the usual interlopers that are dissuaded from going to places; you're pretty mindful of "stuff". Besides, you're not the threats y'all might've been when, well, I was gonna say younger, but you two are STILL young...!

Glad you had such a wondrous adventure with the dolphins -did Nanci get any pics?

Did Nightmare when we were down at KLK -didn't seem quite as tangled as you described -but then again, yiur Q's 5" longer than my A-Naut, LOL...

Looking forward to seeing you guys "up" here in the not too distant future.

And thanks for your great travel notes -keep'em coming as you, in ALL sorts of places,


-Frank in Miami
  Fat Albert is still up there every day
  Posted by: jackL on Jan-13-14 4:46 PM (EST)
but we were in such dense mangroves he could have only tracked us with heat seeking stuff.
Was that "Nightmare" that you guys did or "trail of tears" ?

jack L
  Posted by: scupperfrank on Jan-13-14 9:44 PM (EST)
Nightmare's on the other side... Well, at least you made TOT better for the next guy, 8-D...

Looks like it's going to cool down in a couple days -too soon for our stint at Fairchild tomorrow morning, but great for you guys on Thursday. What with that good weather you ought to roust ole' Grayhawk into his 'Bou and


-Frank in Miami


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