Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Snorkel, Snorkel!

As part of our program at Sea Base, we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to snorkel the 3rd most dived site in the world! How cool! On a given day during program, we load up several crews on our big boat and head out about 5 Miles to Looe Key and let the scouts explore.

My first trip out to Looe Key, I was having a hard time equalizing my ears when I dove down, so I didn't get to see much aside from coral, Yellow tail Snappers and Sergeant Major fish, but it was still beautiful.

[Sergent Majors and Brain Coral]

Luckily, when I went back a second time, I got to see a SLEW of cool stuff! There was a big 'ole Goliath grouper that hung out by our boat, a Sea Turtle that made an appearance, a barracuda and I saw a good sized Hogfish.

[A Sea Turtle decided to swim by]

[A Goliath Grouper that hangs out by our boat]

How picturesque!

[Another beautiful day on the water]

[Fan coral, brain coral and sponges, oh my! Oh yeah, and a Parrot Fish!]

As part of program this year, we also started taking the scouts out on the big boat at night to a reef called Munson Rocks, just south of our island. We hand them dive lights let them explore the reef at night. Due to stormy weather, we were unable to go the first week, but the second week, we had the opportunity to venture out and it was such a contrast from daytime snorkeling! I didn't see a whole lot (but I did see another Hogfish!), but it was so cool to snorkel at night - it's like a whole different world down there!

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm toying with the idea of getting PADI certified so I can SCUBA dive - I can only imagine how beautiful Looe Key and Munson Rocks would be Scuba diving! Does anyone have suggestions for diving stateside, aside from the Florida Keys?

Until next time my friends...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


A few days ago, I went on a fishing trip with some of my fellow staff members. We saw a Bull Shark that scared away the majority of the Yellowtail Snapper we were trying to catch, caught a Nurse Shark, saw a Tuna jump out of the water to chase some bait fish and SLAM into our motor and caught some dinner for the crew. Oh and we saw some Porpoise Dolphin, and I tried to get my camera out to take a picture, but then I dropped my camera in the ocean. CRAP....

...Good thing I work with people who can free drive much deeper than I can, or else I would have never gotten my camera back. One of the guys jumped in, free dove about 47 feet and retrieved my camera from the depths of ocean. HOORAY! That's all the excitement from that fishing trip.

[The Nurse Shark - catch and release, of course!]

Yesterday, I went fishing with my crew of scouts and we caught three Skip jack Tuna; our biggest was 14 pounds. We hooked up a shark on the line but he jumped off once he realized we were trying to reel him onto our boat. After spending most of the day offshore, we headed in to Newfound Harbor to have some lunch :)

(Side note: If you follow the link to Newfound Harbor and scroll down the page a bit, you'll see a picture of the island I work on! It's the big island to the right of Little Palm Island!)

[Showing off the catches of the day]

[Me and the 14 lb. Tuna - soooooo tasty!]

More adventures to come....

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Helllo from the Keys!

A week ago, I arrived in the Keys and have quickly started working hard and enjoying every minute of it!

Anyway, I got picked up from Miami and had a wonderful ride through the Keys and stopped to get some sweet shades on the way (as you can see above). The very next day, I picked up a crew and got to work! There has been much Kayaking, Snorkeling (at Looe Key, the 3rd most dived site in the world!), fishing, camping, and sailing. Our Snorkel day was clear and beautiful; many fish and a barracuda even showed up for lunch!

[This a parrotfish at Looe Key]

On fishing day, the wind changed direction, so not much was caught by any of the boats on the water. We were lucky enough to catch a Mackerel and a few Yellowtail Snappers. Fortunately, I'll be going fishing later today and I'm hoping for some better luck on the water.

Sailing day was also a rough one. The sailing itself was great because we had a strong wind, but there was a tropical depression that formed over the Keys so there was a lot of rain. And when I say a lot of rain, I mean a TON of rain. We could hardly see anything not only because of the storm cloud but also because the rain was so heavy. Thankfully the tropical depression dissipated and the weather has been back to heat and sunshine ever since!

[The better part of weather on sailing day. Yuck]

[Bridge fishing at sunset]

Speaking of sunshine, some of my coworkers and I hopped on board of a snorkel/sunset cruise in Key West yesterday and enjoyed an evening of laughter and beauty. Also, lots drunk people enjoying a booze cruise, for example: A college girl asked one of my coworkers if he was Guy Harvey (a famous artist in the Keys known for his drawings and paintings of fish and Florida wildlife). Oh Key West, how I've missed you :)

[Kayaking in the rain]

OK - So I wrote this post in two parts, and I just got back from fishing, and the weather was AWESOME!!! I'll write another post about the adventure after I get some work done! Until next time, friends...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

My roommate, pup, and I took a lovely walk in Forest Park today! Just a few fluffy clouds in the sky, a very slight breeze, and plenty of sunshine made for a wonderful stroll in the America's largest municipal park.

Happy Sunday, everyone!