Monday, July 26, 2010

Dolphin Watching

We spent almost 5 hours out one day watching dolphins and snorkeling. We actually snorkeled so much while we were in Key West that J got two blisters on his toes from the fins!! Anyway, this day were were on a smaller boat. It only held 6 people plus our Captain. He actually lives on the boat and knew alot about dolphins and most other sea creatures. We went out into the ocean to look for dolphins and pretty quickly found a mom and baby. We followed them around for along time and they would swim right up to the boat.

Here's J and I relaxing in the shade watching for dolphins!!
Taking pictures of dolphins is not easy. They are fast!! I managed to get a few pics where you can actually tell it's a dolphin.
If you look very closely at this one where one dolphin has it's fin out of the water you can see there is another dolphin right beside it still in the water. This was the mom and baby.

Here's J getting some sun on our way to go snorkeling! I can't BELIEVE I didn't think to get a pic with our snorkeling gear on.....oh well.
On this snorkeling trip we saw several fish, lots of sponges, and lots of lobsters. The lobsters kind of made me nervous!! J said he touched the antenna on one, but I tried to just stay on top of the water and away from lobster antenna and claws. We also saw a couple of HUGE rays, but luckily that was also from the boat and not while we were in the water! It was a fun way to start the day. We had packed a lunch so after snorkeling we had a picnic lunch on the boat as we rode back to Key West. Island life is so fun!!

Dry Tortugas

Jay and I just spent a week in Key West with some friends. We had a ton on fun and I'm going do try and do a couple of blogs to tell you about our escapades! Instead of saving the best for last, I'm going to do the best first. We took a day trip to the Dry Tortugas. This is an island 70 miles west of Key West. It is literally at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. It took us a little over two hours to get there by boat, but it was worth it. The island was discovered by Ponce de Leon and the U.S. later built a fort most of the way around the island. There were over 16 million bricks used to build the fort. It was later turned into a prison and is now a National Park. We climbed to the top of the fort and took this picture (I had problems uploading my pics so they are a little out of order).

Most of the "holes" you see are for where the cannons would have been sticking out. The also had their own cannon ball making factory at the fort.

That is J out in the water just coming back from snorkeling. The snorkeling on the island was great!! The water was very calm and on one side of the island there was a beautiful, brightly colored reef that had cute fish of all colors swimming around. We snorkeled there together. J then when to another part of the island that had nurse sharks and barracudas and things of that sort. I opted to lay on the beach for that one, but he LOVED it! Those bigger fish make me nervous.
Just so you can see how clear the water is there, I took a picture of my feet knee deep in the water. Amazing.

This is J and I on top of the fort checking out the view and snapping a few pics.

J inside the fort.

And this was the boat we took to the island. It was called the "Fast Cat". The boat ride was really fun!!! It was pretty bumpy for awhile on the way back, but that made it even better to us. It was like being on a roller coaster! Some other people didn't fare so well and got seasick, but we had taken Dramamine and felt great. It was a great day and if you are ever in Key West I would recommend you take a day and go to Dry Tortugas.