Another beautiful day, less chop than yesterday.
Hal and I had such fun yesterday that we took Marianna with us to explore a little deeper into the Key today. Besides, it was his last day home before finally reporting for work in Key West and we'll miss him so this week! We just had to do something frivolous and fun today.
So Marianna checked the engine out and fueled it up using a Baja Filter while I grabbed drinks, and Hal, the lifejackets and a cell phone and radio. After placing the electronics in a ziploc bag we were ready to go!
Marianna ferried us out to the island, how she can start this beast of an engine I surely don't know! My shoulder is sore from yanking away at it yesterday. (It is like a lawnmower engine, with the pull cord that must quickly be pulled.)
She guided us around the Key to the far side where we saw several intriguing openings yesterday that cried out to be explored. The one we chose opened up into a Y shape in the center of the island.
Mangroves are known as the nurseries of the seas, and all sorts of the most amazing fish live among the roots. We saw little flashes of tiny fish with a barracuda following. He wasn't a Barry (small, under a foot) or a BOB (Big Old Barracuda, over 4') so we decided he must be a Barnard (1-3').
Of course, he wasn't in any of the pictures we took underwater, you wouldn't believe how fast they can move, but I still like the pictures. Can you believe how clear the water is? Did you know that when a Barracuda is excited or hunting they change color? Some actually appear striped like lean tigers!
When we could take the inflatable no further into the mangroves, Marianna and Hal climbed out upon the mangrove knees to explore. Many, many crabs immediately jumped from the trees into the water. Everytime they climbed to a new tree a shower of crabs splashed below them!
Finally, they decided to go up rather than in and see what was to be seen skyward. Very surprisingly, the crabs were not only among the lower branches. I spied one larger crab that must have been 18 feet up a tree. Climbing mangrove crabs? I knew there were coconut crabs that dwelt in trees but I did not know the mangroves had their own contingent of tree dwelling crabs!
Why the big smile? It was my turn to drive, that's why! LOL! On the way back I'll take you by several wonderful sites as well. ;)
Barracuda - Planet Ocean
Shane E. Paterson's Photos
some taken in the Florida Keys
at the Aquarius
WikiProject Fishes - Barracuda
Reef Relief - Mangroves