I adore our new Key West Island Adventure trip. Yes, you’ve heard me say it before, and I’m going to keep saying it! Perhaps it’s the small power cat facilitating a more intimate experience, perhaps it’s that there’s so much to discover in the backcountry, perhaps it’s the laid back pace that makes you never want to return to shore… Whatever it happens to be, I’m absolutely loving it!
I embarked on the Island Adventure a few weeks ago with Captain Steve F. at the helm and Christy and Chad working crew. I was psyched to see Chad on the boat since he trained me when I first started at Fury back in the summer of 2005! We don’t get to work together much anymore, so it’s always fun to get on the water with him.
We made it out to Rock Key for the snorkeling portion of the trip. It’s January and the water temps have definitely dropped, not so much that it’s too cold to get in, but enough that it will give you a chill at first plunge. As a crew, we’re definitely more sensitive to the water temperature since we’re out in it every day, but just in case you get chilly too, we offer wetsuit rentals during the winter months. It’s a nice option to have this time of year!
Snorkeling was great. We spotted plenty of yellowtail snapper and my favorite, the rainbow parrotfish. We cruised to the backcountry for a full afternoon of kayaking. The tide was high, so the sandbar that we normally go to was completely submerged. This just meant that Chrissy was going to lead us on an amazing kayak tour through the mangroves.
I hopped in a kayak with Chad and we launched out towards Woman Key. We paddled atop seagrass meadows and the hardbottom, and before too long we spotted a conch shell in the shallow water. We picked it up to discover that the conch was in there. After showing it to a few other passengers, we put him safely back in the water. That was the first of many conch shell sightings that afternoon.
Chrissy also pointed out the abundance of sea cucumbers where we were paddling and showed us the trick where you pick up the sea cucumber and it squirts out water. Pretty entertaining! We paddled along the fringe of a large mangrove island and ducked into a small trail where we were canopied by the tree branches until we made it out to the other side. The setting was so peaceful in the calm, shallow waters with the sun slowly lowering into the western horizon.
During the paddle, we spotted a couple of juvenile sharks at two different points. You could actually see their dorsal fins on the surface of the water. They were small–only two to three feet long–and we were able to get close and catch a glimpse of them. I’ve seen larger nurse sharks at the reef plenty of times, but it was very cool to see these little guys in such shallow water. It was a totally different experience.
We paddled back to the boat and pulled the last kayak onto the catamaran right as the sun melted into the water, concluding another gorgeous day in paradise.