by Shayne Benowitz
Anticipation is buzzing throughout Key West as Fury plans to unveil its brand new eco-tour. With Fury’s Eco Adventure, our loyal customers will soon have the opportunity to explore Key West’s unique backcountry for the first time with the personal touch they’ve come to expect at Fury Water Adventures.
Our crew has been training all week to create a smooth running trip that whisks our customers to two distinct, yet interdependent, ecosystems wholly unique to the Florida Keys. For years, we’ve dazzled our guests with the splendor seven miles south at North America’s only living coral reef. Now, we’ll also explore the Gulf of Mexico’s backcountry sand flats dotted with mangrove islands.
Located just over a mile into Key West’s western horizon lies Mule Key, a large mangrove island rooted in the shallow waters of the Gulf. Today, the crew ran a mock trip to this uncharted territory that Fury and its guests will soon become very familiar with. I joined them with Captain Davey to check it out myself.
I’ve really never explored this part of the backcountry, so it was exciting to see what it was all about. Every day, we’ll tow our impressive custom-made barge packed with sea kayaks to Mule Key where our guests will be able to paddle through the shallow waters swaying with seagrass.
Davey and I hopped in a kayak and went for a nice paddle around Mule Key. The summer conditions are gorgeous, flat, and calm, and the water is crystal clear. While kayaking, I was wowed by the sounds of birds nesting in the mangroves. We saw cormorant birds skipping across the water and perched in the trees. I was surprised to see one emerge right in front of our kayak and Davey explained to me that they’re strong swimmers on the hunt for fish. I’d never seen anything like it.
Davey pointed out some perch and mangrove snappers. The mangroves are an important breeding and nesting ground for juvenile fish. The vibe was incredibly peaceful and relaxing. It’s a completely unique experience from any other tour that Fury offers. As we paddled back towards the catamaran and the barge, I was so excited to see a nurse shark swishing past us in the other direction. I can’t wait for the maiden voyage of Fury’s Eco Adventure trip and I’m certain it’s going to be as popular as all of our other tours!
Shayne Benowitz is a Fury crewmember and freelance writer working on her debut novel. For more travel stories and a daily dose of what’s cool around the globe visit her Wanderlust Website at http://web.me.com/shaynebeth.