By Shayne Benowitz
The weather lately makes me happy to be a Floridian. Highs in the low eighties, lots of sunshine, mild breeze… It’s absolute perfection for spending the day on the water. My favorite thing to do, of course! I worked on the Fury Flyer earlier this week with Captain Marius. We were busy right from the start with passengers from two Carnival cruise ships. It’s the tail end of Spring Break and the majority of our passengers were families from cold climates like Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin soaking up a little bit of sunshine and warm weather.
On our first trip of the day at 9am, we headed out to the harbor. The water was crystal clear with sea grass and the sandy seafloor clearly visible. At the end of the trip once everyone had a chance to parasail and was back on the boat, I spotted a huge loggerhead turtle surfacing starboard. The timing was perfect. Somehow, everyone was looking in that direction and I didn’t even have to point him out. He gave us a generous show and stayed on the surface long enough for everyone to see him clearly.
I explained to our passengers that oftentimes I’ll spot a sea turtle or a dolphin and by the time I point it out it disappears under the water never to be seen again. We were very lucky!
Throughout the morning, that same loggerhead continued to appear during different trips. At one point I spotted a much smaller, baby sea turtle, too. Passengers returned from their flights landing safely on the back deck. One told me that he spotted a shark. Another one said she saw a stingray. And I’m sure they did!
It’s amazing how diverse the Key West waters are. When we parasail, we are close to the backcountry flats and that’s exactly where stingrays, sharks, dolphins, sea turtles and other species live and thrive. When the water is as clear as it’s been, then it’s easy to spot these animals- even from 300 feet in the air attached to a parasail!
Shayne Benowitz is a Fury crewmember and freelance writer. Find her at web.me.com/shaynebeth, follow her at twitter.com/ShayneBenowitz, or email her at Shayne@furykeywest.com.