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A photoblog sharing our discoveries as we explore America on the open road!

Bahia Honda Snorkeling Tour

Bahia Honda Snorkeling Tour

 Another Snorkeling Defeat

When we got married in Maui in 2007, we decided to do something different together. We went snuba diving, a mix of snorkeling and diving while being tethered to a line that could help you breath. Well, it was one of the scariest things we had ever done but I was glad I experienced it. Would I do it again? Heck no! I did not like being under water for one, and trying to breathe in and out through only my mouth seemed so unnatural. I fought the fear of breathing thru my nose by mistake, sharks, having a panic attack, needing help and the instructor not being around, and just plain drowning. But when I thought of snorkeling, well isn’t that just putting the mask on and making sure the breathing tube is above water while you stroll in the water shallow enough to stand up if you get into trouble? Oh no, not this trip. In our attempt to try being under water again, I found this trip located in Bahia Honda State Park called Looe Key Snorkeling Tours. It sounded to me like it was on a Key…an island that you walk off the beach and into the water then duck down and see all these beautiful little fishys.

    When we arrived, I was hungry so I ate a sauerkraut covered hot dog at the little eatery they had near the office. Then it was time to get on the boat that took us to the snorkeling site… an HOUR away? As we boarded I was wondering if my choice of lunch would come back to haunt me on a long ride out to sea. We took off and hit many rough waves but I just stood up and balanced myself (just like riding a horse, right?) Somehow I managed to keep my stomach in tack. Then we dropped anchor at a place that looked like somewhere in the middle of the ocean and they told us to jump out! There must be some kind of mistake…where is the cute little island I imagined we were going to bebop around along the shore at? The sea was rough and as I jumped into the water, the waves stared me in the face in the most ominous fashion as if to say, “You’re going down”.  Jerry had a hard time with his mask with his mustache and never felt comfortable in any snorkeling event he has been too. Even Vaseline didn’t seem to help the mask stay situated. I lost a flipper and someone dove down and got it for me. There is no way I could think about getting my head under water. I just floated around, staying close to the boat, waiting for the moment for them to tell us to get back in. We just couldn’t relax. We were so glad to get back to shore. The best part was the boat ride itself.

We decided to just enjoy exploring Bahia Honda State Park and walked out onto the Old Bahia Honda Bridge. Originally part of the overseas railway, it was converted for auto use but was then replaced and two spans were removed so boats could go through. It was so beautiful from up there! You could see all the glorious colors of the water and we witnessed a couple of kayakers discover a large Sea turtle. I was able to record it all on my camera. The swaying palm trees were just gorgeous.  There is also a campground on the island that we went thru to see if it was someplace in the future that we would like to stay at. It was a very nice area so I think it will be on our future return spot.

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Lots of cash hanging around the No Name Pub

 After a full and tiring day, we felt a pizza was in order for a dinner at home. We researched the area and found that the No Name Pub had great reviews. We placed the order and headed out to pick it up. When we walked inside, there were hundreds of one-dollar bills hanging from the ceiling. According to the shady history of the joint, so much illegal money was passing thru the Keys in the 70’s & 80”s that they decided to hang it on the walls so a tradition began. This history of this place is quite interesting and amusing. Nevertheless, the pizza was excellent! We saw wildlife on the way home including  Key deer and iguanas so it was even more worthwhile.

 Time to leave paradise

 As we were headed off the islands early the next morning, we stopped at a little place called The Stuffed Pig in Marathon. DSC03177We had some of the best pancakes I have ever had but  everyone’s toast was burnt. I don’t know if that’s the way they do things in the Keys but I just couldn’t eat it. I did ask the waitress what kind of batter they used. She said it was called Krusteaz and they mixed it with Aunt Jemima. When we got home I bought some but mine sure didn’t taste as good as theirs. Full and ready to get back on the road, we headed north on to the long Seven Mile bridge and said goodbye to a paradise on earth. The Keys will always be one of greatest adventure to look back upon. Everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Now I know why Jimmy Buffet  wrote so many songs about this place and called it home.

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