After a very short stay, K’s sister Sas, was whisked back to the cold north. She survived her stay without getting sunburned! We were sad to see her go so soon! We managed to pack in almost all the elements of a good Florida vacation…sailing, fishing, kayaking, and even some beach time. The beach we went to with Sas had palm trees and lounge chairs and pina coladas and white sand, AND they even had little Hobi catamarans to rent. These are entry level, easy to sail, mini racing catamarans that are basically a really fast wind powered water toy. We got one for half an hour and went screaming around the bay. It was a blast!!
When my sister Stephanie arrived, we all crammed into the dinghy and went to the Sunset Grill,a restaurant on the waterfront which we mistakenly thought had a dinghy dock We arrived in the dark and had to tie up our dinghy on some rocks underneath a private dock…somewhat of an awkward adventure, but we survived.
During the night on Tuesday, while all 4 of us were tucked in our wee bunks sleeping, a severe thunderstorm blew through the area, waking us all up with dangerously close cracks of lightning and frighteningly strong winds. The next day we took our dinghy to a beach and on the way there we saw hundreds of floating iridescent blue and purple jellyfish. We had never seen them before and we mystified as to what they were. A man saw us being tourists and told us that they were man o’ wars, one of the most dangerous jellyfish known to man. They have beautiful condom like bodies that float on the water looking like jeweled water balloons, but underneath are LONG stinging tentacles that can cause reactions ranging from major pain and welts to anaphalyctic shock and even DEATH. The man o’ wars had been blown to shore by the storm. The beach was covered with them, and we decided it wasn’t a good day to swim….
The next day we took Stephanie to one of the nicest beaches in the Keys, Bahia Honda. We sailed there with a cool north wind, and anchored in the bay right off the beach. It was unseasonably cool, and all the locals were warning us to stay warm and not freeze to death. Stephanie had to wear her down jacket she had on when she left Wisconsin! But there was still sun, and here she is rejoicing in it:The beach featured amazing shell hunting, and we enjoyed walking up and down the beach admiring the multicolored tiny seashells, coral pieces, and grasses (and some gorgeous but deflated man o’wars). We found a charming little oasis under a tree decorated with seashells…..perfect!