So I have been learning to appreciate the Florida truism that it's best to have friends with a boat. Hence our ride with the boys today was quite a rare pleasure in the summer of 2011.
We left their Sugarloaf home and headed south as my wife wanted to go snorkeling at Looe Key. This trip involved entering the mangroves and running the salt water channel to open water at the other side. Our wake in here created the largest waves.
The creek is effectively a narrows between two large bodies of water so the tides run fast and strong through here and make a lovely picture.
This place was a refuge for local youngsters years ago, and I know the are lots of fond memories of picnics and swimming at this spot.
It also happens to be the very same spot where the old state road 939 used to cross the creek on a bridge. I have walked the dog and ridden the Bonneville down here and look forward to doing it again this winter. Pictures to follow.
The south side is a longer and more varied walk from the Loop Road but it ends up in the same place...
Mangroves aren't hugely scenic but I enjoy being around them. These red mangroves grow in salt water which makes them unique and quite useful in a marine environment. They act as a hatchery and nursery for fish, they protect the land from storms and wave action and they make for a green landscape in a place where not much can grow.
"Local Knowledge Required" may or may not be true but it sure does help.
The Coastguard maintains a lot of markers through this channel but open water isn't that deep unless you count four feet at middling tide to be deep. Deep enough for a small (less than 30 foot) sailboat.
We stopped for a picnic on the boat and a swim and it was deserted and lovely and entirely in the spirit of those distant Conchs who had this place to themselves all those years ago. I felt like apologizing for the intrusion.
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