A Great Big Aquarium

Shack in the Sunset

For the last two days the sea has been like a great big aquarium…. crystal clear, no waves and teaming with life.

Yesterday we ventured back to the Everglades for another fishing trip. The fishing was patchy, but the wildlife was stunning. We actually spotted two sea turtles “courting”; hanging onto each others flippers and flapping around on the surface. It all looked very uncomfortable, but apparently it’s not half as bad as the actual mating which can take an entire week!

When the weather is humid and still, the sunsets and sunrises tend to turn the most gorgeous colours. I was up at sunrise this morning, and sat on the pier as the sun slowly rose over the sea. Morning and evening are busy times for the wildlife. The fish are rolling and the birds are making the most of the lower temperatures and busy collecting food.


Red Bellied Woodpecker

Over breakfast we watched a Red Bellied Woodpecker (believe me I’m not an expert on Florida birds, I have to look them all up) pecking the hell out of an old tree trunk in the front garden. This picture is especially for Richard who requested more pictures of woodpeckers and butterflies…. I don’t have the butterflies yet but you never know, there are some pretty spectacular ones in Florida!

Another bird that I have fallen for is the Royal Tern. These pretty birds turn up throughout the day and sit on the posts at the back of the shack. They aren’t as squawky or rough as the seagulls, instead they have a rather pretty squeaky call, and look rather magestic. Their name suits them perfectly.

Royal Tern

Royal Tern

Back to fishing! Today we fished the Atlantic Ocean. We usually fish on the Gulf but as it wasn’t so windy today the chop on the ocean was very small. We caught a strange assortment of fish (Porgy, Snapper, Mackerel, Baracooda, Grouper, Hog Fish, Puffer Fish), and even managed to catch our dinner which we BBQ’d about 2 hours after catching it. You can’t get fish much fresher than that. (I had better add that most of the fish we catch are put back into the sea, we only ever keep a couple for dinner).

Neither of us believe in catching and killing fish just for the sake of it…. where is the fun in that anyway? They look so much better swimming in the sea!

Ron & Andrew with a Crevalle Jack

Ron & Andrew with a Crevalle Jack

This evening we fish-watched from the pier. Under the pier is a single spotlight shining down into the water, and every night the fish are attracted to the light and feed off other very small fish (also attracted to the light). It is really hypnotic.

Nurse Shark under Pier

Nurse Shark (and Andrew’s Feet!)

Quite a few large Nurse Sharks arrived plus the normal Snappers and Tarpon. I can tell you that lying on your stomach only 2 feet from the water when a 7ft long shark passes underneath is quite spooky. However, it’s not half as spooky as a 12ft Manatee drifting past in the dark… which is what happened just before we went to bed.

Sunset over the Pier

Clouds & Sea Merge into One …


9 thoughts on “A Great Big Aquarium

  1. Hi, me again.
    Have been flicking thru your diary entries and …. your photos are stunning!! Am sure some of them would make the nature mags and as for the sunsets, really atmospheric.

  2. Thanks Chris. Not sure about the nature magazines… it’s so dammed easy to get a good picture, all you do is walk up to them and snap their picture (right in their faces!) not so easy at home.

  3. Really, really…? I’m lost for words, adjectives seem so hackneyed.
    You know I always thought Florida wouldn’t be one of my top ten places – but I must say your pics are something else and could well change my mind!

  4. Uh oh – in some land of snoze, I think, jane. The ‘really, reallys’ were going to be followed by some hackneyed fabs, brills etc. etc and I meant ‘metaphor’ not adjective…doh!

  5. Thanks Paula. Just hope I’m showing a few people how wonderful the Florida Keys are… not anything like the rest of the States… especially the rest of Florida (Disney Land, etc, etc). It really is very untouched tourist wise.

  6. Sara – Surprised you have never seen a woodpecker. They are such cute birds. Although I must admit most people only hear them screeching from tree to tree. Thanks for your comment.

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