Tag Archives: travel

Underwater Adventure, part 2

As I stated in a previous post, Hubby and I have started going to Florida every year as our summer vacation. We did it as a road trip this year, and drove all the way to Key Largo. It was a very long trip, and once we got to Key Largo, the days kind of blended together.

Our goal for this trip was not just diving, but to get our Rescue Diver certification. This is a lot of work going through drills and scenarios, and the weather was not exactly cooperating, so it was pretty exhausting.

We got to see Jesus-

And tons of undersea creatures!

School of Parrot Fish (can you spot the Grouper?)

We learned a lot, but we were also able to have a lot of fun while we were doing it, and we became pretty close with the dive crew, too!

Part of the Pirate Island Divers Scuba team!

On days when the weather was too choppy to go out on the boat, we went into town to explore. We found the History of Diving Museum-

Historic diving instruments

And what has to be the World’s Largest Carribbean Lobster-

And we had the chance to swim with a nurse shark!

Now, I have mixed emotions about this, but not for the reasons that you might think (unless you know me that well). See, on the one hand, I absolutely love predators so I jumped at the chance to be able to see one up close and touch one. But on the other hand, purposefully habituating predators to associate humans with food is a dangerous idea. Although the shark was perfectly calm and let us rub all over her, we were there to do that. If another diver is there and decides to harrass the shark, she will let the diver get much closer than a non-habituated shark would let him get, before she had to react. And by that time, because of the close contact, the shark would bite rather than swim away (Fight or Flight response). If a person gets bit by a shark, that shark is hunted down and killed. This exact thing is why the dive master for this trip told us he used to have 7 sharks that would come up, and now he’s down to 1. He says that it’s because other dive shops are jealous of his sharks or something, which makes no sense. In actuality, it’s because the sharks were deamed a danger to divers. If these sharks were in an enclosed habitat, I would do it all the time! But because they are wild sharks that are habituated, I will never do this dive again. (Not only this, but the dive crew (Not the same crew we usually dive with) sucked so bad I gave them a horrible review on TripAdvisor.

We had an amazing trip, as I know we will every year. We have actually already booked our plane tickets for our next trip, and we are about to book our hotel! I look forward to those beautiful Key Largo Sunsets everyday. The only problem with them, is that they mean we have one less day in Key Largo.

But, that also meant we were one day closer to the third part of this adventure…

Underwater Adventure, Days 1 and 2

Every summer, Hubby and I go on a SCUBA adventure.  It started with our Honeymoon in the Florida Keys in 2011, and we were instantly planning our return trip the next summer. (Yes, I know I said we do this every year, but this also means every future year as well). This past May we decided to drive to Key Largo instead of fly, because plane tickets were outrageous. I have a Prius, so we literally MADE money on that drive (not literally).

The beauty of driving somewhere instead of flying, is you get to see so many things along the way.  We ate most of our dinners as picnics, so instead of spending a bunch of money on restaurants, we spent the money on diving and adventure! Our first night was spent at a road-side park in Alabama, and then we drove in to Clear Water, Florida. I had to go to the Clear Water Aquarium to go see Winter, and Hubby and I love to go to aquariums whenever we get a chance. I have to say, I wish I had seen the aquarium BEFORE the movie was made. They really commercialized the place.

Movie Prop

Every little thing was marked, “a scene was shot here”, or “movie prop”. It got obnoxious. But we were the first ones there in the morning, so we got the best parking spot there was!

Best Spot in Town

And good thing we did, because when we left, we saw this:

It was a cool place to see though – the aquarium rehabilitates sea turtles and houses turtles that can’t be released due to injuries, they had a sting ray feeding tank, which I was ALL OVER, and they had some river otters (not sure why, but they were cute) and one of them was paralyzed from the waist down.

He got along great, and he was a pretty funny guy.  I thought he was chewing on the hole in the divider wall…

apparently, he was licking it, instead.

And of course, we saw Winter!

Some guy was really upset with the employees at the aquarium. We heard him say something along the lines of, “is this all Winter does?! I thought there was going to be, like a Winter Show or something?!” I wanted to pull him aside and say, “You know she doesn’t have a TAIL, right? You understand that it’s kind of miraculous that the vets could save her, RIGHT?! What else do you want from her?”

So as any good tour does, it ended in the gift shop! I didn’t buy anything, but I REALLY wanted this!

GET IT?!

Anyway, after our time in Clear Water, we headed to Key Largo, my favorite city in the world! And we went to Breezer’s, with the best bartender in the world!! Simply because my mango daiquiris are always over flowing when he makes them 🙂

And we watched the most beautiful sunsets in the world! Ahh…Life is good in Key Largo.