Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 14~15 Snorkel trip

Tuesday was another warm day with little breeze.  Beth wasn't feeling well so she slept late and hung around on the boat most of the day.  J&J were having an issue with the water supply on their boat so I offered to give them a hand.  We needed some parts so we took a cab ride up to Home Depot.  While there, J bought a portable air conditioner for their boat as I picked up a few needed items to complete my chore list as well as a new pocket camera since Casio wanted more to repair the old one than I paid for the new one which is better.  We got the water situation straightened out and their new A/C was working well.  Beth was feeling better so we went out to eat at the Raw Bar located on the dock.

Wednesday was the day we chose to visit Sand Key and snorkel.  We waited until afternoon to leave the dock so all the commercial snorkel trips would be leaving the area.  Sand Key is supposed to be one of the best spots around Key West to snorkel.  We went by the fuel dock to top off the fuel tanks and pump out the holding tank and we were off.  Sand Key is located about 8 miles south so a short boat ride.

Leaving the Key West Bight marina

Resorts toward Mallory Square
Mallory Square from the water side
A visiting British naval vessel

J&J were out of the marina ahead of us but stopped just off Key West as their engine began to overheat.  We rafted up next to them and J cleaned some sea grass out of the filter and checked everything else out.  The sea grass didn't seem to be so much that it would cause the issue but that was the only thing we found.  With the engine started, J dove in to check the inlet and exhaust.  It seemed to be running ok so we started again.  Maybe a mile later, the engine began to overheat again.  We took the water pump apart to check the impeller, checked the oil and everything else but never really determined what the issue was.  We started again and didn't have any more issues so maybe something we did helped. 
Mahalo Nui - J & J's boat

We arrived at the mooring ball and as this was our first time picking up a mooring ball, it could have gotten interesting but after a couple of tries, we were securely attached to the ball.
Attached to the mooring ball at Sand Key

Crystal Clear water.  This is about 20 ft deep.
We suited up for snorkling and Beth got her underwater camcorder/camera ready.

We saw lots of different fish, coral and stuff.  I took the opportunity to inspect the bottom of the boat to make sure there wasn't any issues with our groundings.  The paint was scuffed in a few places, mainly on the rudders but nothing major.  A couple of more months and it will be ready for a bottom job which hopefully I can get done south of the border. After about an hour, Beth saw a shark
     ( supposedly in the last picture ) and didn't want to swim anymore.  We rafted up with J&J and were treated to a nice curry chicken salad snack.  Catie was quite interested in the little fish that were hanging around the stern of the boat, so interested that she actually fell in trying to play with them. It was getting late so we headed back in while J&J stayed moored for the night. 

We came by Mallory Square on the way back and took pictures of the people that come out, every evening, to watch the sunset and enjoy the "circus".  Many of them were taking pictures of us so I am sure "Second Chance" made it into alot of tourist photos.

We were treated to a lovely sunset on the trip back to the marina.

We docked without incident and hooked everything back up.  By that time it was 10 pm so we had a light dinner and turned in.

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