Sunday, March 27, 2011
A Day on the Ocean at John Pennecamp State Park
March 27, 2011
Fun Day at John Pennecamp State Park, Florida
We have been dragging around snorkeling masks and tubes since we arrived in Florida, so today, we decided to put them to use. John Pennecamp State Park was the first underwater state park, and is well known for its coral reefs. There are numerous companies that guide snorkeling trips out on the reef. We chose the state park concessionaire, and are happy we did, we had a great trip. The boat was nice, and the guides were great. They took us out to the Grecian Rocks and gave us a quick snorkeling lesson. Then we were set free to discover the reef on our own. I have never been snorkeling before, so this whole experience was very new.
After I proved to myself that I could breathe through a tube while underwater, I really started enjoying the experience. We started off the reef in the sea grass and saw some conch crawling around. As we moved closer to the reef, we saw more and more fish. I have no idea what they all were, but I know we saw many barracuda, smooth trunk fish, spanish hog fish, french angel fish, queen angel fish, blue tang, and many others. Toward the end of our time in the water, Dani and I swam right into the middle of a large school of parrot fish. They were huge fish, and at first I was a little reluctant, but then I saw how small their mouths are. The coral itself wasn't really all that colorful at this location, but the number and diversity of fish made up for it. All and all, this was a great first snorkeling experience.
After we finished snorkeling, we still had a good amount of daylight left, so we figured if we are going to play tourist, we mind as well go all out. We rented a two person kayak and paddled through the mangrove canals around the state park. The canals were chock full of all different sorts of fish, and the paddling was nice and easy. We had a great day spending time out on the water. I guess bike trips don't always have to be about riding bikes!
Also, just as a side note, it is really hot down here! I don't want to come off as a whiner to everyone who is up North right now, but after being used to cold all winter, this feels hot! The temperatures have been in the 80's with humidities is the 80-90% range. It is so hot, that when we try to sleep we are still sweating, even without sleeping bags. I can't imagine what summer is like here, and truthfully I don't really want to know.
We don't have any pictures for today because we took them all on a waterproof instant camera. We will try to put them up when we can.