Dolphins, oh my! and snorkeling gone awry

3 08 2009

On June 2, the day after Chantell and Austin’s sailboat wedding in Key West, our entire group went back out to sea in two boats for our great dolphin watch and snorkeling adventure. As Captain Gary predicted, we did see a plethora of dolphins. He told us that they were taking an afternoon siesta—that explained why they didn’t come up really close to the boat or show their faces very often—but I still got some nice record shots.

The morning started off beautifully—smooth aqua-colored water, sun in the sky, dolphins encircling both boats. We got to the snorkeling spot and disembarked. By the time I got the hang of the mask-in-the-water-tube-above-water-don’t-forget-to-breathe procedure (thanks to Kathy), the waves picked up (making it hard to keep the salt water out of our tubes!). We knew it was getting a bit dangerous to stay out. The sky went from sunny and blue to a menacing shade of gray. The boats were rocking so violently that we had trouble even getting back into the boat when our trusty captains called us in. The snorkeling jaunt was supposed to be 45 minutes long—we weren’t in the water more than 20+ minutes before the weather ended it all. The ride back to shore was incredibly violent and the rain started coming down so hard that we were soaked by the time we got back to the dock. It was so choppy that I couldn’t even shoot photos to show how rough the weather was! Despite the rocky and abrupt ending to our adventure, we certainly had a “Champion!” morning—as Zimbabwe-born Captain Gary had promised.

The Muchemore family was on Captain Gary’s boat. Michael and I shared a boat with A.J. and his girlfriend, Christina (the couple shown in two of the photos below). A.J. is in the Army and was home on leave from Afghanistan and vacationing in Key West with Christina. The two met in Pontiac, IL (where he is from) four years ago and became the best of friends, which evolved into a “fairytale love story,” according to Christina. When he gets home in December (they’re hoping), he’ll be moving to Schaumburg, IL, where Christina majors in Interior Design at the Art Institute. She plans on getting her masters in architecture. A.J. will attend Harper Community College to finish his degree. And it appears that there’s an engagement and wedding in their future—need a photographer, Christina?

Check out these links below for more photos from our weekend in Key West, including Chantell and Austin’s wedding:

Birds of a feather
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/what-20-bucks-will-get-ya-in-key-west/

A rather unusual tree
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/amazing-tree-in-downtown-key-west/

Weekend in Key West
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/weekend-in-key-west/

Here lizard, lizard, lizard
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/here-lizard-lizard-lizard/

Cloudspotting
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/cloudspotting-spinal-column/

Much more of the Muchemores
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/much-more-of-the-muchemores/

Muchemore redux
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/25/muchemore-redux/

Chantell and Austin
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/chantell-and-austin-on-the-pier/

Yes, another wedding photo…
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/yes-another-wedding-photo/

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/the-key-west-butterfly-and-nature-conservatory/

A few more butterflies…
https://cindydyer.wordpress.com/2009/06/28/a-few-more-butterflies/

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

SnorkelAdventure





Here lizard, lizard, lizard

5 06 2009

Every time I hear the word lizard, I think of that Taco Bell dog commercial shown here.

On Sunday, Michael and I visited the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden, the only “frost-free” botanical garden in the continental U.S. The garden showcases flora native to South Florida, Cuba and the Caribbean and emphasizes cultivation of threatened and endangered species of the Florida Keys. This “biodiversity hotspot” is home to many species of plants and animals. Common animals includes box turtles, Green iguanas (one greeted us in the parking lot), Mangrove Skipper Butterflies (which I saw and photographed), and various turtles, crocodiles, birds and snakes. And there were lizards virtually everywhere…on the walkways, benches and in trees. I saw at least six different species, three of which are in the collage below. There were so many that as I was photographing one lizard, another would crawl into the frame or run past my subject! And I had to look closely to be able to spot them—they were so well camouflaged. More photos to come…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Lizard Camouflage