The first out of three national parks that Clay and I visited in Florida was Biscayne National Park, which was located about a little over an hour south of Miami. As the largest marine park in the NP system, more than 95% of Biscayne was covered in water. We decided that the best way to explore its waters was to book an all-day (10am-4pm) sailboat tour with the Biscayne National Park Institute. As we sailed out from the Dante Fascell Visitor Center/Convoy Point to where we were going to snorkel, the view before us was quite picturesque: light blue skies, white fluffy clouds, and clear turquoise waters. Whenever the boat stopped, we could see the sandy bottom of the ocean floor, including an occasional ray gliding by. One of my favorite parts of that morning was when a group of playful dolphins suddenly appeared and started riding the waves created by our boat! I was actually able to snap a quick picture of one as it jumped out of the water right in front of me and smiled!
Anyway, the first half of the tour was spent snorkeling the reefs out on Biscayne Bay. Around noon, we sailed to Adams Key for lunch. (Other keys at Biscayne National Park that visitors can take a boat out to explore include Elliott Key, the park's largest island, and Boca Chita Key, the park's most visited island.) Adams Key was once home to the Cocolobo Cay Club, a private club and retreat location for some notable people, including President Hoover, Harding, Johnson, and Nixon. Today, the key mainly serves as a day-use area and home to some of Biscayne's park rangers. It has a picnic pavilion as well as toilets. We also were able to see a couple of abandoned boats belonging to those who had sailed from Cuba to the shores of the United States. After lunch, we spent the remainder of the afternoon paddle boarding (our first time!) at Hurricane Creek along the saltwater mangroves and learning about its sacrificial leaves. Clay and I loved our day trip out to Biscayne National Park and even found a very special friend at the gift shop to bring back home with us, a little manatee named Barbara.
Just capturing as I go.