Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Marathon, FL, for ChristmasI

I have always wanted to swim with the dolphins, so I visited the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon.  Although I really didn't swim with the dolphins, I did get to shake flippers with one.  This guy had been with the center for only 9 months and he is about 2 years old, still a youngster.  He was found in the oil spill off Louisiana.  In fact, BP not only paid for his vet care but pays part of his upkeep now because of their responsibility of the oil spill.
This facility has been here since the 1960s.  How many remember the TV series "Flipper"?  Well, the show was filmed at this location and most of the 22 dolphins are descendants of the original 5.
Joel, Tom C and Max went charter fishing one day.  

Each caught at least one fish.

Tom made all the arrangements and I think everyone had a good time and the boys provided our Christmas dinner the next day.

This is the one that got away.  Max fought this fish for over 45 minutes before it got loose.  The captain estimated the fish could have been as large as 200 lbs.  

About 2 miles along the Seven Mile Bridge is a small key called Pigeon Key.  It was the home for many of the workers who built the Flagler railroad from Miami to Key West back in the early 1900s.  It is now a state park and National Historic site.  You can take a ferry to the key or walk out the 2 miles on the old bridge.  But the entrance from the old bridge had been shut down by DOT the week before so we didn't get to visit the island itself.  It was a nice 4 mile walk though.

Part of the new Seven Mile Bridge.  The old bridge sits along side and most is not accessible at all is rotting away.  The original bridge was completed as a railway bridge in 1912 and revamped for autos in 1935.  It was replaced by the newer bridge in 1982.

At No Name Key is the No Name Pub.  At one time (before Facebook and the internet), if you didn't know where it was, you probably didn't go there.  But times have changed and they are now of Facebook and Twitter and every GPS has the coordinates.  

They still have good food and the inside walls and ceilings are covered with money.  Darn, they wouldn't even let me use some of the money from the wall to pay the tip!

On Deer Key and Big Pine Key they have Key Deer.  They are the smallest deer in the world and  are only found here in this location.  Since there is nothing to gauge the size by, you will just have to take my word, they are only about the size of a Labrador dog.

Christmas Day we didn't have the traditional ham or turkey.  No, we had us a fish fry.   I must say, Tom C fried up some of the best fish I've ever eaten.

While Tom cooked, the rest of us sat around and ate and visited.

Spent the day after Christmas at Bahia Honda State Park.  Finally got my new kayak in the water too.  I even paddled in both the Atlantic and Gulf in one day.  On one side of the highway is the Atlantic and the other is the Gulf, so all I had to do was paddle under the bridge and I was able to paddle both.

Bahia Honda is known for its great beaches.  In fact, I think the travel channel lists this as one of the top ten beaches in the U.S.

On Christmas Day we visited Sombrero Beach and guess what?  The Grinch was there.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

No comments: