Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day 3, Continued.

Before dinner the group and I decided to explore the island (we were waiting for Tim from Crystal Seas to deliver cooking supplies). It was a beautiful walk along the beach at low tide, so there were lots of things to see. We saw sandpipers and plovers, a nesting osprey, little jelly animals in the sand, lots of pretty shells, and horseshoe crab molted exoskeletons.

The sand here is very fine and white, made of limestone. I am used to the coarse sand in the Chesapeake Bay made of quartz. There aren't many rocks either, just shells and pieces of coral.

After about 3/4 mile along Tiger Key I decided to turn back (after all, it had been a long day), but Rick and some of the kids decided to keep going. I did not know it at the time, but they were determined to walk around the island. First thick brush, then mangroves, then swimming. Dave, one of our guides, got worried when Rick called with his cell phone and requested us to bring the kayaks around before his signal cut out. About an hour later, coming around the back side of the island, we saw several heads bobbing in the water and a canoe. A group of boy scouts camping on Picnic Key saw Rick and picked him up so he could go back and pick up his abandoned camera equipment. The kids decided to swim because it was easier than wading. Luckily everyone made is back safely with only a few scratches.

Trees, Birds and other animals seen while paddling:
  • Red Mangroves
  • Sea Grape
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Royal Tern
  • Swallow-tailed Kite
  • Osprey
  • Dolphins
On Tiger Key:
  • Semipalmated Plover
  • Sanderling Sandpiper (?)
  • Dunlin Sandpiper (?)
  • Osprey

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