18 November 2013

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Well we are enjoying our two month stint as volunteers at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo FL.

This is the Upper Keys (first ones after leaving the mainland) vs. Lower Keys (100 beautiful miles further down US Highway #1, aka The Overseas Highway).  While we were not looking for a volunteer gig this Fall, they had an unexpected vacancy and we decided to grab it!  We have stayed in the Park a dozen times or more , but this is our first volunteer gig here. 
A regular park resident!

I have been catching up on my diving while here. Have been out with the friendliest dive shop in the Keys nearly every week. Conch Republic Divers in Tavernier is the best in my opinion.  They have two boats and you drag your gear directly from your car to the nearby boat! The crew is always customer oriented and they don’t treat you like a novice (unless you are one) and do all they can to make your dives enjoyable. 
On the way back from a good day diving!
We have been doing some kayaking in new to us territory and had some great weather to match.  As I write this we are over half-way through our gig here but far from half-way thru list of things we wanted to do while here!  But hey, we will just have to come back! 
 A nice day on the water!

A nice cool plane to rest out of the hot sun!

Card Sound mangrove creek

We will leave here Thanksgiving and stop for a few days in Melbourne for appointments then on West.  We will spend a week or so in Red Bay AL, birthplace of our valiant travel coach, to get some service done then continue westward.  We need to be at Santa Anna National Wildlife Refuge in SW TX along the Mexican border by 1 Feb for our 3 month volunteer gig.

In May after we finish at Santa Anna we will be northbound for AK for the summer. We plan on crossing into Canada in late May from MT and work our way north from there.

Always at home, no matter where we are!!