Spring Break 2016

Scroll down to see the rest of the fish!

You’ll have to scroll down to see the rest of the fish (too big to fit in this photo hahaha)

Spring break! Woooo!!! The week was a whirlwind tour of some of my favorite spots and things to do in southwest Florida (where I grew up).

Slow zone

Slow zone

Here you can see the water is amber colored (this is in the Caloosahatchee river)

Here you can see the water is amber colored (this is in the Caloosahatchee river which flows out of Lake Okeechobee) oh, and some dolphins!

Conveniently located bait shop

Conveniently located bait shop haha

'Tween Waters

‘Tween Waters

Osprey with a fish

Osprey with a fish

Toes in the sand

Toes in the sand

Lots of shells

Lots of shells

Beautiful beach!

Beautiful beach!

Little fiddler crabs

Little fiddler crabs

On Captiva

On Captiva

Another osprey

Another osprey

We spotted lots of dolphins in the river, estuary and Gulf

We spotted lots of dolphins in the river, estuary and Gulf

Out in the gulf they are even easier to spot!

Out in the gulf they are easy to spot!

Fish huts

Fish huts

Those structures are called fish huts, or fish shacks or fish cabins…The Department of Natural Resources, as the Florida state environmental agency was called in the mid 1980s, believed the structures were navigational hazards and destructive to sea grasses.  And they also believed that since they had no plumbing, the people using them as bunk houses were likely creating sanitation problems.  So the state started burning them down.  Locals who wanted to preserve the fish huts were able to debunk these concern, according to Gladys Schneider of Bokeelia.  She was hired as a consultant to compile the documentation needed to have the shanties declared historic.  So our fish huts are still with us and a number are listed on National Register of Historic Places. (source)

Fish hut

Fish hut

Pelican

Pelican

Pulling up to North Captiva

Pulling up to North Captiva (Gulf of Mexico)

North Captiva; a long but very thin island; only a hundred yards or so wide

North Captiva; a long but very thin island; only a hundred yards or so wide in places (that’s Pop walking to the estuary side of the island)

Chasing birds

Chasing birds

Royal Terns, Black Skimmers and other birds

Royal Terns, Black Skimmers and other birds

King's Crown shell

King’s Crown shell

The water isn't as clear in the estuary as on the Gulf side but it is one of my favorite types of habitats to explore

The water isn’t as clear in the estuary as on the Gulf side but it is one of my favorite types of habitats to explore

There are many live shells in the estuary

There are many live shells in the estuary

Live shells on the gulf side too! This is a large horse conch

Live shells on the gulf side too! This is a large horse conch

Mmm looks yummy (haha; we threw it back)

Mmm looks yummy (haha; we threw it back)

This ground cover plant was very cool

This ground cover plant was very cool

The shallow grassy flats (the areas darker in color) are great places to spot lots of little creatures like sea horses, pipe fish, live shells, crabs and fish

The shallow grassy flats (the areas darker in color) are great places to spot lots of little creatures like sea horses, pipe fish, live shells, crabs and fish

Sandbar

Sandbar

The water on the estuary side of the island is brackish (a mix of fresh and salty water that changes depending on things like tide, rainfall and how much water is released from Lake Okeechobee (80 miles up the Caloosahatchee River from here).

Around the docks there are sea stars, sea slugs, fish, shells, crabs and other little creatures

Around the docks there are sea stars, sea slugs, fish, shells, crabs and other little creatures

Bow and arrow for fishing

Bow and arrow for fishing

Hunting for bait…While we were in this spot we saw a small bonnethead shark (illegal to shoot; quite unsportsman-like to catch with a bow and arrow (it would be like shooting fish in a barrell) (couldn’t resist haha). We were searching for rays (the fishing guide called them skates but really they are Southern Stingrays).

Got one (actually 3!) ; and the fishing guide we went with shot a few more and then we were off...

Got one (actually 3!) ; and then we were off…

Fish oN!

Fish oN!

It's a big one!!

It’s a big one!!

Woah!

Woah!

Checking it out: it is a Goliath Grouper (and that guy is a fishing guide)

Checking it out: it is a Goliath Grouper (and that guy is a fishing guide)

Goliath Grouper

Goliath Grouper

300lbs!!

300lbs!!

Catch and release, of course. These are endangered; due to being extremely easy to catch and being heavily over-harvested until 1990! Case in point…10 minutes later…

Then Pop caught this guy! A 200+ pounder!

Pop caught this guy! Another huge one!

The best St. Patty's Day photo!! (this was on the 17th!)

The best St. Patty’s Day photo!! (this was on the 17th!)

Not the greatest shot; but see the iguana on the beach? (Gasparilla Island)

Not the greatest shot; but see the iguana on the log on the beach? (Gasparilla Island)

Again, not the greatest shot; but that is a sea turtle coming up for air (Boca Grande Pass)

Again, not the greatest shot; but that is a sea turtle coming up for air (Boca Grande Pass)

While in Florida we also got to drive up to Sarasota and visit some cousins!

Cousins (they grew up in the same neighborhood in Long Island, NY!)

Cousins (they grew up in the same neighborhood in Long Island, NY!)

She and her husband are both vets and have some great animals!!

She and her husband are both vets; the kids loved meeting their cousins and their pets!

This pony's name is Trouble. ahahha

This pony’s name is Trouble. ahahha

A bearded dragon

A bearded dragon

Cool reptile

Cool reptile

Spanish moss

Spanish moss

We had such a nice visit!

We had such a nice visit!

Back out on the water…

Enjoying the boat ride

Enjoying the boat ride

Dolphin

Dolphin

Little footprint

Little footprint

So many shells!

So many shells!

The many faces...haha

The many faces…haha

(dead) Horseshoe crabs

(dead) Horseshoe crabs

Cormorant on a channel marker

Cormorant on a channel marker

A nice collection of (dead) horseshoe crabs

A nice collection of (dead) horseshoe crabs; we brought several home (and they survived the flight home!)

Playing in the surf

Playing in the surf

Catch of the day!

Catch of the day!

A shiny piece of a sea pen (a type of shell)

A shiny piece of a sea pen (a type of shell)

Delicious lunch here! (on North Captiva)

Delicious lunch here! (on North Captiva)

Exploring the mangroves

Exploring the mangroves

And playing games, while waiting for lunch

And playing games, while waiting for lunch

We also caught a spring training game...

We also caught a spring training game…

Where the Yankees beat the Red Sox! Wooo!

Where the Yankees beat the Red Sox! Wooo!

Really great seats

Really great seats

Spanish moss and lichen

Spanish moss and lichen

My old Strawberry Shortcake; who Baby says looks like Chuckie. Hahaha

My old Strawberry Shortcake; who Baby says looks like Chuckie. Hahaha

My mom's paintings

My mom’s paintings

Great Grandma (my grandmother who I am named after)

Great Grandma (my grandmother who I am named after)

Cayo Costa

Cayo Costa

A mermaid!

A mermaid!

Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico

Cayo Costa

Cayo Costa

Nana & Pop; thanks for the best spring break ever!!!

Nana & Pop; thanks for the best spring break ever!!!

2 thoughts on “Spring Break 2016

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