Keys in and out

Spending a few days in the Keys was both relaxing, replacing the rudimentary comfort on the catamaran with the amenities of an American house, and frustrating, because of the sudden decrease in the intensity of our activities during those days. Indeed, finding snorkeling areas in the area was much less obvious than in the Bahamas, with less variety in the fish population. The best snorkeling spot happened to be a few meters away from Fort Zachary Taylor beacht in Key West, with even a reported sighting of a manatee a few meters away. The few accessible beaches in the remainder of the Keys were rather disappointing, with a band of dried sea grass that put the kids away, and long flat plateaus that prevented swimming and favoured bacterias. The best memory of the Keys is presumably the quality of its sunsets, which were uniformly magic. (A related disappointment was a fruitless search for a rising full moon, due to the lack of accessible beach anywhere close to our rental place…) We also enjoyed visiting the turtle hospital in Marathon, a private charity that provides medical care for turtles entangled in flotsam, jetsam, and fishing nets, damaged by boat [and idiotic jetski] propellers, suffering from plastic ingestion (impactation) or from fibropapilloma… This was in sharp contrast with the dolphin and shark “research centres” we briefly considered, which are nothing more than expensive petting zoos!

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