Sea Creature Encounters, Big and Small!!!

Hi Everybody!!! Welcome Back!!!

We’ve just finished up the first week of July having fun in the sun and having all sorts of cool sea creature encounters. From Big to Small, we saw them all!! The very first morning we had a wonderful manatee encounter that was followed up by a pod of bottlenose dolphin hanging just off the bow, to loggerhead and green sea turtles swimming lazy circles around the boat, and then having the ocean come alive around us as thousands of bonitas boiled the surface eating anchovies for miles around. Needless to say, it was darn exciting, and we had a blast catching big bonitas left and right!!! What a way to start the very first day!!!

Group with bonitas

The next day we went seine netting and caught numerous striped burrfish, juvenile barracudas, pufferfish, hogsnappers, yellowtail snappers, filefish, mojarras, grunts by the hundreds, pipefish, pinfish, grass shrimp, pink shrimp. You name it and I think we found it!! We had so much FUN, nobody wanted to quit when it was time to go!!! From there we snorkeled the sea grass beds and found 4 different species of sea urchins, cushion starfish, 9 armed starfish, beaded starfish and even a nice horseshoe crab. It was just great!!!

Group island adventure

We spent other days snorkeling the Rock Garden, the Big Sandbar and all around Peanut Island and saw fighting conchs and queen conchs everywhere, found dozens of large swimming crabs, saw barracudas and snook by the hundreds, reef fish galore and caught more sharp nosed pufferfish with our hand nets than we could count!!! That kept us busy having FUN for hours!!!

Valeria having FUN with this Giant swimming crab!!!
Valeria with a swimming crab

Thursday was our fishing day, and as usual, we had non stop action from start to finish!! We caught tomtates, ceasars grunts, sailors choice, lane snappers, porkfish, pinfish, barracudas and even a few rough skinned filefish that the kids love to handle!!! The skin is covered with tiny tooth-like denticles, not scales, and feels exactly like that of sharks. Very cool…

Carter with a large filefish.
Carter with a large filefish

We ended the week having a most awesome manatee encounter at the Rock Garden where 2 very friendly manatees spent a few minutes swimming all around us and in between us, and acting as if they wanted us to tag along for the day. And if we could have kept up, we would!!! We were having that much FUN!!!

Friendly Manatees swim by.
friendly manatees swim by

Needless to say, we had non stop FUN and ADVENTURE during all these cool sea creature encounters!!! From the very start to the very end we had fun fun fun, all week long!!! I wish you could have joined us!!! We had a BLAST!!! I’ll let some of my favorite pictures do the rest of the talking!!! Enjoy!!!

Michael with a striped burrfish.
Michael with a striped burrfish

Kristine with a 9 armed starfish.
Kristine with a 9 armed starfish

Brianna with a cushion starfish.
Brianna with a cushion starfish

Elissa with 3 species of sea urchins.
Elissa with 3 species of sea urchins

Koen with a striped burrfish.
Koen with a striped burrfish

Stephen with a nice barracuda.
Stephen with a nice barracuda

Nathan with a cushion starfish and sea urchins.
Nathan with a cushion starfish

Eric with another striped burrfish.
Eric with a striped burrfish

Catching bonitas.
Catching bonitas

Starfish collectors.
Starfish collectors

Blue crab catchers.
Blue crab catchers

Cushion starfish.
Cushion starfish

Underwater fun.
Underwater Fun

To check out the rest of the photos from this weeks session, please click on “Check out our FLICKR photostream” found a little bit down on this home page on the right side and go to “July 3 – 6, 2012 morning session”.

See you all soon!!!

Let’s Go Have Some Fun!!!

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