We woke up this morning to an early morning shower, but it had cleared away by just after 9am. This was in contrast to the forecast which had mentioned a shower later in the day.
So we decided to make the most of the now sunny again weather and headed down to the pool area after visiting the on site cafe to allow Karen to get a free coffee. For most of the time we were the only ones around it. We swam and went in the Jacuzzi a couple of times all whilst enjoying the sounds of the piped radio. I forgot my reading glasses so was only able to squint at my Kindle for a while.
We went back to the apartment for a quick lunch before heading off out for the afternoon. Our first stop in Islamorada was the World Wide Sports shop which is part of the Bass Fishing Shop Group. It is a nice place to amble around and Neil purchased a T Shirt. We admired the 'Hilder' ship that is within the store and is a sister ship of the one Hemingway had built. It gave the urge to read 'The Old Man and The Sea' by him and will add it to my list. We wandered around the Marina outside and watched some fish. Whilst seating on some Adirondack chairs overlooking the bay, we were amazed to be able to watch some Manatees swimming a few feet away. These benign creatures also known as Sea Cows just spend the days mooching around eating their body weight of green stuff each day. I wanted to see them doing some tricks like dolphins at Sea World, but they were content doing what they were doing.
After this we wandered up to the Zane Grey Bar which had a bar overlooking the marina. It was Happy Hour (just) so Karen & Neil had Draft Bud Lite ($2 each), whilst I settled for water but with a ½lb of Happy Hour Shrimp. They were covered in Old Bay Seasoning and were delicious. Given we were overlooking the marina where the catch was probably landed, they certainly tasted fresh.
We then drove along to another family favourite whilst in The Keys, a marina called Robbies. This is famed for the enormous Tarpon that hang out under the jetties. These fish are flipping enormous. Some of them are easily more than 6 feet long, very fat and quite ugly (that describes a few people I know as well!). You are invited to feed them by buying a bucket of small fish. The 'art' is to lay low on the jetty and hold the fish over the water. But they are fast and they are dangerous and have your arm off in an instance. There are some interesting YouTube clips of people getting it wrong. In all visits I'm not sure I had ever fed them myself, so Neil gave me one to to try. I whimped out by dropping it from a good height.
The pelicans here are a nuisance and are adept at stealing the fish from the buckets. One other visitor was fed up with this and having fun with a hose used for cleaning the boats by spraying them whenever they came within range.
As part of the shacks set up around Robbies there are a number of stalls that we wandered around afterwards. This included one that has the ring hook game, so Neil and I played that for a few minutes without success.
A quick shower back at the apartment and we were on the way out again to Lorelei restaurant in Islamorada for a meal and to watch the sunset. This had been one of Karen's requests for this trip as we had never eaten whilst watching the sun go down in the Keys. The place was busy and humming. A singer was playing Florida type music. I had their 'famous' fish sandwich (mahi mahi) which was blackened and fab. Karen had the Fish Taco's whilst Neil went for a Prime Rib wrap.
Whilst we were sitting there the clouds however covered the sunset, but when we just walking around the water edge, the sun made a sudden red appearance just as it started to disappear over the horizon. A lovely end to another lovely day.