Kayaking the Mangrove Tunnels

paddle family

Part of Zach’s job with his adventure travel company is tour development and research. So Saturday Zach and I took the Boogedy up to mile marker 77 to Robbie’s to experience a true Keys Adventure: kayaking through the mangrove tunnels.

mangrove toes

Even though I’ve lived in the Keys for 2 years, this is the first time I have gone! Mostly I just let Zach paddle while I relaxed and tried not to think about the crabs crawling on the branches overhead.

The tide was really low and we saw purple squishy sea sponges growing amongst the roots.

mangrove sea sponge

I snapped a bunch of pictures, only to find that most contained two whole boys and half of my own face.

mangrove family

I caused a bunch of anxiety for this beautiful bird by standing up in my kayak to take his photo, but he never flew away.

mangrove bird

Oh look, just half of Zach’s face!

mangrove portrait

We caught sight of a small (4.5 ft) endangered American crocodile. We followed him through the mangroves, while he gave us the side-eye. Then, he bumped into a root and spooked himself and submerged with a splash.


I hadn’t been on the water since we capsized a hobie cat way back in September, and it was NICE. Truly relaxing, sunny, warm. All the things people come to the Keys to experience at this time of year.

relaxing in the kayak

We bought several buckets of fish to feed to the Tarpon, massive (5-8 ft long) game fish that live near the marina. You have to be careful because they jump out of the water and open their huge mouths and they will bite your hands. They don’t have teeth, but Zach can testify that they still scrape.


After kayaking, we headed back toward Key West and stopped to check out a hotel that Zach may have guests stay at during their Keys Adventure. We laid in their hammock for quite a while, while the Boogedy played on the playground. I love the palm trees reflected in our sunglasses.

hammock portrait 1

We stopped for a round of night-golf at Boondocks. I love the landscaping here. Mini-golf has become a staple for family activities and we usually hit a course whenever we travel.

mini golf kid

On Sunday, our neighbors had organized a community barbeque in our shared garden. J&B grilled ribs and a whole chicken, as well as some herbed veggies. I brought a huge salad with red onions, pears, and blue cheese, and made a balsamic vinaigrette with shallot and mustard. There were lots of other potluck items, and I think everyone was a little surprised at how much of the cherry pie I ate! That fakey ruby red cherry pie filling is some kind of a weakness for me, and I just can’t resist.

It was such a lovely weekend!

3 Responses to “Kayaking the Mangrove Tunnels”

  1. 1 Maria February 13, 2013 at 1:13 am

    Sara!!! I WENT THERE!! Haha! Went to Islamorada with my boyfriend this past Christmas, to visit my family. He and I went through the same mangrove tunnels. Man it was pretty awesome. The wind was high that day and we were having to row with all our mights. And I was trying to not panic about us being swept away in the current and wind. We got soaked.

    Overall it was pretty great. 🙂 Too bad I didn’t get a chance to see you. I finally made a quilt top out of the fabric that you sent me. It’ll be going to my younger sister’s first baby. He’s not here yet, so I’ve still got time to finish the quilt.

    Your Boogedy looks more like Zach in every picture. You guys look so great. Even though we don’t really talk, I still miss you. I feel like the days with you and Sonya before we all moved away were some of my highlights of my time in San Francisco. Take care! 🙂

  2. 2 smoothpebble February 13, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Hello Sara! What a fun trip, my boys would dig that so much! And you are rocking some mighty fine legs there in your kayak! : )

  1. 1 Getting off the Rock: Orlando and the Upper Keys « ibbyskibby Trackback on February 16, 2013 at 9:03 am

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