It's a beach day! The skies were blue and the temps were already steamy when we left at 10:30 for the beach. We decided to check out one of the 3 beaches on Key Biscayne. We crossed over the Rickenbacker Causeway which took us over to the island.
We had to pay a toll of $1.75 to get onto the island.
The road took us to the actual city of Key Biscayne. Key Biscayne sits in the middle of the island and is quite the mini metropolis.
The first beach was Virginia Key Beach Park on Virginia Key--a small key north of Key Biscayne. We didn't stop there. Once we were on island of Key Biscayne itself, we stopped to check out the next beach in Crandon Park. We stopped first at North Beach and were told we might like the South Beach better because there were more facilities.
We were really looking for a beach with the best view of the inlet to Biscayne Bay. We decided, instead, to go all the way to the southern tip of Key Biscayne to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. It costs $8/car to get in, but it was our lucky day. The Ranger said someone had paid for entry and then decided not to go in, so we could use their single person ticket for $4/car. What a deal! We drove through the beautiful park which encompasses the southern third of Key Biscayne.
From the boardwalk, we could get a pretty good view of the 4 or 5 stilt-houses that inhabit the area between Biscayne Bay and the ocean.
Our first stop was at No Name Harbor and the Boater's Grill.
We had anchored our boat in No Name Harbor on a previous boat trip and wanted to see how many boats were there in the harbor. It was pretty empty.
It was far different than the time we were there before and we were lucky to find space that time. As we walked up, we saw about 10 iguanas sunning themselves on the lawn.
Some were quite large. Auggie would have gone nuts!
We left there after looking around and continued farther into the park to the end of the road and the tip of the Key. The beach was fairly busy today.
Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean were glass calm. This was the calmest we've seen it since we've been on the East Coast.
Also on this beach is the historic site of the 95' Cape Florida lighthouses built in 1825. It is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. The island served as secret meeting place for runaway slaves waiting to rendezvous with ships for a passage to safety in the British Bahamas. Cape Florida was designated as a National Underground Railroad Site in 2004. I found that very interesting. There are tours of this beautiful lighthouse.
I walked down the beach to get a closer look and saw there was a sign marking a turtle nest on the beach nearby.
I took a swim in the water where I came upon a small barracuda swimming close to shore. The water was warm and SO clear, but there are no shells on this beach--not one! There weren't any on Ft. Lauderdale Beach either. I love my beautiful shell beaches on the West Coast.
We were sitting near the inlet and were able to watch the boats coming and going. There was quite a lot of boat traffic today. From this location, Bimini in the Bahamas is only 55 miles from there. While we enjoyed our time sitting on the beach and people watching, Bob snuck these shots while I was taking a walk. Hmmm...
We did experience a couple of pop-up thunderstorms. There was some wind and thunder, but only a few raindrops since we were mainly on the edge of the storms. Until......around 2:30 one of the storms was headed straight for us. We decided to cash it in, pack it up, and head for the car. Good thing we did because as we left the beach, the sky opened up and the huge drops of rain fell. As we left the park, it poured!! Once we got off the island and back to the mainland, the sun came out again.
We got back to the campground around 3:30 after getting gas for the truck. Once back at the campsite, Bob emptied both holding tanks and I did some cleaning in the trailer. We packed up most everything tonight, so we can make a quick getaway tomorrow morning to Ft. Myers Beach for Memorial Day weekend. After our chores, we relaxed with cocktails in the shade. We had a later dinner of sweet corn and steaks on the grill. Auggie wore himself out trying to chase a family of squirrels who were taunting him and soon he was ready for a nap. After dinner, Auggie and I took our evening walk as things cooled off and we all relaxed with some TV. We'll try to get an early start tomorrow to beat the weekend traffic, especially over the bridge from the mainland to Ft. Myers Beach.