Wow! The Everglades! What an interesting place. It was also wild, exciting, mysterious, eerie and beautiful. Everglades National Park is second only to Yellowstone in size and encompasses almost 1.5 million acres, about the size of Connecticut, yet the park itself is only one-seventh of the total Everglades area.
At 9:30 am, we set out in the dinghy for a couple of hours of exploration. We were armed with mosquito repellant, sunscreen, fresh water, our camera and a fishing pole and ready to fend off any pesky bugs, bring home some fish for dinner, and take some interesting photos in the wilderness. We saw many great blue herons, little blue herons, ibis, belted kingfishers, turkey buzzards and dolphin. We even saw a mother dolphin with her calf that looked to be about Lucy’s size. One thing we did not see were any alligators – we think Lucy was very glad about that.
We returned to Blue Heron for a nice lunch and a little nap. Gale and Lucy took off in the dinghy about 1 pm to see if they could bring home anything fresh for dinner. Maureen chose to stay back and work on catching up on the journal and do some reading. While she was out on the foredeck enjoying her novel, she saw something in the water that looked very large and wasn’t sure if it was an alligator or not. After a while, the creatures came closer to the boat and turned out to be two or three manatees. Soon she spied another visitor as he poked his head above water. Again, she wasn’t sure what she had seen so she stood up to see if it would come towards the boat. Sure enough, he was as curious as she was and he surfaced right at the bow and looked her in the eyes! It was a large sea turtle, possibly a loggerhead! He swam under the boat and continued on his way.
In the meantime, Gale and Lucy were having some very good luck fishing. They brought home four gray snappers for tonight’s dinner which we enjoyed with yellow rice and vegetables.