Tag Archives: Tilden’s Dive Shop

Long Key State Park

We arrived at Long Key State Park mid afternoon on Tuesday.  Today is Friday and I’m wishing I never had to leave this park.  It is truly amazing.  Our camper butts right up to the water.  The water  is shallow for yards and yards out.  It is warm and clear and underneath is a world that I would never had guessed was there. 
Snorkeling seems to be the prevalent past time here and for good reason.  Because of the shallow warm water even young children can safely swim and snorkel.  Myself I have always had a deep fear of going under water.  I watched Jim last year go under in his mask and snorkel and was so jealous.  This year he talked me into going to a dive shop and trying on prescription masks.  The guy at Discount Dive in Marathon, the first shop we went to, was very kind and helpful.  I explained my situation and he told me how to ease into it.  We didn’t buy from him however only because the mask he had didn’t fit quite like the one I ended up buying from Tilden’s Dive Shop / Hawk’s Cay Resort Marina. 
Once I became comfortable with the mask and snorkel I truly fell in love with this place, because not everything is visible to the unmasked eye.  I will hopefully later be able to post some pictures I took with Jim’s underwater camera.  I will save that for a later post.
I would recommend this park for anyone looking to really relax and have fun.  There are about 50 sites, some just for tents and others for campers.  They aren’t extremely deep but we had very little trouble backing in and setting up.  Be aware the sites are sandy. 
Anyone that knows us also knows that we love biking.  There is a bike trail that runs off and on throughout the keys.  The one that runs in front of Long Key State park is a little run down but from what we could tell they are working on repaving the trails.  At least in parts of the keys they are.  Hopefully the one here is on the list.  We have only ridden in the park so far but perhaps we can ride later today and have a more positive report on the trail than what we can see from the road.
The only other real negatives are sand spurs and no see ums.  Definitely bring some Avon Skin So Soft as that does work.  Bring a fan to set up outside too to help deter the little buggers.  Otherwise ENJOY!

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Rain, Rain, Rain

Its raining. Its still raining. Its still raining and is continuing to rain. When its not raining it is threatening to rain. (Can you tell we’re getting a lot of rain?)

We are stuck here in Marathon, waiting to see what the weather is going to do. apparently, there is a low front over Mexico’s Yucatan (sp?) and another over the lower Florida peninsula that they are watching to see if they combine into a tropical depression. In the mean time we are in the middle of both and the weather doesn’t know what it wants to do. Occasionally a small patch of blue sky forms just long enough to give us hope, but then disappears like a bad joke leaving rain.

One of the nice things about a sailboat is that its like a cocoon, in that the weather can be nasty outside but inside you are safe and warm steamy hot. It slowly cooks you until you finally don’t care if its raining, frustrated you go outside anyway to get cooled off. (Oops, Cabin fever must be setting in!) We have decided to hangout here until we get a couple of good days and can head to Key West.  Kaelin has been having a good time. yesterday we visited the Turtle Hospital and he got to see the turtles up close and feed them. Today we ventured to Tilden’s Dive shop where I purchased a new dive mask and fins. While we were out, the Hurricane Bar and Restaurant seemed an apropos location to have lunch and wait out ….more rain.  Lunch ws pretty good and it rained like crazy. Lesa and I figured the weather gods must have decided to live up to the Hurricane name since we were in the Hurricane Bar.

When we returned to the dinghy to go to the boat, the Dinky Dan had gallons of water in him, so he had to be bailed out. It may not sound like much of a job, but you try emptying your bathtub one cupfull at a time and see how it feels!

Wish us luck, and please do a rain dance where ever you are (hopefully it will pull the rain clouds away from here!) 

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