Day 7-Feb. 7, 2018

Along the roots of the trees, we spotted countless Mangrove Crabs, Fiddler Crabs and even a giant land crab we were unable to identify crawling along the roots and up the trunks of the trees. While seeing these animals is always wondrous, simply being in this peaceful place is a joy.

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Day 6-Feb. 6, 2018

All around us were the twisting roots of ancient Mangroves, some as high as 25 feet. No land was visible to us, only the mangroves. It felt truly primordial to be in such a place, as one can only imagine that this was what much of Florida looked like before people.

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Day 5-Feb. 5, 2018

Eventually, the fog cleared and revealed a glorious sunny day. As we paddled out, Matt found a gigantic Horse Conch, a full 2 feet long and at least five pounds. Turtle Key itself was also serene and beautiful. Low tide revealed a rocky shelf made up of tiny fossilized worm casings.

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Day 4-Feb. 4, 2018

However, the best part of the area was the silence. Matt and I had the anchorage to ourselves, no boats, no cars, not even a plane was heard. Only the sounds of dolphins and fish breaching the surface of the water as they hunted and the splashes of the diving Brown Pelicans.

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Day 3-Feb. 3, 2018

Abandoned years ago, the dome houses off Cape Romano were built as a vacation home for a inventive oil producer, named Bob Lee, who wanted to make a home that was completely self-sustaining and hurricane proof. For the most part, the concrete structures succeeded in this goal. The only issue the owner didn't quite anticipate, erosion, was what would lead to its eventual destruction.

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Day 2-Feb. 2, 2018

We rose early the next morning as we had a long leg ahead of us for our first big jump down to Marco island. On our way out we were even lucky enough to discover a rookery island blanketed by an enormous flock of white pelicans.

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Day 1-Feb. 1st, 2018

We motored for about 25 nautical miles before dropping the hook by Merwin Key, a small mangrove island, near the southern tip of Sanibel. An inquisitive dolphin followed us into our anchorage and even splashed water at us as we made our last turn.

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