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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"Money often costs too much." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

430--Key West: Spooky Kayak Tour
@ CherieSpotting     Feb 27 2009 - 12:10 PST
cherie writes: Greg and I went on the “Paddle, Pirates and Poltergeists Tour”, a spooky nighttime kayak tour through the mangroves of Key West. Guided by Pirate-Poet Ray and Captain Heather, our first stop was the Atlantic Ocean to watch the sunset.

Along the way, Ray regaled us with the history of Key West, pointing out birds and marine animals along the way as we paddled through the lush mangrove forests. We learned about the history of wrecking and about how Key West was once the richest city in America (and now it’s one of the most expensive.)

It was interesting to learn that Key West used to be called “Cayo Hueso” which is Spanish for “Bone Island.” Key West used to be an Indian graveyard littered with the bones of slaughtered Calusa Indians. Ray wondered: “Isn’t it a bad idea to build on top of an Indian graveyard?” Point taken.

After sunset, we floated through a mangrove tunnel, and Ray told us spooky pirate stories while we kept our eyes out for sharks, barracuda and salt water crocs. Luckily, the only scary thing about the kayak tour was Ray’s haunting stories.

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Cherie and Greg on the Paddle, Pirates and Poltergeists Tour, a spooky kayak tour through the mangroves of Key West.

Cherie and Greg on the Paddle, Pirates and Poltergeists Tour, a spooky kayak tour through the mangroves of Key West.

Greg kayaking in the mangroves.

Greg kayaking in the mangroves.

Captain Heather and Ray, both kayak tour guides.

Captain Heather and Ray, both kayak tour guides.

Ray demonstrates how high the storm surge reached in Hurricane Wilma.

Ray demonstrates how high the storm surge reached in Hurricane Wilma.

Charistmatic Ray tells us scary pirate stories.

Charistmatic Ray tells us scary pirate stories.

Beautiful bird.

Beautiful bird.

Hold still to view wildlife up close.

Hold still to view wildlife up close.

Paddling into the mangroves.

Paddling into the mangroves.

Mangroves.

Mangroves.

Kayaking is good exercise and good fun.

Kayaking is good exercise and good fun.

Ducking through a hole in the mangroves.

Ducking through a hole in the mangroves.

Captain Heather.

Captain Heather.

The short cut is so scenic.

The short cut is so scenic.

It feels like we are floating through a mangrove tunnel.

It feels like we are floating through a mangrove tunnel.

Pirate Ray leading the way.

Pirate Ray leading the way.

If you are very lucky, you just may see a manatee.

If you are very lucky, you just may see a manatee.

It's amazing being so close to these gentle "sea cows."

It's amazing being so close to these gentle "sea cows."

Greg and Captain Heather.

Greg and Captain Heather.

Captain Heather.

Captain Heather.

Greg.

Greg.

Cool bird.

Cool bird.

Watching the Key West sunset in a kayak.

Watching the Key West sunset in a kayak.

Ray and Greg with the last few rays of sun on their faces.

Ray and Greg with the last few rays of sun on their faces.

It's rare to see a shark on the kayak tour.  And this may look like a shark fin, but it is actually a sunfish.

It's rare to see a shark on the kayak tour. And this may look like a shark fin, but it is actually a sunfish.

Greg and Cherie.

Greg and Cherie.

Ray at sunset.

Ray at sunset.

Sunset in the mangroves.

Sunset in the mangroves.

Local fishermen at dusk.

Local fishermen at dusk.

Heather looking at the fish. The water is so clear.

Heather looking at the fish. The water is so clear.

Ray under paddle.

Ray under paddle.

Paddling by the light of glow-sticks.

Paddling by the light of glow-sticks.

Ray in the deep dark night.

Ray in the deep dark night.

You get a little bet wet on the kayak tour--but it is worth it!

You get a little bet wet on the kayak tour--but it is worth it!