The Shark Whisperer...(that is Josh!)

Trip Start Aug 13, 2007
Trip End Nov 12, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Drove down to Key West today to drop the truck off to be serviced. Got a shuttle from the car place to the centre of town. We walked up Duvel St, one of the main tourist streets in Key West. Every second shop was either a bar/restaurant or a souvenir shop with mass produced 'Key West' trinkets, or cheap clothing shops selling t-shirts & shorts with dubious slogans printed on them. And of course it was stinking hot! Not sure how hot it was during the day in Key West, but at 8.30am when we were driving to it, it was 30 degrees! We walked to Mallory Square, made famous for it's nightly sunset celebration - evidently a tradition started by the author Tennessee Williams. We went to a restaurant called 'Red Fish, Blue Fish' for lunch. The waiter there was telling us he'd just seen a movie from New Zealand - 'Once were Warriors'. We assured him that not all New Zealanders were like that - he just laughed, and said 'Well we've got Detroit here...!" Lots of chickens & roosters running around the street, another quirky thing about Key West. There were also some pecking around the restaurant, which fascinated Kate. After lunch we went to the Key West Aquarium. There was a touch pool there with sea cucumber, queen conch, horseshoe crabs, hermit crabs and starfish that the kids could pick up - I think Josh may have held a few, but Kate wasn't too keen. We saw 2 shallow open pools - one had stingray and a big turtle, the other had about 20 nurse sharks of differing sizes. The two staff members taking the tour fed the stingray (who splashed their wings quite a bit as they rose out of the water to get their fish) and then fed the sharks. They then caught a small shark each with a net and held him so that we could have an opportunity to touch his tail - boy did Josh have a huge smile on his face when he got to touch the shark (pretty sure that was the highlight of the day for him) - Kate also had a small, quick pat. Outside there was a larger, deeper pool where there were Bull sharks and some other species of sharks. We didn't really get a good look at them as they didn't come near the surface very often and weren't interested in eating the fish that the keeper dangled in the water. The kids were happy to get quarters to buy some fish food for the many smaller fish that swam with the obviously well-fed sharks! Perched on the wooden railing of the shark pool was a large green Iguana - a few times when he moved we thought he was shark food, but he managed to regain his balance! After we got the truck back we drove down to the Southern-most point of the continental U.S.A and got our photo taken in front of the monument there. Back at Bahia Honda, we decided to stay another night, so that the kids & us would get to have a relaxing day at the beach. We all went for a swim again at Calusa Beach, and the kids had another snorkel - though Kate kept freaking out at the little fish swimming near her. I think some of the big fish and sharks at the aquarium may have scared her. We saw a beautiful sunset at about 7.30 as we were getting out of the warm, warm water!
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