Jul 22, 2013

National Parks- Biscayne, The Underwater National Park!


Biscayne Underwater National Park

Biscayne Bay underwater National Park, is another gem in southern Florida. One of the popular scuba diving locations in USA, it preserves the barrier reefs and some of the unique marine wildlife. 95% of the park is underwater! Like other national parks of USA there is an entry fee of $10.

Miami Skyline from Boca Chita Key Biscayne Underwater National Park
Miami Skyline from Boca Chita Island

After coming back from Dry Tortugas National Park I wanted to take it easy. I wanted to camp overnight ($15 per night), well- yes without a tent, at Elliot Key which was closed and someone advised me not to head to Boca Chita Key because they were abused by mosquitoes. I dropped the idea of camping and stayed at Florida City which was very close to the park. I started late around at 10:00am with main interest being Living Reef snorkel tour ($45). Other than that I wanted to simply walk around to watch birds. One can enjoy picnics at the keys (Elliot, Boca Chita, Adams) around. 

Rudy Turnstone?
I booked an afternoon guided Snorkeling trip at Dante Fascell visitor center at Convoy Point and watched a film on the national park history and current events. There is a museum and also a gallery displaying local art. I spoke to a Park Officer, who was a very sweet senior lady, she gave very important information on what to do and what not to do. I bought post cards and a souvenir at the book store. Walked around the place which is maintained like a beautiful garden bayside. I didn't see many shore birds here like in Everglades but there were many singing birds. It was so relaxing after the hectic trips in last four days.

The guided snorkeling tour to Living Reef is run by a private concessioner, costs $45 where they provide all snorkeling gear. Visitor should take their own wet suites or they may be available for an extra cost. It is a 3-hour tour from start to end. With me were around five young couples from China. They were very excited about the trip and they never stopped talking and laughing though I didn't understand what was it all about. It was fun to watch them though.

Rusted canon at Boca Chita Key Biscayne National Park
Boca Chita Key
The boat first goes to Boca Chita Key and people who are on Lighthouse tour disembark. Then the boat heads to the reef for snorkeling. With all the instructions, safety tips and advice we were in the water to watch the happenings in the wonder world underwater. There were groups of colored and normal fish. slightly bigger ones wandered around solo. The gracefully swaying sea-grass and the weird shapes of the corals are visual delight. It is a huge aquarium decorated by nature. The beauty cannot be explained in words and it has to be experienced.

It was time to get back to the boat but no one was interested. There was a shadow of a bigger fish and the guide said possibly it is a shark! Dramatic huh? The chaos started everyone wanted to be on the boat now. I was the last one and thought of clicking one last picture of the shark and someone kicked me. Not sure what went wrong, my waterproof camera went loose and started sinking. It was one sad moment which I feel even now!

Fake Lighthouse at Boca Chita Key Biscayne National Park
Fake Lighthouse at Boca Chita Key

When I saw the camera sinking down I felt like a part of my soul was sinking too. I tried to reach out for it but, the fear of shark was overpowering. I got on the boat with a heavy heart. The woman who had kicked my camera down was very apologetic. I was happy for being alive and unhurt and I told her the same! 

Other destinations in this road trip: Everglades National Park, The city of Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park, Sanibel Island.
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Related articles-
Key West- Home of the sunset
Birds- Great Blue Heron in the mangroves of Everglades
Everglades National Park- An Alligator Alley
Everglades- A croc in he pool
National Parks of USA.

This post is linked to Our World Tuesday, Nature Notes, and Wild Bird Wednesday.

If you want pictures please ask me :)
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Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

34 comments:

  1. Interesting and informative post...

    Lighthouse's photo is super...

    Thanks

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  2. Hey,
    Nice post..
    Would you like to follow each other..!!!
    Keep in touch
    www.beingbeautifulandpretty.com

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks Pooja, glad you liked the post :)

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  3. interesting place. shark sighting would have been a bonus.

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    1. Yes, a good place for snorkeling. Bonus, well not considering the chaos and a lost camera :)

      BTW, thanks May!

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  4. oh! A camera gone!
    I am reminded of the fear of crocodile.
    I can feel your pain.

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  5. Wow, Interesting informative post with lovely pictures!

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  6. To lose your camera with your photos not yet downloaded must have been a big blow.

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  7. Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada

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  8. Enjoyed this post....even the 'fake' lighthouse.

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  9. A lovely post... many thanks for sharing.

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  10. It looks like an interesting place to visit and great photo of the Rudddy Turnstone.

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  11. Lovely scenery! Sorry you lost your camera.

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  12. Oh no, you lost your camera. I know how you felt! (I was worried about losing pictures when our computer died because we learned our backup hadn't been working right for months. But we saved them.) It sounds like a wonderful destination trip; snorkeling is a great way to discover a whole new world. (And we traveled for many years without a camera at all,so all I have is memories. Sometimes that's enough though ;>)

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    1. Yeah, because I do not have the pictures I keep those memories very close to me! Glad you recovered the pictures. Thanks!

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  13. Wow, what a beautiful place, your photos are lovely. Sorry, about the lost camera.

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    1. Thanks Eileen! Yeah, sad about the camera.

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  14. Wonderful images from your exciting trip.

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  15. Loved the azure!!

    http://rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

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  16. Oh no....all those photos gone.... But you have your memories.... Another wonderful trip.... Michelle

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  17. Thank you for sharing :) So sorry about your camera.. :/

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