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Old 10-16-2012, 04:53 PM   #11
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I checked out the Naval Air Station at the southern part of the Keys.
They don't take reservations so if we plan on staying a few more days we may drive out with the car and see if they have a space then move the motorhome over. No matter where I stay along the water I always sleep like a baby at night.

No matter where we stay I'm really pumped about the location. My DW is the one that always wanted to drive out on the Keys.
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:07 PM   #12
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Iggy.....I have no experience in the Keys.....but.....the FamCamps in Pensacola, Cocoa Beach, and Jacksonville Navy Base are all wonderful spots along the way. Charleston SC Navy FamCamp is a good spot on up the coast, as is Solomons in So. Maryland and Andrews AFB in the DC area.
Enjoy your trip.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:01 PM   #13
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Iggy.....I have no experience in the Keys.....but.....the FamCamps in Pensacola, Cocoa Beach, and Jacksonville Navy Base are all wonderful spots along the way. Charleston SC Navy FamCamp is a good spot on up the coast, as is Solomons in So. Maryland and Andrews AFB in the DC area.
Enjoy your trip.
Thanks for the other bases. I will be staying around Pensacola FL. Haven't checked Cocoa Beach or Charleston. Many don't take reservation and we will be flying by the seat of our pants for the week prior and after the Keys.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:05 PM   #14
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Keys...advice from a native...

Upper Keys...get yourself scuba certified and hit the reefs...they won't be there very much longer...pollution, climate change and being loved to death is killing them. Middle Keys...if you want "fresh" seafood, charter with one of the local captains or head out on a party boat...Long Key is a great place fish...Key West was ruined a long time ago...if you must go, sample a mojito at Kelly's on Whitehead street...have the stuffed pork chops at Pepe's on the bight...take a fast cat out to the Dry Tortugas and see the fort on Garden Key...the sunsets are still free. Before you go, READ "Last train to Paradise" by Les Standiford...then follow and really see the history of the Keys on your way down. Most important...go slow...there is still much beauty to be found amongst the Keys...take the time to experience some of it.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:51 AM   #15
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Slipf18 I must take issue with your assessment of the coral reefs in the Florida Keys. They will be around long after all of us here have left the planet. True development in the 60s and 70s with poor septic practices have lead to issues in the 80s in regards to blue green algae blooms and filamentous algaes which suffocate corals. However, muxh of that has been cleaned up. Also biologist have been studying the relationship bwtween long spine urchins and the health of a reef. Turns out long spine urchins have been in decline due to a virus. In the past 3 or 4 years they have tanked raised urchins and released them on patch reefs in test plots. The urchins that were once so plentiful once intorduced back to the reef greatly improved the coral growth and reproduction.

I have seen new growth at various reefs from year to year and while I did not measure it, we have seen new staghorn at Carrysfort and Molasis. All is not Al Gore gloom and doom the sky is falling in regards to the reefs. I have kept fish for all my life and have a degree in biology from UCF there in Orlando and a masters degree in environmental planning and resource management from FSU. I am no marine biologist but I do own a Grady White boat and I stayed my in Rockeood Roo last night (lol).

Iggy, most reefs are accessible via snorkeling and while diving is awesome, you can see the reefs and enjoy them by staying on top. I am contemplating either going to the Keys in June or joining some friends and taking our boat to Bimini in the Bahamas. If we head down there in June I will let you know if you want to meet in person.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:23 AM   #16
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....

Iggy, most reefs are accessible via snorkeling and while diving is awesome, you can see the reefs and enjoy them by staying on top. I am contemplating either going to the Keys in June or joining some friends and taking our boat to Bimini in the Bahamas. If we head down there in June I will let you know if you want to meet in person.
It would be great if you were in the area in June. Please keep we posted.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:06 AM   #17
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Slipf18 I must take issue with your assessment of the coral reefs in the Florida Keys. They will be around long after all of us here have left the planet. True development in the 60s and 70s with poor septic practices have lead to issues in the 80s in regards to blue green algae blooms and filamentous algaes which suffocate corals. However, muxh of that has been cleaned up. Also biologist have been studying the relationship bwtween long spine urchins and the health of a reef. Turns out long spine urchins have been in decline due to a virus. In the past 3 or 4 years they have tanked raised urchins and released them on patch reefs in test plots. The urchins that were once so plentiful once intorduced back to the reef greatly improved the coral growth and reproduction.

I have seen new growth at various reefs from year to year and while I did not measure it, we have seen new staghorn at Carrysfort and Molasis. All is not Al Gore gloom and doom the sky is falling in regards to the reefs. I have kept fish for all my life and have a degree in biology from UCF there in Orlando and a masters degree in environmental planning and resource management from FSU. I am no marine biologist but I do own a Grady White boat and I stayed my in Rockeood Roo last night (lol).

Iggy, most reefs are accessible via snorkeling and while diving is awesome, you can see the reefs and enjoy them by staying on top. I am contemplating either going to the Keys in June or joining some friends and taking our boat to Bimini in the Bahamas. If we head down there in June I will let you know if you want to meet in person.
As a biology major in college, I really enjoyed your assessment of the marine life along the Florida Keys.
I remember snorkeling in Pennekamp Park during the mid 80's and marveling at the amazing reefs. My health will not allow me the vigorous activity now but the natural beauty of our coastline should not be missed.
The Florida Keys are like a land out of time. Still not destroyed by our over crowded civilization.
A bargain vacation for RVers.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:48 PM   #18
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I love the Keys. Bahia Honda State Park is a nice place. Expect a hard drive there if the rains come down.
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:50 PM   #19
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Hi there Bob (Smokyroo) ... I admire your optimistic view on the health of the reefs in the Keys...I was referring to my experience with the reefs accessible from Key Largo, although the situation is similar all through the Keys... I do agree with you that there are many people who are concerned and are investing much time and effort to combat the degradation of these reefs, and some strategies have proven more successful than others, but in my opinion it may be a case of too little and too late. The last time I dove out of Key Largo, the bleaching of the reefs was HORRIBLE...entire sections just gone...and while there are positives (folks are committed to growing new coral) there IS that pesky "inconvenient truth" which remains... climate change is REAL and it is raising sea temps...it is happening, whether you happen to believe in "Goreisms" or not...corals die as temps rise...that's science. Of course, the reefs will exist for some time to come, but their rate of decline is astounding...I've been diving for a lot of years, and when you compare what the reefs in the Upper Keys looked like in the 60's to what they have been reduced to today...well, it just breaks your heart...I dive throughout the Caribbean and the story is the same everywhere I go...even in carefully monitored and controlled areas like Bonaire, where there are still pristine reefs, the onslaught is beginning to be noticed. Is the death of the reefs inevitable?...I don't know. Perhaps, things can be reversed. Perhaps, there is still time. I sure would like to believe that is so.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:00 PM   #20
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Bluewater Key just above Key West is one of the most luxurious spots I have ever see. You have your own dock and Tiki Hut with fridge and bar. Right on the gulf with landscaping between each hut. Heaven . www.bluewaterkey.net
Close enough for restaurants and water sports galore. Full hookups for motorhome A and C's.
Checked this out, and may try and make a reservation for next summer. We go to Ft Myers Beach every spring break, but this place sounds great, although my wife said I was driving, and her and the kids were flying down. If that be the case, I may take an extra few days for myself! Thanks for the tip.
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