Sunday, May 25, 2014

Photos from Elliott Key and Biscayne Bay

As I promised in my last post, here are some photos from our two-night stay off Elliott Key in Biscayne Bay.  Ironically I have better connectivity here in the Atlantic a couple miles offshore than we did in the bay.

The top photo is a shot of Vector at anchor.  If you look closely you can actually see the vegetation on the bay floor, some ten feet down.  In this photo, taken from the tender, you can see the davit (crane) in its deployed position, with the scooters on deck just forward of it.  Our sun shades are deployed on the aft deck.  And the blue "lump" on the side of the boat, at the aftmost port light (more or less amidships) is an air scoop that helps keep our stateroom cool at anchor.

Here's the campground and "marina" on Elliott Key, taken from the deck of the visitor center:

One enterprising camper, about mid-photo, has set up his tent right in front of his boat and run an extension cord from his generator to run a couple of fans.

This is what's left of "the spite highway":

Developers in the 50's, in an effort to stave off acquisition and protection of the island from environmentalists, bulldozed a right-of-way for a six lane highway the length of the island, and dredged the cuts north and south of the island from the bay to the ocean.  Their hope was to develop a causeway connecting all the upper keys to Key Biscayne to the north, and thus the mainland, as well as Key Largo to the south and thus the rest of the Keys.  They incorporated the northern keys as the city of Islandia.

Plans were halted when the area was purchased by the federal government as part of Biscayne National Monument (now Park).  The path above is all that remains of the highway, and even that would be fully overgrown by now if not for the fact that the park service uses it as a patrol and service road.

Here's the only place on Elliott Key where it is legal to have a ground fire -- the fire ring at the group camp site.  That happens to be on the eastern shore and this is the Atlantic Ocean in the background.  The ocean beach on the Key is unappealing, however; covered in seaweed and with a fair amount of washed-up flotsam.  Beyond the beach is a tidal flat, and you can see some fishermen poling their boat along, motor raised:

Finally, here is a shot of Vector from the visitor center.  We sure look tiny from 3/4 mile away!

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