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Friday, May 5, 2017

Biscayne National Park - What a Park, What a Guide!

Biscayne National Park near Homestead, FL was our next stop after Key West.  Boy, did we get lucky - a beautiful sunny day, calm waters, and an entertaining and enlightening ranger for our half day guided boat tour. We hit the jack pot! Biscayne is the largest underwater national park, over 173,000 acres with 95% of it under water. The park contains a number of keys including Elliott Key which is the first of the true Florida Keys.

The best way to see the park is by boat, and the park offers many different boat trips. We highly recommend any of the ranger guided tours, especially if you can get ranger Gary Bremen. Gary is a master story teller, has recorded stories on the Moth, and was included in Ken Burns' film "The National Parks:  America's Best Idea."  He loves Biscayne National Park--this was evident in the stories he shared during our half day trip to Boca Chita Key.

The largest underwater park in the National Park system.

The visitor's center, a great place to watch sunrises
over Biscayne Bay.

Our tour boat, what a blast!  Only problem was it was billed
as a "three hour tour".  Gilligan's Island theme song is an
ear worm!!!!

Some of the keys of Biscayne NP.  What a beautiful day to
be on the water!  See that lighthouse?  That's an ornamental
lighthouse.  Whats an ornamental lighthouse you ask?
One without a light!!

The lighthouse on Boca Chita Key. Mark Honeywell, founder
Honeywell Inc., owned the key in the1930s. It was told that he
had great parties on the island for the "Committee of 100," a
philanthropic group of leading industrialists, educators,
financiers and entrepreneurs who frequented South FL.
A fantastic view from the top of the lighthouse on Boca Chita Key.

Ranger Gary Breman and researcher Emilie Stump. Gary is part of
a project Songs and Stories of our National Parks - check out his
story on the MOTH. Emilie, a researcher from the University
 of British Columbia, studies seahorses which are actually fish.

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