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Acting as if I was not afraid

What quote am I vibing? "There were all kinds of things of which I was afraid at first, ranging from grizzly bears to 'mean' horses and gunfighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid, I gradually ceased to be afraid." Theodore Roosevelt

Pounds of Trash Removed from the Wild This Weekend / All Time: 4 / 16

National Parks Visited (All-Time): 9 (Current: Biscayne National Park)

This weekend, after dropping my brother John and sister-in-law Yuliia off at the Port of Miami for a cruise, I spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday at Biscayne National Park!

I don't believe I mentioned before that I have a quite healthy fear of water. Let's say, respect for water. And I am not a swimmer - I can doggy paddle and float, but that's about the extent of my water-bilities. I am hoping to improve my swimming skills as my interest in taking an active role in conservation and outdoor volunteering expands.

I was happy to find out that I could book a pontoon tour to Boca Chita Key - one of the keys which makes up Biscayne National Park. This national park is 95% marine, so my land-loving ways make it hard to fully take in the beauty of the coral reefs and mangrove beach keys. I somehow managed to choose the wettest seat on the boat coming and going, but the adventure and fun of saltwater drenching me was kind of worth it. Not to mention the salt skin treatment included in my tour price!

I also get motion sick. I have in the past. It's gotten better with age. I kept forgetting to take my seabands out of my purse since my flight in the beginning of January - how lucky that I had them with me! I felt perfectly fine on the boat. I may have anyway, but having a little backup never hurt anyone.

Boca Chita Key was absolutely beautiful. Known most as the private party island of Mr. Honeywell (of Honeywell Fame) in the 1930's, it is still a very popular place for boats to dock and party the weekend away. Music was blasting and barbecues were grilling when we arrived.

Because we were there with an NPS tour, we were able to go up into the lighthouse. The lighthouse is purely ornamental, and actually quite dangerous because it's on the WRONG side of the island - and near a coral reef. Boats should not be guided in its direction. But it is lovely, and allows for a great view of Miami 8 miles in the distance, and the beautiful waters surrounding the Key.

Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, I took time to walk up and down the jetty where a lot of people fish from the mainland area of the park. I filled a grocery bag each day, for a total of 4 pounds this weekend. I found and got caught up in a lot of fishing line, despite the fact that there is a fishing line recycling container right nearby. This seems like a particularly awful kind of litter which fish and birds alike can get trapped in.

What a wonderful weekend exploring and loving the very watery Biscayne National Park - my first Florida National Park!

Drenched but LOVING the sea!

A view from the jetty

A Yellow Crowned Night Heron, according to Wendy

Trash obsessed

Fun to spend some time reading this book in a National Park.

Selfie at the top of the Lighthouse!

View from the Lighthouse

Boats docked at Boca Chita Key - view from Lighthouse

A little Chapel for Sunday morning, after you've partied too hard on Saturday night.

Mangrove beach at Boca Chita Key

Lighthouse at Boca Chita Key

I entered this trail about three steps, was able to get my light-through-trees picture before starting to be DEVOURED by mosquitos. Eew.

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