Travel Tales: The Florida Keys
by findingDulcinea Staff
Key West may be immortalized in the song, “Margaritaville,” but I was a devotee of the Florida Keys long before I reached the legal drinking age. As a camper at Seacamp, part of the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute on Big Pine Key, I was focused on mastering the techniques behind research dives and tagging sharks, but also managed to discover that Key West hosts a thriving community of artists. In the years that followed, I’ve had a chance to explore the many sides of the Florida Keys.
One of my favorite memories was formed during an animal behavior class. We were snorkeling, and had been assigned to mimic the behavior of dolphins in a pod. Suddenly, we realized that we had been joined by an actual pod of dolphins. Dolphins are reputed to be one of the most intelligent species of mammals, so I’m sure we didn’t fool them, but perhaps they recognized our attempts and thought it would be amusing to tag along. Looking down and seeing a dolphin underneath me in the water was one of the most surreal moments of my life. If the experience appeals to you, there are the ways to swim with the dolphins that don’t require chirping into your snorkel and flapping an imaginary tail.
One of the dolphins trained to swim with people at Dolphins Plus, Key Largo.
The vegetation surrounding the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West.