Thursday, June 12, 2014

"I'd rather be snorkeling!" Blue Heron Bridge snorkel on 6-9-14, with a manatee, octopus and eel

My awesome friend Carli Segelson, who works for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is my snorkel buddy. We go ALL THE TIME and she's about as obsessed with snorkeling as I am... so I wasn't surprised Monday during the work day when she kept texting me that she was definitely going snorkeling after work. It doesn't take much for me to be tempted to go, so I did-- and I'm SO GLAD we went!

All photos, and flag usage (safety first!), courtesy Carli Segelson ;) 

It was the first late-day snorkel I've ever done, since high tide was around 6:23pm and that's about the exact time we entered the water on Monday, June 9, 2014. Visibility was great and temperature was fine, although a bit chilly entering. We swam straight out at the Blue Heron Bridge underwater snorkel trail at Phil Foster Park in Riviera Beach. The first thing I saw when I dove down to look at a small fish was an OCTOPUS! It was adorable!

This is so obviously my new Facebook cover photo!
The little critter was so friendly! Coming out to say hello!

We also saw a flounder, of course the giant starfish and a small, interesting starfish I had never seen before, and a school of huge parrotfish, which is absolutely my favorite thing to see fish-wise. When I see that, I feel like I'm snorkeling in the Keys. :) The school had one dark-capped parrotfish, which is a navy-colored one. 

Can you see the flounder?
Needlefish... the bridge has tons of them and barracuda
 I always enjoy the queens
Somebody remind me what these are called? But spot the tiny porkfish
This spotted eel was super-cool!

In a GRAND FINALE of the evening, I saw a manatee! I started squealing for Carli, who didn't hear me since she was submerged, but she saw it on her own and started taking photos. Here's one! 


It swam right by me, like 5-10 feet away! This is the SECOND TIME I have happened upon a manatee in the snorkel trail area. Click HERE to watch a video of the first time I ever saw a manatee there. I was the first to spot it that time, too, and I called over the divers who took the video of it. Gotta share the dive love!

I absolutely love this magical spot, and I'm blessed to be able to free dive here all the time. :) #HappyHappyJoyJoy

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