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Open Features: Holly At Sea - 2

Holly Clements and her husband Steven are sailing a small boat down the Florida coastline. Here is the second episode of her account of their adventures.

We sailed Sunday noon till 10 a.m. Monday, from Key Largo, Grecian Rocks reef to Stuart, Florida.We are really in manatee pocket Port Salerno but I doubt if most of you know where that is so I said Stuart. Anyway it was a great sail.

The wind was out of the east then the south east. We were out in the Gulf Stream so we just about flew up here. Our hull speed on our boat is about 8 knots but we were going 10.7 part of the way. The waves were a little big to us at first because the wind had been out of the north and the gulf stream was a little riled up but it was fun. We tried to get little naps at night but the whole thing was really too exciting so we have been spending the past couple of days recouping here.

The first night we were back there was an art show going on and Guy Harvey was signing anything people bought so I bought my son a signed Guy Harvey shirt. It's a reef picture on the shirt instead of a fish being caught. Guy Harvey does beautiful bird and flower paintings also, not just fishing shirts. It's just that when he put in a hook and line the fishermen started buying them.

Which reminds me I saw a pelican trying to choke down a huge fish carcass and knew where it had come from because the fishermen had been bragging and showing me the great catch they had in their cooler as I walked down the dock earlier on my way to a friend's boat for dinner. When I saw the pelican struggling with the carcass I jumped up from the dinner table and went to the men and nicely tried to explain to them that pelicans can't digest the large bones but they just became smart asses and laughingly told me they were professionals and that they had been feeding the pelicans all their lives and I didn't know what I was talking about. I insisted I did and that I worked with professional marine biologists but they brushed me off, so I sadly walked back to my dinner at my friends. Oh well maybe next time they read it on a sign somewhere they will pay more attention.

When I was snorkeling at Grecian Rocks Reef it was really very sad too. I have snorkeled in many different places but never have seen such destruction to a reef. Much of it was literally crushed to rubble on the ocean floor and the part that was left was quite sick. It was still beautiful and some was alive with some pretty fish trying to live there. Grecian Rocks Reef is in John Pennicamp state park.

This trip has been beautiful on one hand and quite depressing on the other. We all have to work much, much harder at helping people to understand how much damage we do to this earth and how to stop the damage.


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