April 28, 2015 thru April 30, 2015
The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, is a water sanctuary and preservation of the coral reef in the Florida Straits. As mention in a previous post the Florida State Parks are outstanding and this will become one of our favorite spots of our charter guests!
We arrived around 4PM are planning anchored the Grampstr's Pride in a beautiful cove and secure safe anchorage about a 1/2 mile from the main check in area! We picked up one of the 80 mooring balls available in the cove. What is great about a mooring ball it is safely secured at the bottom and will with hold almost all but the worst hurricanes. These are supplied by the Florida State Park at a cost of 6.00 per day.
Our beautiful cove with sandy beaches is only short dingy ride away to the main check in area, where to our delight are many water activities available to our guests. There is a guided 3 1/2 hour glass bottom catamaran tour of the corral reef. Which is worth the $24.00 per person fare. The guides were extremely knowledgeable with a wonderful sense of concern for the reef system and the steps being taken to preserve! They are daily dive and snorkel boats that take out out to the reef area. You may also rent equipment we could take out on the Grampstr's Pride. The reefs are protected with free mooring balls you can use to anchor without damaging the reef!
After our glass bottom boat tour we returned to our cove for a cookout on the grill! The weather was changing a storm came thru for about 2 hours. We were in the perfect safe place and it was fun watching the storm come thru from the helm deck of our stable power catamaran! As we reviewed the weather on our radar and the location of the storm which is moving towards Marathon, Florida which is our next stop we decided to hangout another day at John Pennekamp state park! Not a bad place to relax!