Blue Turtle Cruising

Beachin’ it at Big Carlos Pass

Snowy Egret

I’m a little behind on my posting because I’ve been insanely busy with work (which is a great thing!), so I’m actually posting photos from last weekend. Last Saturday, Randy, Corey and I decided to explore a little by dinghy. Randy took a look at the charts and saw that we aren’t that far from Big Carlos Pass (the bridge and pass that connects Fort Myers Beach to Lovers Key) to take a ride from the marina. We strategically loaded up the dinghy with the essentials for a day at the beach: cooler with snacks and beer, camera gear (for me) and things that would keep an 8-year old boy busy (boogie board, bucket with cast net, sand shovel, fishing pole, tackle box, etc.). We tried to get up on plane a couple of times without luck. Fingers started getting pointed at who packed the most stuff…the boy with all his gear, us with all of our beer (we made a note to bring rum next time since it will be less glass), me and my camera stuff, etc.  So we continued to putter along thinking this could be a very long trip at idle speed and then Randy had an idea. As a larger boat was passing,  he maneuvered the dinghy to use the larger boat’s wake in order to gain us some momentum. We all leaned forward on the nose and were finally able to get up on plane. Once on plane, the ride was only about 20 minutes or so to the pass.

This snowy egret tried to steal bait fish every chance he got.
This snowy egret tried to steal bait fish every chance he got.

As we were passing under the bridge, we noticed about 20-25 jet skiers and several boats hanging out in the incoming tide. We soon realized that there were a group of dolphin putting on a show. They were everywhere and they were jumping fully out of the water. It was an amazing site and I would have loved to be closer to get pictures. We found a spot on the southern side of Fort Myers beach, right under the bridge. It was a gorgeous sunny 85 degree day…the weather couldn’t be more perfect. Corey immediately started to throw his cast net and caught some bait. As he caught more bait, he added them to the bucket he brought along. I soon realized that having the bait was a blessing. All of a sudden, we were surrounded by birds of all kinds. For most of the time we were there, I had a Great Egret, Snowy Egret and Great Blue Heron at my disposal to take photos. There were interested in the bait, of course, but they pretty much posed for me. Also nearby was an Osprey nest with from what I could see, a female in it. Close to it on top of a utility pole was another Osprey dining on a fresh caught fish. The Snowy Egret hung around us very close and would wait for us to look in the other direction so he could jump on the bait bucket and sneak a fish or two. He was so close to us, we started to call him “Sophie” after our dog….he was like our pet for the day.

Boys feeding snowy egret
Corey tried to ‘hand feed’ the egret using his bright orange boca grip
"Sophie" (our 'pet' egret) gets brave and rests on our dinghy
“Sophie” (our ‘pet’ egret) gets brave and rests on our dinghy
great blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

We had an awesome time and what a great location to come to by dinghy. It would have been a little too far to go slow in the dinghy, but up on plane it’s a quick ride. We definitely plan to pack lighter next time.

View more photos I took on my Big Carlos Pass Flickr set.

1 thought on “Beachin’ it at Big Carlos Pass”

  1. Great narrative! and photos Kim! I love the details of the feathers and eyes of the Great Blue Heron. Sophie looks pristine too. Too much weight in the dinghy? Obviously, Randy needs to lose some weight and of course, rum instead of beer. But really, Randy found a way to plane…so no problem. Maybe you need a lighter style cooler…


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