Blue Turtle Cruising

Cold front at Cayo Costa

Last weekend, Randy, Corey and I headed to Cayo Costa for the weekend. We were expecting a cold front which makes for great surfable waves on the gulf coast. It did rain a full day with 25-35 mph winds, but the rest of the weekend was absolutely beautiful—low humidity and upper 70’s to lower 80’s temps.

The surfer boy rigging his board with fins
The surfer boy rigging his board with fins

Saturday was the big surf day for the boys with 4-6′ swells. They arose early and took the dinghy to the Love Canal and through to the beach. I decided to sleep in and then kayak to the park entrance. The paddle there was a little choppy, but not too bad. I had planned to take one of the trails and run/walk 2.5+ miles to where the boys were surfing on the beach near the Love Canal. The hike there was quick since I ran the whole way. I wasn’t paying too much attention since I was running, but eventually I came out on the west side of the island and where the boys were. I watched them surf and took a few GoPro videos and then headed back to the trail. I must’ve took the wrong trail off the beach and ended up lost on the south side of the island. It was mostly dead-end dirt roads and residential lots so I decided to backtrack all the way back to the beach. It turned out to be a 3 mile mistake (oops!). Once on the beach, I continued on and found the right trail and worked my way back to the state park docks. All in all, I hiked about 8-9 miles that day!

Kayaking to Cayo Costa
Kayaking to Cayo Costa

Once I was back to the kayak, I paddled my way across Pelican Bay. It was much choppier and windier in the afternoon but I made my way across. The current was moving so fast and I tried to time my floating by Blue Turtle the best I could, but I missed the swim platform and shot past it. I couldn’t get the kayak turned around because of the wind and current so I let the mangroves near by catch me. After a breath, I decided I could paddle against the wind and current—crazy insane moment—and surprisingly I was able to push through to Blue Turtle, but when I reached for the swim platform, a wave and gust of wind flipped the kayak. I was suddenly treading water while trying to collect my tennis shoes and dry bag and hang on to the kayak. I almost missed the swim platform again and floated off, but I managed to get the ladder down and climb up. It was a bit scary  for a moment since no one was there to help me, but I was glad I didn’t panic. Needless to say, I was ready for a warm shower afterward.

Randy relaxes before sunset
Randy relaxes before sunset
Corey blows the conch horn to signify the sun setting
Corey blows the conch horn to signify the sun setting
Amazing Cayo Costa sunset
Amazing Cayo Costa sunset

Sunday was another great surf day, but smaller waves so the three of us dinghied to the Love Canal again and watched Corey surf. It. Was. Gorgeous! After several hours of surfing and walking the beach, we decided to head to Cabbage Key for a late lunch. Randy had to walk us in and out of the Love Canal since the water was so skinny. On the way to Cabbage Key, we hit shallow water again and Randy had to get out and pull us to deeper water. Lunch was great as usual and we headed back to the boat to rescue Sophie. We picked up Sophie and headed to the sandbar at Cayo Costa. The sand bar has now been divided into two and we beached the dinghy on a lone sandbar. It was great because we could let the wiener dog run around without worrying about her. It was a great way to end an exhausting but fun day.

An excited boy on his way to surf
An excited boy on his way to surf
Checking the water levels
Checking the water levels
Randy walking us through the shallow water
Randy walking us through the shallow water
The Love Canal
The Love Canal
Randy, playing tour guide, walks us through
Randy, playing tour guide, walks us through
Our beautiful view of the beach
Our beautiful view of the beach
Such an amazing semi-private beach
Such an amazing semi-private beach
Corey gets up on a wave
Corey gets up on a wave
Corey surfing at Cayo Costa
Corey surfing at Cayo Costa
Surfer dude
Surfer dude
Walking the beach and checking out the fallen trees
Walking the beach and checking out the fallen trees
Fallen tree trunk
Fallen tree trunk
Mossy / seaweed-y tree
Mossy / seaweed-y tree
My boys on a pristine beach
My boys on a pristine beach
The boys at Cabbage Key
The boys at Cabbage Key
Lunch at Cabbage Key
Lunch at Cabbage Key
Oh, did we mention there was dinghy surfing?
Oh, did we mention there was dinghy surfing?
Dinghy surfing to the sandbar
Dinghy surfing to the sandbar
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Corey catches some air
The kids running on the sandbar
The kids running on the sandbar
Corey skim boarding
Corey skim boarding
Our little slice of sand
Our own little slice of sand
Corey gives Sophie a ride on his board
Corey gives Sophie a ride on his board

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