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Category: Water Life

SWIM ZONE AT POPULAR BEACH EXPECTED BEFORE HOLIDAY WEEKEND

Boats heading to the popular bayside beach in Islamorada will soon need to anchor farther from the shore. Those that don’t could face fines.  Twenty white buoys will soon be placed to create a swim/vessel exclusion zone at Port Antigua and White Marlin Beach on Lower Matecumbe Key. The idea to push boats 300 feet from the mean high water line — and making people swim to the popular area — saw the village council’s unanimous approval last August.  Enacting a boating-restricted, swim-only area off the beach looks to address ongoing safety issues as well as problems from the commotion that’s seen...

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DIVE REPORT: CONSERVATION COUNTS ON EARTH DAY AND EVERY DAY

Welcome to the fabulous Florida Keys. Our waters are famous for a few reasons, and this week we saw why.  This Week’s Dive Report Overall, conditions were nice this past week, with good visibility. We had Kevin Millwood, retired MLB pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, and his family out with us.  On Molasses Reef, we dove the “winch hole” there and there were so many turtles all around! Sea turtles are some of the most amazing creatures to dive with. Sometimes, we just want to sit for hours and hang out with them.  The 8th Annual REEF Lionfish Derby targeted invasive lionfish, asking divers to help...

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THIS WEEKEND: 2ND ANNUAL JEFF LEONIA REEL & STEEL CLASSIC TO OPEN GROUPER/HOGFISH SEASON

The grouper and hogfish seasons both open this Saturday, May 1. Celebrate the day by joining the 2nd Annual Jeff Leonia Reel & Steel Classic, the only fishing/spearfishing tournament in the Keys. There’s a 7 a.m. start, and weigh-ins and afterparty will take place at Angler House Marina (80500 Overseas Hwy., Islamorada).  Jeff Leonia was an avid waterman and captain in the Upper Keys. His passing in Nov. 2019 left a legacy of living large and loving big that his friends and family continue to honor to this day.  Leonia’s friend and fellow captain Tony Young, of Forever Young Charters, said,...

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FISHING COMMUNITY RALLIES BEHIND ARTIST WHO LOST MONTHS OF WORK

Imagine this: You are a fine-arts painter during the pandemic. Quarantined at home, you cast about for something to do, just like the rest of the world. Then — bingo — you stumble onto a new painting technique and become obsessed.  Feverishly perfecting your work and making print after beautiful print, a gallery owner falls in love with your paintings, then requests a shipment so they can be displayed in the gallery.  You roll up all your paintings in a tube and confidently ship all paintings via FedEx — dutifully requesting tracking information and insurance. Then the entire shipment is lost....

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TASK FORCE TACKLES LOBSTER MINI-SEASON

If you ever want a conversation to get heated on a community Facebook page, lob out this question: “Hey, do you think we should have lobster mini-season?” Then buckle up and enjoy the ride. Keys Weekly did a search on “lobster mini-season” on a local Facebook page, and we saw a post that said, “I just want to remind people that mini-lobster season is not for taking small lobster.” Commenters responded, “I wish they would do away with mini-lobster season,” and “We never go out for mini stupid season. I hide. Too many amateurs on the water with no regard to safety.” Also: “I say close mini-season...

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DIVE REPORT: WINDY EARTH DAY WEEKEND?

This Week’s Dive Report Conditions improved this week, and the seas were kind to us divers. Visibility was stunning ? close to 80 feet! If that doesn’t make for happy divers, I don’t know what would.  On one of our regular trips to the wreck of the Eagle, we were lucky enough to spot two bull sharks swimming around the perimeter of the wreck. Spotting sharks is always exciting, but bull sharks are especially amazing creatures to swim with. Having sharks in our oceans is healthy and a sign that the ecosystem is doing well. Next Week’s Dive Report There are some thunderstorms rolling through towards...

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EARTH DAY 2021: WAYS YOU CAN GET INVOLVED IN THE FLORIDA KEYS

Every year, Earth Day celebrates all things wild on this big blue planet of ours. Here in the Keys, there’s no shortage of amazing places and animals. From our turquoise blue seas to our hardy mangrove forests, our resilient coral reefs to our incredible chain of misfit islands, there is so much beauty to behold and protect. Here are some of our favorite ways to get involved on this Earth Day and beyond: UPPER KEYS Apr. 22 – 24 at Rainbow Reef Dive Center (100 Ocean Dr., Key Largo) – Earth Day Eco Fair and Conservation Dives: Apr. 22 at 8:30 a.m. – Coral Restoration...

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RARE ARTIFACTS CONTINUE TO TELL THE 1622 SHIPWRECK STORY OF THE ATOCHA

Karolina Calderwood, left, and Carol Tedesco, right, met at the Mel Fisher’s Treasures shop on Duval Street Monday to examine and photograph two exceptional artifacts previously recovered from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha shipwreck: an unusual silver “piece of eight” treasure coin and a 43.72ct rough jadeite stone. What makes these two particular pieces so noteworthy? “Almost all of the more than 150,000 silver coins recovered from the Atocha bear the Habsburg shield, which is made up of multiple fields that each represent individual arms of lands under Spanish rule at that time,” said store...

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DIVE REPORT: GOLIATH GROUPERS ON THE DUANE, GOOD CONDITIONS NEXT WEEK

Welcome to your Florida Keys dive report. This last week, the seas were a bit angry, and conditions were rough. The dives themselves, however, were fantastic.  This week’s dive report On Friday, Islamorada Dive Center held our Shark Awareness Dives. Nicole and Matthew Mcaleer not only swam with the sharks, but also earned new certifications at the same time ? congratulations! On Saturday, we had the “Old Boys Dive Club” join us for a double dip on the wreck of the Duane. John El Koury, Scott Black and Marvin Chanes came aboard to enjoy what Mother Nature had in store for us. When conditions...

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OPINION: YOUR FISHING EQUIPMENT SHOULD INCLUDE FIRST AID SUPPLIES

I’m not a dedicated fisherman. Yes, I always keep a few fishing poles onboard and I have a small collection of lures. All of it is “simple school.” I thoroughly enjoy using a cast net for shrimp and bait fish. And, I’m seriously impressed with how much money some folks invest in fishing equipment and rigging for the boat. I’m more impressed with the items they overlook. A few weeks back a fellow in the marina was staring up at his new outriggers as I was walking by. I stopped and joined him in his admiration. This, of course, led to cold beer and some fish stories.  A week later I saw his boat...

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