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Bahia Honda State Park

This morning (after kayaking with manatees!!!) we headed down to Bahia Honda State Park (another 20 minute drive further down the Keys). Here's our new campsite/office location:


Here are a few shots from the drive down. This is Pigeon Key:


Both new and old Seven Mile Bridge with Pigeon Key in the background:


Seven Mile Bridge connects Knight's Key in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. The older bridge runs parallel here, and was constructed from 1909-1912 under the direction of Henry Flagler as part of the Florida East Coast Railway's Key West Extension, also known as the Overseas Railroad.


The old bridge running parallel:


We dropped the trailer off at Bahia Honda and ran out to grab some lunch…down a few keys on Summerland Key we stopped at the Wharf Bar & Grill


We sat outside along the canal and had some fantastic fish tacos after a little appetizer of some smoked fish dip with cuban crackers and lime. We liked it so much that we bought some in the fish market to take home. (They told us that when people come in to get it and the restaurant/market has run out, people act like they've run out of crack. I can see that.)

A boat passing by in the canal during lunch:


Cool little jellyfish in the canal:


After lunch we went back to the Airstream and had a pretty normal work day. We noticed the sun was setting and decided to get our butts outside to enjoy it. 


We cracked our stone crab claws out on the picnic table and had those for dinner with some mustard dip and a beer. Yum!


Oh yeah, and this is a little creepy, actually. (Larra, skip this part.) The stone crab claws are the only thing harvested…not the whole crab, because they can regenerate their claws. Here's some info from Joe's Stone Crab:

In order to assure the continued survival of the species: Only one claw may be removed so the crab can defend itself. Egg bearing females are not allowed to be declawed.The crabs are captured in baited traps. No spears or hooks are allowed. Four inches from the first joint to the tip is the minimum legal size, that's about two ounces. A colossal can weigh 25 ounces or more. The large crusher claw can exert extreme pressure. As much as 19000 lbs. per square inch. Although their massive claws serve as deterrents to most predators, fishermen have reported the stone crab falls prey to the octopus. Stone crab season in Florida runs from October 15th to May 15. Stone crabs exhibit carnivorous feeding behavior. Sometimes in traps they resort to cannibalism! The claws make up half the weight of the whole crab, they are removed by carefully grabbing from the rear and twisting. The crab is returned to water and the claw regenerates. It takes between 12 to 24 months to reach legal size again. In 1963 stone crabs cost 30 cents a dozen wholesale.

Kevin and I were thinking about that poor crab that's had one claw harvested several times in a row: "Dammit!! I just grew that one back…AGAIN!" 🙂

The colossal sized claws are as big as my hand!