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Thursday, June 23, 2011


People travel thousands of miles to dive the reefs south of Miami. For us they're just an hour away.

Last week I packed up a car full of wild young men and went diving out of John Pennekamp State Park. For thirty bucks you can have a great coral reef adventure. All of the information you'd need is on the park's website.

An old diver with the young guns, Cousin Ben, Ian and Dylan.

This is Norman, a yellow jawfish who has lived in the park's aquarium for nine years. According to a park ranger, "He thinks he owns the place." You can even buy bumper stickers that say, "I Saw Norman!".

After we got off the dive boat we drove two miles south to the Marine Mammal Conservancy Center (mile marker 102). The people there are trying to save three 1200 lb. pilot whales who stranded themselves last month. If volunteers don't hold them up they'll roll over and drown. As you can see, two or three people hold it up while the whale takes in air through its blow hole.

Our friends Dana Smith and Bob Pellegrini served on one of the four-our shifts a few days ago. Bob said it was in incredible experience , helping to keep a whale alive. They rise and fall with each breath.

If you'd like to help, call the Conservancy folks in Key Largo at (305) 451-4774

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