Hurricane Irma may pass directly over Bahia Honda State Park

This morning, we’re waiting to see what Hurricane Irma is going to do and it looks like it might pass directly over Bahia Honda State Park as a Cat 4 or Cat 5 storm.  It’s hard to imagine the damage that could result.

Lynn and I returned from the Florida Keys a week ago.   We spent a couple of days in Key West and then were lucky enough to stay in one of the 6 cabins at Bahia Honda State Park for 3 more days.  They’re built on stilts but even so are only about 10 -15 feet above the ocean.  And we felt them swaying at times while we were there – even in good weather.

The cabins are on the right side of the overseas highway as you head down to the keys.  They’re furnished with everything you need for a great Florida vacation.  And the location on a beautiful lagoon is wonderful.  These next three photos were all made on the patio, just a few steps from the cabin door:

Loggerhead TurtleLoggerhead Sea Turtle – The ranger told us that turtles, dolphin, and tarpon like the lagoon because it’s so quiet and protected.  We’d see one or more of Loggerheads from the cabin porch almost every time we stepped out to look.  We also saw Tarpon rolling on the surface a few times and maybe a dolphin or two.

Sunset FishingSunset Fishing – You can fish in the lagoon by the cabins, but other water activity isn’t allowed.  We often saw campers fishing there.

The view from the cabinAnother view from the cabin porch. The skies at Bahia Honda are some of the darkest in Florida. Lynn and I got up at about 1:30am on our first night. The moon had set and we had a stunning view of this part of the Milky Way, right from the patio. And the bugs weren’t biting too much!

The Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary is about 8 miles southwest of Bahia Honda and snorkeling trips leave for the reef twice a day.  It was a relaxing swim – the water temperature was in the high 80’s, which can cause storms to strengthen.

Sergeant majors and othersLooe Key Sergeant majors and others –  The visibility wasn’t very good the day were were there, but the number of fish we saw was still impressive.

There are also 72 campsites in the Park.  Many of them are in awesome locations too.

Between the bridgesBetween the bridges – This is at sunset, between the old abandoned bridge on the left and the new one on the right.  You can see some of the lovely Bahia Honda campsites on the left side of the frame.

Lynn and I thought of this visit to Bahia Honda as a “scouting trip”.   Based on what we saw, we definitely want to go back.

To everyone in Irma’s path and to everyone impacted by Harvey:  We’re thinking of you.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog.  Now – stay safe in the storm!

©2017, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

About Ed Rosack

I live in Central Florida and enjoy exploring the area. I'm interested in nature and wildlife photography - and many other things. I'm the chief reporter, lead writer, managing editor, main photographer, and publisher of the Central Florida Photo Ops website hosted at www.edrosack.com. You can also see more of my photos on my Flickr stream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/edrosack/

10 thoughts on “Hurricane Irma may pass directly over Bahia Honda State Park

    1. Hi Sandra,

      Here’s info that I’ve seen so far:

      The Key West Chickens are being rounded up and evacuated: http://www.chron.com/national/article/Key-West-chickens-Hurricane-Irma-12180831.php

      Study on hurricane impacts to Key Deer (PDF): http://twri.tamu.edu/media/256858/hurricane_impacts_on_key_deer_in_the_florida_keys.pdf

      And 10 staff members are staying behind to care for the Hemingway cats: http://www.chron.com/news/nation-world/nation/article/Cats-Ernest-Hemingway-home-Key-West-Irma-Hurricane-12180112.php

  1. Yes, totally wonderful shots. What a great recce that was. No wonder you plan to go back. And I join everyone else in hoping Florida, with all its amazing habitats and wildlife, escapes the worst of this horrifying storm.

  2. Beautiful photos, as always. Praying for safety for all of you! Hopefully the keys will survive it all. We have tentative plans to go there in June. But not because of me, I just hope that it survives. So many disasters this year! I live in Oregon, we are battling fires right now. The ones in the Columbia Gorge are only miles from me and we are worried how they will look once we are allowed back in.

    1. Thanks Vicki. It looks like it will pass over the keys tomorrow morning. Here, we’re already seeing clouds and rain that look like the the outer bands. The latest forecasts say it will pass nearest to us sometime early Monday.

      It does seem like we’re having many disasters this year. Please stay safe up there too.

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