Kayaking Key Largo at Whitmore Bight in John Pennekamp State Park

Whitmore Bight on the Atlantic side of El Radabob Key in the census designated area of Key Largo – ©Jacob Katel. all rights reserved

Gleaming emerald waters lapping at the side of my kayak at low tide like liquefied gems splashing in the sunshine.

Welcome to Whitmore Bight, a shallow water mini-bay formed in the coastal curvature of El Radabob Key, a separate island in the census designated area of Key Largo, Florida.

I’m here with the juvenile sharks, tiny Sergeant Major fishes, floating over the sandy bottom, and paddling into the incoming tide.

El Radabob Key is pretty much abandoned now. But there was a time when an attempt was made to create a farm there. Unfortunately, spring fed freshwater sources were scant, and today, it’s a beautiful wilderness in John Pennekamp State Park.

The coast is a tangle of mangrove roots that tend to catch ocean detritus. Other than that, you’re unlikely to see any one else out there other than the birds who use the island as a rookery, and the sea creatures on the hunt.

You might not even see those creatures at all. Just know that they’re there. So if you step off your boat, do the stingray shuffle. You don’t want the whip deadly barb of an ancient creature sinking into the tender flesh of your footsies. Be careful for fast moving storms, and enjoy the pristine spoils of these once pirate haunted waters.