Brad and I went on a P-Day Excursion to Bascayne National Park. It is a beautiful park by the ocean, but no sandy beaches. It is all coral reefs - a place where in the 1600's many pirate ships were sunk because of storms as they crashed into the rocky shore. Then in the 1700's there was a British War ship that was sunk from a storm. All the ships that sunk are still there and it is a Federal Offense to disturb them. Thus it is an interesting place to snorkel. Biscayne National Park is know as a fantastic place for outdoor and water-based recreation. The park has a shallow bay, undeveloped islands (that you can camp on for up to 14 days before someone comes to pick you up - only one problem if you don't time it just right, the misquotes eat you alive) and living coral reefs. Bascayne Park is the beginning of the Florida Keys - about a half hour drive from Miami. In fact, on a clear day, you can see the coast line of Miami. About the camping - the ranger (I think they are called rangers) told us that the Dry Tortugas National Park was the best place to camp and snorkel because the water is clearer and does not have so many mosquitoes - just poisonous snakes!
There are many of Florida's canals that empty into the ocean here and so the water does not actually get a turquoise blue until you go out a ways. It has been very dry in Florida this year and so the park was not very green.
A sister we are teaching with the missionaries gave me some Gardenias. They grow beautiful here, along with the Orchids, and Hibiscus.