Leave it to us to pick the coldest week in the history of the Florida Keys to take a week away from the Ozarks. Amy spent weeks researching where we should go this winter to get away from the cold, finding a nice Key's house that would easily fit a group of nine of us. She found a nice house on Marathon complete with swimming pool, hot tub, and a boat dock if we wished to bring or rent a boat. We left here and headed to Memphis for the flight to Miami, and at 12 degrees when we left we knew anything would feel warm. After going through the excitement and fun of Eli and Molly's first flight we arrived in Miami to a balmy 48 degrees. The next few days would find highs barely above the 50 degree mark, and the wind too strong to bother with renting a boat or going fishing. We tried fishing a little in the canals around our rental house but we were having no luck getting any takers. Finally on the third day the wind subsided and the temperature rose to near 60 degrees so we decided to rent a boat. As we headed out to sea to attempt our first real fishing of the vacation we discovered why no fish had been biting. We passed a commercial lobster boat as they were coming in and one of the crew yelled to us that there were fish floating everywhere offshore. The 10 pound mutton snapper he held up told us that his story might be true. Not fully believing what we had been told we headed offshore to a small patch reef we had seen on our chart. As we approached we began to see fish bellies, and as we continued on we ran into a weed line that held hundreds of cold stunned reef fish. Many different kinds of snappers, groupers, grunts, boxfish, and even queen angelfish floated at the surface either dead or dying. This was quite a sad site to see and as a scuba diver I know what these patch reefs should look like, and how many fish they can actually hold. Naturally we didn't catch any fish as they were either dying or too cold to have an appetite, but we did witness an event that they say happens only about every 40 years. As the week progressed the weather slowly warmed however the fish continued to float up for several more days. The water was a little rough to head out to the main reef so the fishing in the colder shallower waters continued to be relatively pointless. We did catch a few fish, which was refreshing to know they weren't all dead, and we managed to eat fresh fish every night which was a treat. Our last day there we finally awoke to the typical humid ocean breeze, and enjoyed a warm day that might even have broke 70 degrees. Despite the inclimate weather it was fun to get away with Amy's family, and take the kids on their first vacation. We are kind of stuck here in the summer so the kids feel fotunate to miss some school in order to get in some family time. With the snow we endured following New Year's and our vacation the kids were gone from school for a full month. Somehow they didn't seem that eager to get back. Amazingly when we got back the temperatures quickly rose into the 60's feeling as nice as it ever did in the Keys, maybe next year we should go skiing.