Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Weekend Recap; 5 Days in the Keys Sounds Like a Weekend, Right?

Friday's tourney fishing was a good day. Was a charity tournament benefiting a small university in South Florida. Had seven sails come up and eat and raised a few others. We caught and released 3, which was good for third in the tournament. We had a good shot at winning, but it just wasn't meant to be for us that day. Four won the tournament.

Saturday we had a charter that didn't show from Ft. Lauderdale. But hey, wake up at 6 am on a Saturday, get to the boat at 6:30. Prepare everything for the trip, only to have Capt. Greg get a call at 7:05 telling him that they were still in FLL, they overslept, and were really sorry. Well, at least I had a nice sit down breakfast and was back in bed at 9 for a nice nap, right?

The time off also gave me the chance to call and check on my friend Mr. Walton who was in the hospital recovering from heart valve surgery. He still sounded a bit weak, but his doctors were assuring him that he was doing well and on the road to recovery, which is great news. They broke the mold when they made Mr. Walton, so the docs better keep him well.

We did end up heading out in the skiff a bit later on Saturday afternoon to try to catch some bait to freeze for the Bahamas, but unfortunately, no such luck.

Sunday (Happy Birthday Mama!!) we were booked for a half day with two gentlemen who turned out to be down from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. One was also a former Delta pilot, so we spent the morning listening to some flying stories in the wake of the recent Hudson River landing, and of course exchanged some notes on about our favorite local restaurants in WS.

Caught three sails on four bites that morning, so a nice day. Then celebrated with a pleasant evening out on the town.

Monday was another off day. Well, off in the sense that we weren't booked, but spent the latter half of the morning at the boat tidying up a bit. Capt Greg booked us for a half day on Tuesday so we went out in the skiff in the afternoon trying to find some Threadfins to use as Kite baits, but they weren't really biting, so we only ended up with four. We then went down to the local park where there's a golf cage set up and I gave Greg a quick lesson.

We headed back to the boat after that and went out fishing for Goggle Eyes, which are night feeders. While preparing to head out, I ran into the people we booked earlier in the day to fish on Tuesday. When I asked how their day went, they informed me that the went down to Key West for the afternoon and decided that they might as well get married. They'd been planning on Vegas or Sonoma, when they decided, hey, why not the beach in Key West. Turns out Tuesday would be my first ever Honeymoon charter.

Anyhow, Greg and I ended up catching about fifty Goggle Eyes. While we were out, I decided that I'd take out my SPOT device (personal satellite transmitter with OK, Help, and 911 modes) and give it a spin since I hadn't used it in a couple of months. I wanted to mark some of our positions so that I could take a look later where we were on Google Earth since the typical landmarks weren't visible. Night is funny like that.

About 15 minutes after I transmitted the second location, though, we saw flares go up, and then Coast Guard and Police Boats as well as a search and rescue helicopter were all working an area a few miles to the west of us. I got freaked out that I pressed a button other than the OK button. I double-checked the device and all looked normal. Turns out there was a boat that was indeed sinking down the way. Not sure of the outcome of that, but admittedly was relieved that I hadn't erroneously started an incident.

Anyhow, the fishing today was slower than it had been in the past few days. I didn't have my best day by any stretch, but it turned out OK. About 4 foot seas and variable gusty winds wreaked havoc with our kites and it was a bit frustrating. Fortunately, towards the end of the half day charter we hooked up to a nice dolphin and then about a 75 pound sail which we released at the boat, our newlyweds' first, so a good end to an otherwise rocky day for me.

Tomorrow will be a maintenance day again, and maybe some golf in the afternoon. It also happens to be my parent's anniversary, so Happy Anniversary to you both. 37, right? I love you both very much and am sorry I won't be there to share it with you.

Hope everyone out there is well and keeping warm.

EDIT: Oh, and here's a photo of me landing a sail for Mike from NJ last weekend. It was his first.

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