Spring Break 2009: April 7 – April 10

Leatherback Turtle Sighting!

Posted by 9 April, 2009 (0) Comment

Just got back in and wanted to drop a quick post on the days adventure since we had such an unusual encounter with a Leatherback Sea Turtle. A very rare and unusual occurrence and a tremendous lucky encounter for all of us!!!! I won’t forget this day for quite a while if ever! We boarded […]

Just got back in and wanted to drop a quick post on the days adventure since we had such an unusual encounter with a Leatherback Sea Turtle. A very rare and unusual occurrence and a tremendous lucky encounter for all of us!!!! I won’t forget this day for quite a while if ever!

Leatherback in the Lake Worth Lagoon

We boarded the boat as usual at the ramp and the regular group of us were joined by McKenzie’s sister AdventureMegan. And off we went. Little did we know that just a minute or two later we would be having an incredible encounter with an extremely large Leatherback Sea Turtle in very shallow water INSIDE the Lake Worth Lagoon!

Leatherback Sea turtles are the worlds largest living reptiles and can be over 7 feet long and weigh upwards of 2000lbs. Its the only sea turtle that lacks a hard bony shell or carapace. Leatherbacks lack the crushing chewing plates characteristic of sea turtles that feed on hard-bodied prey. Instead, they have pointed tooth-like cusps and sharp edged jaws that are perfectly adapted for a diet of soft-bodied pelagic (open ocean) prey, such as jellyfish and salps. A leatherback’s mouth and throat also have backward-pointing spines that help retain such gelatinous prey. They are one of the rarest sea turtles to be encountered here, and were we LUCKY!!!.

Leatherback in the Lake Worth Lagoon

We had just passed underneath the Blue Heron Bridge heading east along the sandbar when out of the corner of my eye I saw a tremendous swirl in the water just a few feet off the beach from Phil Foster Park. I looked closer and noticed a tremendous head lift up out of the water and take a quick breath. I recognized it instantly as that of a Leatherback Sea Turtle and was quick to shout out to the kids to take a look. We were so lucky!!! I have seen only 4 or 5 leatherback sea turtles in my life and always far offshore in the Ocean. Never within the intercoastal waterway in shallow crystal clear water. I know this is the time of year the females come ashore to lay eggs and somehow I believe this one may have mistakenly swam in the inlet on its way to the beach and was looking to find its way back out.

How wonderful for us, this will probably be a once in a lifetime encounter for all of us!!!!! I have lived here my whole life, spent thousands of hours on and under the water and have never seen nor heard of one being seen where we were! We followed her from a safe distance behind as she hurriedly made her way into the deeper water of the Palm Beach Inlet and headed back offshore. We were so excited and shouts of joy from all of us could be heard every time she came up for a breathe. I had a chance to take just a few photos before she disappeared. I didn’t want this moment to ever end!!! It was magnificent for all of us and I will forever feel blessed that we were given this rare and unusual opportunity!!! Still smiling thinking about it and how special for this group of Adventurers to witness such a magnificent and beautiful animal. I know all of us will never pass by this same area again without thinking of this moment and how special we felt at that time. WOW!!! still comes to mind! AdventureMickey I’m sure will never forget this week, first time on a boat, first time fishing, first fish ever caught, first Leatherback Sea turtle 5 feet from his nose…. Does it get any better than this? Hard to imagine… How cool is that?

After this encounter we decided to take a run down the Ocean side of the beach along palm Beach Island. It was an absolutely flat calm day with crystal clear water. Absolutely beautiful and just perfect!! We spent an hour shelling and snorkeling along the beach and found some beautiful Scotch Bonnets, Measel Cowries and some nice pectens. Really nice finds if your a sheller like me!

From here I decided to take the group for a quick run out to look for flying fish to show AdventureMickey and the group. We spotted a few and on the way back to the Inlet we saw 2 loggerhead sea turtles relaxing on the surface and catching their breath before taking another deep dive to the bottom. It was really great to see 2 species of Sea Turtles in one day and up close and personal at that! It just doesn’t get any better than that for a new group of Adventurers!

From here we took a quick snorkel at the Rock Garden, found some really nice green mantis shrimp and coral crabs under rocks and went to the Big Sandbar and spent the last half hour playing in the shallows, looking for starfish and just having FUN! When it was time to head back, I can tell you nobody was ready to go, not even me. We were having too much fun and today was such a cool day we didn’t want it to end!!! One thing I just love about doing this camp is you just never know what you might discover. Each day seems to hold a new treasure waiting to be discovered and shared, and when I see the smiles on the kids faces and know they are having the time of their life, I just LOVE IT!!!! Leaves me longing for more, and one things certain….

I can’t wait till tomorrow!!! Another day of Adventure!!! Another day in PARADISE!!!! Another day sharing what I love MOST!!!! Its going to be GREAT!!! RIGHT ON!!!!! Next time I hope you’ll join us!!!

LET’S GO HAVE SOME FUN!!!

AdventureMike

Categories : Spring Break 2009: April 7 - April 10 Tags : , ,

Fishing Adventure among Lake Worth’s Artificial Reefs

Posted by 8 April, 2009 (0) Comment

Hi Everyone. Welcome Back!!! We just finished up the days Fishing Camp Adventure Session and let me tell you WE HAD FUN TODAY!!! Just ask AdventureMickey, Maggie, McKenzie, Matthew, Rachel and Joe! They will tell you what fun we had! Non stop action from start to finish, 4 solid hours of “FISH ON!!!!” and smiles […]

Hi Everyone. Welcome Back!!!

We just finished up the days Fishing Camp Adventure Session and let me tell you WE HAD FUN TODAY!!! Just ask AdventureMickey, Maggie, McKenzie, Matthew, Rachel and Joe! They will tell you what fun we had! Non stop action from start to finish, 4 solid hours of “FISH ON!!!!” and smiles from ear to ear. No “fish story” here!!! Just non stop FUN!!! Double, triple, quadruple and even quintuple headers of fish on. I needed 3 of me to bait the hooks, take off the fish and try and take photos of everyone having the time of their life all at the same time! And with that same constant “ringing in my ears”, all in unison too from 6 happy fishermen ” I NEED MORE BAIT!!!” And you know I’ve heard that before…. Oh boy… :-)

Group Photo

Today was a bit windy and cool so I decided to have our fishing day a day sooner than normal instead of getting wet on the coldest day of the session. We loaded up and arrived at my secret GPS #’s and dropped anchor. We didn’t hang exactly perfect over the ledge like I wanted but we gave it a shot anyway. Only caught 2 fish in the first couple of minutes so I decided to pull up anchor and move a few feet further to the north, and I mean just a few feet! Didn’t want to waist any time with slow action when I know how good things can be. From that moment on, once the baits went down, the rest was just a blurr! Didn’t even have time to look at my watch, eat, drink or catch my breath, and just the way I love it! GO go go go go….. :-)

One Fish. Two Fish. Red Fish.

AdventureMcKenzie was the first to catch a fish, and a nice big lane snapper at that! AdventureMickey, who had never been boating or fishing before in his life, caught the next. A big fat Sailor’s Choice! Right on Mickey!!! You should have heard him yell, “I CAUGHT A FISH, I CAUGHT MY FIRST FISH!!!! and seen that great big smile of his! I will never forget it! Makes me feel extra special to know he caught his very first fish with me and I was smiling from ear to ear too! Love it when things come together like this! I know he won’t forget it either, including the flounder, lane snapper, mangrove snapper, mutton snapper, blue runner, tomtates, Cesar grunts, spot-tails and margates, etc he also caught non stop after this. Talk about your first and only day of fishing…. WOW!!! He’s going to be spoiled now!

Mickey's First Flounder

Along with Mickey, AdventureJoe and Matthew were doing the same and having the same non stop action! Just like AdventureRachel, Maggie and McKenzie! Everybody was catching fish as fast as I could bait a hook. If I would have had help today, we might even have beat the all time record set for AdventureMike’s July 10th, 2008 of over 350 fish boated and released in under 4 hours! I have never seen so many nice snapper being brought in non stop like this! I couldn’t keep track of who caught what, and how many each as I released them, but I think AdventureMckenzie may have boated the most fish over all. That girl knows how to FISH! And don’t let her small size fool you either. My moneys on her!!! I think she caught the largest assortment of species too. Even a nice big yellow porkfish! Just a beauty! What a great day!!!

Joe and Matthew with a Blue Runner

I am not sure if the cooler water temperature, at 67.3 degrees Fahrenheit made any difference, but like I said, I have never seen so many snapper and flounder being caught non stop. AdventureMaggie and McKenzie were working together taking turns bringing in a very large hard fighting fish of some kind and just as it got to the side of the boat, there was a big swoosh, and something even bigger ate it! Hook, line and sinker! And then the same thing happened to AdventureRachel and Mickey too in short order. I think all the action chummed up a big Goliath grouper right under the boat, and he was having fun and an easy meal eating our big snapper like jellybeans. After one big particular splash that just about soaked us, and with everyone screaming with excitement, I heard those famous words I’ve heard before,”WE NEED A BIGGER BOAT!!!” And at time likes this, I just can’t tell you how much I love my job!!! It was the perfect way to call it a day, or at least for us it was…

I can’t even begin to make guess as to how many fish we had on that we didn’t hook or lost just at the boat. And like I said, I have no idea what made the action so extra special, or what made the fish bite like they did, but I know one thing for sure, not one of these adventurers will ever forget this day, and neither will I!
We had fun!!! We had a blast!! ! We had another once in a lifetime day!!! And, best of all, we had a story to tell!!! It may sound like a “fish story” to some, but we all know differently! WE LIVED THE ADVENTURE AND WE SHARED THE SMILES, THE LAUGHTER, THE EXCITEMENT!!! If you saw the smiles on the faces like I did today, you would never forget it either!!! Thank you !!! And Mickey, Congratulations on catching your first fish, and the next 30 or more after that too. You did GREAT!!!

I just can’t wait till my Summer Camps begin on June 2nd!!! I don’t want this much fun to stop!!! I don’t think I can wait that long!!! How about you? God, I love my job!!!! How can we have this much fun!!!

I must still be dreaming…

AdventureMike

Categories : Spring Break 2009: April 7 - April 10 Tags : , ,