Hello All, I just got back in from the second day of the Weiss School adventure session and let me tell you it was another great day! It started off with a real frenzy, feeding frenzy that is! I arrived at the dock early, and as usual, everyone was eagerly waiting for me and raring [...]
I just got back in from the second day of the Weiss School adventure session and let me tell you it was another great day! It started off with a real frenzy, feeding frenzy that is! I arrived at the dock early, and as usual, everyone was eagerly waiting for me and raring to go. Nobody ever seems to arrive late for departure at my summer camps, and that’s a good thing cause I’m just as excited about going as they are!!! You can never start having fun and adventure too early and we never know what we discover.
Today the adventure started at the dock just as we were beginning to load up. As we were walking down the dock a tremendous school of menhaden in the tens of thousands came racing along the seawall right towards us. They were being chased by hundreds of large blue runners intent on having them for breakfast. Just as they got to us the water boiled into a wild feeding frenzy and the school of menhaden erupted into the air intent on getting away. The blue runners cornered them along the wall and the water foamed and frothed in the melee as they ate their fill. All this commotion attracted jack crevalles and some really huge snook and they too joined in the feast. They in turn were followed closely by a half dozen extremely large rays hoping to pick up some scraps. By the time the commotion ended there was nothing but scales and tails sinking to the bottom, and a few frantic menhaden looking for a hole to hide in! All this took place in 3 feet of crystal clear water right beside us and the boat. Talk about exciting! What a way to start the day!!! At least for us that is! That was just unbelievable…
After this we couldn’t wait to get in the water so we hurried to the Rock Garden and dropped anchor. I couldn’t clean the masks and put defog in them fast enough for each adventurer today. Half of them were out of the boat the minute I dropped anchor into the shallow water! Nobody wanted to wait for me, last one in again! They didn’t even leave me a net to catch something myself. Going to have to use my hands again. Oh well…you have to be quick with this adventurous group, otherwise you’ll be left far behind! I just love that enthusiasm!!! It gets contagious!!! The way I love it… Right on!
We were lucky today! The tide was high, the water crystal clear and fish everywhere you looked! And best of all, we had the pool to ourselves and no one in sight. It was great and with this group, it doesn’t get any better than this!!! We saw just about every type of fish you could see around here today. I think the snook, barracudas, parrotfish, angelfish, needlefish, flounders, porkfish, surgeonfish, doctorfish, sheepshead and spotted moray eels were the biggest hit today! On the way to the new rock pile put in yesterday, AdventureAndrew found a nice chocolate chip sea-cucumber and this gave us a wonderful opportunity to see one up close and watch how it feeds. Sea cucumbers are basically the vacuum sweepers of the ocean floor that move slowly along the bottom ingesting sand particles and digesting the algae and detritus covering them. In one end goes the algae covered sand grains, and out the other comes nice clean sand particles, just the kind you would like to make a sand castle with! That is as long as you don’t mind sand going thru the intestinal tract of a sea cucumber first.
Now for me, I just love it! Almost every grain of sand on the sea floor has at one time or another been thru the belly of a sea cucumber. So enjoy next time your making sand castles! But what I liked best about this opportunity was, and you guessed it? That’s right!, another wonderful opportunity to take pictures of the adventurers with “sea cucumber head”. And not just your everyday hairdo accessory either, but real life “chocolate chip sea cucumber head”. One of my all time favorites!, ranking right up there with my all time favorite, “starfish head” or “sea urchin head”. Now talk about having fun!!!, and yes, maybe even still acting like a child!!! Now we can’t always take life too seriously. Sometimes you just have to cut loose and have fun! And for me, sometimes acting in a non grown up sort of way keeps me young at heart and besides that, its good entertainment for all. Who cares if everyone is laughing at you instead of with you anyway? Fun is Fun, and you can’t beat that!
We also had a wonderful opportunity to observe a spotted moray free swimming along the rocks, and AdventureLauren, Darby and Seth found some really lovely juvenile queen conchs that made another nice photo opportunity for all. AdventureMichael, JC and Andrew chased fish and caught crabs in nets and every now and then one large crab would swim out right past the girls and I would hear a scream of excitement, or maybe that was trepidation, right next to my ear. I think its still ringing. I tend to think it was excitement myself with this adventurous group! No wimps here! Just true adventurers!!! We caught one nice flounder in the net on the way back to the boat and everyone had a chance to hold it before we let it go. Now this one I remember they nick named “Fred” so “Fred the flounder” it was!
From here we motored to Munyon Island to do some seine netting in the shallows. We all took turns giving it a shot. We caught hundreds of juvenile parrotfish, grunts, filefish, wrasse, yellowtail snappers, hog snappers, mojarras, pinfish, barracudas but no pygmy sea horses this time. I was sure hoping!!! We swam south along the island and found hundreds of short spines sea urchins and hermit crabs and stopped to pick up a very large brilliant red cushion sea starfish. The largest species of starfish found around here. It was a such a great day and a real adventure for all of us!!!
From here we had to hurry back. The day had come to an end, and all to quickly for us. But we knew that tomorrow was going to be another Great Day!!!,and another adventure to be lived!!! Its fishing day!!! And we know what kind of day that is!!! Its time to have FUN!, and we are going to enjoy the adventure and the ride along the way!!!
I can already hear it now! “MIKE, I NEED MORE BAIT!!! I NEED MORE BAIT!!!”
Right on, and just the way I love it!!! God, I love this job!!! Thank you…..
I just finished up the first day of another new adventure session with a wonderful group of adventurers, and as usual, it was a blast! I had a full boat today and one of my best friends sons, AdventureNicholas, gave me a hand helping with all the things needing to be done, but most of [...]
I just finished up the first day of another new adventure session with a wonderful group of adventurers, and as usual, it was a blast! I had a full boat today and one of my best friends sons, AdventureNicholas, gave me a hand helping with all the things needing to be done, but most of all entertaining the kids and making sure everyone left with smiles from ear to ear. Which of course they did! He was great to have along and after the days session was over helped me clean the barnacles off the bottom of the boat and put away all the gear. Thanks so much, I really appreciate it!!!
We had 3 new adventurers join us for the first time, AdventureAllison, AdventureGavin and AdventureTrevor plus 3 returning adventurers, AdventureMadison, AdventureDina and AdventureDavid. It was a great group to have together and we laughed and had fun the whole day. I can’t remember when I or anyone else laughed this hard.
We started the day going right around the corner to the sandbar and anchoring in knee deep water. We hopped out and everyone was instantly collecting fighting conchs, juvenile blue crabs and looking for starfish. We found fighting conchs with blue eyes, brown eyes and even some with green eyes and a few shy ones that never came out of their shells to show us what color eyes they had. Madison found a really nice empty Alphabet Cone and I believe Gavin or Trevor found a few empty sundial shells that get their name from the way they are shaped and patterned. Nice find!!!, and not many around sitting empty. There were hundreds of ctenophores, a type of non-stinging jellyfish like tunicate washing into the shallows as the tide went out that look and feel exactly like clear jelly. I brought up the fact that my brother and I used to play with them as kids, and the next thing I know I became target practice for 6 laughing kids hurling ctenophores in my direction. I got one in my ear, in my mouth and even one up my nose. I thought I was going to die of laughter! I’ve never seen kids laugh so hard and for so long as today. I couldn’t open my mouth long enough to yell, “aim for Nicholas instead of me” without one just about flying in there. I’m still laughing just thinking about it…and I know they are too.
From here we went to the Rock Garden and everyone got in to snorkel and check out all the fish, crabs and Hairy Blennies. And as usual, they were there by the hundreds. We saw parrotfish, angelfish, barracudas, sheephead, houndfish, snook, needlefish, lizardfish, porkfish, snappers, grunts, flounders, large schools of menhaden and an assortment of tropical fish too numerous to mention. We found hermit crabs by the hundreds, rock crabs, blue crabs, stone crabs, shamefaced crabs and sally lightfoot crabs running on the rocks just at the high tide mark. None of us wanted to get out of the water! That kept us busy for the rest of the day, barely had time to snack. AdventureGavin, David and Trevor caught crabs and blennies and put them in a bucket for all to see, while AdventureAllison, Madison and Dina collected hermit crabs and looked for shells. We all worked together and it was a blast. AdventureNicholas made sure we had what we needed, carried creatures back and forth to the buckets and brought us drinks when we asked. It was a perfect day!!!
Somehow when the kids got in the boat they found my hidden stash of Squirt guns and nothing stayed dry after that, including my glasses which I could barely see out of. Next time I’m going to hide a “super soaker” for me and blast them all in return. Can’t wait…Some kids just never grow up, and that would include me too. Oh well… we had fun!
From here it was time to go, and as we headed back we saw a quite large eagle ray foraging in the shallows for conchs. Had to be 6 feet across. We stopped to watch as he glided about and then disappeared into the deeper water. It was a beautiful way to end the day! On the way back the kids kept saying ,”why do we have to go back now? Why can’t you run your camp till 3 or 5 and not end at 1? I don’t want to go back yet, do we have to go back now?” I told them their parents would be waiting for them and they said why don’t I just call and have them come back later? I didn’t have a good answer for that. They seem to think of everything nowadays. I told them there is always tomorrow, three more days left, and who knows what we are going to see next… That didn’t really satisfy them but they quit asking, and I didn’t really want to go in either. I understood how they felt. Oh well…
And for all the rest of you who haven’t experienced AdventureMike’s aquatic summer camp… Stay tuned, or better yet, Come join us for our next adventure!!! Get off the couch and get outside… Be a part of the Adventure!!!
Lets all go have some Fun!!!