All The Way From Hungary to Peanut Island!!!

Posted by 14 September, 2010 (0) Comment

Hi Everyone!!! Welcome Back!!! I’m finally getting a chance to write about last weeks Adventure. Thought I would never get a chance to get to it! All the kids in Palm Beach County have been back in school for the past 2 weeks, but our Summer Camps have still been going strong! Seems like our […]

Hi Everyone!!! Welcome Back!!!

I’m finally getting a chance to write about last weeks Adventure. Thought I would never get a chance to get to it! All the kids in Palm Beach County have been back in school for the past 2 weeks, but our Summer Camps have still been going strong! Seems like our Summer would never come to an end. And I for one, wish it wasn’t!!! We’ve had so much FUN!!! I never want it to stop!!! This past week we had a small group of three brothers, AdventureAdam, Aron and Ariel, come all the way from Hungary to enjoy a week of Adventure!!! And a week of Adventure we had! They got a referral from another group of Hungarian Adventurers, David and Dina, who joined me back in 2008 and decided to come as well. I’m glad they did!!! We had a blast!!!

3 boys and a puffer

These boys loved to snorkle, and every single day we would stop by the Rock Garden and swim for hours. They loved looking at the thousands of tropical fish, swimming in the warm crystal clear water and just searching for anything they could find. Sometimes it was hard to get them out of the water to go do something else. One thing is certain, the water in Hungary is not like the water here! They said they never saw so many fish and had so much FUN being in the water. And no doubt, it is a lot warmer here than there!!! I could just tell by the way they were smiling, they appreciated everything they saw!!! And so did I!!!

Brothers underwater

We spent a good bit of time checking under rocks and searching for some big swimming crabs they could catch in their nets. It seems that no matter where you are from, catching crabs is always a big hit!!! We couldn’t find or catch them fast enough!!! By the time we caught 10, they wanted to catch 10 more! Once they found and caught some really big ones, they wanted to find and catch even bigger ones! The more the merrier, the bigger the better! That sure sounded familiar!!! Just like the rest of us!!! I’ve heard it all Summer!!! I could tell AdventureAron never wanted to quit!!! He was having just too much FUN!!!

Aron with a swimming crab

AdventureAdam would spend most of his time trying to catch fish in his hand net. He would turn over a small rock and patiently wait for the fish to come check out what might be underneath. It wasn’t long before he came up with some nice seaweed blennies and a few small gobies. But it seems he had his mind set on catching some slippery and wary wrasse that were a lot more difficult to fool, much quicker at swimming and a lot harder to catch. After about 10 minutes he finally figured out the secret, and it was great to watch him having fun coming up with one or two in his net at a time!! Nice Job Adam!!!

Adam netting wrasse

Another day we motored down to Munyon Island to take an island hike and do a little exploring. They wanted to get out and walk around, look for some shells and see if anything may have washed up on the beach. Just about every single thing from sea shells to coconuts they thought was cool! Stuff like that never washes up in Hungary!!! They were excited about EVERYTHING and wanted to keep it ALL!!! And that’s just the way I love it!!! The minute we set foot on the beach they were off and running, finding hermit crabs and searching the rocks for any other “treasures” they could find! I could tell they were loving every minute of it! So was I!!!

Boys on the rocks

After we were done having fun doing this, we put on our snorkle gear and swam down to Sea Urchin Shoals and spent the next hour finding hundreds of short-spined sea urchins in every size, shape and color combination you could find! We had a blast letting them stick onto our hands using their tiny tube feet. The ones we liked finding best were the big black and white, short spined ones that seemed to have twice the number of tube feet as the rest. Once they attached themselves to your hand they were almost hard to get off! The most common ones we found were the greenish white ones with pink and puple spines. It didn’t take AdventureAron long to pick up an armful of those!

Aron with sea urchins

The last hour of the day we walked and swam around Little Munyon Island looking for shells, some large cushion starfish and sea grass hermit crabs. AdventureAriel picked up some empty queen conch shells while Aron picked up some large oyster shells to bring home. We found a couple of cool land hermit crabs too. One had to be an escaped or released pet as it was living in an empty murex shell that is found only in the Pacific. A bit further down the beach we came upon some really nice big Australian pine tree stumps that were quite weathered and made for a good photo backdrop. We all had fun taking pictures here.

Adam, Aron and Ariel

Another day we stopped by the Big Sandbar to do some snorkeling around the edge. The tide was dead high so walking the bar was out of the question. We were hoping to find some 9 armed starfish and maybe a beaded starfish or two. Lucky for us, today was our lucky day!!! Not only did we find a beaded starfish, but we eventually found three 9 armed starfish as well!!! All within about a ten foot area. How great is that! The first two 9 armed starfish we found were quite large and the boys sure loved finding them,!!! I loved taking the pictures!!! I couldn’t believe we found a third one just a few feet away as we headed back to the boat. that’s about as good as it gets!!!

brothers with starfish

From here we decided to head over to Pufferfish Beach and try our luck at finding checkerboard pufferfish. We were in the water only a few seconds before we spotted the first two! They were coming down the beach one right after another and it wasn’t long before we had another one in the net! A few moments after that we had another, and before you could count to 300, we had a bucketful!!! The boys would take turns running them back up the beach to put in our bucket. I could tell the boys were really having FUN when the pufferfish inflated with air. I could hear them squealing with laughter the whole way back to the bucket like there was no tomorrow. I knew they never saw those before in Hungary!!! It was just GREAT!!!

puffers and shells

Between finding 9 armed starfish, catching a bucketful of puffers and collecting some fighting conchs along the way; I don’t think this group of adventurous brothers ever had so much FUN!!! They were going non-stop and laughing and smiling all the way!!! Just the way I love it!!! They begged me to bring the puffers and starfish back to show their parents so we placed them in a large plastic bin and filled it up with fresh sea water. We changed the water regularly, and after we showed them off, we let them go where we found them. It was just GREAT to see the kids so happy!!!

puffers, starfish and shells

Thursday was our fishing day, and as usual we caught fish almost non stop the whole time. We stopped at the artificial reef and dropped the anchor. I took a few seconds to show the boys how to bait the hooks and release the line down. Before you knew it, they all had a fish on at the very same time!!! It was just wonderful watching them catch fish one right after the other, and bigger than any of them had ever caught before!!! Every fish they caught, they thought was just huge! It was just GREAT!!! I guess the fishing in Hungary was not quite as fast paced and exciting as it was on this day! Lucky for me!!!

trio of grunts

For over 3 hours, Adam, Aron and Ariel caught fish!!! I didn’t think they were ever going to quit. We caught all kinds of fish from lane snappers to grunts, sailors choice, spot-tail pinfish, and more. It sure was a blast watching them get excited everytime one of them brought in another species they had never seen before. AdventureAdam and Aron would help take off Ariel’s fish just about every time he brought one in. Try as I might, I just couldn’t get him to hold one in his hand for a picture. Maybe next year! I think his favorite fish he caught was a seargent major, not anywhere near his biggest, but certainly the most colorful one he caught. I could tell he thought it was cool!!! Way to go!

Ariel and sergeant major

AdventureAron caught some really nice big lane snappers and a few Ceasars grunts and tons of tomtates! AdventureAdam caught most of the same, and non stop too! I think his favorite fish was a nice big porkfish that was also about as equally colorful as the seargent major that Ariel caught, but a good bit bigger. I could tell they weren’t used to seeing or catching so many different species of fish, and especially ones so colorful. They wanted to keep everything in a bucket to bring back to show mom but we decided to let them all go where we caught them. Either way, they had Fun and that’s what counts. Nice big porkfish Adam! You don’t catch them too often!

Adam with porkfish

On the morning of the last day we stopped by the Big Sandbar to do some snorkeling. The tide was way high and the sandbar was totally submerged. We had fun swimming around the whole bar collecting West Indian and Florida fighting conchs, looking at tons of mantis shrimp, watching small barracudas chase menhaden and even finding a few beaded starfish to check out. It was a great way to start the day! AdventureAdam took a moment to hold up his “treasures’ for a quick photo op then we released them and motored over to the Rock Garden.

Three brothers collecting

We spent about an hour at the Rock Garden checking out all the fish and looking for some big queen conchs along the edge of the rocks. It wasn’t long before Adam, Aron and Ariel found a few nice ones that had bright pink interiors. I know they wanted to find an empty shell to bring home but everyone of the mollusks was living and I was happy for that. They are not found in too many places around here any more and I’m glad to see them doing so well. On the way back to the boat we found a nice big Cushion Starfish to check out, and I know they loved that as well!!! Nice find!

starfish and conchs

We spent another hour over at Pufferfish Beach looking for puffers. It didn’t take us long to find some, and we spent a good bit of that time chasing and catching checkerboard puffers like there was no tomorrow. Today was the last day of official “Summer Camp” and we were making the very best of the time we had left! I could tell these boys weren’t ready for the week to come to an end!!! And neither was I!!! We were just too busy having FUN and chasing and catchings those pufferfish in our net sure was a BLAST!!!

boys and four puffers

The last half hour of the day the boys wanted to spend back at the beach along the ocean looking for some shells to bring home as souvenirs. The Ocean was flat calm and shells were everywhere to be found! We collected a bunch along with some nice peices of smooth sea glass, then spent the last few minutes enjoying the warm crystal clear water before having to load up and head back. There was no doubt in my mind these 3 boys, all the way from Hungary, were just not ready to head back home!!! They didn’t want this last day at the beach to come to an end!!! And neither did I!!!

Boys on the beach

On the way back in, I couldn’t help but think just how fast this Summer seemed to fly by! It seemed like it was just yesterday that the Summer started and AdventureMike’s was in full swing! I couldn’t believe it was over. We had so much FUN!!! We found so many cool things to share and talk about! We caught so many fish! We had such a great time! We smiled and laughed like crazy! We had a BLAST from start to finish!!! We had one heck of an Adventure!!! All summer long!!! I just can’t wait to do it all over again!!! Good thing I have a bunch of custom session birthday parties coming up! don’t forget to schedule yours! They’re going to be GREAT!!! Christmas and Holiday break camps and Spring Camps seem so far away right now!!! But I know they too will fill up quickly! And I’m ready to go have FUN!!! How about you? See you soon…

Let’s Go Have Some Fun!!!

AdventureMike

Categories : Summer 2010: August 31 - September 3 Tags : , , , , , , ,

Another Week in Paradise!

Posted by 27 June, 2010 (1) Comment

Hi Everyone! Welcome Back!!! I’m finally getting a chance to write about last weeks Adventure. I left immediately after camp on Friday to spend the weekend in the Bahamas swimming with Spotted and Bottlenose Dolphin and some nice big Tiger Sharks on the ridge. Saw quite a few big grouper on some sunken wrecks too […]

Hi Everyone! Welcome Back!!!

I’m finally getting a chance to write about last weeks Adventure. I left immediately after camp on Friday to spend the weekend in the Bahamas swimming with Spotted and Bottlenose Dolphin and some nice big Tiger Sharks on the ridge. Saw quite a few big grouper on some sunken wrecks too which I loved. Wanted to do a little underwater photography! Let me tell you I had FUN doing that too, but that’s a another story for another day! Needless to say, its been FUN FUN FUN and I didn’t get a chance to write my blog!!! Oh well…Now is as good a time as any…

Having FUN at the beach!

Like always, I began the week with another great group of kids!!! We had perfect weather and perfect water conditions and boy were we ever ready to go have some fun!!! Like Fun all the way from here to there kind of FUN! Just the way I LOVE it! We spent the first morning visiting the Rock Garden and having a ball finding all kinds of things! There were so many fish in every direction we didn’t know which way to start swimming. Parrotfish, snappers, grunts, seargent majors, porkfish, barracudas, wrasse and snook! Everywhere!!! While we were looking at fish, AdventureDakota found a Big Sea Urchin which we all checked out and AdventureRocky found a nice one too. This photo of Rocky with a nice sea urchin shows you just how much fun we were having!

Rocky finds a nice sea urchin!

We spent a lot of time looking for new things and catching blennies, gobies, beau gregories, flounder, brittle starfish, short nosed pufferfish and conchs, etc. in our hand nets. It didn’t take long for everyone to get the hang of it! The kids would work together corralling the fish and before long someone had it in their net. The schools of fish were thick near the shallow rocks and this kept the kids busy for quite some time. Nobody wanted to give up! They were too busy having FUN chasing fish at the Rock Garden!!!

Chasing fish at the Rock Garden

After one of the kids turned over a rock and found a Big swimming crab hiding underneath, fish chasing turned into crab catching and off in that direction we went for a while. We didn’t care what we were doing, but boy were we ever having fun and keeping busy doing it all the same! Almost every single rock we looked under we found ourselves staring eye to eye with a nice BIG swiming crab, stone crab or coral crab! We even had schools of sheepshead and parrotfish following us around trying to eat the crabs we were finding out from underneath our fingertips. Were we ever loving that!!! It was cool to see!!! I watched AdventureJagger chase down a nice BIG crab and finally catch him and hold him up for all to see. Nice Job, and not getting pinched either!!! Alright!

Jagger catches a big crab

I watched as AdventureMaxwell perfected a fine technique of turning up a rock and snagging a Big Crab in his net all in one swift motion. That is not as easy as it sounds. These crabs have a habit of rapidly swimming under the next rock nearby or right under your feet before you can blink your eye! Sometimes they swim right under the next kids feet before they know whats going on, and that sure can get things exciting in a hurry. You should have heard the squeals of laughter when that would happen! We all loved it!!!

Maxwell nets another crab!

Another day we stopped by the Big Sandbar to look for mantis shrimp, fighting conchs, blue claw crabs, hermit crabs and anything else we could find to check out up close and personal. It didn’t take us long to find something we loved! We always love coming here and seem to come up with underwater “treasures” on every occasion. On this day I re-learned that important lesson why you should NOT wiggle your finger in the hole of a nice big mantis shrimp to see what might happen! And that’s because he might think its a fish and reach out quicker than you can imagine and grab that nice little finger with his sharp dagger like claws before you can move it!! When I pulled my finger back bleeding with 2 nice punctures in it, the kids thought that was just GREAT!!! I’m sure they learned an important lesson and so did I!!! AGAIN… ouch! When will I ever learn? One of the neatest things AdventureBeau found was a nice big 9 armed starfish that he shared with all of us, and we loved that too!!! Good JOB!

Beau finds a 9 armed starfish!

We spent one afternoon seine netting in the shallows and grass flats around Little Munyon Island. The kids always love this and you never know what you might come up with! We find so many cool things from juvenile barracudas to dwarf sea horses to sharp nosed pufferfish. You name it and I think we might be able to find it! Each time we pulled the net we found something new to share! On this day the tide was extra low and we had a chance to seine net in places we weren’t able to before. It was just great!

seine netting the grass flats

On one pull of the net on to the beach we came up with a lovely checkerboard pufferfish that everyone wanted to see! thes fish are commonly in the shallows eating barnackles off the rocks but aren’t easy to get in a seine net. I showed them the powerful jaws and dentures that these fish posses and made sure no one held this fish but me. Didn’t want anyone to get nibbled on. They are capable of giving a nasty bite if you by chance mistakenly slip your finger in their mouth when you are not paying as close attention as you should be. I’ll bet you would never guess how I found that outlong ago… ouch again… Needless to say we loved checking out this checkerboard pufferfish and his toothy dentures!

Checking out a checkerboard pufferfish!

Thursday was our fishing day and as usual we caught fish almost non stop! The most common thing I heard all day was, “AdventureMike I need more BAIT!!!” And let me tell you I heard that before!!! We spent a little bit of time fishing the artificial reef and caught porkfish, grunts, tomtates, porgies, parrotfish and more. I decided to run down to my snapper hole and before long everyone was catching some nice BIG snappers! And I mean one right after another!!! Over and over and over… AdventureSamantha sure had FUN fighting and catching this nice BIG one all by herself!!! YOU ROCK!

Samantha catches a BIG lane snapper!

I’m not sure how many snapper we caught here, but it seemed to many for me to keep count!!! A few of the kids caught some nice big porgies and they had to work hard bringing those fish in on light tackle! A few times I heard the kids say their wrists were getting tired from reeling in so many fish and thats a “complaint” I love to hear!!! It seems our fishing day is always like this! On one occassion AdventureDakota came up with a nice BIG blue claw crab hanging on his bait and thats the first one anybody has caught during my summer camp! Lucky for us he let go on his own and fell over the side to swim away! Nice catch Dakota!

Dakota catches a blue crab!

The last day we spent a bit of time swimming at the Rock Garden chasing more fish and darting after swimming crabs and having so much fun trying to catch sharpnosed pufferfish when we would see them. When first spotted they don’t appear to be able to swim fast but don’t be fooled by their diminutive size. They can dart away quickly and disappear before you can say, “Where did he go?”. That happened more often than not!!! AdventureMichael came up with a nice one and everyone loved watching it puff up to more than twice its size!!

Michael with a pufferfish!

We ended the day going back to Little Munyon Island and walking around in the shallows finding thousands, and I mean thousands of short spined sea urchins, hundreds of hermit crabs and juvenile blue crabs and a few beaded starfish that everyone loved to see! The tide was so low we had a chance to walk all the way around the island and look for shells and what ever else we could find. AdventureJake came up with a juvenile striped burrfish that had short little spines on top and blue and yellow polka dots on the bottom, and let me tell you we ALL loved that!!! Nice Find!!!

Jake with a juvenile burrfish!

Before we knew it the week had come to an end and none of us was ready to call it a day! We had so much FUN we never wanted it to stop!!! But I knew I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to drop off the group and head to the Bahamas and I knew it was going to be a long day, Having FUN that is, before I cleared customs and I couldn’t wait to get started!!! . And just like I thought, it was wonderful! Wish you all could have joined me! It was just GREAT!!!

Having all this Fun left me looking forward to this week. And one things certain, I couldn’t wait to head out in the boat with the kids and have fun doing it all over again! I know its going to be great! I can just feel it!!! Hope you’ll join us in the Adventure!!! Stay tuned, it will be here before you know it! Time Flies when your having FUN!!!! And we’re going to have it from start to finish!!! See you soon!

Let’s Go Have Some FUN!!!
AdventureMike

Categories : Summer 2010: June 21 - 25 Tags : , , , , , , , , , , ,