We’ve just finished up our first week of summer time Fun and Adventure and what a wonderful week we’ve had!!! We spent the week boating up and down the intra coastal, snorkeling the Rock Garden, exploring the Big Sandbar, fishing my secret spots and catching tons of fish non stop! Another day we watched manatees eat sea grass all around the boat and later that day we had a ball watching a pod of 30 or more bottlenose dolphin frolic just off our bow in crystal clear water! We caught swimming crabs under rocks, found sea urchins galore and topped that day off finding a couple of big horseshoe crabs cruising around in the shallows. We found fighting conchs, beaded starfish, hermit crabs and watched a school of reef squid change all sorts of colors right before our eyes! We caught pufferfish bare handed, explored the beach and along the ocean and chased sand fleas in the surf. Needless to say, we had non stop FUN and ADVENTURE from start to finish and thats just the way I love it!!! I’ll let some of the pictures do the rest of the talking!!! Enjoy!!!
Let’s Go Have Some Fun!!!
Group Photo on the boat:
Watching Bottlenose Dolphin!!!
Group finds a horseshoe crab!
Michael catches a filefish!
Rocky catches a Big lane snapper!
Ryan catches a nice Ceasar’s grunt!
Gabriel catches another yellowtail snapper!
Trevor Catches a big Ceasar’s grunt
Danielle and Ryan find beaded starfish
Jamie with a sea urchin hairdo!
Robert with a large swimming crab!
Elena snorkeling the Rock Garden
Julian finds a beaded starfish
Trevor finds a Big Horseshoe Crab!
Acadia catches a barracuda!
Jamie finds a beaded starfish
Jamie and Ryan with some cool finds!
Gabriel with a large horseshoe crab
Michael with a large horseshoe crab
Robert watching a barracuda
Chasing mangrove crabs along the dock
Catching crabs underwater
Michael catches a big swimming crab!
To check out the rest of the photos from this weeks session, please click on “Check out our FLICKR photostream” found a little bit down on this home page on the right side and go to “June 5 – 8, 2012 AM session”.
See you all soon!!! I can’t wait to do it all over again!!! Stay tuned for next weeks sessions!!! I Hope to see you there!!!
We’ve just finished up the third day of Fun and Adventure for the first week of August, and let me tell you it had been absolutely GREAT from the very start!!! Just like every week this whole Summer!!! I just can’t say it enough, “We’ve had FUN FUN FUN from start to finish! Day after day after day… All Summer long…”. It just doesn’t get any better than this! And I know I’ve said that before!!! 🙂 This week I have another great group of kids that are ready for Adventure the very minute they come on board! And that’s just the way I love it!!! They’re ready to go go go with or without me! Good thing I keep the keys to the boat in my pocket!
We began the week going to the Big Sandbar since dead low tide was occurring just about 9 in the morning. Lucky for us we had the whole sandbar to ourselves and not another boat full of people in sight. I love it like that. If there is anything to be discovered, we are going to be the first to find it and you never know what you might find. On this morning there were starfish starfish everywhere, and did we ever have fun running from one end of the sandbar to the other picking up starfish and checking them out! We saw beaded starfish and cushion starfish lying out on the exposed sand of the bar before we ever left the boat. You should have seen how fast the kids unloaded from the boat. AdventureLorenzo sure had Fun coming up with a couple starfish of his own to share with us. We loved that!
When we weren’t picking up starfish, we were checking out the fighting conchs, moon snails and the olive shells that were leaving long trails thru the sand as they burrowed back towards deeper water. We found quite a few baby ear mollusks that were just beginning to pop out of the sand and we all took turns letting them slime thru our finger tips before letting them go. As the sand got warmer from the sun beating on it, blue claw crabs, box crabs, lady crabs and dozens of hermit crabs began to crawl out from underneath the sand just at our very toes. AdventureSydney came up with one big giant rooster crab that was blowing bubbles out his mouth and we all loved that too!!!
As the tide came in we decided to head to little Munyon Island to do some exploring in the shallows. It took me a bit to get everyone back in the boat. Nobody wanted to leave until they had put all the starfish left exposed on the bar back in to deeper water, and let me tell you that was a LOT!!! It was also a lot of FUN! I think we found the most beaded starfish I have ever seen, and the cool thing about that was not only did we find a ton, but we found a few different species of them too that I haven’t seen in quite a while. AdventureRylee came up with one nice big one that I know she wanted to take home as a pet, but she let it go all the same. Nice find too!!!
When we arrived at Little Munyon Island the whole south side of Sea Urchin Shoals was totally out of water. There were hundreds if not thousands of short spined urchins literally covering almost every square inch of the shoal. We had so much Fun searching and finding every color phase of sea urchins you could imagine. My favorite was the one with a pure white body and dark purple spines. We came up with some beautiful bright pink ones and a few pure white ones too. We found some big black round ones that would cling on to your hands with thousands of tiny tube feet. You could lift them out of the water and hold them upside down and even then they wouldn’t let go. It was just great!!! Everywhere you looked there were short spined sea urchins and AdventureJosh was picking them up by the handfuls! I know he was loving that!!!
As we left Little Munyon Island to head back to the dock a pair of bottlenose dolphin swam right up to our boat and road the bow wave for a while. We watched as they would dart back and forth in the shallows chasing mullet, and then come right back to our boat and swim beside us. They seemed to be as excited checking us out as we were checking them out! We had so much FUN watching them we were late getting back to the dock! Oh well…. I’d love to be late for that reason every day!!!! We all would have!!!
The next morning we stopped by the Rock Garden to do some snorkeling. The tide was a bit low and the water was not as clear as I would have liked to do some underwater photography of the group but we had loads of FUN all the same. I don’t think the kids cared whether I took underwater photos of them or not. They were so busy chasing fish and turning over rocks looking for hidden treasures I could hardly get any one of them to look at me! Oh well, so much for underwater photography and those great shots I envisioned…, needlessto say, we had a blast all the same!!! AdventureLianne came up with a really cool brittlestarfish that was about as delicate as you could imagine and that was a great find too. We all loved checking this one out before she let it go.
The rest of the gang spent a good bit of time chasing swimming crabs that could be found under every rock. They came in all sizes from tiny to gigunda and every now and then I would hear a squeal of laughter as one crab would swim out of the net of one adventurer and right under the foot of another! It was great to see that! It kept them right on their toes so to speak paying attention to all the fun that was going on around them! AdventureBeau thought it was cool to check out one big swimming crab underwater up close and personal!!
From here we decided to head to Little Munyon Island to do some seine netting in the shallow grass flats. On the way we stopped for a quick romp around the Big Sandbar to see what we could find. And of course, we found beaded starfish from one end to the other. Did we ever love that!!! AGAIN!!! I was hoping we would find a 9 armed starfish but no luck. Maybe tomorrow! As we were walking from one exposed bar to another, AdventureFaye found the smallest, most tiniest beaded starfish I have ever seen! It wasn’t much bigger than her pinky fingernail and we all thought that was really cool! How she saw it, I will never know! Nice Job!!!
When we arrived at Little Munyon Island, we grabbed the seine net and a few buckets and within seconds we were seining the shallows. We all would take turns pulling the net and with every pull we would find something cool! We started from one end of the island and worked our way to the other side. Over and over and over..As soon as one group would come in and the net was sorted, the next was raring to go! I loved the enthusiasm this group had, Reminded me of myself. Sometimes its just hard to stop having FUN…
As soon as the net was pulled on to the beach we would hurriedly sort thru our catch of “treasures”. We would put anything special in our specimen tank to be checked out later, and let the rest go. We caught all kinds of juvenile fish from grunts and snappers to baby barracudas and pipefish. We caught an assortment of shrimp and crabs too. With every pull of the net another treasure was discovered! You should have seen the excitement on the kids faces every time the net came in and how quickly they wanted to sort thru the catch. It was just great!!!
Everyone was hoping we would catch some pufferfish and lucky for us we did! On the very last pull of the net we came up with a beautiful striped burrfish that puffed up the minute it was out of water. It became such a spiny pin cushion we could hardly hold it. We all took turns checking it out and I was careful to make sure everybody kept their fingers away from the toothy end of the fish. This little fish can give a painful bite. AdventureSeth sure had fun gingerly holding this burrfish as best he could! No bite either! Nice Job!
Seine netting always seems to be one of the most fun things the kids like to do. You never know what you may come up with, how many different things you may have or if you have anything at all. Sometimes we get juvenile sea horses, barracudas, pipefish, yellowtail snappers, grass shrimp, cow fish, etc. A plethora of cool things just waiting to be discovered!!! It always seem though that a nice big spiny burrfish or a slippery blown up pufferfish puts a smile on a kids face everytime! I know it does mine!!!
And of course, today was our fishing day and it’s always mighty hard to beat the FUN and EXCITEMENT that we have on this day!!! Most days the kids will have a fish on within a few seconds of their bait hitting the bottom! On this day it was no different!!! We spent a little bit of time fishing the artificial reef and caught porkfish, grunts, snappers, tomtates, porgies, sailors choice and more! IFrom start to finish we caught fish non stop!!! can’t tell you how many times I heard someone say, ” Mike, I need help taking off my fish”. I just love it like that!!! Everybody caught some nice fish but I think AdventureBeau caught the biggest grunt that gave him a good fight! Way to go Beau!!!
At the end of the day we stopped by the Big Sandbar for another quick romp of exploration then hurried over to the Rock Garden to spend the last hour snorkeling. We spent some time searching for crabs under rocks and along the way found some very cool green mantis shrimp and some big queen conchs. AdventureJosh caught a nice juvenile flounder that we all checked out, then we spent some time chasing sharpnosed pufferfish just for FUN!!! AdventureJake sure had FUN holding this nice puffer all “blown” up!
Whenever we would find something cool or catch a pufferfish we would all take turns checking it out and sharing it with the whole group. Many times the pufferfish would wiggle and deflate, and out of your hand they would go! It was amazing how quickly they could disappear right before your eyes! I can’t tell you how many times that happened today! No problem though, it wasn’t long before someone had another and enjoying it all over again! You can see how much FUN AdventurePetey was having with this puffer! Me too of course…
Before we knew it the day had come to an end! I don’t know how the time flew by so fast, but when I said it was time for us to head back, nobody was ready to go! Not even me… on the way back to the ramp we had one more cool adventure! And did we ever love that!!! Just as we were slowly coming around the end of the Big Sandbar in the boat, a huge dark shape appeared right beside us. I put the boat in nuetral and we watched as a big friendly manatee swam right up past us, stuck his nose out of the water and took a good look at us, then took a breath and disappeared. How cool is that!!! What a way to end the day!!!
One things certain, it sure left me looking forward to tomorrow and doing it all over again!!! Needless to say, we didn’t make it back to the boatramp on time again… Oh well, we were just too busy having FUN!!! I can’t wait till tomorrow! i know it’s going to be great!!! Hope you’ll join us!!! See you soon!!!
Hi Everybody, Welcome Back!!! I just wanted to drop a quick post about the weeks Adventure. Let me tell you, it has been one of the very best! We’ve had FUN, FUN, FUN from Here to There!!! It just doesn’t get any better than this!!! And I really mean that!!! I just never want this Summer to come to an end!!! It has been so much Fun!!! I must be dreaming… 🙂
I started out the week with just another absolutely wonderful, great group of kids! And like I’ve said before, “Each week just seems to get better and better!!!” When I arrived at the dock I was joined by 4 previous adventurers, AdventureRachel, Amanda, Rylee and Sydney. In turn, we were joined by 4 new Adventurers, AdventureRobert, Jonathan, Madeline and Emily. It was Emily’s birthday on Monday and we spent a great day doing an AdventureMike custom birthday party session, and boy did we ever have FUN! I never wanted that to end either! Always have a blast! I just love doing those!!! We’ll have to do some more!!!
When I arrived at the dock I could tell this group was ready and raring to go. We quickly loaded up, and off to the Rock Garden we went. The tide was high and the water absolutely beautiful! We had just dropped anchor and as I was getting the masks ready for everyone, 5 manatees came by and took a look at us!!! Right by the boat. Boy do I wish we had gotten there 2 minutes sooner so we could have been in the water with them. They hung around the boat for a minute or two, then off they went. What a way to start the day!!! It didn’t take us long to get in after that, and as usual, there were fish every where we looked!!! Within a few seconds we were catching swimming crabs, blennies, wrasse and pufferfish. We all took turns checking out what everyone was catching. It was just great and we were having so much FUN!
We found some really beautiful Hawkwing and Queen conchs and checked out their cute little eyes peeking back out at us. We found a nice big spotted moray eel living in an old barrel and that was great to see too! There were all kinds of arrow crabs and rock crabs living all around the barrel, and of course we had to catch a few of those in our nets to check them out up close and personal! There were so many things to see we didn’t know which direction to go! There were sheepshead, snook, barracudas, porkfish, snapper, grunts, surgeonfish, parrotfish, angelfish, wrasse, blennies, toadfish, cowfish, jawfish and even some beautiful pearly razorfish almost within reach of our fingertips! We found so many cool things!!!
We swam around in the shallows looking for flounder and pufferfish and came upon a beautiful small,yellow spotted ray hidden in the sand. Even though they have a small venomous barb like a stingray, I carefully took a scoop and caught it in my net. I gently pulled the barb off so that we could all hold it and take a good look up close and personal. They begin to grow their barbs back in a week or two and I thought this would be a great opportunity for the kids to hold one in their hands and see what they’re like. Boy, did everyone love doing this! I never saw such smiles on so many kids faces!!! Miles of Smiles, from ear to ear!!! Just the way I love it!!! I just loved it!!! A bit later we let him go to continue on his way.
By now the tide was going out and we went to the Big Sandbar to explore the shallows. Before we even had a chance to drop anchor I could see some big Cushion Starfish and fighting conchs exposed on the bar. The second we dropped anchor, the crew unloaded. Off and running they went to check out the big starfish!!! Nobody wanted to be the last one out of the boat here! By the time I got out of the boat they were all checking the Cushion Starfish out. So much for waiting for me… By now I was getting used to being the last one out. This group had more energy and enthusiasm than you could imagine. Just the way I love it!!!
We placed the big starfish back into deeper water and off we went to explore the bar. It was only a matter of seconds before we found Baby’s Ear mollusks, Netted olives and fighting conchs popping out of the sand. There seemed to be something everywhere we looked! We found numerous beaded starfish, maybe 10 or so, and that was the most I have ever seen at one time. One of the best finds on the bar was a lovely 9 armed starfish, and of course we had to share that and take some “9 armed starfish head ” photos for fun. I could tell Rachel really loved that!!! Tell me she doesn’t look like a “Natural” !!!
I think Jonathan found the most beautiful blue-eyed hermit crab I have ever seen! It had eyes like fluorescent deep blue sapphires! The most beautiful and unreal shade of blue in the world!!! Stunning comes to mind… Wish mine looked just like that, it was so cool! A really nice find! We took a jump into the hot tub for a few seconds, checked out some Mantis Shrimp in their tunnels then had to head back to the boat to make it back on time. On the way back we found another large Cushion Starfish and I could tell everybody loved that again too.
Today may have been the most fun for me all Summer!!! Everything was just absolutely perfect from beginning to end!!! We had so much fun today!!! It just couldn’t have been any better!!! You guys ROCK!!!
Woke up Wednesday morning to a heavy rainfall, blustery winds and some strong lightning storms in the vicinity. Finally the bad weather from tropical storm Anna had caught up with me. This was the very first time EVER that I was going to have to call it a day without being able to go out, but I didn’t want to take any chances so I made the calls to cancel the day. Boy was I disappointed, but I knew the weather for Thursday was looking perfect, and that of course is our FISHING DAY! Just wanted everyone to be safe, and I knew we were going to have FUN the next two days!!!
When I arrived at the dock today, everybody was early and ready to go, and so was I!!! Little did I know then just how good our fishing day was going to be!!! When I arrived at my secret spot and checked the fish finder, I was recording fish from top to bottom!!! Excitedly I dropped anchor, baited the rods and handed them out and then everyone dropped down at once. From that second on there wasn’t ever a moment that somebody didn’t have a fish on. And I mean not for one second!!! You know the saying a “pictures worth a thousand words”, well look below…
Eight kids, eight rods and eight fish on at ONCE!!! All day long it was like this!!! From the very first second and it never stopped!!! I was so busy I couldn’t even take photos. I can’t tell you how often I heard, ” I NEED MORE BAIT!!!” I You could not count one second from the moment your bait hit bottom till you had one on!!! AdventureDaniel, if you are following this post you got lucky today… If I would have had more help taking off fish and baiting hooks, your record of 111 fish in 3 hours would have fallen today!!! It was that unbelievable!!! I think everyone must have caught between 50 and 70 fish each, and some were mighty big! We caught some really nice grunts, snappers, parrotfish, tomtates, porkfish and even a seargent major or two. Good thing Madeline, Emily and Robert helped to bait lines and take fish off!!!
The action was so incredible that I heard complaints that wrists and arms were getting sore reeling so many fish in!!! Now that’s what I call FUN!!! I may never again see fishing action like this, but I can only hope!!! Most of the time you couldn’t even get your line to the bottom before you had a fish on. And of course all this excitement and non-stop action brought in the Big Barracudas right up underneath the boat!!! And it wasn’t long before they decided to make a meal of all the big fish that were fighting hard not to come in!!! We had fish eaten right up next to the boat and I can tell you that was exciting!!! Matter of fact, it was AWESOME!!! At least for us that is… I’m sure the snapper felt otherwise…
As it turned out, I have no idea how many fish we caught, but it had to be somewhere over three hundred. That may sound like a fish story to some, but we know better!!! We lived the ADVENTURE!!! You can ask anybody on board today and they would say the same thing. Non stop from start to finish!!! It just couldn’t have been any better!!! It was just GREAT!!! JUST GREAT!!! God, I LOVE THIS JOB!!!
When we finally reached the point where no one could reel in one more fish, we pulled anchor and went to the Rock Garden for a quick swim and a rinse. We spent some time chasing fish and crabs and relaxed, just having fun! On the way back to the boat when it was time to leave, A big manatee came by, gave us an up close and personal look, and then continued on. We gave him a quick rub on the back before he left. It couldn’t have been a nicer way to end the day!!! I would have loved to kiss him right on his nose!!! Did I say, “It just couldn’t get any better than this”!!!
All I can say is, “So Far, We had fun from start to finish”!!! And I don’t know about you, but I just can’t wait till tomorrow!!! We have one more day left, And I can guarantee you, I’m going to make it FUN!!! It’s going to be GREAT!!! Wish you could join us!!!
We just finished up the third day of our weekly Adventure and as usual, We’ve had an Awesome week! Things have been just perfect from the very start! The weather was looking iffy in the beginning of the week but somehow it turned to be about as nice as it could be! The Adventurous weather Gods were looking out for us and the water was beautiful, calm and clear, and sunny skies all day long! It just doesn’t get any nicer than this week! Which is a good thing cause I have a boatful of Adventurers and let me tell you they know how to have FUN!!! From start to finish, We’ve had a Blast!!!
I arrived at the dock bright and early Tuesday morning and as soon as I tied up, AdventureGunner, Jagger, Kai, Seth, Josh, Dominik, Daniel, Eli, Louis and Madison hopped aboard! They were as full of energy as you could imagine and ready to start the Adventure and have some FUN! And so was I!!! could already tell it was going to be another great week!!! The tide was high and the water clear so we went straight to Peanut Island to do some snorkeling in the shallows. The minute we got in the water we could see fish everywhere!!! Snook, Barracudas, parrotfish, sheepshead, sergeant majors, grunts, snappers, porkfish, bermuda chub, needlefish, surgeonfish, doctorfish, pufferfish, blue runners, crevalle jacks and menhaden by the thousands. No matter where you looked, there were fish EVERYWHERE!!! And I mean every where!!! And we were loving this!!!
We all grabbed some small hand nets and decided to give chase for some fun and excitement! It wasn’t long before we had caught some pufferfish, large crabs and some cute seaweed blennies! We almost caught a pair of small peacock flounders but they got away at the last minute. It was FUN to see and we were getting some good exercise swimming frantically around in the shallows chasing after fish this way and that!!! Even the lifeguard decided to come over and take a look at what we were catching. She said, “It looks like you guys are having fun! Wish I could join you”, but she was still on duty and we went back to chasing fish!. Just about that time Daniel came up with a BIG swimming crab in his net and we all took turns checking it out and then everybody was catching them right and left! It was GREAT!!! You could hear squeals of laughter and excitement every time you came up for a breathe! It doesn’t get any better than this!!!
I don’t know where the time went but somehow it flew by!!! It seemed to me we had only been in the water for just a few minutes, not 3 hours! We were having so much FUN we never even thought to take a look at our watches! We had just enough time to take a quick romp on the Big Sandbar before heading back to the dock. I can tell you when I said it was time to head back, I thought there was going to be a mutiny! Nobody and I mean nobody was ready to call it a day yet!!! Good thing there was 3 more days left of adventure, and we couldn’t wait to do it all over again! It was that much Fun!!!
The next day we went straight to the Big Sandbar to do some exploring and found all kinds of sea urchins, fighting conchs, nine armed and beaded starfish, mantis shrimp and some cool arrow crabs and banded cleaner shrimp. We found a blue crab in the very process of molting its shell and watched as it shed its shell and pumped himself up with water to stretch the new soft shell out into a bigger shell with room to grow into. It was just great to see that!!! Did it right in our hands too!!! How cool is that!!! There were giant mantis shrimp peeking out of every hole we saw and checking us out as we swam by! And of course when we found the nine armed starfish we had to take some “starfish head” photos of the gang having FUN! AdventureJagger especially liked that! We all did!
While we were swimming in the shallows a big school of crevalle jacks chased a school of menhaden right up next to us and began to eat them with gusto!!! We could hear the jacks gulping them down as we watched them from underwater. Talk about having Fun and EXCITEMENT!!! We were loving it!!! I’m sure the menhaden felt otherwise!!! By the time it was all over, there were nothing but scales and tails. After this we decided to take a quick plunge into the “Hot Tub” and then head to Little Munyon Island to do some seine netting in the shallows.
As soon as we arrived we grabbed the seine net and waded out into the shallows. Everybody took turns bringing in the net, sorting the fish and releasing the rest. We caught so many different types of juvenile fish, shrimp and crabs. Our favorites were the small barracudas, the checkerboard and sharpnosed pufferfish, the hogfish, needlefish, grunts, snappers and tiny flounders! Each one of us had a chance to gingerly hold them, take a few photos and release them where we caught them. And just like yesterday, when I mentioned it was time to go, nobody was ready!!! We were having too much FUN!!! After a few more hurried pulls we loaded up and headed back, and yes, I arrived a bit late, Oh well…
Today was our fishing day, and when I arrived at the dock everybody was raring to go! Good thing one of my very best friends, AdventureBill was kind enough to give me a hand!!! He’s a captain and ships pilot at the port of Palm Beach and one of the best too! Not only that, he’s my best tennis bud and we take turns showing each other who’s “boss” on the tennis court. I think we are about even there though he may think otherwise… Nice of him to come along! We didn’t have the action that I had hoped for today but everybody caught fish and no matter how fast we worked to catch up, we never could!!! I know he won’t ever forget those infamous words either, “I NEED MORE BAIT” without thinking about today! It was just GREAT even though we didn’t catch the hundreds I had hoped!!! I think Jagger caught the biggest one, A nice Porkfish, and Josh caught a few really beautiful parrotfish and everybody caught some nice big Casears Grunts, Tomtates and Sailors Choice!!! We just had trouble hooking the fish today. We lost a few really nice fish to some huge barracudas that took up residence under the boat. Everybody loved when one would dart out, swallow their fish whole and take hook, line and sinker to boot! Just great, at least for us anyway…
Needless to say, We had an absolute ball and everybody had fun, and that’s what counts!!! Sometimes fishing is just “fishing” and not always “catching” and AdventureDaniel when you read this you can breathe a sigh of relief!!! Your record of 111 fish in one day still stands! I know you will love that!!! That number still seems mind blowing to me!!! And he’ll be the first to tell you that was no “FISH STORY” either!!! All in all, we had a fabulous day, non stop action, not always catching, but it was Fun from start to finish!!! And you know what the best thing is? We still have one more day left!!! And I can’t wait till tomorrow!!!! How about you?
Hi Everyone, Welcome back!!! We just finished our first weekly Adventure and as usual we had a BLAST!!!!! We’ve been so busy adventuring this week I haven’t even had a chance, nor the energy to write about it! As some of you may know, I’ve had such a wonderful response to my camp that I decided to do double sessions to try and get some more of you in, and even then I couldn’t accommodate all the requests I’ve had. Thanks to you all! For those of you who couldn’t get your child in, I’m sorry…. Would love to be able take everyone who wanted to go, just not able to. Please register early next year when I open up registration and get ALL the paper work to me IMMEDIATELY to hold your space when that time comes! I already know I won’t be able to take everyone for sure then! Now on to this past weeks ADVENTURE!!!
When I arrived at the dock bright and early for the Tuesday morning session I could already tell we were going to have another great group! The kids were there, excited and raring to go, and with smiles from ear to ear. Just the way I love it!!! Soon afterwards, AdventureMatthew, Casey, Jaime, Miriam, Katie, Thomas, Nicholas and Neil boarded my Adventure boat, “DREAM CHASER” to begin the weeks adventure. And were they ever ready to go!!! We stowed the gear, off we went and the FUN began…
We spent the week boating and exploring, isaland hopping, going to the Big Sandbar, the Rock Garden, Munyon Island, Starfish Prairie, the Beach and of course Fishing!!!! And did we Ever Have FUN!!! From start to finish it was a blast and each session seemed to end way to soon!
On the Big Sandbar we found hundreds of Florida and West Indian fighting Conchs and loads of short-spined sea urchins in a variety of colors. We checked them all to see what new color combinations we could find. My favorite being the bright white with the deep purple short spines. Just beautiful!!! Along the way we discovered Mantis Shrimp burrows and watched as Tube Worms slowly filtered sand to digest the algae off each grain. We came upon the broken carapace of a very large Rooster Crab, in the family of box or shame-faced crabs known for holding their claws in front of their faces, that had been freshly eaten by a ray and found quite a few Baby’s Ear Mollusks burrowing in the sand. Always love finding those!
We found a variety of starfish every time we went, from Beaded Sea Stars, Cushion Sea Stars and the unusual Nine-Armed Starfish that’s mainly nocturnal. Always a treat!!! That gave me a great opportunity to take some cool photos of AdventureNeil and a few others with “Nine-Armed Starfish Head” a first for the trip!!! On one day we found a very rare and unusual fish resting in a shallow hole with only an inch or two of water remaining, maybe a hundred feet from the waters edge. I was excited to see it was a Flying Gurnard, distinguished by having fan like pectoral fins that often have brilliant iridescent blue lines and markings!!! It was a fabulous discovery!!! These fish have modified ventral fins that allow them to “walk” about and turn over rocks and shells while foraging. A very unusual fish and one that I rarely see. Boy were we Lucky!!! We released it unharmed into deeper water. I know it was glad about that. Every now and then when we would get cold swimming, we would come back to the Big Sandbar and sit in a deep hole filled with hot water that we nicknamed “The Hot Tub” to warm up. It was just great!!! Our very own hot tub…
At the Rock Garden we saw the usual…. Hundreds of fish in every size, shape and color imaginable! From small barracudas to snook, porkfish, parrotfish, sheepsheads, grunts, snappers, angelfish, damselfish, butterflyfish, blennies, etc. Every where you looked there was something else to be seen… We spent hours searching under the shallow rocks and found all types of hermit crabs, box crabs, rock crabs, porcelain crabs, swimming crabs, stone crabs, pistol shrimp, popping shrimp, blennies and more. A plethora of discoveries with every turn. Just love it that way!!!
This week we were lucky to have calm enough seas to run out the inlet and around the South Jetty to park right near the beach and do some beach combing for shells and worn sea glass. All of us came home with a few treasures of our own. We had hours of fun “hill jumping” and body surfing the small waves in crystal clear water. Never wanted to leave here, and in between body surfing and snorkeling, the group played a few games of “chicken” where Casey and Jaime would team up against Thomas and Nicholas and try and wrestle each other over into the water. It was fun for all!!
We spent one day going to Little Munyon Island to do some seine netting in the shallows and had a ball. We caught numerous mojarra, pinfish, juvenile grunts and snappers, pistol shrimp, popping shrimp, seagrass shrimp, smooth trunkfish and even a checkerboard pufferfish which delighted the group by puffing up with air for a quick photo op! On the way home that day we stopped by Starfish Prairie and hurriedly picked up a few large Cushion Starfish for another quick photo opportunity then released them unharmed exactly where we found them. They were everywhere to be found! Really nice to have nearby…
And of course, its had to match the fun and excitement of our FISHING DAY!!!. Always non-stop action from start to finish and everyone caught a mixed bag of snappers, tomtates, caesars grunts, sailor’s choice, margates, spot-tail pinfish, porkfish and AdventureNeil caught one scorpionfish which I was happy to get back in the water as quickly as possible. You definitely want to stay away from the venomous spines on those!!! I learned that the hard way many a year ago and don’t want to repeat that EVER again! OUCH!!! All in all, I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “I NEED MORE BAIT!!!” over and over and OVER!!! Good thing AdventureNicholas from last summer came to give me a hand helping to bait lines, unhook fish and clean up, and even still, we were running deep in the hole behind this gang trying to keep up with all the fish they were catching!!!
All in all, it was a fabulous first week!!! When it was time to head back, no-one was ready to call it a day!!! We were just too busy having fun!!! And Just the way I love it!!! And lucky for me, I got to do it all over again with the second group of Adventurers for the afternoon session!!! Doesn’t get any better than that!!! Wish you could have joined us!!!! We had a BLAST!!! I just couldn’t wait for the second adventure session to begin!!!
All you guys will be missed, and I can’t wait to see you again!, but it was time to…
We finished up the weekly adventure session with another wonderful day of fishing. We had a great group, great weather and great fishing! It doesn’t get any better than this!!! This summer has been the very best that I can ever remember! Every group has been just great! We’ve had so much fun and learned so much I never want it to end. And I can tell you, my adventurers don’t either!!! Just a few weeks left, and they’re all filled, still taking reservations for a waiting list just in case of a cancellation but I haven’t had one yet. Wish I had a bigger boat, and two more of me. Maybe next year…
I arrived at the dock about 20 minutes early, and you guessed it , everyone was already waiting for me and wondering what took me so long. They were ready to go and full of enthusiasm. Just the way I love it! We loaded up and went to the sandbar by the Deep Hole to look for some menhaden. The tide was very low and the menhaden weren’t in yet so we motored over to the Rock Garden to take a few casts with the net. It only took one! We had about 200 baits with the first cast. We put them in the live-well and off we went.
We motored a few times around the artificial reef till I marked some large schools of fish. I anchored up current a few feet, baited the hooks and AdventureJason, Jordyn, Michael, Christopher, Trevor, Gunner and Jagger dropped down. If you’ve been following my posts lately, you know what happened next! The second they touched bottom we had fish on!!! All kinds of fish! It took almost 15 seconds before I heard those familiar words, “I need more Bait!” From then on out, it was non-stop as usual!
AdventureTrevor took the lead right at first, with AdventureJordyn a close second. These two were neck and neck till about 40 fish each, and truthfully, I can’t remember who caught the most in the end! We were all too busy having fun!, and I was too busy baiting and taking off fish to keep count! This is when I really need 3 of me! Oh well…
AdventureMichael, Jason, Christopher, Gunner and Jagger were catching fish almost non stop too, but not quite as fast as AdventureJordyn and Trevor. Once the action started it was pretty much a blur for me after that for the next 3 hours! No time for snacks or drinks, just baiting hooks, taking off fish, occasionally re-rigging and every now and then stopping to take a picture of one of their fish when they wanted. Like I said, “It doesn’t get any better than this!” I just love it.
I baited up one of the bigger rods with one of their fish and gave it a short toss behind the boat. BOOM!!! The water exploded, and a second later a nice barracuda launched skyward! I think AdventureChristopher, Jason, Gunner, Jordyn and Michael took turns reeling it in. When it got right up to the boat, I took over and reached down with a short gaff, lifted it into the boat and put it in the live well out of the way so no-one could get near those wonderfully awful, nice large and very sharp teeth! I wanted to keep this one so I would have some nice bait for the crab traps over the next few weeks. Almost nothing smells “stinkier” or “fishier” to me than a nice barracuda! Well, short of a large flying fish hitting me square in the face and splattering at 40 mph on the way over to the Bahamas once. Nice shot too, bull’s-eye, square on the bridge of the nose. Ouch!, and a nice splatter job too, had fish parts from ear to ear, up my nose and even in my “pearly whites”. Everybody aboard loved it, well short of me of course, and maybe the flying fish! But barracuda does works great for bait, shark fishing and even deep dropping.
We fished non stop for about three and a half hours and caught all kinds of fish! Grunts, snappers, yellowtails, tomtates and sailor’s choice were the most common catches, but we had a few really nice fish on that I think were groupers or large mutton snappers. Just couldn’t get them up to see what they were. Maybe next time, but either way we had fun, and all of us loved it! We decided to spend the last half hour swimming in the Deep Hole, so we pulled anchor and motored over.
I took a couple of quick photos of the barracuda with all the adventurers then off into the Deep Hole we went. It was beautiful! Crystal clear and full of fish! We had a ball swimming and talking about the weeks adventures! On the way back, everybody said they had never had so much fun and learned so much at any summer camp before! And they didn’t want to leave. And you know something, I didn’t want them to leave either! Oh well… I really love it when things end like that!! Makes me feel proud inside. Thanks guys!!! I’m sure going to miss you and everyone when summer is over. We have had so much fun, so many wonderful adventures and discoveries, and so many great kids!!! Thank you! I never want it to end! Never…
I’ll be out of town for the next week. Going to do some adventuring of my own! I can’t wait!!! I’ll keep you posted. In the mean time, Get outdoors, enjoy life, live the adventure, laugh alot and remember my motto:
I just finished up the third day of this weeks adventure session and I just don’t think it gets any better than this!!! There just wasn’t enough hours in the day for us to do all we wanted. Every place we went and everything we did was an absolute blast and we all had fun like their was no tomorrow! I was joined by three more new adventurers today, AdventureAlgis, Linas and Paulius, all the way from the Republic of Lithuania, a country on the southeast shores of the Baltic Sea sharing borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland, and the Russian exclave of the Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest. Talk about adventurers, not only could these boys swim, they knew how to travel and even spoke a few words of English. So we got along great! And one thing they knew for sure was how to have fun, and they came to the right summer camp! I can guarantee that! With AdventureDavid and Dina from Hungary and Adventure Algis, Linas and Paulius from Lithuania my summer camp, AdventureMike’s, has gone international, and it has been Fabulous!!! From here on out, the skies the limit. Right on!
With AdventureAlgis, Linas and Paulius joining AdventurersJason, Jordyn, Christopher, Trevor, Gunner, Jagger, Michael and Chaz I had a full boat load, and I knew I was going to have my hands full! I knew this would not be a problem though, I am well seasoned by now after months like this! This is a great group of kids, knows how to swim, and DEFINITELY knows how to have fun!!! And that makes my job easy, at least on days like today!
We decided we would head straight for Little Munyon Island to do some seine netting while the tide was still low. AdventureJason, Jordyn, Michael, Gunner, Trevor and Jagger took turns pulling the seine net thru the shallows while AdventureAlgis, Linas and Paulius went snorkeling with AdventureChaz looking for starfish, sea urchins and large sea grass hermit crabs.
By the time we were finished seine netting the adventurers had found juvenile barracudas, hogsnappers, striped grunts, caesar’s grunts, french grunts, small mouth grunts, tomtates, pinfish, porkfish, mutton snappers, yellowtail snappers, gray snappers, mojarras, filefish, pufferfish, pipefish and even a few scorpionfish which we were careful not to touch. These were just a few of the many “treasures” we discovered. While we were having fun doing this, my Lithuanian Adventurers were discovering all sorts of cool things besides just starfish, hermit crabs and sea urchins. They saw eagle rays, crevalle jacks and even a pile of small lobster under a rock in 3 feet of water. Now that’s having FUN!!!, especially when you are from Lithuania!!! I could hear their excited voices all the way back to the boat! I was loving it!
We went to Big Munyon Island for a really cool island hike, checked out the estuary for finger mullet, the backside of the island for horseshoe crabs and hermit crabs, the wild coffee and knickerbean plants scattered about, and we even checked under the rooftop of the picnic area to find 2 different type nests of 2 distinct species of mud dobber wasps. One type built a group of single family nests while the other built condos. Just like us. Now that was cool to see! We walked back along the beach to the boat and headed to the sandbar to swim in the Big Hole. Along the way. we stopped at Starfish Prairie, picked up a few very large Cushion Seastars to show the group, released them, and off we went.
We arrived at the Deep Hole along the sandbar and the water was perfect! Just the right depth and perfectly clear! The way we love it! It was full of menhaden and the snook and small barracudas were having a feast. The menhaden would spray out of the water trying to get away from the hungry fish below while the terns and sea gulls were having a feast from above. There was action in every direction and we were loving it. We checked out the West Indian and Florida fighting conchs laying eggs and found that the West Indian species out numbered the Florida species by about 3 to 1. Along the way, AdventureJordyn found the smallest Beaded Sea Starfish I have ever seen. It wasn’t a half inch in width. They are not just uncommon around here, they are downright rare, and to find one this size, unbelievable! I thought it was great, and the coolest thing was that the smallest adventurer aboard would find the smallest beaded starfish I will probably ever see my whole life. Now that’s neat, and I have searched alot!
After this we went to the Rock Garden, dropped anchor and got in. And low and behold what did we see? That’s right, thousands,and I mean thousands of fish in every direction! One of the best days ever! And how was the visibility? That’s right, crystal clear! It just doesn’t get any better than this! We watched hundreds of blue runners and snook eat menhaden till their hearts, and stomachs content. All within inches of our masks. Just great! AdventureMichael, Gunner, Trevor, Jagger, Christopher and Jason caught all kinds of swimming crabs, blue crabs, seaweed blennies and hermit crabs, while AdventureJordyn, Linas, Chaz and Paulinus were content swimming amongst the tropical fish and watching parrotfish, surgeonfish and spotail pinfish graze on the algae covered rocks.
By now we had only 45 minutes left so we climbed in the boat, had a quick snack and some drinks, and decided to head out to the beach since the ocean was as calm as a swimming pool. We drove around the south jetty and dropped anchor a few hundred yards down the beach 10 feet from shore. The water was crystal clear, the beach full of shells and hundreds of juvenile pompano and permit were feeding on sand fleas in 3 inches of water. We were loving it all! The days just don’t get any better than this! Blue skies, clear calm seas, thousands of fish and a great group of adventurers enjoying their day. Now that’s living!!!
When it was time to go, you know, not one of us was ready to call it quits. And especially my group of Lithuanian Adventurers. Even they, with there limited knowledge of English, let me know they wanted to stay longer! And they sure knew how to say FUN while they were having it!!! Today was one of those truly blessed days and even though AdventureAlgis, Linus and Palius spent only one day with me, I know they will never forget it! When we arrived back at the dock and I heard them excitedly talking to their mom about the day I knew things just didn’t get any better than this! I knew every one of us had fun today! And the best thing about it all, there is one more day of ADVENTURE and I just can’t wait till tomorrow!!!
Its fishing day!!! And you know what that means!!! We’re going to have fun, catch fish and live the adventure!!! We’re going to have some FUN!!! Right On!!! God, I love my job!!! Yippee!!!!
Welcome back! We just finished up the first day of another new adventure session, and as usual, what a great day it was! AdventureJason and Jordyn from a couple weeks back returned for another fun filled week of adventure and I just love it! After a weekly session full of adventure and sharing discoveries you almost feel like you become part of the family! It doesn’t get any better than this! AdventureChaz from last week came back again to give me a hand with the boat, helping out with the group and looking for critters, and we had a blast! We were joined by 5 new adventurers today, AdventureMichael, Trevor, Christopher, Gunner and Jagger, and let me tell you this bunch can swim too. Just like fish, and they seemed to love the water as much as me! Once we got in, we didn’t get out for 3 hours. It was great! My kind of adventurers! Mini me’s! RIGHT ON!
We loaded up the boat and left straight for the Rock Garden. The tide was incoming and the water crystal clear and full of fish! Absolutely Beautiful!!! As soon as AdventureChaz dropped anchor we were in the water. There were large schools of fish everywhere, starting right underneath the boat and all the way to the beach. We didn’t know which way to go first! We decided to head to the rocks and the shallows to get up close and personal with some really big snook feeding on the menhaden. They let us get withing 3 feet before slowly swimming away. We felt like we could reach out and grab one and a few of us tried but no luck. They were faster than they looked! There were so many large schools of fish all along the rocks that it made the snorkeling just unbelievable. Parrotfish, sergeant majors, porkfish, menhaden, grunts, snappers, angelfish, barracudas, needlefish, Bermuda chub, surgeonfish, etc., everywhere was fish! and I mean EVERYWHERE!!! There were all sorts of tropical fish within inches of our nose! We were swimming in our very own underwater paradise, sea world it was, and again, we had the “pool” to ourselves. Nobody else around. I just love it when things come together like this! And I was sharing it all with a great group of adventurers too!!!
We found another nice chocolate chip sea cucumber and you guessed it! Yep, We took another photo op. of my new adventurers with “sea cucumber head hairdo” and I think in some cases it was quite appealing! I just love having fun like this and so did they!!! We stopped in the shallows and collected hundreds of the tiny hermit crabs with the little blue legs. They were under every rock by the dozens, and the last I saw AdventureJordyn she had a handful of them in a dozen different types of shells. It was just great! The rest of the gang caught every different type of crab you could find around here. It was like show and tell for all of us for 3 non stop hours! We caught arrow crabs, stone crabs, rock crabs, spider crabs, shame faced crabs, porcelain crabs, blue crabs, sally lightfoot crabs and an assortment of different types of sand crabs I hadn’t seen before. If it was a crab, we caught it, checked it out, let it go and went looking for another species. We found plenty of nice size queen conchs with their beautiful pink interiors and bright blue eyes too. The way they would stick their eyes way out and look at us was just magnificent to see. We all felt they were checking us out too! Just Great! It was like this all day, non stop action like I said. Everybody was catching something different and we were loving it!!! It was nothing but smiles all day!!! Everybody was having fun and I felt great!!! I think I had the biggest smile of all watching everybody else smiling, laughing and finding “treasures”! Just love it like this…. Thank you!
With 40 minutes left we headed back to the boat, had some quick snacks and drinks and went swimming in the Deep Hole with a million menhaden all around us. We took turns chasing them around and when someone jumped in, the menhaden would jump out of the water and land on our backs and flip all around before swimming off! Talk about having fun, WE WERE HAVING IT!!! Right up to our gills! It just doesn’t get any better than this! And as usual, when it was time to go, nobody wanted to head back. We were having too much fun with too many smiles to go along!
On the way back we talked about what we were going to do tomorrow and where we wanted to go first. Everyone of us was looking forward to it and I could hear the excitement in their voices. I can guarantee you everybody is going to be early again! After the very first day on an AdventureMike adventure session, nobody ever arrives late! Not once this whole summer! They are ready and raring to go and full of excitement. The way I love it! Thanks to the parents too!
And guess what’s going to happen tomorrow? That’s Right!!! WE ARE GOING TO HAVE SOME FUN!!!
Stay tuned for the next adventure! Cause we’re going to live it! Wish you were along cause we’re going to have a story to tell… another adventure of our own to share!
We just finished up another great week full of adventure and thrills and at the same time were lucky enough to miss all the rain that seemed to fall everywhere but on us. Most of the showers came thru around 3pm, long after we were off the water. We could not have timed things better, thank you…
We started off yesterdays adventure session with a little bit of trolling down the inter-coastal waterway south along the Palm Beach Island side. I hoped to hook some large jack crevalles or barracudas on light tackle just to give Adventurers Jonah, Annie, Jake and Javier a real tussle trying to bring them in. No luck, but we trolled down to an old tugboat that looked like it had been out of service for the last 50 years or more just to check it out and give Jonah an up close view. We all found it fascinating and pondered its history and years of service.
From here, everyone wanted to go back to the Rock Garden to go snorkeling, search for hermit crabs and try and catch pufferfish and lizardfish. Adventure Annie spent her time trying to catch pufferfish barehanded. Her technique was so good that I can guarantee one day she will get one! We made a bet to see who could find the smallest shell with a hermit crab in it, and for a long while I was in the lead. Just when I thought I was going to win, Javier came up with one that I knew was going to be tough to beat, so back to work, Adventure Jake, Jonah and I went looking. We all wanted to win and I was going to give it my best. I planned on winning just to set an example that you could do anything with persistence and determination. There was just one thing I neglected to think about or seemed to overlook. And that one thing was the fact that “eagle eye” Jake could see a hermit crab about half the size of a head of a pin and not just see it, but pick it up and sure enough he won! I had to take it back to the boat and look at it with my glasses on just to see if it was a shell, and sure enough while I was looking at it, out came the tiniest blue legs I have ever seen. I had to declare him the winner. The only way I’ll ever beat that is to go have some prescription lenses put in my mask and then use a magnifying glass on top of that. Its funny how age has a way of catching up with you and evening the odds. I thought I had the better skill and experience, he just had the better eye sight. Oh well… and of course maybe skill too.
From here we took a quick trip around the island, stopped on the west side to play a little bocce ball, do a bit of snorkeling and fishing then had to hurry to get back to the dock on time. We all had a great day!
Today was a little bit different than the normal routine. A week or two ago I was contacted by a very nice lady, Elizabeth, calling from Hungary in Europe. She had google searched “summer camps” and found my website. After reading about it, she thought it might be fascinating for her children to attend so she decided to call me. After speaking for a while, she told me she was going to come to Delray Beach, FL with her two children and would like to meet me and that she would arrive on Tuesday. I told her Friday morning, (today) would be the best opportunity for us to meet, and speak with some parents and kids who are attending AdventureMike’s and get a real feel of what it is all about. Its not your “normal” summer camp experience. I love what I do too much!
As Adventure Jonah, Annie, Javier and Jake were boarding the boat she arrived with her son David and daughter Dina. While we were speaking, Adventure Annie and Dina became instant friends and Annie did not want me to leave without taking Dina along. She asked me, (more like insisted), if Dina could go. I looked at her mom and she looked back at me and shrugged, and I said, “Lets go have some fun!” and we were joined by Adventure David and Adventure Dina and off we went. I had planned on spending the morning fishing, and then snorkeling the last half of the day and we stuck to the plan.
I dropped anchor by the artificial reef 400 yards away and baited the hooks. I watched as four lines dropped down, hit bottom and instantaneously hooked up in unison. The adventurers began to scream with joy. It was nonstop action for three hours. They all took turns reeling fish in, while I baited the hooks, unhooked the fish and de-tangled some lines. I cannot describe how fabulous it was to watch the 6 kids working together, sharing rods, helping each other reel the fish in, letting go the fish and smiling from ear to ear, and doing it all on their own. I think the real highlight came when a very large barracuda took up residence under the boat and left his mark on one nice yellowtail snapper that Adventure Jake was reeling in. The kids got to see first hand just how “toothy” a big barracuda is. The excitement in their voices reached a crescendo when I threw the head back in and the water exploded right next to the boat as two large barracudas fought for the spoils. I think every one in the boat had to catch at least 10 to 15 grunts, yellowtail snapper, lane snapper, cottonwicks, or porgies each. I know we boated over a hundred fish total and only 2 break offs. Not bad for 3 hours of fishing! I know the kids will never forget that, especially Adventure Dina and David! Their non stop smiles from ear to ear summed up the day! I don’t think they catch fish like this in Hungary!!!
When the bait came to an end we headed back to the Rock Garden to snorkel. I wanted Adventure David and Dina to see just how beautiful is. They are considering coming next week and I wanted them to have an idea of what they would encounter. Adventurers Jonah, Jake, Javier and Annie showed them around and brought them to the best spots. The boys hung together chasing fish and catching crabs with nets, while Adventure Annie and Dina were inseparable and collected shells. It was fantastic to watch and be a part of! As usual, the time seemed to fly by way too quickly and none of us were ready to head back when it was time to go. I’m going to miss this bunch too…
I just can’t tell you how personally rewarding it is for me to look into the eyes of the adventures, see their smiles and hear their laughter and know, you have left them with some truly wonderful and special memories they may never forget. For me, it is times like these that make me feel life has come full circle. To have the opportunity to share with others the things I love, the things my parents so freely shared with me, the things I will never forget, always cherish, and forever be thankful for is truly a blessing!!!! Thank you…!!!!
I can’t wait till the next adventure to begin!!! Come join us. I don’t have many more spots left. Lets go have some Fun!!!