Hi Everyone, Welcome Back!!! 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 [...]
Hi Everyone, Welcome Back!!!
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?
LET’S GO HAVE SOME FUN!!!
Hi Everyone, Welcome Back!!! It seems like these weeks are just flying by!!! The old adage about “Time flies when you’re having fun” sure seems to be true about this week, actually, every week we’ve had so far!!! This Summer has been absolutely perfect from the very beginning!!! It just doesn’t get any better than [...]
Hi Everyone, Welcome Back!!!
It seems like these weeks are just flying by!!! The old adage about “Time flies when you’re having fun” sure seems to be true about this week, actually, every week we’ve had so far!!! This Summer has been absolutely perfect from the very beginning!!! It just doesn’t get any better than this!!! Perfect weather, crystal clear warm water, tons of fish and an unbelievably GREAT group of kids!!! And all of us having non-stop FUN no matter which direction we seem to go!!! Laughing and smiling from start to finish and none of us ever wanting to come back home!!! Just the way I LOVE IT!!!
I arrived at the dock bright and early Tuesday morning and was greeted by another GREAT group of Adventurers!!! Matter of fact they were waiting for me and raring to go like there was no tomorrow!!! I always love it when everybody is a little bit early, full of energy and smiles from ear to ear!!! That’s the same way I feel on the way to get everybody! I just can’t wait for the day to begin!!! I just love this “job”!!! As soon as AdventureDahlia, Davina, Julia, Megan, Maria, Dakota, Dylan, Breeann and Vincent boarded the boat we headed off the Big Sandbar to do some exploring and a little bit of snorkeling. The tide was out and the bar was exposed from end to end. We could already see shells and sea urchins popping out of the sand and even a few starfish were visible from the boat. I could already tell it was going to be another fabulous start for the weeks adventure!!!
We ran around the bar finding baby ears mollusks, beaded and banded starfish, west Indian and Florida fighting conchs, mantis shrimp, blue crabs, box crabs, hermit crabs, etc. You name it, I think we found it. It was just GREAT!!! Everybody was finding something no matter which direction we went! After we searched the whole bar for hidden treasures we raced over to the “Hot Tub” and took a plunge into the warm water. Everybody wanted to be the first in! We raced back and forth from one deep hole to another until the tide came in and covered the bar. The water was coming in crystal clear and we decided to head over to the Rock Garden to do some snorkeling.
The minute we arrived we could see fish in every direction. Before we even got in we were seeing snook, houndfish, needlefish, blue runners and small barracudas chasing menhaden from end to end. The shoreline was covered with herons and egrets trying to catch their fill too. We donned our snorkel gear, grabbed some nets and jumped in to try our luck at catching fish too. It wasn’t long before we were catching large swimming crabs and stone crabs around the rocks. AdventureDakota, Dylan and Vincent caught some nice big ones while the rest of us tried our luck at catching pufferfish. AdventureDahlia, Davina, Julia, Maria and Breeann found some cool hawk-wing conchs, juvenile queen conchs and tons of blue legged hermit crabs. It was just GREAT!!! Finally I was able to catch a pufferfish and we all had a ball watching it balloon up just for our entertainment. We took turns passing it around then let it go to swim on its merry way. When the day came to an end, none of us was ready to call it quits. We were having too much FUN!!!
Yesterday morning we stopped by the Big Sandbar to spend a few minutes exploring the bar while it was high and dry and AdventureJulia, Dahlia, Davina and Vincent found some more beaded starfish and baby ears mollusks just creeping out from under the sand. Always love when that happens!!! The rest of us romped around and swam in the hot tub enjoying the water!
From here we decided to head down to Little Munyon Island to search for short spined sea urchins and green legged hermit crabs. The south end of the bar was high and dry and we could see hundreds before we even got in! The minute the anchor hit bottom we were out of the boat and on our way!!! In seconds we all had handfuls of urchins in every size and color combination you could think of. We all loved having them suck onto our hands with their tiny tube feet and hold on for dear life as we swam and swam and swam. We didn’t have any luck beating the “smallest sea urchin contest” from a week ago but we had fun trying!!! We were finding sea urchins from head to toe, but no small ones around. We didn’t care though cause we were having fun like no tomorrow!!!
On the way back to the boat we found a horseshoe crab crawling around in the shallows and boy did we all love that!!! We had a chance to check out its compound eyes, book lungs, clawed feet and spiny tail up close and personal. A type of blood thinner used in medicine is actually derived from the blue blood of horseshoe crabs and given to stroke and heart attack victims to help in their recovery.We were lucky to find one as they are not too common around here anymore. This was the first one we found this summer. Lucky for Us!!!
We spent the last hour of the day going out to the beach, playing in the shallows, looking for sea glass, shells and of course trying to catch fish and sand fleas with our bare hands. We caught a few sand fleas but no fish this time. We saw some huge tarpon swimming back and forth just a few feet from the beach chasing mullet and we all loved that too! And let me tell you, we weren’t ready to call it a day either when our time was up! None of us wanted to go back!!!
And as you all know if you follow our blog, today was our fishing day!!! And as usual it was non stop action from start to finish!!! With just one of me and 9 kids hooking fish as fast as they could get lines down, I didn’t have a chance to even look at my watch for 3 hours!!! And YES, I heard those infamous words that will for-ever be etched into my brain, “I NEED MORE BAIT!!!” more than a thousand times I’m sure!!! It was just GREAT!!! JUST LOVE IT LIKE THAT!!!
Everybody was having action the very second their lines hit bottom, and I mean sometimes even faster than that!!! I couldn’t count one second between bites at times!!!! Luckily for me everybody was taking off their own fish, baiting their hooks and dropping down on their own or I wouldn’t have been able to take a single photo!! The action was that hot!!! This group caught some really big Caesar’s Grunts, Sailors Choice, Yellowtail Snapper, Tomtates and Porkfish!!! AdventureDylan caught even caught a tiny Butter Hamlet which tied with the win for smallest fish along with a tiny Tomtate and Lane Snapper. Only one small Scorpionfish was caught the whole day. YEAH!!! Everybody caught some really nice fish and I was extra glad about that!!! Love it when things like that come together!!! If I might have had help this day, we might even have beaten last weeks record of 419 fish boated in 3 hours. At times I need 3 of me to catch up with all the lines full of fish!!! Non-stop action from start to finish!!!
The last hour of the day we went back out to the beach to swim in the crystal clear water and wash off all the fish juice that seemed to find its way into every fiber of my clothes!!! And again, we saw the Big Tarpon swimming in the shallows right up next to the beach just where we had seen them yesterday. As if inviting us in for a swim and a cool encounter!!! I think by now we are starting to know each other. It was just GREAT and a wonderful way to end the day!!!! From start to finish, this week has been just perfect, absolutely PERFECT!!!! And the very best thing about it all, WE STILL HAVE ONE MORE DAY LEFT!!! Who knows what we may find or discover… but one thing’s certain… We’re going to have FUN!!! Wish you could join us!!! It’s going to be great!!!!
LET’S GO HAVE SOME FUN!!!
Hi Everyone, Welcome Back!!! We just finished up the third day of our weekly Adventure and let me tell you this week has been just GREAT!!! And I mean from start to finish!!! We’ve just had the very best time and have been having so much FUN that I can promise you nobody wants this [...]
Hi Everyone, Welcome Back!!!
We just finished up the third day of our weekly Adventure and let me tell you this week has been just GREAT!!! And I mean from start to finish!!! We’ve just had the very best time and have been having so much FUN that I can promise you nobody wants this week to end!!! Not one day has anybody wanted me to head back on time and I have a feeling they would stay till dark if I would let them! And sometimes I think about it myself, most days after the adventure session ends I’m not ready to go home either! We’ve been having too much FUN!!! And this week I was blessed to have another great group of Adventurers! I was joined by AdventureGeorge, Peyton, Seth, Dawson, Trusha, Rujul, Darby and Madison, and they have had as much energy and enthusiasm as I have EVER seen! Each week seems to just get better and better and this group can swim like fish and go non stop. Like mini me’s… Just the way I love it!!! I can’t believe how much fun we’ve had this week. Wish you all could have joined our group of Adventurers!!! It’s been a Blast!
We started out the week going straight to the Big Sandbar. The tide was dead low and the bar was exposed for almost as far as you could see. Just Love it like this! We get to go exploring within two minutes of boarding the boat and we never know what we may find high and dry on the bar. As soon as we arrived we could see sea urchins and fighting conchs high and dry. We jumped out and started exploring the bar and within a few seconds found some big baby ear mollusks, netted olive shells, moon snails, mantis shrimp tunnels, box crabs and beaded starfish. Everybody was finding their very own treasures and sharing them with the rest. It was just great to see the smiles!
On the way back to the boat we jumped in the “hot tub” for a quick swim and grabbed our masks to go snorkeling. There were menhaden all around and we saw some small barracudas and snook chasing them for dinner.It was non stop action all around! We found egg clusters to moon snails and fighting conchs and then came upon a nice big nine armed starfish in the shallows. It was a nice find and everyone was excited to see one! We even had a chance to take some “starfish head” photos and after everyone was done looking we placed it back in deeper water. I know George was extra happy to see one for the first time! He had smiles from ear to ear!
One morning we went to little Munyon Island to do some island exploration and found hundreds of sea grass hermit crabs in a variety of shells, numerous stone crabs and some really cool looking pistol shrimp. We found short spined sea urchins by the thousands and decided to have a contest to see who could find the smallest one. We found them in every size and color. Everybody was having a ball looking and for a while AdventureMadison was winning with a green one about the size of a dime. A short while later AdventureTrusha found a tiny one about the size of a pea hiding under a small shell. It was a great find and I loved hearing her say, “I found one, I found one” in an excited voice. It was the smallest one I have ever seen in my life and she took the win. I can’t imagine finding one smaller than that! We all had so much fun finding so many sea urchins in such a variety of sizes and colors! We never wanted to stop looking!!!
Tuesday morning we stopped by the Big Sandbar again and did some exploring and snorkeled the whole way over to Peanut Island. It was absolutely beautiful! On the way we discovered two sunken boats with hundreds of fish and arrow crabs all around them. We saw numerous sharpnosed pufferfish and were able to catch two in the nets which everyone loved!!! Just love watching them puff up with water and air. Of course we nick-named them “Puff Daddy” and “Little Puff” and we all took turns checking them out and taking a few photos.It was just great! On the way back we stopped by the beach for a quick snorkel, caught some sandfleas, collected some shells and beach glass and played with the ctenophores, a non stinging jellyfish like siphonophore, that are common along the beaches this time of year. It was great fun for all!!! We never wanted the day to come to an end!
Thursday was the day I planned for us to fish and when I arrived at the dock not only were the Adventurers early, they were ready and willing and in a hurry to go!!! Everyone was asking if I “brought enough rods, enough bait, am I sure, am I sure, etc.” and I smiled and said yes even though I really wasn’t sure at the time. Lucky for me one of my very best friends, AdventureGlenn, came along to give me a hand, bait the hooks, rig the lines, and take off all the fish, etc. And boy, did I need him today! To say it was hectic and exciting is an understatement!!!
I anchored the boat over the same section of artificial reef where we had done so well last week. I watched as 8 lines went down, hit bottom and instantly had fish on. Just like before, it was non stop action. The minute the bait hit bottom something was trying to eat it! Everyone had fish on all the time!!! It took everything AdventureGlenn and I could do to keep bait on the hooks and take fish off. No matter how fast we worked there was always a line of excited adventurers waiting. It seemed like we had 30 adventurers in the boat not just 8, and I’m sure to Glenn it seemed more like 60!!! I didn’t see him get a chance to eat or drink the whole time we were there. Talk about having non stop fun, we did!!! I’ve never seen fish come in the boat so fast, and sometimes we had 8 fish on at once!!! Once we had one big Ceasars Grunt come in with 2 hooks in his mouth. He had eaten two baits at the same time! you should have seen the smiles on AdventureGeorge and Darby when they both reeled in the same fish! It was priceless!!! The same big smiles went for AdventureTrusha and Rujul when they both caught two big fish at the same time too! Just love it when things come together like that! Non stop action from start to finish for every Adventurerer on our boat today!!! IT WAS GREAT!!!
We were so busy having fish on that I am sorry to say I didn’t get much of a chance to take as many photos of the whole encounter as I would have liked. Next time I may have to have the kids wait while I use the camera instead of bait the hooks, but its hard when you have 8 very happy and excited kids wanting their baits back in the water faster than you can possibly move, all wanting to catch the next “Big One”. I was the exact same way. Oh well… It seemed like we only spent an hour fishing but when I looked at my watch, three and a half hours had already passed. It was the first time I had a chance to look at my watch all day. We quickly reeled in and headed back to the beach to get in the water and rinse off. Again I found myself wondering just how did the time go by so fast? How can things move so quickly? It seemed to us all like we just started? And it seems to be so true…and often said,
“Time Flies, When You’re Having Fun”!!!! Our 8 happy kids would tell you that today!!!! Nothing but smiles!!! and the way I like it!!! I’ll miss you guys!!! Each day was a real blessing! Thank you!!! God I love this job!!!
See you soon!!!
Let’s Go have some FUN!!!
Hi Everyone, Welcome Back!!! We’ve just finished up the first three days of week 3 and let me tell you it has been absolutely perfect the whole week!!! The weather, the water, the group, just perfect!!! Things just seem to get better and better and better as the days go on! Everyone in this group [...]
Hi Everyone, Welcome Back!!! We’ve just finished up the first three days of week 3 and let me tell you it has been absolutely perfect the whole week!!! The weather, the water, the group, just perfect!!! Things just seem to get better and better and better as the days go on! Everyone in this group can swim like fish and has so much energy and enthusiasm I can barely keep up with them! Non stop laughter and smiles from start to finish! Just the way I love it!!!
This week I was joined by AdventureJoseph, Robert and Acadia who have been with me before and 5 new Adventurers, AdventureKelsey, Ella, Zara, Hannah and Beth. And let me tell you when this group is having fun they sure let you know it! And boy, were they having FUN this week!! My ears are still ringing!!! Had to purposely stick my head underwater a few times and hold my breathe as long as I could just to get a few minutes of “peace and quiet”, and even that didn’t work. In seconds, I’d have 8 kids with masks staring at me and even asking me questions while I was underwater. Oh well, When your having fun, your having fun…
We spent most of the first day at the Big Sandbar finding just about everything you could imagine. The tide was so low we had acres of exposed bar to explore. And Explore we DID!!! Everywhere we looked were short-spined sea urchins, fighting conchs, crabs, starfish, horse conchs, etc. You name it, I think we found it. We hadn’t been on the bar more than a few seconds before this group of adventurers had found Cushion Starfish, Beaded Starfish and even Nine-armed Starfish. And you know this gave us that perfect opportunity to take those now infamous “starfish head” photos that the kids seem to love. I’m beginning to like nine armed starfish head photos even better than cushion Starfish head photos. And of course, the kids love them both!
We found every color combination of short spined sea urchins I think possible around here. My favorite color combination is the pure white body with bright purple spines, but the bright pink ones and the green with pink spines were a big hit for the group too. I think Acadia, Beth, Ella, Zara, Kelsey and Hannah loved every one they found. They had hands full of them the whole time and when ever they found a new color combination we hadn’t seen before, they would make sure to let me know! Just love that enthusiasm!!! I guarantee you we tried to find every color combination that existed before we left here! While they were finding urchins, Joseph and Robert were busy finding starfish and releasing them into deeper water so they wouldn’t dry out or be pecked on by the sea gulls. It was just great and FUN for all!
We spent some time swimming in the shallows and caught some nice checkerboard pufferfish, sharp nose pufferfish, blue legged hermit crabs and some nice big swimming crabs too! Everyone had a ball trying to catch them themselves and I could see feet flying and nets swishing in all directions. It was just great to see someone catch one then let every one take turns holding it and checking it out before letting it go. Really Cool… We had a another great encounter too when a large Eagle Ray jumped out of the water numerous times right in front of us with a big remora stuck on it. After a few times it was able to dislodge the remora and swim off. Shortly after that we saw a big ray foraging in the shallows over the sandbar and we were lucky to have it swim right under the boat in 18 inches of water and give us a good look. We all loved that! The kids were screaming with excitement the whole time. I never wanted it to end.
On Wednesday we had a chance to do some island and tidal flat exploration around Munyon Island and found some really large sea grass hermits in a variety of different shells that we hadn’t found before. Really nice! Had a chance to take some photos of the group surrounded by weathered stumps of australian pines and mangroves that I thought were great! We’ll see…
And of course, today was our fishing day and lucky for me, AdventureNicholas came along to give me a hand!! And let me tell you, I really needed it!!! We didn’t boat record numbers of fish today, but the action was non stop and as usual, we couldn’t bait hooks fast enough for three kids, much less eight!!! It was nice to see that everyone was having a GREAT time!!! We boated some nice big (and small) yellowtail snapper, Porkfish, sailor’s choice, tomtates, caesars grunts and had quite a few big ones on that got away. The highlight of the fishing day came when AdventureElla hooked a really BIG fish and after about 5 minutes of trying hard to get it in, she finally turned it towards the boat and was making real headway. Just as it got near, there was a tremendous swirl and a huge splash and you can guess what happened next. That’s right, a great BIG Barracuda decided to have it for lunch, and after a second or two more of thrashing, Ella reeled in the what was left of a nice Mutton Snapper. It would have been a nice keeper too. Needless to say we took a few photos and then sadly tossed the head back to the waiting barracuda who was wanting the rest of his meal. And with another mighty swoosh, that was gone too!! It was a great thrill for all of us though I am sure the snapper thought otherwise!!!
From here we took a quick run back to the Big Sandbar and everybody had a ball playing in the hot tub and chasing after Nicholas who was doing his best to play “keep away” from 8 kids with a lot of energy. I think that wore about everybody out and was an absolutely great way to end the day!!! We had such a great week so far, and I know one thing for sure… I can’t wait till tomorrow to do it all over again!!! The Ocean is flat calm, the water crystal clear and shells on the beach as far as the eyes can see. Am thinking about pulling right up on the beach, hopping out and going beach combing and snorkeling, and hopefully if we are lucky like last week, have another wonderful manatee encounter. I know one thing for sure, whatever we decide, we are going to have FUN!!! Wish you could join us, It’s going to be GREAT!!! And after the day is over, I’m off to the Bahamas to swim with some wild spotted dolphin for the weekend! Does it get any better than this? I Don’t Think So!!!
Stay tuned, We’re going to have some Fun!!! See you soon,
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 [...]
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…
Go Have Some More Fun!!!
Hi All, I had no sooner finished up the first adventure session and readied the boat when I was joined by my second group of eager and excited Adventurers that in turn were ready for the Fun to begin!!! And so was I!!! AdventureSheri came along to help me with this weeks afternoon Adventure and [...]
Hi Everybody, Welcome back! I just wanted to drop a quick post to everyone to say hello and let them know how excited I am about this up coming Spring Break Camp session! The first Adventure Session begins March 31st and the second on April 7th, and to say I just about can’t wait is [...]
Hi Everybody, Welcome back!
I just wanted to drop a quick post to everyone to say hello and let them know how excited I am about this up coming Spring Break Camp session! The first Adventure Session begins March 31st and the second on April 7th, and to say I just about can’t wait is an understatement!!! I am really looking forward to it and I know that all of us are going to have a fantastic time!!! I’m going to personally see to that!!!
For those of you who have joined me in the past, you know the kind of Fun and Excitement that’s in store. We are going to have an honest to goodness Adventure Session from start to finish. I checked out the moon phase and am happy to see that the first adventure session will occur right around the new moon. That means we are going to have higher highs and lower low tides than normal and that is just perfect!!!
At high tide the Rock Garden will be loaded with thousands of tropical fish just waiting for us to enjoy! I know the water is going to be crystal clear as usual, and I can’t wait to get in it and go exploring! How about you? Who knows what we may find, but I can guarantee one thing. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE FUN!!!
At low tide we’ll head to the Big Sandbar for a quick round of exploring and I know this time of year we will find lots of Beaded Starfish, some Cushion Sea Stars, Baby Ear Mollusks, a variety of Blue Crabs, Spider Crabs, Hermit Crabs, live Olive shells and quite a few large Mantis Shrimp. If we are really lucky, we might even find some of those elusive and nocturnal 9 Armed Starfish, and I know just the photos I want to take with this group of Adventurers! From here we’ll head towards the back side of Little Munyon Island and do some seine netting in the shallows and see if we can find some more of those really rare Pygmy Seahorses and some sharks teeth and fossils! Last year we had so much fun in this area! Every pull of the net was another Adventure waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. We found hundreds of juvenile reef fish and even some frogfish that are rarely seen around these parts. I never know what we may discover, but we always find something truly fascinating and worthy of our attention. I just love it when things come together like this!
In between snorkeling at the Rock Garden, swimming in the Deep Hole, exploring the Big Sandbar and seine netting behind Munyon Island, we are going to be learning cast netting and water safety, enjoying crab trapping, nature walks, eco tours and more! As if spending a day out boating isn’t enough fun all by itself, and where else and in what other camp do you get to do that? None that I know of… Lucky us!!! YIPPEE!!!
And Best of All, we will be spending a day fishing in my favorite secret spots where the action can be non stop from start to finish. AND I MEAN FROM START TO FINISH!!! Just ask AdventureCarolyn from last summer… She caught 71 snappers, grunts, pinfish, porgies, yellowtails, spot-tails and groupers, etc. all by herself! And in just one outing of fishing!!! Had to quit cause she couldn’t reel in another fish! Everyone else caught around 50 or so each. What an unbelievable day! I’ll bet we boated and released over 350 fish in under 4 hours by 5 young adventurers. I may never have another day like that, but I can only hope!!! Maybe this will be the time…
Check out the post for July 10th, 2008. “Fishing near Peanut Island” I can promise you, they will never forget that day!!! And neither will I!!! Making memories that can last a lifetime… That’s what I LOVE ABOUT THIS JOB!!!
For those of you who are again joining me for our Spring Camps, I can’t wait to see you!!! For those of you who may be thinking about it, you may have to HURRY to decide… AdventureMike’s is not your “normal” Spring or Summer camp and I only have six spaces left. They won’t last long… One things certain…
It’s time to get outside and Live Life to the fullest!!! Come join us and be a part of the Adventure!!!
LET’S GO HAVE SOME FUN!!!
Hi Everyone, Welcome Back! We just finished up the first day of another new and wonderful adventure session and as usual we had an absolutely fantastic time! It was perfect from start to finish! Just the way I love it!!! AdventureJonah, Annie, Allison and Nicholas came back for some more adventuring and the four of [...]
Welcome Back! We just finished up the first day of another new and wonderful adventure session and as usual we had an absolutely fantastic time! It was perfect from start to finish! Just the way I love it!!! AdventureJonah, Annie, Allison and Nicholas came back for some more adventuring and the four of us were joined by five new adventurers, Adventure Emily, Katie, McKenzie, Megan and Joseph. Everyone was excited and ready to start the day. I quickly gave a run down on what we were going to do and we loaded up, donned life jackets and off we went.
We went straight to the Rock Garden, dropped anchor, readied our gear and in we went. From the very start I could tell this was going to be another great group. It didn’t take them long to get ready and they could swim like fish! Just great!!!The minute we got in we were surrounded by parrotfish, surgeonfish, doctor fish, porkfish, pinfish, grunts, snappers, wrasse, menhaden and hundreds of tropical fish too numerous to mention. We saw some barracudas, snook and large houndfish chasing menhaden with blue runners quickly following. It was wonderful to see so many fish in such shallow water and as usual the visibility was almost perfect.
We swam from spot to spot chasing fish, catching hermit crabs, finding queen conchs and looking for “treasures”. We covered almost every square inch, stopping here and there to check out something new, answer questions and look for more. It was non stop fun for two hours and we finally headed back to the boat for some snacks and drinks and take a quick breather. The wind was out of the west today and the ocean flat calm so we pulled anchor and decided to motor around the south jetty and park right next to the beach. What a great decision that was!!!
We didn’t even have a chance to drop anchor before we spotted two large manatees coming right towards us. They stopped in three feet of water not far from the boat and just laid there and nibbled algae off each others backs for half an hour. We had such a fabulous time watching them from 3 feet away. You just wanted to swim up and kiss one! Well actually, both of them! They didn’t even mind that we were there watching and smiling the whole time. It just doesn’t get any better than that!!!, and boy were we lucky to have that opportunity in crystal clear water! What a way to start the first day!!! Right on!!!
A while later they swam into deeper water and we spent some time swimming along the shoreline looking for shells and watching juvenile permit and pompano search for sand fleas in the shallows. We just could not have had a more wonderful first day than this! With only a short time left we loaded up, motored to the sand bar and searched for fighting conchs, mantis shrimp and what ever else we could discover. We found both Florida and West Indian fighting conchs and watched as many were laying eggs. We found one conch that was extremely beautiful! Instead of being solid orange or dark brown inside, it had a pure white interior that was outlined in bright purple.
Absolutely gorgeous! I have never seen one like this before, really a nice discovery! Everyone took a look, then we put it back where we found it and swam back to the boat. It was time to go, and I can tell you nobody wanted to head home yet! I had heard it all before, ” AdventureMike, why can’t your camp last till 3 or 5 instead of 1, why do we have to go back so soon?” Oh boy, I still haven’t come up with a good answer for that…. and most of the time I don’t want to go back either. Oh well…
All of us had such a wonderful time! You could see it in our smiles and hear the excitement in our voices! We just couldn’t wait to do it all over again! Each one of us was looking forward to tomorrow! We just can’t wait!!!
Stay tuned….. We are going to have some fun!!! I can guarantee it!!! Right on!!!
Welcome Back all, I just finished up the last day of my custom adventure session with Adventure Drew last Friday and let me tell you what a day it was!!! Somehow it seems we saved the very best for last! What an ending to a fabulous week that I will long remember and often retell! [...]
Welcome Back all,
I just finished up the last day of my custom adventure session with Adventure Drew last Friday and let me tell you what a day it was!!! Somehow it seems we saved the very best for last! What an ending to a fabulous week that I will long remember and often retell!
We started the day heading back to the Sailfish Marina to get more underwater video of the large schools of Jack Crevalles around the docks. When we arrived we noticed the visibility was even better than yesterday and we were eager to begin. The jacks were ready and waiting. I picked up the “fish food”, a couple bags of frozen shrimp, while Drew readied his video. We positioned ourselves with the sun at our back and open water in front of us. Drew submerged his camera while the jacks arrived on cue. Like yesterday, I tossed the shrimp in front of the lens and the feeding frenzy began. Tails and fins flashed by, mouths opened and the water in front of the lens seemed to boil with the onslaught of hungry jacks competing for even the smallest morsel of food. In just a few seconds, the shrimp were gone and Drew was soaked to the bone. What a rush to view all this 8 inches from your nose! Right on Drew!!!
From here I wanted to try a new place that had less tropical fish to see and not quite as scenic as the rock garden, but more of a chance to find some unusual creatures that Drew had not yet photographed. I was hoping to find an octopus and maybe even a red-tipped fireworm that is beautiful to see but extremely painful to the touch. When disturbed they display bristles that can easily penetrate the skin and cause a strong burning sensation, one that you won’t soon forget. I can guarantee that! I have been on the business end of these quite often as I gingerly handle them to show people what you should stay away from should you encounter one. Sometimes “gingerly” is not “gingerly” enough! I know what I’m getting into should I be stuck and realize that the pain will eventually go away. Plus it seems to make a lasting impression on the kids to learn from my mistakes instead of making them on their own as they see dozens of spines sticking out of my fingers. I know they won’t handle these in the future.
Once anchored, Drew and I got in and the search was on. Almost immediately we found a small Octopus curiously peaking out of a small hole and trying his best to remain invisible. Photographically wise it wasn’t the best opportunity, so after a few seconds we continued the search. Shortly after this we saw another just as it disappeared under a rock and so the search continued. As we swam we came upon a small rock that was covered in feather brush hydroids, another plant like animal that can deliver a sting to sensitive skin. As I was pointing this out to Drew I noticed a slight movement amongst the branches. Low and behold, and to my amazement and sheer joy!!!, peeking back at us was a wondrous pair of striated frogfish, camouflaged like the hydroids themselves. This was the second time in my life I had been lucky enough to encounter such an unusual and rarely seen creature, and not just one but two, in only 4 feet of water! How lucky we were!!! I believe these to be a mated pair and hopefully will be left undiscovered and undisturbed by anyone else. They tend to stay in the same area for years if left alone, and Drew and I were excited to take turns shooting videos of a creature we may never again see in our lives. I will always cherish this moment and the excitement I felt with this discovery!!! Thank you!!!
From here we continued our search for an octopus that we could hopefully tease out of its hole for a few seconds and get the video footage we wanted. While swimming next to a sunken sailboat I noticed a large pile of empty shells scattered around an opening in the hull. Bingo, the tell tale signs of an octopus home with the octopus still inside. Octopus have a tendency to stack the empty shells of their prey around the border of their homes and if the shells are still around so usually is the octopus. We were in luck, again! I gently teased the octopus from his home while Drew took video. All of a sudden the octopus reached forward and with an inquisitive tentacle, touched the lens. The suction cups adhered and to our amazement it pulled itself right onto the lens port of the underwater video housing and became firmly attached. What an unusual and different perspective Drew was seeing now!, and what an unusual perspective I was seeing on my end too! It was great, and one I can guarantee doesn’t come around too often. He let the video roll for a few more moments and then the octopus let go and returned to its home. How are we ever going to top that?
We continued to explore the sunken boat and then headed into even shallower water, about 18 inches deep. I had noticed earlier some 9 armed impressions in the sand and knew that they were left by an unusual starfish rarely seen on the open bottom. As I gently ran my fingers thru the sand it was only a matter of seconds before I felt what I was searching for. I called Drew over and we slowly unearthed a rather large nine-armed starfish. This species can move rather quickly along the bottom when compared to the movement of other starfish, and I knew it had a tendency to rapidly right itself when turned on its back. I thought this might make some interesting video so I told Drew what I had in mind. He readied the camera as I turned the starfish on its back and recorded how easily and quickly a nine-armed starfish can right itself. They curl a few arms underneath and a few arms over and before you know it, its right side up, burrowing into the sand and disappearing before your eyes. Now you see me, now you don’t. Fascinating…
As our time was quickly coming to a close I decided to try and bait in a few of the red-tipped fireworms so Drew could get them on video. I put a small piece of fish in the sand and knew it would only be a matter of seconds before the worms would appear. They are nocturnal and fast moving as worms go, and are aggressive feeders and scavengers that remain buried in the sand until the scent of prey or darkness entice them from burrows. We watched as they appeared and began to eat the fish. A few seconds later some small crabs arrived in the hopes of a free and easy meal. To our surprise, the crabs began grabbing and pinching the fireworms and began to steal their meal. A fight ensued. The fireworms bristled in defense but their poisonous spines were no match for the sharp pinchers and hard carapace of the crabs. The fireworms retreated in defeat but remained circling from a safe distance as the crabs ate their fill. What a sight to behold!
It was now time to go and we stopped to take one last look at the frogfish before we boarded the Dream Chaser to head back home. Drew and I were both thrilled and elated with what we saw and captured on video, and know this day would long be remembered often retold by us. I’m not sure how I will top this the next time Drew comes along, but one thing is certain: We’ll all be having fun on our next adventure! Stay tuned, or better yet, come join us and return with a story of your own to post on our site. For more videos of our last adventure and other images photographed by Drew, check out Drew’s website here. Way to go Drew!!!
See you on the flip side of our next adventure that starts tomorrow, and remember,
Lets Go Have Some Fun!!!!!!! Right on…
I just finished up Thursdays custom trip with Adventure Drew and we had a blast! I’m sorry its ending soon! It was great to spend the week with someone who has as much enthusiasm towards snorkeling, underwater photography and underwater video as I do. It gets contagious and you just can’t quit. How great is [...]
I just finished up Thursdays custom trip with Adventure Drew and we had a blast! I’m sorry its ending soon! It was great to spend the week with someone who has as much enthusiasm towards snorkeling, underwater photography and underwater video as I do. It gets contagious and you just can’t quit. How great is that?
We started off the day back along the rock jetty with conditions almost pristine; calm seas, clear water, fish galore…Just like all week. Perfect! We didn’t know which way to go first, there were fish in every direction. We started off towards a nice school of small barracudas congregating around a shiny object and then headed toward the rocks. We were greeted by a large school of Redfin Parrotfish that took a quick break from their daily routine and decided to gives us an up close personal inspection.
As we passed we seemed to be accepted into the school and they followed us along our way. I watched as Drew frequently stopped to videotape the schools of tropical fish, encrusting corals, and some small macro subjects hidden within the small clusters of fire coral scattered here and there. Thought I would warn him about its attention getting sting so I pointed it out. I no sooner turned my back when I heard him say, “My hands burning like fire”. Yep that’s the stuff, way to find it Drew, barehanded no less, you da man! Just like me, he had to make sure that if something’s out there that can painfully sting you, you might as well find it right at first and get it over with. Sooner or later, or in my case both, your going to find it anyway and you might as well try and enjoy that burning sensation while it lasts, good character builder and it grows on you after a while. Before you know it you won’t even care anymore … unless of course you brush up against a nice patch right behind the ear … not that I would know. Ouch!
As the clouds began to roll by on the horizon we decided to leave here and head over to the Sailfish Marina to see if we could take some video of the large jack crevalles that frequent this area. Just as we were leaving, we noticed a waterspout form out of a distant cloud bank, briefly touch down for a few seconds and then dissipate into a thin wispy trail. Alright! Very cool, a nice addition to the day!
We arrived at the dock, got some bait and Drew got ready with the video. Drew held the video in the water and I threw the bait in front of him. The action was fast and furious as each jack crevalle tried to beat the other to the throw. Looked like a school of feeding piranhas without those fine dentures of course. I couldn’t help but laugh as I watched a small terrier run frantically around Drews head barking at the fish. All of a sudden he just couldn’t contain his excitement and the dog launched off the dock after the biggest fish. No luck, the fish scattered, but it was fun to watch and Drew got it all on film.
By now we were running short on time so we quickly headed back to the boat and motored over to a new spot near Peanut Island to see what we could find. This area had a sandy rubble type of bottom and it wasn’t long before Adventure Drew was finding and videotaping small flounders that camouflaged so well against the sand you couldn’t see them inches from your nose, unless they were moving. He was lucky enough to find a couple of Bandtail Searobins that are quite uncommon to this are and we spent the last remaining time we had trying to get some images of these. It was fascinating watching them “walk” along the bottom with their modified ventral fins, that look more like legs than fins, and spread their large round pectoral fins to try and make themselves look bigger. A very lucky and unusual find. Nice job!
Our time was up and from here we began to head back. When I asked Drew if there was anything else he’d like to do, his answer summed it up best. He said, “I don’t care what I do, as long as I’m in the water, I’m happy!”. Right on Drew!! Ditto that !! I think his love for the water will one day rival my own. Somehow I just wasn’t ready to quit, and I don’t think Drew was either. Where had the time gone and how did it pass so quickly? There is no doubt, “Time flies when your having fun!” And to all the rest, Come join us for the next adventure!
I’m running a tour this weekend so I might not post again until Sunday but stay tuned. I save my best summer camp spots for Fridays!