Another Week in Paradise!

Posted by 27 June, 2010 (1) Comment

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

Hi Everyone! Welcome Back!!!

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

Having FUN at the beach!

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

Rocky finds a nice sea urchin!

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

Chasing fish at the Rock Garden

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

Jagger catches a big crab

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

Maxwell nets another crab!

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

Beau finds a 9 armed starfish!

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

seine netting the grass flats

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

Checking out a checkerboard pufferfish!

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

Samantha catches a BIG lane snapper!

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

Dakota catches a blue crab!

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

Michael with a pufferfish!

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

Jake with a juvenile burrfish!

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

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

Let’s Go Have Some FUN!!!
AdventureMike

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

From Hungary to Palm Beach

Posted by 21 June, 2008 (1) Comment

Welcome back all, 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 […]

Welcome back all,

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…

Group Photo

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!

Fishing Buddies

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!!!

AdventureMike

Categories : Week 4 Tags : , , , , , , , , ,