Hi Everyone, Welcome Back!!! We just finished up the first week of AdventureMike’s Summer Camp, double sessions from dawn to dusk, and let me tell you we had FUN and ADVENTURE from here to there! It was absolutely GREAT, and I mean from start to finish!!!! I’d no sooner finish up with the morning group [...]
Hi Everyone, Welcome Back!!!
We just finished up the first week of AdventureMike’s Summer Camp, double sessions from dawn to dusk, and let me tell you we had FUN and ADVENTURE from here to there! It was absolutely GREAT, and I mean from start to finish!!!! I’d no sooner finish up with the morning group than the afternoon group would arrive and off we would go again! Time for more Adventure! Right On! And just the way I love it! We did so many different things and had fun all the way! I’m not even sure where to begin!
On the first morning we stopped at the Big Sandbar, and while searching the shallows we came up with a nice Chocolate Chip Sea Cucumber! One of my very favorites and not often found. We absolutely loved finding that and took turns sharing in the fun! AdventureJohn even decided to let it climb up his face! Either Great or Gross depending on your point of view, but it sure made me laugh and all the rest of us too. Nice job John! We found all sorts of shrimp, crabs and urchins, and watched fighting conchs laying eggs and blue crabs molting and even had fun in the hot tub too! What a way to start the day. From here we went to the Rock Garden and watched fish by the thousands swim past us non stop! It was just GREAT!!! Later that day we stopped by Little Munyon Island and did some seine netting in the shallows.
We discovered all kinds of fish hiding in the sea grass. Some of our favorites were juvenile barracudas, short nosed and checkerboard pufferfish and juvenile trunkfish that looked like little green peas with short tails swimming about. Everyone loved those!!! We caught juvenile parrotfish, snappers, grunts, mojarras, killifish, hogfish, pink shrimp, grass shrimp and maybe the coolest of all, dwarf seahorses!!! Full grown adults are only about an inch in length. We don’t come up with these too often and they were a great find! We set up our on board aquarium filled with the “treasures” we had just discovered and watched for a while then let them go.
Every day we would stop by the Big Sandbar and discover new things to see and talk about. Box crabs, mantis shrimp, 9 armed starfish, conchs, baby’s ear mollusks, moon snails and cushion starfish, etc. You name it, we found it. We loved ever minute of it!!! I even found a $5 bill with a tunicate growing on it. How nice is that! We’d drift down the shallow edge of the bar with the current thru schools of menhaden, and watch small barracudas and rays foraging in the shallows. AdventureGeorge discovered a nice fighting conch laying spaghetti like egg masses and that was a cool find too!
One afternoon, while snorkeling at the Rock Garden, we caught a nice female yellow ray in a hand net and we brought her back to the boat for closer inspection. After making sure she had no barbs and was safe to handle, we all took turns taking a closer look. We checked out her mouth, sphericals and the denticals along her cute little tail, then gave her a “kiss” goodbye and set her on her way. We watched as she slowly glided over the rocks then settled in a sandy patch near the boat and buried herself up. Just like we found her. We all felt lucky to have that opportunity and were smiling from ear to ear!
Another day we went to Munyon Island and took a hike around the island and thru the mangrove estuary. I pointed out the wild coffee and grapes that grew along the trail. Along the way we spotted 6 different species of butterflies right at our fingertips. The Zebra butterfly was one of our favorites! We reached the back side of the island and watched as snook and big jacks chased mullet in the shallows. Aidan and Ryenne both found some nice horshoe crab molts that they took home for souveniers. Crown conchs, blue crabs, hermit crabs and killifish were everywhere, and no one else but us in sight! Our very own island adventure!
Everyday we would stop by the Rock Garden and snorkle along the edge of the rocks and along the beach, looking for flounders, snappers, grunts, pufferfish, snook, lizardfish and a plethora of tropical fish. We were always on the look out for any type of fish or crab we could catch in a net or by hand. Before long everyone became experts and the kids were catching them by the netfuls. I think AdventureMichael caught 6 spottail pinfish at once in a little hand net and Ryenne came up with quite a few Wrasse herself! Nice Job!!! What a fun way to spend the day!!!
On another day we stopped by the Big Sandbar to swim in the Hot Tub and the Deep Hole and burn off some energy running around. We found some really nice 9 armed starfish and a few really big Cushion Starfish. We always love finding those! Not every day do we have such luck but we are always hoping and you never know what you may find. On this day we were lucky again. And of course this gave everyone the opportunity to have a few pictures taken with the now infamous “starfish head photos”. Ryenne had a ball finding one that “fit just right”!
One of the days kids love most is Fishing Day. And it seems we always catch fish nonstop! And I mean from the very first second until the moment we have to come in! I’m sure we caught hundreds that day but I was so busy taking off fish in every size, shape, species and color that I couldn’t keep track! AdventureMichael, AJ, Rachel and Matthew even caught a few porkfish and that doesn’t happen very often. AJ’s big fish was a nice Cuban Hogfish and that was the first one caught for my camp. I know Max was having FUN when he hooked and caught a huge blue runner! Nice Job! AdventureAidan came up with some of the biggest Ceasar’s grunts and Lane Snappers that I’ve ever seen caught around here. I know she was having FUN!!! Not bad for the smallest girl on the boat catching the biggest fish!! YOU ROCK!!!
During the afternoon session I decided to take the group to one of my “secret” snapper holes and I can tell you it was fast action that day!!! We had no sooner arrived and baited the hooks to drop down when I noticed on the fish finder a large school of fish just off the bottom. Typical sign of snapper. Everyone dropped down in a hurry, and from that moment on it was non stop snapper action like there was no tomorrow!!!
We were catching some of the biggest snapper I’ve ever seen here, and I can tell you none of us wanted to go back to the dock that day!!! It was just GREAT!!! I can still hear, “We need more bait” ringing in my ears!!!
All in all we had a fabulous week!!! The kids were just great and we had FUN from start to finish!!! The days seemed to fly by, even with double sessions, and that’s a sure sign of Having Fun!!! What a way to start the Summer off!!! Great group, great kids, great fun. Just Great!!! Non stop fun and adventure from start to finish and smiles from ear to ear! It just can’t get any better than that!!! Summer is finally here, and we are going to have FUN!!! We always have FUN!!! It’s just the beginning! Wish you all could join us! I know it’s going to be Great!!! I just can’t wait till next week to begin and do it all over! I love this job!!! Sometimes I think I’m just dreaming…
See you soon! Let’s Go Have Some Fun!!!
Hi Everyone, Welcome back!!! We’ve just finished up the first Holiday Adventure and let me tell you, We had a blast!!! It started off a bit cold on Sunday morning, temperature in the mid 40′s, but that didn’t stop us from having FUN! Not this group of Adventurers! Not for one second! And lucky for [...]
Hi Everyone, Welcome back!!!
We’ve just finished up the first Holiday Adventure and let me tell you, We had a blast!!! It started off a bit cold on Sunday morning, temperature in the mid 40′s, but that didn’t stop us from having FUN! Not this group of Adventurers! Not for one second! And lucky for us it warmed up into the mid 70′s by the end of the week, and we loved that. I knew we were not going to be doing any snorkeling this week as the water temp. was in the low 60′ but this gave us an opportunity to have 2 full fishing days instead of one, a chance to do some island hikes, scope out manatees in the shallows and visit the HMS Bounty docked at Peanut Island. And that was cool too!
When I arrived at the dock Sunday morning I was greeted by a great group of Adventurers all bundled up to stay warm and ready to go have some FUN!!! As soon as AdventureMegan, McKenzie, Brendan, Brian, John, Leah, Reese, Matthew, Jackie and Lucia boarded the DREAMCHASER, we were off and going. First stop was a visit and tour on board the HMS Bounty moored at Peanut Island. This was the exact boat built in Nova Scotia for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty starring Marlin Brando and later used in Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest. We had a ball walking the decks, exploring below and learning the ropes so to speak. It was Great!
After we were done we took a hike all around Peanut Island, stopping occasionally to collect some shells and knickerbeans and look for fish and eagle rays in the shallows. Before we knew it, the day had come to an end and on the way back to the boat I could tell nobody was ready to call it a day! All I heard was, “Is it time to go back already?” I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that before! One thing was certain though, we were all looking forward to tomorrow! It was going to be the first “Fishing Day” and we just couldn’t wait!
When I arrived Monday morning everybody was ready and raring to go! We loaded up in a hurry and off we went. The minute we were anchored over my secret fishing hole, ten lines went down and simultaneously ten kids had Fish On!!! From that second on, the rest of the day was just a blur! I didn’t even get a chance to look at my watch once until someone said we only had fifteen minutes left. Where had the day gone? How could time fly by so quickly? Man were we ever having FUN!!!
I don’t know how many fish everyone caught, but I know one thing for sure! I could have used 3 of me to bait hooks, take fish off and re-rig lines as quite a few big fish swam back into the reef taking hooks, lines and sinkers!!! I know we caught flounders, blue runners, yellowtail snappers, lane snappers, mangrove snappers, ceasars grunts, tomtates, filefish, sailor’s choice, margates, butter hamlets, spot-tail pinfishand others I can’t even remember! As fast as you could get your line down, something was eating your bait! It was just GREAT and everyone was having FUN!!! Just the way I love it!!!
When I arrived at the dock I was greeted by one new Adventurer, AdventureNick, that decided to take the place of McKenzie for the day. We spent Tuesday morning scouting out for manatees and had one nice up close and personal encounter that lasted about 30 minutes over by the Florida Power and Light plant. Everybody loved that!!! From here we took a quick run down to Munyon Island and to take an island hike and explore the trails and all around the shallow estuary looking for horseshoe crabs and what ever else we could find. We talked about the mangrove trees and sea grasses and the critical role they play in providing habitat for the juvenile fish, invertebrates and crustaceans that call them home. As we hiked the island, I pointed out the wild grape and coffee plants, the zebra and swallowtail butterflies and the crab spiders and banana spiders that were everywhere. And I mean everywhere!!! The group decided to nickname the island, “Spider Island”. On at least a dozen occasions as we hiked the trails I walked face first into a nice sturdy web with an impressive banana spider hanging right in the middle just about dangling off my nose. Let me tell you the kids loved that as I danced around wiping webs off my face. They couldn’t stop laughing and I have to say it was fun for all!!! From here we took a quick run by little Munyon Island then hurried back to make it in time. Each one of us was looking forward to tomorrow and another wonderful day of fishing Adventure!!!
I expected the action on this fishing day was going to be similar to the first and lucky for me one of my very best friends, AdventureBill, decided to come along and give me a hand. Let me tell you I couldn’t have done it without him! Baiting hooks, releasing fish, rigging lines, one after another, after another, all day long!!! Just like before, as soon as the baits hit the bottom, the fish were biting! The action was so unbelievable that AdventureJackie was able to catch 2 fish on one hook at the same time!!! A feat that I have never seen done before in all my years of fishing!!! What a way to start the day!!! It was just GREAT! And just like before, I couldn’t keep track of how many fish we boated and released that day, but it was non-stop from start to finish! Were we ever having FUN!!! The last hour of the day we moved away from the reef to try and catch a few different species of fish. The kids caught some nice flounders, some huge blue runners and one very Big sail catfish that in no way wanted to come to the boat on light tackle. By the time Jackie got that fish in her arm was ready to fall off! Nice Job!!! All in all, everyone did great and caught a ton of fish and I just couldn’t have been happier! You guys ROCK!!!
Needless to say, the week flew by faster than we wanted and none of us was ready to call it quits! We had so much FUN, we never wanted it to end!!! Somehow it always seems to be this way, and I just LOVE IT!!! Lucky for me I have another group coming December 28th and I know one thing for sure, it’s going to be great! Holiday Adventure, Session 2, Here we come!!! I just can’t wait!!! Hope you’ll join us and live the Adventure!!!
Let’s Go Have Some Fun!!!