A Peanut Island Pufferfish Adventure!!!

Hi Everyone!!! Welcome Back!!!

We’ve just finished up another wonderful FUN filled week of Adventure and fun in the sun! It just doesn’t get any better than this! This week I was again blessed with another Great group, another Great week of weather and another Great week of discovery and Adventure!!! And as usual, we had FUN from the very start to the very end of the week! FUN FUN FUN like there was no tomorrow! Just the way I love it!!! And I know I’ve said that before! On weeks like this I just wish everyone could join us! We had a blast!!!

Boating fun at the beach

We started out the week going to the Rock Garden and snorkeling for hours. The water was warm and crystal clear and all kinds of fish were everywhere. It didn’t take us long to find and catch some really cool porcelain crabs, a pile of rock crabs, some tiny mantis shrimp and some small sea-weed blennies. We swam into the shallows to look for some pufferfish, and low and behold, they were everywhere to be seen! We would herd them into the shallows right up next to the beach and all take turns catching them in our nets. AdventureDavina was the very first one to catch one on her own! As soon as she took it out of the net to show me, it puffed up right on cue. Nice job Davina! You ROCK!

Pufferfish fun

A half hour later everyone had had a chance to catch some puffers on their own! Most of the ones we caught were checkerboard pufferfish but every now and then someone would come up with a sharp-nosed puffer or two. After tiring of catching pufferfish, AdventureAlex moved back over the shallow rocks and began to search for some big swimming crabs. After turning over a few small rocks he found a big one that was worthy of his attention. I watched him chase it from rock to rock. It was a touch and go battle for a while as that crab scurried back and forth, but eventually Alex was able to get it in his net. When he reached in and held that big crab up for me to see, I thought it was just Great!!!

Alex's Big Swimming Crab

From here we motored the boat a short distance around to the north side of Peanut Island and dropped anchor. As soon as we got in the water I could hear the kids yelling pufferfish, pufferfish and sure enough they were swimming everywhere by the droves. It didn’t take long for us to fill another bucket. We had it down now to a fine science! Perfected by constant practice! We’d all work together herding those puffers into the shallows and surround them with our hand nets. Before you knew it they were swimming right in to one of our nets! Just like they belonged there. We sure loved that!!! AdventureBeau and Max sure had a blast holding them up by the handfuls!

kissing pufferfish

Another morning we stopped back by the Rock Garden, caught a bunch more swimming crabs and coral crabs and found some really big queen conchs. We watched as snook and small barracudas chased menhaden for lunch and parrotfish and sheepshead ate crabs. Snappers, grunts, seargeant majors, porkfish and angelfish were everywhere to be seen! It was like our very own swimming pool full of tropical fish, and we had it all to ourselves! How cool is that? We swam over to a small boat that had sunk during the hurricanes a few years back. We looked under the hull and found some some nice, long-legged spider crabs that look and jumped about more like spiders than crabs. We picked up a few and checked them out then afterwards, let them go where we had found them. I know Dahlia had FUN playing around with these! We all did! It was just great!

Dahlia and an arrow crab)

Later on that afternoon we went back to the north side of Peanut Island, and sure enough those checkerboard pufferfish were just waiting for us to give chase! They were swimming right down the beach in long lines just tempting us to try and catch them. And catch them we did!!! By the dozens!!! If you ever wanted a pufferfish adventure, then today was your day! I’ve never seen so many puffers all in one place. There seemed to be having a parade, a parade of puffers that is! And we all were loving that!!! I know AdventureParker had a blast trying to hold four slippery and slimy pufferfish all at once!!! Good Job!

four pufferfish

And of course, 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. AdventureParker was bringing in a nice flounder when all of a sudden he felt a big yank on the line and reeled in only the head! So much for that flounder! 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!!! It was awesome!!! I know AdventureJoseph sure had FUN reeling in this nice big lane snapper! Nice Job Buddy!!! You did GREAT!

Josephs Big Bad Lane Snapper

On Another day, we spent the morning 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! Some days 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! On this day the tide was fairly high and we had trouble seining in the areas we wanted. It was just too deep with no real beach to pull on to. We tried a few different areas but just couldn’t find a spot shallow enough to give it a real try. But we still had Fun all the same!

Julia, Max and Parker seining

We decided to move a bit further towards the north end of the island and give it another shot. After a couple more pulls of the net we came up with some cool juvenile barracudas, a bunch of mojarras and pinfish, striped grunts, ceasars grunts, grass shrimp, pink shrimp and some cool filefish. The neat thing about filefish is if you rub your fingers from head to tail, they are smooth to the touch. If you rub your fingers from tail to head they are rough like sandpaper. Years back, they were once dried out and used for sanding or used as a surface to strike matches on. There rough skin feels almost exactly like that of a shark, full of tiny denticles instead of scales. I know AdventureJulia had Fun checking them out!

Julia with a filefish

The latter part of the afternoon we spent swimming around Sea Urchin Shoals looking for the largest and smallest sea urchins we could find. Some of our favorites were the big black ones with short white spines or the bright pink or dark purple ones that were more difficult to find. The big black sea urchins would stick to your hands using their tiny tube feet. When you would turn your hand upside down, they would hold on like they were glued in place. The most common ones we found were white with greenish pink spines and you could pick them up by the armfuls! You can tell AdventureMax had a ball collecting his big bonanza of sea urchins!

Big bonanza of sea urchins

The most special day of all occurred when we decided to spend the day out by the beach. The ocean was flat calm and the water was warm and crystal clear. After snorkeling for a bit, the girls decided to have FUN racing “slow-mo” style up and down the beach. The object of the game was to look like you were running as fast as you could, but in reality, be barely moving. It was fun trying to take pictures of them moving so slow and at the same time, trying to make it look like they were moving fast. After that we all had fun racing up and down the beach to see who could run the fastest. I can tell you, it wasn’t me that won!

slow motion race

As we moved further down the beach taking pictures, I looked down in the seaweed and saw three dead sea turtle hatchlings stuck in the weeds. They seemed to have gotten stuck in a deep hole they couldn’t get out of and dried out or got over heated as the sun came up. As we sat and looked at them feeling a bit saddened, we saw movement in the seaweed and discovered there were 5 more turtle hatchlings stuck with the rest, but still alive underneath. It seemed the seaweed had kept them sheltered from the sun just long and lucky enough for us to find them. We gently picked them up and moved them to deeper water where they could swim away on their own. As we let them go and watched them swim away, we felt lucky to have had such a wonderful opportunity and encounter to lend them our help.

Saving sea turtles

As we raced back to the boat, we had one last chance to take a refreshing splash and AdventureJoseph took the win for the day! Way to go Joe!!! You can run like the wind!

refreshing splash

All in all we had a fabulous week!!! The kids were just GREAT and we had FUN from start to finish!!! The days just flew by, and thats a sure sign of having FUN!!! What a way to end the week, with smiles from ear to ear!!! We had sea turtle encounters, a pufferfish adventure and a BLAST the whole week long!!! Now it just doesn’t get any better than that!!! AdventureJulia seemed to sum things up best when she said, “I’d give up all my other camps just to come to this one”. I couldn’t have said it better myself, and it left me thinking just one thing!!! I just can’t wait till next week to go do it all over again! We’re going to have FUN, its going to be GREAT!!! Wish you could join us and be a part of the Adventure!!! See you soon…

Let’s Go Have Some Fun!!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *