My Fellow Barefooters,
It has been quite sometime since I last addressed you as a nation. Since my last address lots has gone on. I have continue traversing the Sunshine State looking for new drinks and new spots to fish. I left FL for a brief period of time to tend to some fishing related speaking engagements here in the Northeast. However, my good friend and fellow Captain, Nat Chalkley and I made a week long trek to Matlacha Island inside the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, in Pine Island Sound, Florida. Here we chased Seatrout, Snook, and Redfish. Even is you are not an avid fisherment, there part of Florida is a remarkable place to withhold. The avian life is truly breathtaking and quite frankly it kind of feels like Jurassic Park.
Following this backcountry fishing adventure, I quickly made my way back home to NE to take in the St Padriag’s Day festivites in Newport, RI. While South Boston gets the press and fame, Newport’s parade and celebrations are no slouch. In fact I enjoy it more because of smaller crowds and seaside location.
My latest and final adventure to southern latitudes, was one that has become a bit of annual or bi-annual thing for myself several friends. It started several years ago during a camping trip to Chokoloskee Island in the Florida Everglades. Since then its location has changed but the purpose is always the same…Good Times with Great People, hopefully Great Fishing, and of course the GREAT OUTDOORS! This years camping debacle took place in the serene Florida Keys. While we were down one camper this year, this did not discourage nor damper our goal of AWESOMENESS.
We set up camp on Big Pine Key. Here we found an oceanside spot and quickly learned that we had neighbors….Key Deer! What is a Key Deer you say, weeeelllll, a Key Deer looks identical to the common Whitetail Deer, only differences are 1.) it is endangered and the only place it lives in the southern Florida Keys; 2.) full grown it is only about 50 pounds or so. These little buggers were a friendly bunch, one in particular we named Larry. We spent 2.5 days kayaking and fishing the surrounding waters despite strong widns out of the Northeast. Though the fishing was tough we managed some Mangrove Snapper for the grill and Barracuda provided us with steady action. Only downfall of the fishing and kayaking was my capsizing and subsequent loss of a camera and my phone (this ended up being a blessing as I went a whole week with no phone….reminded me of the good ole days without txts, emails, bbms, rings etc)
Now for the fun part of the trip. Once we realized the fishing was not what we wanted nor expected we chose to do the next best thing….GET INTO THE BAREFOOT STATE MIND and there was only one place where that was going to happen…..KEY WEST….. summed up in few words…
….cocktails and ponytails by 930am, Conch Fritters for Breakfast at 11, conversations with local homeless at beach by Noon, Conch Fritters for Lunch at 230, Hog Breath Saloon to hang out/check out Sailor Jerry’s girls by 4, clothing optional bar by 7pm…..rest is well….I will let you know when I piece it together…..
Hope you are all ready for a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious(tried to spell it on my own and then googled it) 2011 Season, because in only a few short weeks we will be hoisting the flag and the games will begin. Just like in years past we will plenty of events, contests, and of course fishing and cruising charters available. I look forward to sharing a cocktail or two with everyone and always remember keep that BAREFOOT STATE OF MIND!!!!
Your Friendly Captain,