31 January 2010

Islamorada Journal 2010...Day 33

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Egbert came to visit this morning...looking for a handout, as usual.

Unfortunately, we were fresh out of live shrimp and pinfish, so he had to move on to his next easy touch.



Tried to get Wayne and Hanson to go over to the Caribee Boat Sales and Marina On-the-Water Boat Show as we have done each year, but they weren't available.
So Caryl and I trotted over there and got to see the latest thing in Pathfinder 2200s, one of our favorite boats. Nice!



The channel where Caribee floats its boats is normally full of mangrove snappers, and today was no exception.

These fish either found a warm spot there to hang during the cold spell, or else they've moved back in from warmer waters elsewhere.



On the way back north the bridge over Snake Creek was up to allow a large boat to pass below...causing the usual traffic jam.



We went to the Buzzard's Roost for late lunch/early dinner. The whole operation was understaffed, slow, and ineffective. The lemonade was terrible, the lobster roll they served Caryl turned out to be something she wouldn't eat, and the key lime pie rated only a 5.0 on the KLP scale.

If we go back there again, it won't be on a weekend when apparently they've got too few workers to do a decent job of caring for their customers.

Not a bad view, though.



I went out on the boat basin to throw a few casts at sunset. Nothing bit, but this crew of pelicans was fun to watch.



Sunset was a dark indication of the weather that's coming in for Sunday.



Looked as though there'd be no Saturday night moon photo as the clouds threatened to preclude seeing the full moon we've been waiting for.

But the clouds cleared long enought to give us this opportunity to shoot the moon in its full glory.



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Fly-Fishing New Zealand

[Interesting read]

“The Mataura extends for an impressive 140 miles of trout water in the heart of sheep and dairy country. Getting to an access point for the water sometimes involves moving a flock or herd out of the way. Tom McLoughlin, the captain of a saltwater sport-fishing boat in Mystic, Conn., who fishes the Mataura in the New Zealand summers, rousted the livestock with a beat-up Nissan sedan.”

NYTimes.com

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.
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Check these links for more information:
Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut

30 January 2010

Islamorada Journal 2010...Day 32

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This photo gives an idea of what "sight-fishing" is all about. We scan the water hoping to locate fish, which is not an easy thing to do with all the various forms and colors that appear in these waters. Sand, rocks, grasses, mud, all of these conspire to hide the fish.

Nevertheless, once you've been at it for a while, one can become fairly adept at spotting fish. Barracuda, for example, tend to look like dark-colored logs when they're lying in the shallows. [There are none in this photo.]

Click on any picture to enlarge.



Wayne and I got out on the water Friday afternoon as the winds finally quieted down enough to allow fishing in something other than total discomfort.

We were hoping to see that fish had been coming back into this part of Florida Bay following the record-breaking cold snap that killed millions of fish in the Keys.

We went to one of our favorite barracuda spots and did see several dozen large 'cudas; all of them were lying in the shallows where the water is more rapidly heated by the sun. Unfortunately, when the 'cudas are laid up like that they're also very spooky. We did get a couple of hits, but had no hookups.

It was good, however, to see that all the 'cudas in the Bay had not died from the cold.



We also saw a nurse shark and a stingray, and we ran into a mixed school of crevale jacks [above] and ladyfish [below]. The jacks were all very small, but despite their size they put up a good fight against our light tackle.



The ladyfish, on the other hand, were of good size and put on their usual aerial display often jumping three and four times before being brought to the boat and released.



I'm still recuperating from the doxycycline-enhancd sunburn I picked up on Sunday, and was pretty much arrayed for robbing banks...as well as for fishing Florida Bay.



We probably caught 30-40 fish, and we were happy to see that the Bay was showing signs of returning to normal conditions.



Friday night's sunset was not too shabby.



And Friday night's moon is about as close to full as it can get...without actually being full.

Last time a human stood on the moon: 1972

The crater with the bright rays of material spreading out from it [right side, below center] is crater Tycho, named for Tycho Brahe a Danish astonomer. It's estimated that this crater was created by an asteroid strike that took place a mere 108 million years ago.



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Latest Issue of Fly Fishing in Salt Waters Magazine

Can be seen at: FFSW

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Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.
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Check these links for more information:
Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut

29 January 2010

Islamorada Journal 2010...Day 31

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Caryl and I went over to the Lorelei for dinner.

Click on any photo to enlarge.



If you're a kayaker, you can paddle right up to the restaurant and tie up at the dock.



Their blackened mahi-mahi sandwich is absolutely the best sandwich I have ever eaten.

We gave the KLP report for Lorelei last week.



Back at the house, I went out on the boat basin and threw a few casts for fish.

Had a few hits from smallish stuff, but nothing hooked up.



Thursday night's sunset.



Friday's forecast is for "...east winds near 15 knots. Seas beyond the reef 3 to 5 feet...except higher in the Gulf Stream. Seas inside the reef around 2 feet. Nearshore waters a moderate chop. Isolated showers."



This is the first time in several days that the forecast was for less than 20 kts of wind, so Wayne and I are hoping to get out on the water for at least a few hours.

The buoy on Molasses Reef is showing 11 kts. gusting to 13, so there's some hope.



Thursday night's moon, just two days away from full.



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How to Buy Fish

“If the fish is a white fish like cod or haddock, it should be bright white in color not off white or grey. Also check the texture of the fish. It should be firm not mushy or soft looking”.

WarwickOnline.com

Note: Useful Information for Those in the FL Keys Right Now

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PETA "Jumps the Shark"

“People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says it's unfair to keep the animal in captivity and subject him to the huge crowds and bright lights that accompany tens of thousands of revelers each Feb. 2 in Punxsutawney, a tiny borough about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. PETA is suggesting the use of an animatronic model.”

FWDailyNews.com

Question: How do you tell when an organization has outlived its usefulness?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.
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Check these links for more information:
Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut

28 January 2010

Islamorada Journal 2010...Day 30

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High 50s again this morning with winds 20-kts plus out of the north. The buoy at Molasses Key was registering winds of 24 mph gusting to 27 mph.

There were whitecaps on the Bay all day today.



If it ever warms up down here maybe something else will bloom besides this one orange hybiscus plant.

Should be thankful for this one plant I guess.



Probably hard to tell from the photo, but this devil's ivy plant is growing about 20 feet up the tree...leaves are more than 3 feet long.

Adam & Eve could have used these to cover up after apple-picking.



One of the wild wabbits that wiv in ouw neighbowhood.

Wanna see something funny? Go on You Tube and look at a video of Robin Williams doing his impression of Elmer Fudd singing Bruce Springsteen.



Coast Guard Rescues Two after Canoe Capsizes in the Florida Keys

“At 8:40 p.m. the two people were located by Station Marathon crews. The two people were reportedly waving their hands and yelling while clinging to their capsized canoe without life-jackets on. The boatcrew quickly brought them aboard, provided blankets to keep them warm, and brought them in to Sparky’s Bar and Grill in Key Colony Beach, Fla., where they were evaluated by local EMS.

“Weather at the time of the rescue was reported to be 15 to 20-knot winds with gusts up to 25 knots and 3 to 4-foot seas.”

CoastGuardNews.com



Imagine, in this weather, out in a canoe and not wearing life jackets!

These guys nearly made it to the Darwin Awards ["Named in honor of Charles Darwin, father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool... by removing themselves from it. This award is generally bestowed posthumously"].



Wednesday night's sunset was a carbon-copy of Tuesday's.



And Mr. Moon is just about full. Thanks goodness. The higher tides attending the filling moon have done a great job of cleaning the dead fish out of our boat basin.

Thursday we have a small boat caution in effect for "...Northeast to east winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas beyond the reef 4 to 6 feet...except higher in the Gulf Stream. Seas inside the reef 2 to 3 feet. Nearshore waters choppy."

Sound familiar?



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Check these links for more information:
Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut

27 January 2010

Islamorada Journal 2010...Day 29

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Cool this morning...high 50s with winds 15-20 out of the north.

I spent the morning doing the company eNewsletter, the 523rd issue of that weekly news summary for Connecticut human resources professionals. As these average maybe eight pages in length, that's the equivalent of about 3,840 linear feet of newsletter [a fact I'm sure you find absolutely fascinating].



So with the winds howling out there, Shoo-Fly 2 stayed at the dock another day as Wayne and I decided it just wasn't worth fighting wind and wave when there're no fish to be found anyway.

We might have been able to find some fish Atlantic-side, but conditions were too rough out there for our small boats.



So Caryl went off to her exercise program at the local hospital and later to get her hair done and food shop.

I loafed and dozed on the couch, continuing my reading and still recuperating from that darned bronchitis.

Got to talk with Becky, Robert, Zachary, and Michael on Skype tonight; Ms. Caroline was off for two hours of dancing class [from whence the energy?]



Here are three shots of Tuesday night's sunset.



Wednesday: Small craft caution issued for north to northeast winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas beyond the reef 4 to 6 feet...except higher in the Gulf Stream. Seas inside the reef 2 to 3 feet. Nearshore waters choppy.



Thursday the winds will swing more east: Northeast to east winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas beyond the reef 4 to 6 feet...except higher in the Gulf Stream. Seas inside the reef 2 to 3 feet. Nearshore waters choppy.



And Tuesday night's moon shot.



------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Check these links for more information:
Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut

26 January 2010

Islamorada Journal 2010...Day 28

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It was pretty obvious from early on today that it was going to be a tough day weather-wise.

Click on any photo to enlarge.



A squall blew in from the west—you can see the rain on the water in this photo—and marched right over the top of us...



...bringing 20-30 kt. winds...



...driving waves against the boat basin wall.



It blew and rained most of the afternoon, but finally the clouds broke...



...and the sun began poking through some blue-sky holes in the overcast.



A lone pelican ventured out, riding the lift as the on-shore winds picked him up for a free ride.



As to the rest of the week, here's Tuesday: North to northeast winds 15 to 20 knots. Seas beyond the reef 4 to 6 feet. Seas higher in the Gulf Stream. Seas inside the reef 2 to 3 feet. Nearshore waters choppy...and the forecast for the balance of the week is like unto that.





So am doing a lot of reading. Just finished Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, given to me as a b'day present by Susan McN. and family. Wonderful book about Thomas Cromwell who was Henry VIII's right-hand man...for a while.

And am now into Jaff Shaara's The Rising Tide which is about the early years of WWII...fascinating.

Between the cold snap we had, getting through acute bronchitis, and now the incoming spell of winds, I'm going to be highly literate...if fishless.


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Rhode Island: $7.00 Saltwater Fishing License

“Faced with federal regulations that otherwise would have imposed a higher fee on local fishermen, Rhode Island legislators have voted to override the governor’s veto to create Rhode Island’s first recreational saltwater fishing license.

“The license will cost $7 for state residents, and $10 for those who don’t live in Rhode Island, and will be free for residents who are 65 or older or in active military service.”

BlockIslandTimes

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Are Stripers Threatened?

“When saltwater fishermen go fishing, the No. 1 prey they're angling for is striped bass. To their dismay, Massachusetts fishermen caught many fewer striped bass last year than they did three years ago — 2.6 million compared to 9 million — and they're saying, ‘Something must be done.’”

CapeCodOnlikne.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Check these links for more information:
Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut

25 January 2010

Islamorada Journal 2010...Day 27

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Lovely day on Sunday...winds were wild, however, blowing 18 kts. out of the southeast.

Had a report from Wayne who went way back-country yesterday in search of fish...without much luck...one keeper trout and some other stuff. So we are yet to receive a sign that fish are coming back in numbers following the recent cold snap.



I tried a few casts off the basin wall in the morning. Only hit was from this stinky little lizardfish; he's about as big as the lure he bit.



Called Hanson to see if he wanted to get out on the water.



We figured about the only place we could possible fish in this wind was Hippy Harbor, a cove that runs back into the mangroves and is protected from wind on three sides. HH has produced some fun baracuda fishing in past...in fact, I can't recall ever going in there and not seeing a 'cuda.

Until today, that is. We never had even a swirl from a 'cuda.

I set up the boat so we could drift with the wind over our left shoulders which allowed fly-fisherman Hans to throw some casts up against the mangroves. We tried trolling for a while. Nada.



I did catch one mangrove snapper...must have been the village idiot.

Water temp was up to 75° which is a good sign...but the fish just aren't back yet.

All the time I was out on the water today I felt as though places on my skin were on fire. Got back in to find that despite having worn 70 sun block and only having been on the water for maybe two hours, I was sunburned on my face and legs.

Finally figured it out. I've been on antibiotics for 13 days now, and some antibiotics, including doxycycline, make your skin highly sensitive to sunlight. Wouldn’t you think that being in a place like the Florida Keys, that either the doc or the druggist would warn you about this?

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Caryl and I went over to Snappers, a favorite restaurant on the Atlantic side of the Keys. Wind was whistling in so hard over there that no one was eating outside. We ate inside. Blackened mahi-mahi, sweet 'tater fries, and steamed veggies. Never had a bad meal at Snappers.



Their key lime pie arrived at the table all gussied-up. I thought it was too sweet and gave it a 6.5 rating on the KLP scale. Caryl had a different desert that I won't describe to you else you'll be getting in your car and breaking into the nearest french bakery.



Sunset was a quiet affair, color-wise.



And Sunday night's moon continues to engorge itself on the way to being full on the 30th.



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Thanks to Ed H. for this one:

"Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened."

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------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Don’t forget, a saltwater fishing license is now required to fish the marine waters of Connecticut. You can purchase one from your local bait & tackle shop, such as Newtown Bait & Tackle, or at Town/City Hall.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Check these links for more information:
Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut