28 February 2014

• #42: Islamorada Journal 2014…28 FEB

Click on any photo to enlarge...see a slide show:

Wednesday night's sunset.

Marine weather forecast a bit drab.

Radar shows a rain cell right over our heads.

Resulting in a wet front porch.

More rain to come.

Winds honking to 19 kts. out on the reef.

Caught some mangrove snappers off the basin wall.

Detail of snapper's scales...

...and eye.

Some blue sky trying to poke through up there...

...without a great deal of success.

• Meanwhile, in other news...

• Free NOAA PDF Nautical Charts Now Permanent

“Charts are part of a new wave of navigational products and services.

”NOAA’s newest addition to the nautical charting portfolio is the new Portable Document Format (PDF) nautical chart, which provides up-to-date navigation information in this universally available file type.

”After a three-month trial period, PDF versions of NOAA nautical charts will become a permanent product, free to the public. The free PDFs (http://www.charts.noaa.gov/PDFs/PDFs.shtml), which are digital images of traditional nautical charts, are especially valued by recreational boaters who use them to plan sailing routes and fishing trips.”

Please visit this link to read the full article: NOAA

• Build A Bridge from Port Jefferson to Connecticut?

“There’s a big push by the vice president of the United States to approve an internationally funded project in Long Island Sound. The Chinese want to build a bridge from Port Jefferson to Connecticut.”

Note: Don’t start writing your political representatives until you read the full article at this link: LIBN.com

26 February 2014

• #41: Islamorada Journal 2014…27 FEB

On Tuesday Wayne and I motored out in search of permit.

Conditions were mirror-like.

We saw only one permit...got no shot at him.

Did see several tarpon including a group of five. Wayne put a live crab on their noses but got no takers.

Egbert gets around.

Here he is out on the end of a sandbar...waiting for a snack to swim by.

It was a beautiful day out on the water...we saw manatees, dolphins, a few rays and sharks.

Not much to report in the way of caught fish, however.

• Meanwhile, in other news...

• Tuna: To Eat, or Not to Eat?

“In 1950, when tuna usually ended up in sandwiches and casseroles, the worldwide catch totaled an estimated 660,000 tons (600,000 metric tons). Today that annual number has grown to more than 7 million tons (6.6 million metric tons) as the fish has gone gourmet and demand has soared.

”The tuna boom has led to a host of concerns about the global fishing business, the state of our oceans, and the health impact of consuming an apex predator.”

Please visit this link to read the full article: NationalGeographic.com

• Greenwich, CT: Fly Fishing

“Yates will share his passion for fishing and protection of Long Island Sound in an indoor talk, "Fly Fishing the Beaches of Fairfield County: Chasing Striped Bass and Bluefish in Long Island Sound," at the Bruce Museum Seaside Center at Greenwich Point Park on Sunday, March 2.”

Please visit this link to read the full article: CTPost.com

24 February 2014

• #40: Islamorada Journal 2014…25 FEB

Saturday night's sunset.

These lunkheads were diving 200 feet from the boat basin and had no dive flag.

At one point the boat drove off leaving two divers unprotected from other boats that could come through the area. When the boat operator came back he proceeded to circle around the two divers at high speed, hitting them with the boats's wake. I'm sure they were having a fun time out there...but:

Not smart.

Lady taking her pooch for a paddle.

Wayne brought his portable Ogrill and a bag of his fish spices over to the house Sunday evening...

...and grilled up a batch of mahi-mahi for us.


Four photos of Monday night's most excellent sunset:

Click on any photo to enlarge...see a slide show.

22 February 2014

• #39: Islamorada Journal 2014…23 FEB

Click on any pic to enlarge...see a slide show:

Thursday night's sunset.

A piledriver...come to Islamorada to install a dock or replace some dock pilings.

Thank goodness it's not doing that anywhere near here...the noise and pounding of the barge-mounted equipment can be absolutely unnerving.

On Saturday morning Wayne and I took our annual walk a mile or so down US-1 to the big Nautical Flea Market run each year by the Rotary Club to raise money for college scholarships for Upper Keys youth.

The event is so huge that warnings are posted days ahead to tell drivers about the potential for traffic delays.

People come in droves, on foot, in cars, by bicycle, and by bus.

The place is quite a mob scene...great people-watching.

For some reason my computer insists on posting this photo downside-up.

Lots of fishing gear for sale. If you know your prices and values, you can actually find some bargains.

Wayne bought some Suffix braid at about 25% the normal retail price.

I got sore feet.

Late morning, Wayne, Jeremy, and I went out to seek fish.

Saw this ultra-light which appears to be a seaplane.

We went to one of our typical spots and immediately got into some spotted seatrout.

Then this boat came along, less than 200 feet from us, threw out the anchor, and prepared to set up fishing. This is not cool. There's an unwritten rule in the Keys that you don't get within 400 yards of another boat that's fishing. Obviously these lunkheads didn't know the rule...or didn't care.

We were about done with this spot, so I motored over into the area where the other boat was going to fish, positioned our stern less than 50 feet from them, and gunned the motor blasting us out of the area.

I doubt that they got the message, but at least it would have messed up their fishing for a little while.

Truth be told, we finally had a lousy day of fishing.

Every time we've fished, until Saturday, we've caught fish by the dozens. Today, it was just tough fishing. Don't know if it was from the days of high winds we've experienced, or what. But after our first run of seatrout, it pretty much dried up...couple of jacks over there, couple of ladyfish over here...that sort of thing.

It's a shame this had to happen when Jeremy was here for his one day of fishing, but that's the way it goes...he shoulda been here yesterday (or the day before, maybe).

Did get a look at a group of five manatee.

We were very careful not to allow them to get overly close to us.

Three photos of Friday night's lovely sunset.

Tomorrow's another day.

20 February 2014

• #38: Islamorada Journal 2014…21 FEB

Click on any photo to enlarge...get a slide show:

Wednesday night's sunset.

Here's a shot of the area where I work on fishing tackle.

I think it was Michael who asked me why I needed so many pairs of pliers. I explained that one grips very well but is not good at cutting; another grips and cuts but doesn't cut the line close enough to the knot; another will cut anything but doesn't grip for beans; etc.

On one day off the water I finally got my bonefish fly box sorted out.

Now, if I ever go fishing for bonefish....

I explained before that my right arm has been very painful because I've done something to the upper arm muscle while casting and reeling in so many fish [old age couldn't have anything to do with it!].

So I changed over a spinning reel to left-hand casting, right-hand reeling and went out on the basin wall to give it a try. It worked pretty well...a bit awkward...even caught a fish: A Lane Snapper.

Here's a detail shot of the snapper's tail...

...and scales...

...and eye.

Put him back in the water safe to swim another day.

Barry was out in the basin...looking for Zachary, no doubt.

Jeremy and his bride-to-be, Emily arrived on Wednesday.

Here Jeremy on the basin wall checking out the fish species.

Those white trails you can see in the background are the dreaded...

...cigarette boats that arrive in the Keys each year at this time to participate in some event down in Key West...apparently it's the Miami Boat Show Poker Run...whatever that is.

Horribly noisy beasts, these boats invariably contain people yelling to each other: "We gotta stop for gas...we gotta stop for gas!"

Jeremy, Emily, and...

...Bridget joined me aboard Shoo-Fly for a short tour on the Bay side of Islamorada.

We had to avoid the Atlantic side as winds were kicking up to 19 kts. from the SSE which would have made for an uncomfortable ride.

We saw some of the cigarette boats heading south...

...a cattlemaran*...

...and this fellow who appears to be operating an outboard motor-powered Hobie Cat...which normally uses a sail.

Clouds blew by overhead and dropped a few sprinkles on us that quickly evaporated.

*Yes, it's correctly "catamaran"; the pejorative, "cattlemaran," relates to how they herd a bunch of people on board.