Day three, four, five... fishing, snorkeling, campfires, and jokes.
the infamous snorkeling wall at Fort Jefferson
Snorkeling on the famed west wall, while excellent paled in comparison to the unspoiled, less frequented, Loggerhead Key. Very few place offer the ability to walk to the beach and snorkel with such a wonderful coral formation. The better specimens are right on the wall forming the mote. Random coral heads surrounded by grass flats make the remaining area interesting also. I do believe after seeing the condition of the coral at Fort Jefferson compared to Loggerhead that tourism is killing the area's coral.
Capt.”K” invited me out in the dinghy to fish some of the offshore areas. We were both hoping the banks outside the channel markers would be productive for dinner. Once out there the reality of fishing in “blue” water with 15-20 winds from such a small made for a not very pleasant trip. We caught a small mackerel, a small grouper and a few coral heads (lol). After loosing a couple lures it was a long wet ride back.
The island is surrounded with large barracuda. Using light tackle to catch them without a leader is fun. I have caught around 30 cudas with 15 pound braid and a Penn AF4000. Using a 20 pound florocarbon leader and a “Redfish Magic” in solid white. (Finally something besides the Yo-Zuri minnow gets a fish) I also caught one small Gag Grouper, a Jack Crevalle and a Spanish Mackerel (other than the one above). All this while fishing from the dinghy beach or brick beach.
On day four while fishing the beaches and dock we met Ray and Ashley. They were from Ohio and had gotten engaged last year at the fort. He was fishing for dinner also. We also met Capt Mike, he brought a group of eagle scouts for their final achievements. As conversation exchanged I managed to catch 3 mangrove snappers for dinner.
Ray and Ashley were cooking all their extra food since his stay was to end the next day, Capt Mike and the scouts were having a camp fire, and Wee Happy was invited to another sailboat foe sundowners. Ray breaded the snapper in macadamia and coconut breading then fried it in organic coconut oil. Awesome! We made this an appetizer for their sausages and hot dogs. Capt “K” showed up too late for snapper but managed a hot dog. We were all too late for the camp fire but after the fire Capt Mike and the other counselor joined us for drinks and bad jokes. An excellent end a wonderful day!
s/v Wee Happy as seen from my front porch. The winds change the view often.
The days blend together when you have no phone, no watch and no internet.