- March 2011
6th Annual Last Fiesta Key Trip
The 6th Annual Last Fiesta Key Trip was a spectacular success,
special thanks to Perry Morris for coordinating this event
and thanks again to our Master Mixologist for proper presentation
of superb martinis every evening and thanks to those who
brought a bottle of Gin to share. If you haven’t been,
the Fiesta Key trip is not the usual road trip, but is more
like the circus heading south to the winter quarters.
I arrived Thursday night, unfortunately, after the sunset
martinis. It took me, Perry, and Brian as long to set up
my tent that evening as it did for me to do it myself at
home. This must have been due to the darkness. The new camp
site arrangement worked fine. It reminded me of a town with
a bunch of little neighborhoods where people could meet
and mingle and then go home. Thanks to the people at Morgan
RV Resorts for accommodating us. We even had plenty of out-of
–own talent this year, we met Dave Dean and Cindy
from West Virginia (Dave says he kites, but he was cool
anyway), Chris V. and Lt. Dan and Sherry came from ATL.
I hear there was snow when Chris went back north, and Niels
and Ben came down from Jax.
This year did not have the epic windsurfing conditions we
had last year, but everyone
found something to do, between snorkeling, kayaking, bicycling
and dodging man o wars. Unfortunately, the hot tubs were
out of service and the pool was freaking cold this year.
By the time Sunday rolled around, the wind shifted to the
north and we hit the water. Conditions were good for longboards
and Chris V. and Hugh M. were out on short boards. Mike
“It’s blowing 5 to 10 knots” Levine, DJ
Bobby G. and Lee Chapin had the most time on the water and
liked the lighter winds. Of course, later in the week when
people were packing up and heading back, the 20 knot snob
conditions kicked in for the weekend.
The light winds meant that the SPSC power squadron was out
in force. Digger Dave Denmark ran the bottom paint off of
the D-Diddy, trying to satiate the piscacidal urges of the
HWF (Hussies Who Fish, which is pretty much all of them)
with fishing trips to the reefs and the back country. Captain
Wayfuh kindly skippered the newly re-designed 3rd Rail/Leg
for lovely cruises to Lignum Vitae Key and Holiday Isle
(lime-a-colada anyone?), Zane Gray Creek, and the Safari
Lounge for the Brain’s birthday toast. The trip to
Sombrero Light was awesome. The water was clear and the
reef fish were everywhere. There was even a big green moray
sleeping in a sheltered spot on the reef. We arrived just
as a bunch of boats were leaving and had the reef to ourselves.
When we were done, a cattle boat full of tourist snorkelers
arrived and entertained us while we were lounging in the
Of course there were several trips to terrorize the streets
of Key West by crazed bicyclists, I hear that gravity storms
were in the forecast for Duval Street. Perry M. and John
Stacklin (apparently the Keith Richards of road cycling)
were the only ones to brave the Channel 5 Bridge for the
bike ride to the Hungry Tarpon (and Perry spent the rest
of the day recuperating in the hammock).
Of course there were white caps on the bay on Monday as
we packed up and pulled away, it is tough to leave when
the wind is blowing and head north into the cold. It just
makes you start daydreaming about next year when the circus
comes back to Fiesta Key.
The 2011 Wind Ceremony
is set for March 19! Make sure you reserve the date to come
join us at Shell Point Beach! We will be having a Peoples
Choice cooking contest for those interested in participating.
However, bringing a dish does not mean that you HAVE to
participate in the contest - no food will be turned away,
so please bring something to put on the food table. Registration
on the beach will start around 3:00 with "suppah"
around 6:00. Swami and the Festoons will arrive around 8:00
or so to entertain us with some oldie but goodies along
with some new tunes Swami has added to the music lineup.
Respectfully submitted, W.D. Olson, Commodore
First full day at Fiesta Key, a Sunday; Wind wasn’t
much, blowing about 12 in the afternoon, Bob A. and Chris
Voith out on the water, so I thought I would join them. Rigged
my 7.5 and dropped my Kona in the water and away I went. Went
west, through the sand bar a ways, then tacked to come back.
When I sheeted in, SNAP, by mast cracked right above my boom.
I was maybe 500 yards from where I launched. I knew I couldn’t
sail with a busted mast, so I sat on my board and waved my
arms. Bob A. saw me and came racing out. Now, Bob A and I
are the only two Bobs in the SPSC, and Bob A. started thinking
on the way out that maybe there should only be one. What I
thought was a rescue attempt was actually Bob A’s attempt
at becoming Bob the only. On the way to me, he deftly sliced
his leg so blood would drip in the water in hopes of attracting
sharks. Bob then came out and slowly circled me. I drew my
legs up onto the board and started waving my arms even more
frantically. Fortunately, Chris V. saw me, and being one of
the 50 Chris’ we have in the club, he had no sympathy
at all for Bob A’s plot and came out to tow me back
in. Once out there, Bob A. saw his plan fall apart and helped
by carrying in the parts of the mast that broke. Thanks Chris
and Bob. Thanks also to Jerry who loaned me a mast for the
rest of the time there.
Backcountry Fishin with Captain Ron
by Donna McMahon
I heard through the campsite that Mrs. Hill had Wednesday
all planned out for Leah, Lizzie and myself. The three of
us happen to have birthdays the week of the Keys trip. Tuesday
was Leah’s birthday, Wednesday was Lizzie’s (and
Brian) and I enjoyed my last year of the 40’s on Friday,
our first night in the Keys. Of course we feared the worst
– oh my God, what does she have planned? We thought
shopping or maybe a mani/pedi – that would be cool but
please no Brazilians! On Tuesday night Chrissy said “Meet
me in front of the Marina at 7:45 sharp with your tummies
satisfied.” Hmmm, what could she be up to? My son Shane
was busy packing a lunch for himself (or so I thought) on
Tuesday night as he was going to go kayaking all day on Wednesday.
Never dawned on me that the lunch was being packed for me!
Pretty slick Shane, you pulled that one off!!!
Wednesday morning we all head to the Marina at 7:45 with
Chrissy who happens to still be in her PJ’s and bathrobe.
I asked her – what, you aren’t going? She said
nope this one is for you huzzies! At this point I was really
confused. Turns out our husbands (Chris, Dave and Lee) had
planned for a backcountry fishing trip for us with Captain
Ron Wagner. I hear that the Digger had a lot to do with
this – THANKS DAVE!!!! Wow, now I was relieved and
extremely excited. I knew this was going to be an awesome
We headed out and went to the Marina just down the way
to gas up. We headed across Florida Bay to Sandy Key and
the Captain “anchored” us out in a small channel
somewhere around the backside of the Key. I was surprised
to find out that the way you anchor a boat in the Keys where
the bottom is “muddy” is with the push pole.
The pole is stuck in the mud at an angle and then the boat
is tied off to it. To get the pole out of the mud you have
to twist and pull it at the same time. Pretty slick.
If I am not mistaken, Leah and Lizzie caught the most fish.
We caught some nice trout (yes, they are in season in the
Keys this time of year), ladies, puffers and Leah landed
a nice pompano. We then went to Everglades National Park.
As we made our way down a channel there were several manatees
that literally scattered. The water is so clear in the Keys
that you can see them; not to mention they are huge! I have
never seen a manatee move that quickly. Captain Ron said
they are getting used to boats and when they hear them coming
they scat. That big tail they have comes in handy for that.
The park was very pretty and well maintained. We did get
to see a couple of crocs and they were big boys!
the park we were on our way back out to Florida Bay in search
of some redfish. Captain Ron took us up a large canal where
there were several barges docked and working. He was clearly
upset by this as he did not know they were going to be working
in this canal – apparently his prized redfish spot.
He said the fishing wouldn’t be good there for some
time so back out to the Bay we went. I was disappointed
but, heck, the boat ride was so much fun! Lizzie, Leah and
I schooled Captain Ron on what the terms “potty mouth”
and “Brazilian” mean and that “huzzies”
really do enjoy a good fishing trip with a few cold beers,
a great Captain and the most breathtaking scenery around!
This trip was very out of the ordinary for us as we are
used to baiting our own hook and taking our own fish off
the hook. What a welcome change and a great birthday present!
Our husbands met us back at the dock after our day of backcountry
fishing and they were very pleased to find that Captain
Ron was still in charge of his boat and not duck taped to
his chair, or worse!
This year’s event seemed to be the year of the dog,
with four of us bringing our dogs down. Bob and Sandy had
their little dog Essay, Neils from Jacksonville had his larger
dog, Sandy, Chris Voith brought his dog Buddy and Amy and
Deb brought their Suzie. The dog campers were much better
behaved than the human ones. These four were quiet, respectful
and happy to see everyone all the time, staying sober in order
to guide their human home. They enjoyed the nature surrounding
them as well, with many a pelican, heron, and osprey tempting
their desire to chase.
Unfortunately for two of our four legged campers, this was
to be their last vacation. Buddy passed away just a few days
after returning to Atlanta from a pre-existing condition as
did Suzie. Both Suzie and Buddy seemed to really enjoy their
stay in the Keys and they will be missed by all. Our thoughts
are with their humans; Chris, Amy and Deb, for these dogs
were truly loved.
Buddy and Chris enjoying the
Buddy playing frisbee
Suzie checking out the birds
Oops! Suzie almost fell in