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Commodore's Corner - 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 sun.

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. FESTOONS!

Respectfully submitted, W.D. Olson, Commodore



BobbyG Busted

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 trip!

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!

After 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!







Dog Days


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 campsite


Buddy playing frisbee

Suzie checking out the birds

Oops! Suzie almost fell in




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