Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Making the Most Of It

Our plan today was to leave the Keys for Ft Myers and hit the road early, as we've had three shoots scheduled there for weeks. To make a long story short, due to circumstances beyond our control, we were forced to push back the scheduled shoots for two days.

I guess there are worse things than being stuck in Key Largo for an extra day with a gassed up boat and gear for whatever the Keys has to offer.

I've been looking forward to getting underwater with my girlfriend for a while- so we decide to dive something new. After a short drive, we launch from John Pennekamp State Park, set a course for 172°.... 7 miles later, we tie up to the mooring buoy on Molasses reef. 

 What a gorgeous day! Flat calm ocean, 80 ft vis, can't wait to get in. We quickly gear up, and jump in. Molasses reef- stretches for about a mile, about 25-30 feet down. As soon as we hit the water, we see the reef is teeming with life.

Chubs all around the boat, hundreds of snapper hiding under the ledges, parrot fish of all sizes, it's hard to decide where to look next. Taking it easy, cruising along the edge, just trying to soak it all in. Man, if there is one place I can go to get away from it all, it's underwater.

We soon spot a nurse shark scurrying off, a few barracudas, and dozens of colorful reef fish that I really should know the names of.... But I don't.

After a couple of great dives and some lunch, we decide to change the game plan, and head over to the Gulf side in hopes of securing another lobster dinner. We arrive at the first spot, plop in, to find it had already been picked over. Still a cool area to dive, with lots of prime lobster habitat covering the bottom. Oh well, next...

We run a couple of miles to a number from days gone by. I hop over the side to see what's there, and immediately notice a respectable red grouper hanging out over the honeycomb bottom. I quickly swim back to the boat and grab my pole spear. There is something about hunting underwater, I just love it. When I arrive back down, he had already popped in one of the holes. Making the shot was the easy part, getting him out of the hole was a whole other story...
With my right had in one crevice, trying to guide the fish, to my left hand in another crevice.
 Finally, he's free...

Dinner at last! One more trip to the bottom for three keeper bugs, and it's time to go.

A fresh caught dinner combined with the perfect sunset at JJ's Big Chill,
 ends our perfect day in the Keys,

Livin' the Salt Life, Keys-style...

Slimy 5's

Capt Don

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