Keys Vacation 2008
The Ballantyne, Gostage and Sapp families just returned from another great vacation in the Florida Keys.
The weather turned out to be hot and sunny in the Keys this year and there was one rain in the middle of the week. The lobsters were scarce in the Gulf of Mexico possibly due to the large and protected Goliath Grouper that were spotted in many of the lobster holes that we came across. Click here for more photos
We had some new lobster wranglers with us this year with Jennifer bringing her boyfriend Drew, and Chad bringing Brittany. Lindy and Evan were just giggling to have Martin back this year. Art and Katy were gracious again to let us stay at their beautiful house in Pompano on the way down. Mark Debbie and Taylor came prepared this year for lobsters and fishing. Chrissy busy with her new business, Tropical Brace and Limb made it in after her conference. She also brought her boat which is a great addition to the fun.
Drew brought his guitar, and we managed to play a bit. He showed me some songs that he’d written. I’d never seriously thought about it but I should try to write a song sometime. Sue and John came and we all had a great stay together. We really enjoyed being there and hope everyone is looking forward to the next vacation together.
Lobsters were good this year and we did as well as we did last year, which is a blessing, and keeps us coming back for mini-season (the last Wednesday-Thursday of July). We all managed to make it our to Sombrero Reef for a brief snorkel. It was one of the rougher days so we did not stay our there as long as usual. Lobster wrangling got off to a slow start, but we ended up getting a good first day with the hard work of our lobster team especially Katy, Art, Mark, Debbie, Chad, Chrissy, Martin, Drew and myself. Taylor and Lindy also were close and could help spot the lobsters. Brittany and Jen helped out in the water, and helped do secondary size checks for the lobsters.
Fishing was great fun as usual with Art’s awesome 36 ft Sea Vee, twin 300 Mercury Verado’s and his keen eye and intuition for finding fish.
Drew caught the first keeper a 30+ lb Kingfish which was much bigger than the ones I’ve seen before. Martin wiffed an unkown fish. Next Drew catches a Sailfish and manages to pose for a picture or two before a successful release. Not to be outdone Mark caught a Sailfish with the same vigor. Martin wiffed an unkown fish. Chad get’s one on and pulls in the biggest Dolphin (Mahi) of the trip. On another run Mark and Chad both snag some nice Mangrove snapper and we rejoiced knowing we going to have some lucious fish for dinner. Martin wiffed an unkown fish. Art, with his ability to read the water like Neo can read the Matrix, spots a school of dolphin (Mahi) swimming past the boat. All I remember, there is a blur of casting, yelling, resetting hooks, cheering and measuring fish for an unkown amount of time that leaves us with 7 more Dolphin and a bit of cleaning up to do. I’m sure Martin got at least one of the dolphin, so no-tears. The last day of fishing was hotter than two rats in wool sock and we were just trying to stay cool. I think the fish new this and were hanging deep, with the numerous sharks that were taking our bait. This still did not stop us from jumping in to cool off once in a while.