It’s time again for another short getaway to the Florida Keys. This time it’s with my best buddy, my son, Logan. Today’s adventure takes place in Islamorada, Florida with Captain Tony of the Forever Young Charter Company http://diveyoung.com/
We arrive in Islamorada after an easy three-hour car ride from Naples. I listened to an audio book of the Persuade by Scott Hogle from Mentor box to pass the time. I highly recommend the monthly subscription. They have everything from self-improvement to business workshops. Check it out here https://www.mentorbox.com/organic-2-9-encv It is a perfect day to dive, sunny with a light breeze from the east. Water temperature is in the mid 80’s with visibility of 60+ feet. Upon arriving at the dock, we were greeted by Captain Tony and Captain Jeff. From that point on, we were cared for like their family. Our dive gear was loaded and setup for us. Captain Tony explained the dive process as we left the dock and speeded out of the harbor. It’s a short 20-minute run to the first dive site. Today we planned two dives to spear fish and catch lobsters. The first dive is on a small patch reef. We drop in the ocean to 25′ of depth to the bottom. Upon arrival, we see a ton of fish all around us. CaptainTony dives with his customers and helps with everything from loading the spear gun to taking the fish off the spear. We were visited by two nurse sharks and one crazy Moray Eel. They were very interested in what we were doing there. Logan got the first shot off using the spear gun on a Mangrove Snapper, one of the best type of fish to cook and eat. It’s a direct hit for the first of many. A little bit later, Logan finds a large lobster hiding in a hole under the reef. He uses the spear to tickle the lobster from behind. The lobster walks out of the hole and right into Logan’s net.
I was able to shoot a Lion Fish which are an invasive species. If prepared the right way, it can be delicious to eat, even though it can be poisonous. The second dive was just off Alligator Reef in 60′ of water. This will be the first deep dive for Logan at this depth. We toured the reef searching for a prize fish to shoot. Suddenly, a large mutton snapper appears within range. I aimed and took the shot, missed low and the fish is gone. A short time later, Logan and Captain Tony came upon a monster size mutton snapper. By the time they loaded the gun with the second band, the fish was gone.
I highly recommend Captain Tony of Forever Young Charter http://diveyoung.com/ The service was fantastic and the attention he gave my Son in the water made me feel I made the right decision selecting them for this dive trip. Before leaving the Florida Keys, we stopped at one of our favorite restaurants, http://www.keylargoconchhouse.com/ the Conch House in Key Largo. It is always a great meal and great service. The Conch House never disappoints.
Two hours later, we pulled into Naples with a cooler of fish and lobsters, together with another great experience spent together as Father and Son. We are already looking forward to our next great adventure. Until next time, stay safe and travel well.
David R. Bartley, Sr
Bartley Realty LLLP www.BartleyRealty.com