Day 3:    Shark Bait

Main Page > 1994  Wasting Away in Margaritaville >

Looking For Redemption in a Local Fisherman's Greasy Spoon

7:00 AM came earlier than normal (or so it seemed) for the bedraggled boys. En route to the marina where the boys were going to jump on a Catamaran and sail two hours west of Key West to snorkel, they decided that if they did not have breakfast, the wave action on the boat ride, would most definitely make them both blow chunks over the railing. Finding a Greasy Spoon that the boys later found out was frequented by the local fisherman, the eggs and coffee slowly began to give the boys a reason to live.

Running late, they quickly wrapped up their meals and boogied to the boat just in time to board and crash on the deck for a few zzz's before snorkeling.

Finding Redemption on a Sail Boat

"G'Day Mate !!!"  As the boys were trying to fall back into a hungover stupor, a  college kid decided to sit by Mike and Bone and be social able. Steve was a son of a fairly wealthy Aussie that had been touring the States for several years. He decided to leave Australia for school in the States when he read in Playboy that LSU was consistently the Top Party School in the Country. Upon graduation in General Studies he convinced his Dad that he needed to spend a few more years sowing his wild oats, and was given a living "stipend" to tour the US in fairly modest means. Steve brought along a underwater camera and was kind enough to send copies of the pictures (that you are enjoying below.) 

A Cool School of Blue Fish

Upon reaching the Coral Reef Mike and Bone jumped in to the most beautiful waters ever. The water was 80 degrees, crystal clear, completely still. The boys had  been in colder Jacuzzis. Once in the boys immediately felt better (except when Mike got a mouthful of salt water and retched) from the evenings before excesses.

Fan-like Fire Coral

The VERY Shallow Waters the Boys were Snorkeling In

That's No Bull .......... Shark !?!

You've got fins to the left !

fins to the right !

and You're the only BAIT in Town !!!

A section from Jimmy Buffet's Fin's

"D'Ohh" Homer Simpson. As the boys were trolling through the waters, Steve swam up to the boys and said "Hey !! would you guys like to see a 9 foot Nurse Shark !!  Sure enough, there it was swimming on the outskirts of the group of snorklers. It was big, but appeared calm. Mike, Bone, and Steve swam "squadron style" tailing behind the big fish. The shark quickly noticed the boys were following it and began to speed up it swimming. The faster it swam, the faster the boys tailed it, and also the closer the boys got to the fish. Soon, the boys were slapping the tail of the big fish, which by now was becoming very agitated, when all of the sudden they heard the whistle to bring them in.

Before they jumped into the water, the guides stated that after two hours, they would sound a whistle, which meant the trip was over. When the whistle sounded, Mike and Bone looked at each other quizzically, there was no way that was two hours !!!

They swam back to the boat, where the guide stated, "We just wanted to make sure everybody is OK and having a good time." And with that everybody began to swim away from the boat, when the guide pointed to Mike, Bone, and Steve and said "except for you three !"

The guide waited for everyone to swim away and then told the boys "We have been coming out here a long time, and we have NEVER had a problem with a fish. Big fish do come into the area and the always leave the guests alone, and the guests always leave the fish alone. Except you three dingbats that were just harassing a 9-foot Bull Shark !!!"

Not only did Mike and Bone not realize that the supposed Nurse Shark was a Bull Shark, but that Bull Sharks are the number one killer of humans (more than Great Whites !!), are ill-tempered, and very unpredictable.

With that explanation, the waters around the boat where Mike, Bone, and Steve were treading water became less crystal clear, with a yellowish tinge spreading out, and the temperature of the water rising to strangely familiar 98.7 degrees.

Properly chastened, the boys went back out, with a renewed sense of respect for the denizens of the deep.

Yes, We CAN Play with the Parrot Fish !!

The Perfectly Clear Caribbean Waters

Twelve feet under and the water is still crystal clear

A school of yellow fish hiding under the coral

A Baby Conch Shell (The symbol of Key West !!)

Grouping for a Grouper

A Luscious Florida Lobster

Many of Mike and Bone's fellow snorkelers came out that morning to catch (and boil !!) the Florida Lobster. The Florida Lobster is smaller that its Main Cousin and does not have claws, the tail meat is every bit as sweet and tasty. Mike and Bone helped several people catch and bring up the lobster, but unfortunately they did not get to enjoy the booty!

A Michigan (Maize and Blue see !!)Angel Fish


Living Coral in Living Color

Time is always relative. A two hour flight delay is an eternity, but two hours snorkeling is only a few, fleeting minutes. Sadly, the whistle blew and the unexpectedly bigger than anticipated adventure was over.

Enjoying a few brews on the Two Hour Sail Back

Fortunately, for the two hour ride back, the boat provided an unlimited amount of beer, which the boys partook of with great enthusiasm. For the next two hours the boys enjoyed the sun, the sea breeze, the beer, the ribbing from the guides about being shark bait.

Havin' Hogs Breath is better than no breath, unless its Mike and Bones Breath

The boys returned in early afternoon. With all the swimming, sunning, and sudsing, they had worked up an appetite. What better place to lunch that outdoors at the world-famous Hogs Breath Saloon. Inviting Steve to join them, the boys ordered the Bars well-known seasoned Grouper Sandwich and a couple of rounds of margies.

After lunch Steve bid the boys adieu after they share their addresses for copies of the pictures, and the boys wandered through the tourist shops looking for souvenirs for their families.

As the afternoon waned, the day grew hotter and hotter, and all the beer, fresh air, and lack of sleep caught up with the boys. So they headed back to the West Winds, where they snoozed for a few hours out by the pool.

Mauling the Marina District

As early evening came, the boys decided to steer clear of another night on Duval, they had been there and done that. So, they walked back over to the Marina where all the tourist boats and fishing boats had recently came in. They found a cool little restaurant called Pepe's where they both ordered a great and inexpensive fish dinner. Afterwards they hung out at Pepe's Bar and started hitting the Coruna's heavy and hard while talking to locals rather than the tourist they ran into on Duval.

Around 10:30 they begun to hit all the other quiet local taverns in the Marina Area. Finding that the local fishermen had better stories than themselves they hung out drinking, laughing, and sharing stories to the wee hours when Mike said "Uh Oh! its 3:00 in the Morning !!.

Realizing that they had to drive back early in the morning, the boys bade farewell to their new found fishing buddies and staggered back to the West Wind, hoping to catch at least a few hours of sleep!