Gulf Islands National Seashore, Okaloosa Area, Fort Walton Beach, FL, 3/1/12

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sharks, Tornados and Food

Here's a story of Gary and The Big Fish, as told by Mary:

"Gary finally hooked a big shark last night! A crowd on the dock watching, he fought with it for nearly 45 minutes (fortunately a volunteer took over the pole for a few minutes so Gary could rest). At one point, both Gary and shark took a brief break. Ultimately though, the shark tangled the line around the snorkel area buoy line and then he was stuck. Sharks can't breathe if they can't swim, so ...

Gary hamming it up for the camera. (Mary, 3/5/14) 

" ... Gary and another brave soul grabbed a skiff from shore and paddled out to cut the massive man-eater free. Reel life heroes. As we watched, the shark had stopped struggling and disappeared from the surface. All concerned onlookers feared the worst. Fortunately though, upon the approach of the rescuers, the shark mustered up the strength to break the leader and swim free!!!"

A big thank you to the owner of the borrowed skiff.  (Mary, 3/5/14) 
It was an exciting night of shark fishing ... and all the while some of the park guests were playing bingo in the close-by pavilion.

A good calm night to play bingo.  3/5/14 

The next day brought its own excitement as well.  I woke up to my smart phone telling me we were under a tornado alert.  It was a warm morning, 10-mph winds from the SE, and very humid.  I watched the sky and the Doppler Radar (iMap Weather Radio).  It was coming closer, with a chance that it might swing toward the mainland and miss us completely.

It was so muggy that I was most comfortable inside my little apartment with the AC on.  I'm not a fan of AC; so, you know it had to be really humid.

About 3:25pm, I looked out my window and saw that the sky was half bright and half dark.  I grabbed my camera phone and went out on my second-floor deck.

Looking SW at the wall cloud passing by.  3/6/14

About 30 seconds later, this picture shows the wall cloud moving quickly.
The temperature dropped a good 10-12 degrees during that time.
Gratefully, there was no rotation.  3/6/14
The rest of the afternoon and evening it rained, hard ... and blew hard.  A good night to watch a couple of movies.  I heard that a couple of tornadoes touched down on the mainland with minimal damage.

Although, not as exciting as sharks or tornadoes, the food here is just as notable.  Some highlights include the 25-cent peel & eat cold shrimp for Happy Hour at Sparky's Landing.  The cocktail sauce was perfect.  We sat out on their deck, watching the fish surface in the lagoon to eat our discarded shrimp peels.  I'm also hoping to try their seafood gumbo, made only on Tuesdays.

Based on their good review on Yelp, we went to King Seafood and weren't disappointment.  I would definitely have their Seafood Soup again (a small bowl was actually quite large, $5).  And their Cuban sandwiches looked wonderful.  Gary was impressed with their Imperial Sandwich.

On a day out exploring some local State Parks, I stopped at
 Keys Fisheries Restaurant and Marina and had their
famous Lobster Ruben to go.  3/5/14
And, the day after the big storm, the three of us ate out twice while exploring more of the local parks and preserves.  For lunch I had a very good grilled burger at Hog Heaven, a sports bar on the water with a tiki-motorcycle theme ... complete with rattan Harleys.  And for dinner that same day, we stopped for Happy Hour at Cabana Breezes where the Key West Sunset Ale was an especially good beer to go with the conch fritters, ocean-front seating, and perfect weather.

For anyone who enjoys seafood, the Florida Keys is a good place to be.

6 comments:

  1. Finally! A couple of warm and sunny days up north (SC).

    No video of Gary's battle with the shark?

    The food sounds amazing.

    It seems like the time is flying by. Might be hard to go north, eh?

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    1. Cyndi, So glad you are getting some warmer weather. Did you get hit with the storm on Thursday as well? Unfortunately my little camera phone doesn't take pictures in the dark (thus, the reason I used Mary's pics). But, had I been able to take video, I assure you that it sounded as tho' Gary was giving birth with all of his moaning and groaning LOL. It'll sure be hard to leave the warmer weather; the Snoqualmie River is flooding right now. But, I miss John and our pets; so, will do my heart good to see them again.

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  2. OMG, a lobster rubin???? Oh, my, it sounds so good.

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    1. 'Twas good Charlene! Tho' the lobster here doesn't have that same sweet taste as up in Maine, or the Australian lobster. But, I'm not complaining ... it was a real treat.

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  3. Yum! I hate humidity, but you're tempting me.

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    1. Yes, the humidity is a real challenge. But, I just give myself permission to take it slow. This week I'm going to revisit some of the parks/preserves in the early morning when it's not so muggy. Also, the yummy sea foods make the humidity almost tolerable :)

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