Bo Bennett died in the summer of 2014 with a copy of my book, THESE PRECIOUS DAYS at his side in the hospital. He died from alcholism. I will always say that the Gulf Stream killed him. Bo was a very close friend of mine since youth. We spent our summers together diving the Pam Beach and Stuart, Florida areas. Bo became the dive master for the Turniffe Island Dive Lodge located on a small island forty miles off the coast of Belieze. When his uncle sold the island it nearly killed him as by that time the ocean had stolen his soul. These are some of the photographs that I took of Bo three years before he died. As it turned out, this was the very last diving and fishing he ever did. After his death his mother thanked me for having taken him on this month long trip down to Big Pine Key where we were the guests of Charlie Chappel. While there we ventured into Key West on one outting and went to Sloppy Joe's Bar. Bo did all he could to land a new girlfriend while we were there.
What better way to impress your grilling friends than to serve up grilled lobster tails. Don’t tell them, but grilling lobster tails is pretty easy to do! And delicious. The hardest part of this recipe is deciding which guests are worthy of this awesome treat. Add a nice steak to the menu and you will have friends for life! Follow these easy steps for grilling lobster tails.
2 8oz to 10oz lobster tails
4 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper
First things first
If the lobster tails are frozen, start by thawing them to room temperature by placing them in a plastic bag and then submerge them in a warm bowl of water.
Prepare Basting Sauce
Next create a basting sauce. Melt the butter in a small dish in the microwave, or warm in a small pan and remove from heat. Mince the garlic or use a garlic press to mince the garlic and add to warm butter. Add one tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice and stir.
Halve the tail
Lay the tails bottom side up on a cutting board. Using a large knife, cut the tails in half length-wise. Use kitchen scissors to get all the way through the shell if you need to. Using a brush, thoroughly baste the flesh side of the tails with the butter mixture.
Prep the grill
Clean and oil the grate to prevent sticking. Using a gas grill, turn the grill to medium-high heat. For charcoal, distribute the coals so there is an even heat.
Grilling lobster tails
Once the grill is hot, give the lobster tails one last baste, add a bit of salt and pepper and place them flesh side down on the hot grill. Be careful of flare-ups from the dripping butter. Cook flesh side down for 4 to 5 minutes until light grill marks show. Flip the lobster tails to shell side down.
Baste with the butter mixture several times during the next 3 to 6 minutes until the lobster meat is firm and opaque.
Tie on your lobster bibs, heat some butter, and dig in.
Or, better yet, add a few fillets to the grill, and you have a beautiful Surf and Turf.
Today we got off a little late but was soon back out on flat seas back in the bay area of the Gulf. We were some six miles out from Charlie's home in his Mako. At one point while diving I had a large tiger shark come in on me in fairly shallow water over the grasses. Charlie spotted him from the boat and told me to get in as I was shooting snappers and not thinking much about sharks in 6' deep water. Charlie took a photo of him as he came over the place where I had been snorkeling. From there we went on and I kept getting into lobsters a few at a time and we were all but getting ready to come in as Charlie's son is suppose to come down here sometime this afternoon. Charlie decided that he would pull me behind the boat over some shallow spots he had marked and if I saw anything then I would signal. It wasn't long before I let go of the rope and yelled to him to throw out a marker which is something we use all the time in the current.
When I got back to the boat I told Charlie that I had spotted three ledges absolutely loaded with lobsters, and that many of them were very large. We anchored up and I put on a tank in the 7' deep water I began to methodically "herd" out the individuals with a tickle stick and then net them and them place them in another dive bag that I carry. I took several pictures of the lobsters that you can see in this grouping and Charlie took some photos of me as I was catching the lobsters and coming back on the boat. After I had caught my limit Charlie said he wanted to quit and save this spot for his son in the morning so that we would have a great place to bring him to right on the get go. I agreed but added there was the good chance that all of them might decide to move away from their positions during the night as often lobsters once molested will decided to move out and find some place they feel is safer. All fingers are crossed that they will be there when we go back out tomorrow.
Charlie and I pulled their tails and de-veined them and have them all back in the deep freezers--and I added the fillets of three more red snappers. I think we will be eating snapper, grouper and lobster tonight (again) and that's what we will likely have for breakfast and lunch tomorrow---although Charlie is likely to add country ham to the list as I brought him down three nice sugar cured hams and 2 gallons of moonshine--That's my poor toe that got destroyed during today's lobster assault.
Today the water was again calm and visibility good. We went back to the place where we quit yesterday and got more lobsters off the one spot. After that we came back to Charlie's and fixed some sandwiches and then went back out. Most of the new places we went to looked like they had already been "hit" by other lobster hunters as the pickings were slim. But we did get a few more before calling it a day, bringing us up to our lobster limit for the day. Charlie's son, Mark was with us and you can see him in the photos. He and I worked as a team in getting all the lobsters. I did manage to take a few underwater photos of some fish; queen angel, scorpion fish, and a red grouper that kept hanging around me as I was pulling lobsters out of one hole. That's my scratched up arm you see in one photo, results of reaching back into holes to pull out lobsters. We had another shark come up on us today, a hammerhead. I never did see it but Mark complained that it came in very close on him while he was carrying the bag full of lobsters. I was too busy diving to pay any attention to some old shark. Four of us ate lobster until we hurt last night and for desert we had snapper. Later on, Charlie fixed us a real Key Lime pie using real Key Limes which are NOT green. I made a comment about the pie not being green and that was what he said he expected from an ignorant Kentuckian. Later, he confessed that he and Carol had once bought a home in Boca and that they kept getting their limes off the tree against the house and squeezing them and using them in their alcholic drinks. Some time later he learned that those big green limes were actually unripe oranges.
Today Charlie and I got a late start as he had to go into Key West this morning to see if he had been selected to be on a jury---fortunately he got out of it. We hit the water around 1 PM and went about 8 miles out to a place called CUTO Key, a tiny island in the middle of nowhere. In due time as Charlie was dragging me behind the boat with a rope. I spotted a good place that I thought held lobsters. After finding a few there Charlie located another place not far away and within another 2 hours I caught a few more, a couple being 2 ponds each. While I was diving alone I had two different sharks come at me as I was catching lobsters, one being a small hammerhead and the other a black tip. I saw another shark earlier and we saw several turtles in the water today. I continued concentrating on catching lobsters as the sharks swam around me and I kept wondering f they were around then sooner or later bigger sharks would appear. But none ever did. Charlie and I have finally pulled the tails off this last bunch and now have all of them in the freezer---a very large deep freezer that is now completely full of nothing but lobster tails.
Today was opening day of lobster season. At daybreak we went head on into a horrible storm out at sea . Visibility where I dove was nil--less than 3 feet and for a large part of the day I was diving in very hot water with lots of green algae in he water and all over the reefs. We had to work extra hard today to get lobsters. Reports from other divers are that the numbers are down and so is the size. Last year's lobster harvest in Florida was an all time record low. The sun came out at about 10:00 AM and the diving went well after that. We moved out of the algae area and got back in better water later in the day.Chesteen and Lance are flying in on Friday. Also, Mark's son and his son are driving down here on the same day. On Sunday, Chesteen, Lance and I will be going out through the Dry Tortugas, some 70 - that is 70 miles south of Key West out in the ocean and also now a national underwater park and also where a civil war fort is located where Dr. Mudd, the Doctor that assisted John Wilkes Booth, was imprisoned. We cleaned all the lobsters this afternoon and are calling it a day as both of us are worn completely out.
Photo of my grandson and I lobster hunting in Big Pine Key. Photos of Chesteen, Lance and I almost 100 miles below Key West at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas where Sam Mudd--the MD that helped John Wilkes BOOTH's hurt leg--note the fancy brickwork in one photo--that was actually the very cell where he was kept. We snorkeled around the old fort as you can see. Other photos of us today in Key West at Hemingway's House and pool--with his 6 toed cats, etc Some photos in Hemingway's bedroom----my grandson, Lance, with a 6 toe sleeping on the bed.
Today we got the limit in lobsters and I shot 3 cudas and 3 mangrove snappers---which we are fixing for supper---the cuda meat actually looks better than the snapper meat. The wind is still holding steady but the water cleared up a little today. It was a good day as very few divers are out due to the wind, basically the die hards. We may retire to the NO NAME PUB after the cuda meal.
The adventures of