Pictures of us eating cuda last night which was absolutely delicious. Also showing some of the lobsters I caught this morning, many big ones in the pile. And also I shot a 25" red grouper which is in some of the photos--beautiful meat. And also, "SCREECH" which is Charlie's main live in, his conure that is much of Charlie's life. The wind is still up but the visibility was remarkably clear today. I could have shot a lot of hogfish today but passed them up to catch lobsters. Very few boats were out today. We saw the Coast Guard plane buzz low over us several times looking for a diver that got lost yesterday. There's a chance we will be gearing back up for tonight to snapper fish the reef some 5 miles out.
We had several incredible dives the past two days. I found four new spots while being dragged behind Charlie's boat and all of them were virgin dynamite with lobsters. Charlie rarely curses but he did use a saucy expletive when he lifted the last bag load of lobsters I brought to him into the boat. "DAMN, THE BAG MUST WEIGH OVER 100 POUNDS." Needless to say, it probably did. I swam down on a turtle that was asleep and using a sponge for a pillow. He was as big as a VW covered in big old barnacles. When he woke up to see me taking a photo of him he went berserk and made a mad dash to open waters. I also caught a another red grouper, 21", but this time by hand. And on my last dive of the day I had another hammerhead shark come up to me, about 5 ft long. I wish that I had had the presence of mind to photograph it but simply did not. I had my underwater camera ion my back pocket and could have easily done so. We've been cleaning lobsters as though we work i some factory, day in and day out. I got up this morning and said , "HEY CHARLIE, LET'S GO GET SOME LOBSTERS!" and we both laughed. Charlie's neighbors drove in from Stuart, Florida and they think he is the best thing since Key Lime Pie. They said that they didn't move into the house next to him for the house but only to be near Charlie. After compliments like that Charlie threw them some lobster tails to satisfy their urges. You'll see several different lobster photos that I took over the past 36 hours and some that I took yesterday while diving. There is also a photo of Charlie and I at THE NO NAME PUB where he is a celebrity and on the way there you can see a photo of one of the great many KEY DEER that live here on the island. This entire island is designated as a NATIONAL KEY DEER WILDLIFE REFUGE and there are thousands of them here that roam the streets, yards, etc--all very tame. I saw 6 young bucks standing together yesterday. I've noticed a decline in the iguanas here and the past few days have been watching two different egrets carefully going about the bushes, etc. hunting them. The Marine Patrol found a dead body close to where we have been diving the past two days--a fellow diver that messed up. Has been on the news all this morning.
We got our limit today and today I caught a nice 3 lb. lobster. Richard went with us and we all got the limit. I gave Richard a nice 21" red grouper that I speared. That's his wife, Lisa, an attorney, that has the African Grey Parrott that you see in the photos. We were able to locate two totally new dive sites today that were very good and holding a lot of nice lobsters. On my last dive I had two hammerhead sharks come up to me---one being about 6 ft. and the other about 3 ft. long. They kept coming around where I was catching lobsters and were not in the least afraid of me. I suppose that is the same reason that I have been seeing one or more hammerheads while diving every day the past five days. I finally caught a small iguana this afternoon as it is hard being in competition with the white egrets that live like pets at Charlie's. And I have gotten several coconuts that have sprouted into palm trees that I plan to take back home to give away. The wind continues to blow but the water clarity has dramitacally gotten better--great visibility---and the water temperature has cooled down and feels about perfect right now. Charlie has filled five deep freezers with straight lobster tails and we are now beginning to run out of room..
I'm sending out photos taken this week. One is of some lobsters I got into on opening day. I've been getting lobsters every single day no matter the weather and conditions. Diving both the ocean and the Gulf. The weather and water has gotten tremendously better beginning three days ago with each day the ocean getting more and more tolerable and flat. Today it is like a pond. We'll be shortly leaving out for all day of diving, likely hitting the Gulf off 7 Mile Bridge today. I got several lobsters off one coral head yesterday that were all very nice. There were almost twice that many there which I caught and had to release, most almost legal size but not big enough. Chesteen and Lance flew into Key West and you will see them in some of the photos. We walked over to Hemingway's House but it was closed--you can see a photo of one of the 6 toed cats on his premises--cats now famous. I also bought Lance a new book devoted to the Hemingway cats. We dove at a national underwater park yesterday--LOOE KY---you can see some of the photos--note the spade fish picture that I took along with the parrot fish. There is one photo that might first confuse you--it is that of a hog snapper hiding in the grass, perfectly blending in as they normally do. If you look close you will see the fish. I shot one nice grouper that did make it to the freezer and I have been shooting hogfish as the day goes along. We may go out fishing tonight since the water is so flat. Lance caught an iguana and love's Charlie's parrot. He has also been catching lobsters along with "Pops." You can see his new tank with his name on it---not bad for a 10 yr. old that has been tank diving now for the past 3 years.
The adventures of