Thursday, July 31, 2014

More On a Childhood in Florida

A few years ago I wrote a post about growing up in Florida. I've collected a few more photos from that time period and figured I'd share.

This is me putting a spiny lobster on my cousin Tim's head. My brother Scott in the background. He punched a kid on the last day of school and got a boxers fracture, which kept him out of the water much of the summer. Shortly after he got the cast off, he punched me and rebroke it. Having to spend another six weeks in a cast. Nothing ruins a dive trip filled summer like a bad temper.

Me, putting a spiny lobster on my cousin Tim's head

This is my cousin Tim, his grandfather Alan (in the longjohn wetsuit, he was always more for utility than aesthetics), dad and what could be my uncle Ric (Tim's dad). The glasses and hat throw me a bit. Alan, in the long underwear, always made his dive equipment out of old military surplus items - tanks from fire extinguishers, a BC from a pilot's life vest, wetsuit from longjohns, etc. It was his stilt house on Summerland Key airstrip that we went to every summer.

Lobster haul. My cousin's grandfather always wore longjohns for a wetsuit.

175 Airport Dr, Summerland Key, FL

We did a lot of fishing back then. Here are a couple of barracuda, some nurse shark and various other fish.

Fish

Another good haul of spiny lobster.

a long time ago on summerland key, florida

Me and cousin Meredith bury Tim in the sand at Bahia Honda State Park, Bahia Honda Key. We would walk the beach here with flip-flops on, stepping on and popping the Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish that had washed ashore.

Bahia Honda State Park

This one is from Cayo Costa, a barrier island outside of Ft. Myers and Cape Coral, where we lived. It's just north of Upper Captiva, Captiva and Sanibel islands. We'd frequently take day trips out to Cayo Costa for picnics and playing in the water.

Cayo Costa

Ft. Myers Beach Pier, me and some brown pelicans. They are very tame and really, you're on their pier when you visit. I walked this pier hundreds of times over my childhood and teenage years. I've fished from it, swam under it and skimboarded under it. I've surfed under it and dove off of it. The area leading up to the pier has been modernized and changed greatly since I moved away in 1994, but the pier is still the same.

Fort Myers Beach Pier - Circa 1979-1980

Dad's old 21' Auqasport center console fishing boat. This thing saw some action. We took it all over the place, from Pine Island Sound to the Middle Keys. We took it 40 miles offshore in the Atlantic and across Lake Okeechobee for crappie. We got caught in squalls with eight foot seas and we spear-fished, dove for lobster, deep sea fished and ran across grassbeds for speckle trout, fished mangroves for redfish and snook, fished reefs for grouper and barracuda and up the Caloosahatchee River for bull shark and black tips. I wish I had a boat like this now.

Dad's old 21 foot Auqasport center console fishing boat

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