The trout have really been biting good lately so I jumped up first thing this morning grabbed our pole, bait bucket and a rusty pair of fish grabbers (everything is rusty). I asked Trent to pick me up some shrimp while I was gone yesterday so that I could get an extra early start knowing that we only have a couple more days to enjoy Punta Gorda. We’re leaving this weekend!
Yesterday I helped Gigi do some major provisioning to help make the transition of not owning a vehicle a bit easier. Their car goes tomorrow. It’s weird to see someone else go through the motions of becoming liveaboards. I can easily comprehend the unexplainable hardships and mixed emotions that they’re going through. I feel like that was so long ago for Trent and I but it’s only been since June that we moved aboard. Happy to help, he and I were on Last Tango until 11:30 p.m. helping them stow. With that being said, we’re stocked they’ll be untying the dock lines for the last time at Burnt Store with us. We’ll have friends to anchor with in Charlotte Harbor and then do a big jump to the Keys together.
You already know how much I adore this place but it just keeps getting better. I pulled in about 6 little trouts rather quickly this morning. Trout are so beautiful…and delicious (these all lived to see another day though). It’s always fun to hook a fish even if it’s a big stinky catfish, but this morning was extra special. Otters came out to play! Having never seen a “wild” otter before, I thought it was so unusual to see them splashing around my
bobber. A mother and her precious baby dolphin swam past me too as well as a couple of manatee.
Water turkeys are one of the weirdest creatures I’ve ever seen. They’re about as big as a duck but they don’t know if they’re a duck, fish or bird. I think water turkeys are a strange combination of the three. Sometimes they come up from the surface by the dinghy and you have no idea where they came from or how long they’ve been under. They can swim deep and hold their breath a really long time but they fly much more gracefully than a duck. Today one of these birds must have plucked out one of my recently released, still in shock, trout. He came up with one in his mouth and flipped it around until he could get it perfectly lined up to go down his throat, head first. I said the trout I caught were little but most people would have filleted them. I couldn’t believe he even attempted to get a fish of that size in his belly. I watched in amusement as the whole darn trout slide, not so easily, down his throat. The funniest part was when the Little Water Turkey Bird that Could tried to fly away immediately upon consumption…because he failed.
It was just the perfect day for this animal lover, former addict of Animal Planet. Everything cute that lives in the water paid me a visit. Can you see why I hate to say goodbye to Punta Gorda? We were here long enough to make some lasting friendships and memories. Everyone has been so generous. Scott and Tammy feed us a spectacular Christmas Eve dinner and took us on a power boat tour of Charlotte Harbor. It was an incredibly fun day in the sand and sun! We even spent a night off the boat with David and Flo who also cooked up a gorgeous meal on the water. That was a nice day off the boat I must admit. They later planned an entire day for us in Fisherman’s Village where we did a mini pub crawl that ended with fish and chips at an authentic Irish pub. I think what I’m going to miss most is the daily fishing routine with Fred. Then of course there’s Mike and Gigi who we get to take along, haha. The list goes on and on and on but these were the highlights of our adventures in Punta Gorda.
The water-turkey-full-o-trout did eventually fly off about 15 minutes later. What a sight!