I am so very pleased to report that our 2nd Annual Yak-In was a great success!
It was a wonderful
opportunity for all of us, and our families, to get together for a great day of
yakkin, barbecue and just having plain fun in paradise. It is always a great way to
finally meet and socialize with your fishing yakbrothers and sisters, see rigged
yaks, share ideas and catch a pile of fish.
But first I must thank a few friends who went beyond the call of duty to help make
this thing happen. Unfortunately I was very sick for weeks with an upper
respiratory that slowly deteriorated into acute bronchitis. I was concerned that
this could turn into pneumonia, but still was determined to attend (altho I was
unable to yak). Thus a number of things that I had planned to do the week before
simply didn't get done.
Fortunately a number of people came through. A big thanks to Tanner who donated
burgers for all and who helped pick up and deliver yaks and our grill. Thanks to
Scupper Frank who promoted the FLYC and the Yak-In and who actually created and
produced our first FLYC poster/sign. And thanks to Chef Mike and his faithful
companion "Apprentice" who did most of the cooking. Thanks to Sue Sea for driving
me around and for all the TLC I needed to get through the day.
certainly not least thanks to Alberto of Ocean Kayak who donated prizes, and even lent the "Apprentice"
a special Fisherman's Edition Prowler. Sorry you couldn't join us.
In attendence were Chef Mike, "Apprentice", Bartender Brian, Don, Tanner, Scupper Frank
and his Key Largo buddy, Rachel and friend, Luis and Cari, Brandon, Alan and
Jonathon with their 4 children, Roger and his daughter, Joe and Jeanette, Sergio and his
family, Carol, Carlos, Sue Sea and Moi. Seadog, Vette and Kayak Willie sent regrets.
Missing were Dave Patlan and family, Bill Love, John McQ, and Art.
Well maybe not Art. He managed to show up a day early on Saturday! And couldn't
re-rearrange his busy schedule. But he did get a chance to wet a line in the
Sound. And Sergio came late at day's end. But the biggest turnout yet.
Yakwise, it was an Ocean Kayak day but there were many other interesting kayaks
like Rachel's double, some neat SIK's and Frank's rocket SOT. We all had a chance
to yak off and try one another's rides. Great fun!
The day started promptly at 9 am as scheduled, with the usual hardcore suspects ready to
fish (Mike and friends, Tanner, Don, Frank and Brandon). The rest of the folks
kinda dribbled in with most arriving by around 11 am. Sue Sea and I were both
still sick so we simply hung around and kept an eye on all the coolers and food
stored safely under the Snook Shelter with pink balloons, purple tablecloths and
Frank's signage. Looked great (see pics).
The day was sunny, the tides were right. The planned remote launch did not happen
as most decided a 5 mile paddle was not in the cards. In highsight this may have
been an error since Rattlesnake is usually quite productive and there are always
those elusive bones we've seen there more than once.
The yakkers had a great time working the Largo Sound flats with most having
some hookups with decent cuda. Some bones were spotted in the very shallow
backwaters that we often fail to explore sufficiently. Tanner won the prize
for the biggest fish, a respectable Cuda (about 28 in. or so). Don did the
honors and turned it into fillets for Chef Mike's marinades and grillin.
Luis and Cari got back a bit early and started grilling with Carol.
This was just the beginning of another great feast with super potlucks brought
by all and which included burgers, Sabret dogs, potato salad, snacks, soft drinks,
beer cooked sausage, Jamaican delicacies, shishkabob, various desserts and my
now famous Key Lime Pie.
One missed note occurred when Scupper Frank and Sue Sea managed to openly display
four long necks to the ever vigilant Ranger who pointed out this was a $400 violation
but cut us some slack. It was a good thing we'd made sure to socialize and
invite him to the picnic earlier. His parting words "...I don't want to see any
more of those".
Once again we were blessed with good food and good weather. The fishin was
only fair but the Yak Ins are more about friendship, camaraderie, food and fun -
and there was more than plenty of these for all.
And you can't ask for more than that! My only regret was that I was unable to
yak with you all, but I was lucky just to be there. I'm feeling better after a
lost month and look forward to the next Yak In (in 3 months, remember) plus
the other fishin opportunities comin up.
May I close with special thanks to my dear daughter Phoebe - to whom this event
was dedicated - and who made sure we had a beautiful day. I love you