Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Years!

Gulf Sunset!

My Good Friends:
Johnny K Marshall (Tramp) and Sandy Strickland (Lady)
Ready for a true Southern Dinner: Fried Chicken, Black eyed peas, rice and gravy, dressing, and of course some collard greens.

Very Cheap entertainment!

The ever watchful Hound Dog at rest!

Florida Wild Pig!

My New Years weekend was an absolute blast! Took off from St Pete Friday afternoon and drove for about 2 1/2 hours North to Crystal River to finally visit some old Yes Bay Lodge friends from the 2007 season. Sandy (Lady) and Johnny K (Tramp). Johhny went back to work as an engineer and has been working for the past 16 months at the Crystal River Nuclear plant, in charge of the rebuild of one of the steam generators. That job is almost complete and he is not sure where he will be heading next, so I figured I better get up there to see them since it had been since end of season 2007 since I had laid eyes on them

Not a bad drive up, got there mid-afternoon and as soon as I arrived, Johhny K was out starting the boat and off we went for a short boat ride and fishing adventure. Cold as hell out, but we still managed to catch a couple trash fish, something he is very good at!

So a wonderful boat ride and a beautiful sunset over the Gulf! Clear skies and very cold weather were on the horizon, but we were going to fish the next day no matter what. Johhny K just had to prove to me he knew where the fish were! He actually gave me a choice, fish, pig hunt or go deer hunting. I chose fishing.

Back at the dock we all headed into the house to warm up and it was Happy Hour! Johnny K had made up some special fish sauce which he put with some salmon before dinner which was fantastic. I will be putting this in the new Yes Bay cookbook which I am working on now!

Sandy had some chicken set out to fry and we were in for a true southern fried chicken dinner, which was wonderful! Add rice and gravy, some collard greens and blackeyed peas and it was a meal to remember! More drinks and some great conversation finished out the evening then off to bed for a good nights rest before heading out on the boat in the morning.

About 4 AM, I awoke to sounds in the kitchen and lo and behold, Johnny K was up working on some recipe he had learned in India for our breakfast. I went back to bed and let him keep experimenting.

Up around 7:30 or so to some great smells from the kitchen, fresh bacon was cooking and Johhny K was still working on getting some crepes to come out right to be filled with the India concoction. Table set and everything ready to go. Good scrambled eggs, bacon and these wonderful crepes with a potato filling that was wonderful.

We drank some coffee after breakfast and waited until the air warmed up a little before heading out for some fishing. Did manage to see some wild pigs on the beach which was fun, guess we should have gone pig hunting! About 10 hours later and after anchoring in about 49 spots and freezing our asses off, it was nearly dark again and I had a grand total of 2 fish on the line...1 ladyfish and 1 very small saltwater catfish. Sandy had manged 2 lady fish and finally at the last stop, Johnny K managed to hook a lady fish! So, Ol Johnny K had once again proved to me that he knew where the trash fish were!

I will give him the benefit of the doubt, the water temperature had fallen down to less than 55 degrees and the fish just were not biting.

Back in the house to warm up again and have some cocktails then a wonderful steak dinner. A little more wonderful conversation catching up and reliving old memories, then time for bed again.

Another early morning wakening to wonderful smells from the kitchen. This time a true southern breakfast. More bacon, some eggs and some cheese grits, cheese toast and fresh coffee and juice. Who could ask for more!

Sadly it was time for me to return home and get back to work, but it was a wonderful way to spend my New Years weekend!

Captain Jim

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