“Dot.calm” by Jane Silverman
Like many of us at Ocean Reef, I have spent the better part of a lifetime fishing. We all have vivid memories: the fresh salty scent of sea air, bluer than blue sky, the sunlight glittering on the water, and the sudden pull on the line signaling, “fish on!” Whether flat calm or 6-8ft seas, I have trolled, bottom-fished, and cast (and on a good day “caught”) Salmon in Alaska, Trout in the Adirondacks, Yellowtail at Carysfort Reef, Blues on Cape Cod, Mahi in the Keys, Tuna in Tuna Alley near Cat Cay, Grouper in the Berry Islands, Sailfish with the Bonefish Bonnies (bonefishbonnies.com to join), and reeled in silvery Bonefish in the Bahamas as they shimmered past our flats boat.
License to Thrill:
Before you pick up a rod in Florida, be sure and purchase a Florida fishing license. Florida residents age 16-65 (and non-resident anglers) are required to have a license unless they are on a charter boat. Download the Fish/Hunt FL app by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission or visit gooutdoorsflorida.com to instantly purchase one for you or your guests. The app and site are a great resource for saltwater or freshwater fishing regulations, locating boat ramps, tides, National Weather Marine forecasts by location, best feeding times, and much more.
This is cool: When you are out on the water (or running or doing errands) wear the LogicInk Suncare Signals sticker logicink.com — a great way to monitor your daily UV limit. This Kickstarter-crowdsourced company kickstarter.com was invented by chemists, scientists, doctors, and synthetic biologists to check your sun exposure. The small sticker turns from blue to pink (even on cloudy days) and is an instant indicator to help you be safe in the sun. Look for their upcoming signal stickers for alcohol consumption, electrolyte levels, and even for Covid-19.
The Boat of Many Colors:
Cruising to Havana, Cuba with the Ocean Reef Yacht Club a few years ago was spectacular on so many levels; a highlight was visiting Ernest Hemingway’s 1934 Wheeler Yacht Company sportfish “Pilar” with the original “Old Man and the Sea” (my father!). Ahh the stories that ship could tell if she could talk… one can only imagine. Hemingway regularly fished her in the Keys, Bahamas, and Cuba with notables like film star Ava Gardner and fellow cigar smoker Fidel Castro. It was fascinating to see its antique Tuna Tower, one of the first ever created by legend John Rybovich, complete with a flybridge and topside controls crafted of pulleys and a car steering wheel.
Pilar is landlocked on Hemingway’s estate/museum, Finca Vigía (along with descendants of his famous six-toed cats) which is where he wrote his Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning novel “The Old Man and the Sea.” Visit hemingwaycuba.com to learn more about his life in Cuba. (Interesting Trivia Alert: back in the day, The Inn at Ocean Reef used to provide a copy of the book in every room).
To see a replica of Pilar, just head down to Islamorada’s World-Wide Sportsman Bass Pro Shop to see a full-size display on the shop floor. Or for serious Hemingway buffs, you can buy a reproduction with 21st century conveniences from Wheeler Yachts wheeleryachts.com which they call “a modern day heirloom with unparalleled pedigree.” Nice. It’s built by the Brooklin Boat Yard in Maine brooklinboatyard.com/wheeler-38.
Have Rod Will Travel
If you are thinking of fishing (fly or sportfish) in Cuba, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Mexico, Iceland, Alaska, Bahamas, or Africa, you will want to contact boutique luxury travel company Indagare indagare.com. Since 2007, former Town & Country Travel Editor/Travel magazine’s founding editor Melissa Biggs Bradley has curated bespoke experiences with her team of highly-trained travel pros. Not traveling yet? A visit to the website is a great start to plan your next trip; it is filled with rich feature stories and ideas for transformative destinations, Insider Journeys, and so much more. As an introduction, Ocean Reef Members are invited for a 30-day complimentary membership with a travel consultation. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Give a man a fish and he has food for a day; teach him how to fish and you can get rid of him for the entire weekend.” -Zenna Schaffer