Florida Part IV

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 Our last day in Florida was honestly one of the most entertaining experiences I’ve ever had. All of us went on a 20 person charter to try our hand at deep sea fishing.  I was so hesitant at first because I was intimidated by going out onto the ocean.  I grew up on boats but only ever went to our local lakes.  Lately in my life, I’ve learned to embrace the thrill of doing things that frighten me a little.

We climbed onto the boat and cruised down the windy channels that brought us out to sea. The skies were heavy and grey, which is actually perfect for fishing. The crew gave us instructions whilst slicing up bait for the chum buckets.  It was shocking in the way that I really wasn’t prepared for what I saw. We each learned how to bait our hooks and drop our lines.  I jumped right in.

Boom. After minutes of having our lines dropped, swaying in the waves a few miles away from the shore we started catching fish! They were bright and colorful, not what I expected at all.  It was a whirlwind to see what we caught. The build up of feeling something grab at your line, then having to reel it in with all your might was exhilarating.

With plenty of help from each other and the crew, our group caught a total of 21 fish.  We released most of them back to the ocean due to size and species restrictions.  Megan caught a puffer fish, which is pretty rare to pull out of the water like that. The crew member sat down and let us take a closer look before releasing him back to the sea.

Tony was one of the crew members, he helped unhook our catch and measure to see if they met the specs.

We got to take home 5 of our fish after they prepped them for us.  We marinated and grilled them for dinner that night, and it was honestly so delicious and fresh. Even if we hadn’t caught anything, and our intention wasn’t to bring something home.  The experience of being out on the water, all of us laughing and squealing with excitement was worth it. I was sad our week was coming to a close, this time away from everything familiar to me helped me expand my mind and learn to love and accept the place i am in in my life.  I could have shared so much more, and I’m sure I will as time goes on, but I hold onto all of the new memories I created, whether or not a camera was present.

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