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Before we left Cleveland our friend Ken gave us a lot of fishing gear that we had every intention of using. Most of it was for deep sea fishing. Each time we thought to start trolling, we wimped out, concerned that we would catch a fish that was so big we would not know how to get it on the boat, what to do with it or if it would be of a sort that was safe to eat. We kept looking at the gear thinking how are we ever going to get started.

After seven months of cruising, I finally learned to fish. Bob actually had fished before but this was my first time.

Chris and Susie Daily

Susie, Chris and Joe at Harbor Cay spent an afternoon with us, teaching me how to bait my hook, cast, clear tangled lines, remove the fish from the hook, throw the small ones back in and how to clean the fish we caught. I caught my first keeper on my first cast – something they said was a bit unusual. During the afternoon, I baited my own hooks with shrimp and cut up squid. I caught three snapper that were large enough to keep and along with the fish others caught, we had enough for a delicious dinner. I am hooked.

Taz helped me look after my first fish.

Monday afternoon, after a four mile walk to and from the grocery store with Susie, the wind finally calmed down and we left Marathon. We motor sailed to Shark River and anchored off the shore for the night. The next morning, very early, we left for Naples, where we planned on anchoring out. Along the way, we saw numerous pods of dolphin. At one point there were two dolphins swimming just under the bow of the boat. I was sitting on the bow guiding us through crab trap floats that dotted the water. The dolphins were playing with each other taking turns jumping out of the water in front of the boat and then joining the other swimming under the bow again. It was thrilling to watch them as they put on a real show. I never tire of watching these amazing animals.

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