Seasonal

Seasonal

Seasonal

May-August is the peak of the tarpon season in southwest Florida and the time of year you start seeing pods of tarpon rolling. These gorgeous, large, silver fish travel in groups of between 30-100 to go offshore to spawn. They’re fun to watch but even better to fish!

I used to run the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation chapter in Sarasota and held an annual Mercury Red-Bone Fishing Tournament out of Palm Island with the lovely chairwoman, Jill Beckstead. The winning angler our last year of the tournament was her former husband, Dean Beckstead owner of Useppa Island, and fishing guide, Rhett Morris of Beyond Borders Outfitters Fishing Charters out of Punta Gorda. I have always loved the sport of fishing thanks to my Dad but after this tournament and learning all about the tarpon and the season, I was hooked to say the least.

Captain Rhett Morris offered to take me out for a chance to experience this special time of year for myself right after our Red-Bone tournament ended. It was a Wednesday evening and we went out to the Boca Grande Pass. At first, there were a bunch of boats out there. Once we settled in and landed our first catch which took approximately an hour to get to the boat, we ended up being one of only three boats remaining. Rhett asked if I was ready to catch more and I had to decline even though there were more tarpon pods than one could shake a stick at, I was exhausted and just didn’t have it in me. They say it generally takes approximately 30 minutes to bring a tarpon in after it jumps, fights, challenges and exhausts itself. For me it was an hour and I was the one who got exhausted. It was such a thrill. I try to get out there annually to catch more. My Dad also can’t stand that his daughter has one under her belt and he doesn’t so really my quest is for him to catch one.

This year I went to Facebook and socially asked for recommendations on guides in Cortez. A friend of mine whom fishes often suggested Jason Stock of JM Snooky Charters. He was serious about his fishing, extremely experienced and good with people. And yes, we had two tarpon interactions. One got to the boat while the other got away! Jason did say for the one I lost that it was a 150 pounder as it took my bait, jumped out of the water, flew across the sky and said see ya later as he spit my hook out! I was so thankful I had witnesses to see for themselves the giant beauty flying through the air before it disappeared back into the Gulf waters. What a blast. Tarpon season is one special time and provides memories for a lifetime. We’re already discussing plans for next year!

I sent Jason my photograph and he had some fun with it: Check it out here. https://www.instagram.com/p/BUAaLdoA07D/

 

 

Movie Title: Out of Africa

    Movie Title -- Out of AfricaMovie Title — Out of Africa

Out of Africa is Isak Dinesen’s memoir of her years in Africa, from 1914 to 1931, on a four-thousand-acre coffee plantation in the hills near Nairobi. She had come to Kenya from Denmark with her husband whom she didn’t love. After enduring his womanizing behavior, she eventually kicks him out and falls deeply in love with a British adventurer,  the big-game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton.

Enjoy some of the best lines from this brilliantly written movie. {Did not include who spoke which line so you’ll just have to watch this Oscar award winning film!}

Are you quite famous? They stopped the train for you. Well it’s rude not to here.

You’ve caught me snooping. Well it’s not my room. It’s Denys and he won’t mind. That’s the thing about Denys. He doesn’t mind.

That’s a fine kiss goodbye. I’m better at hello.

I wouldn’t run. If you do, she’ll think you’re something good to eat. Do you have a gun? She won’t like the smell of you. Shoot it. She’s had breakfast. Please shoot her. Let’s give her a moment. Oh my God shoot her! How much further did you expect to let her come? A bit. She wanted to see if you’d run. That’s when they decide. A lot like people that way. She almost had me for lunch. Wasn’t her fault, she’s a lion. Well it wasn’t mine. Doesn’t that outfit come with a rifle? It’s on my saddle. Better to keep with you. Your horse isn’t much of a shot!

I like my things. And when you traveled before in your mind, did you carry so much luggage? A man can travel and doesn’t have the need to eat or sleep or entertain. You’re right. And anyway, aren’t you pleased I brought my crystal and my china? And your stories, yes.

What the devil are you doing here? I’m on my way to Delamere. Ridiculous. We don’t send women to war. Well, I’m going. Karen, we really haven’t time for this. You don’t even know where you are. I do now. And you’ll just get lost again. I’m going on Berkeley. Talk to her will you. No. She could be hurt or worse. I imagine she knows that. Right, I tried. Here. Find a spot on the horizon each morning and steer by it. South, southwest. About three days. I see. And don’t worry about us. We’ll be alright. 

I had a compass from Denys to steer by he said. But later it came to me that we navigated differently. Perhaps he knew as I did not that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road.

I still have your compass. Why don’t you keep it. You’ve earned it. Besides, I don’t always want to know where I am going anyway. Well, please don’t let me keep you. Are you alright? Yes, take good care Denys. We’re behind a story or two. Yes, when I get back. Back? From where? When you get back I meant.

Hello Denys. Can you join us for a drink? It’s time to find a pillow. Another night then. Have a good Christmas. Christmas. So it is.

You do like to change things don’t you? For the better I hope. I want my coo coo to learn to read. My coo coo. My lemouge. My farm. It’s an awful lot to own isn’t it? I’ve paid a price for everything I own. And what is it exactly that’s yours? We’re not owners here Karen. We’re just passing through. Is life really so damn simple for you Finch Hough? Perhaps I ask less of it than you. I don’t believe that at all.

Did you think you would spend the night? Can’t thanks. I’ve taken up safari work and I’ve got to find a camp. There’s country there you ought to see. It won’t last long now. No, I would be wasting your time. Why don’t you get your things? If you like me at all, you wouldn’t ask me to do this.

What’s your word? Shoo? Is that it? Shoo? Shoo! Shoo! That’s a fine word you’ve got there Baroness.

I don’t know the scientific basis for it but I know you can see further in the African night than any other place and the stars are brighter. 

He was half musscae. That’s what you remember about him. They’re not like anybody else. We think we will tame them but we won’t. If you put them in prison they die. Why? Because they live now. They don’t think about the future. They can’t grasp the idea that they’ll be let out one day. So they die. They’re the only ones out here that don’t care about us. And that is what will finish them. What did the two of you ever find anything to talk about? Nothing.

So, you knew I would come. It’s an early day tomorrow. Why don’t you get some sleep. What happens tomorrow? I have no idea. Good night Karen. 

You would think they would run off. You didn’t. 

Think of that. Never a manmade sound and then Mozart!

Plane flys over. It’s made of cloth. Where will he land? Trick is not to. It must feel amazing.

I can fix that I think. Laugh long and all the while his eyes went to and fro. The devil knows how to roll. Farewell, farewell. Ah you’re skipping verses. Only the dull ones. Farewell, farewell, this I tell to thee wedding guests. This Prayeth well and loveth well both man and bird and beast. Ahhhh. That’s better.

Will it be so different? Hunting for hire? Not for the animals. Well maybe for the animals. Do you really prefer them to people? Sometimes. They don’t do anything halfheartedly. Everything’s for the first time. Hunting, working, mating. It’s only man that does it badly. It’s only man that tires of going through it. He says see here, now I know how you feel about me and you know how I feel about you and we understand each other so let’s lie down and get on with it. 

Why am I here? Because I wanted you to see all this. I wanted to show it to you. I thought you’d understand it. Do you think much about death? I think about getting old. It would be like living with a cranky, demanding old bastard. Well you are a cranky, demanding old bastard.

I need to know how to think about this. Why?

Be careful. When the old map makers got to the edge of the world, they used to write beyond this place, they’ll be dragons. Is that where I am?

When you go away on safari, are you ever with someone else? I’d be with you if I wanted to be with anyone. Do you ever get lonely? Sometimes. Do you ever wonder if I am lonely? No, I don’t. Do you think about me at all? Often. But not enough to come back. I do come back. All the time. What is it? Nothing. Broll has asked me for a divorce. He found someone he wants to marry. I thought we just might do that someday. Divorce? How would a wedding change things? I would have someone of my own. No, you wouldn’t. What’s wrong with marriage anyway? Have you ever seen one you admire? Yes, I have. Many. There are some animals that mate for life. Geese. You know you use the damn animals for your own argument but you won’t let me use them for mine. I’d mate for life. One day at a time. When you go away, you don’t always go on safari do you? No. Just want to be away. It’s not meant to hurt you. It does. Karen, I’m with you because I choose to be with you. I don’t want to live someone else’s idea of how to live. Don’t ask me to do that. I don’t want to find out one day that I’m at the end of someone else’s life. I’m willing to pay for mine. To be lonely sometimes, to die alone if I have to. I think that’s fair. Not quite. You want me to pay for it as well. No, you have a choice and you’re not willing to do the same for me. I won’t be closer to you. I won’t love you more because of a piece of paper.

What you want is impossible Bariness. Yes, it always is.

You’ve ruined it for me ya know. Ruined what? Being alone. Have I?

 

 

Repeating Patterns

Repeating Patterns

Repeating Patterns

Recently broke a trip up by stopping off at St. Mary’s on the Florida/Georgia line. One must take the ferry ride over to Cumberland Island to witness some wild horses running free! You can only experience the island on foot or bike. We chose foot and stopped at one of the campsites to check it out. Loved the repeating patterns in this campsite bathroom of all places! I know, you really wanted to see the running horses, didn’t you?

 

 

 

Starts with a “C” – Cortez

Starts with a "C"

Starts with a “C”

We took a step back in time as we meandered through the charming rows of tin-roofed fishing cottages leading us to the entrance of the 35th annual Cortez Fishing Festival in the historic and quaint Cortez Village. There is lots of really fun people watching, and witnessing them celebrating this event, each other and their love of the sea, as well as all those that live in it, makes this such a unique event.

Proceeds from the two-day event go to the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH) which works to keep 95 acres of mangrove wetlands shoreline on Sarasota Bay, plus a new land parcel in the middle of the FISH preserve, safe and protected from development.

We paid the admittance fee and took immediate cover from the rain inside the Florida Maritime National Museum. While we were perusing the nautical library, singing arose from the wooden rafters and landed softly upon us. We placed our books back and followed the music into the main gallery and spotted four sailors gleefully singing – no instruments, just the tapping of their feet and their alto voices. It was The Shanty Singers, some wearing their sailor hats. We couldn’t help but smile. As soon as the rain took a break, we headed outside to the now thinned-out crowd at the festival.

Crawfish, seafood gumbo, smoked fish, steamed clams, adult beverages served in coconuts and a plethora of beer were served over and over again. Attendees enjoyed country music and bluegrass bands, face painting, boat rides, marine life talks, and area artists showcasing their nautically themed works of art. This event is a gentle reminder of the simpler days and we look forward to it every year – rain or shine!

http://www.scenesarasota.com/magazine/real-t

 

Waiting

Waiting

Waiting

I waited for this Opus One wine dinner for months!

By definition, opus is a grand-scale creative work, and there’s not many who do grand scale better than Cafe L’Europe owners Ron Milton and Joe Balzano. Everything was grand at their recent Opus One wine dinner and mind you, it was a Wednesday evening! Men were dressed in black tuxes and women wore their best gowns for an exclusive wine dinner. Rose petals were appropriately laid on tables, our menus were wrapped in black linen napkins to resemble a black tuxedo jacket.

We were treated to a first course of Black Opal Caviar accompanied by 2007 Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne! I had to be careful with it being a school night for this one. Cristal was conceived of in 1876 by Zaro Alexander II and consists of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay. The 2007 vintage is highly regarded and we could taste why! Our second course was plentiful lobster thermidor. Oh my. It was a healthy size of creamy brandy infused Maine lobster with Gruyere crust. It simply melted in your mouth. With this course, we were poured a 2006 Opus One Proprietary Red. Silky, smooth and rich. It also went down so easily. What a compliment to this exquisite course. It is always so appreciated when the chef and winemaker truly take the time to make exceptional food and wine pairings. Our third course consisted of Carre D’Agneau (rack of lamb) from Australia with Forrest mushroom pudding and a red wine reduction. The perfect finishing was a cheese trio of raspberry Brie wheel on toast point, a Granny Smith apple Roquefort and candied pecans, which was swirled with Overature by Opus One. Tres magnifique!

Throughout the evening, guests were treated to sweet music by opera singer Joe Ryan and Sarasota Orchestra core violinist Margot Zarzyka.  And just to keep things extra interesting, one of the restaurant servers, Cassandra Calo, brought out her bagpipes for guests to enjoy! The Opus One representative graciously brought a small orchid in individual Opus One vases for each guest to take home.

We departed happily entertained and plumply full. When is the second?

April 2017 RealTALK: https://issuu.com/scene_magazine/docs/april2017/110