Home

Stealth camping in our Roadtrek…

5 Comments

We spent the entire day at “Sanibel Island Causeway Park” and since we knew there would soon be a gorgeous sunset, followed by a stunning full-moon rise we decided not to leave. “We” was Lucy and me and our friend from Canada, Ross Fish. Ross was in his self-contained Class-B “Pleasureway” accompanied by his beautiful Brittany Spaniel “Barney”…

Barney was one of the most awesome companions I have ever had the pleasure of spending time with.

Barney was one of the most awesome companions I have ever had the pleasure of spending time with.

Sanibel Island, Fort Myers, Florida has long been one of our favorite; bicycling, fishing, kayaking, beach combing, kite flying destinations.. We have spent many, many, days parked under the beautiful long-leaf pine trees that shade the waterfront. We have never attempted to “stay all night”, due to the signs posted all over the park “No Overnight Camping”. We decided that we weren’t going to be camping we were going to be “Fishing“. We set up a couple of rod-holders on the beach and settled in for the night…

When we arrived, we parked on the west side to take advantage of the shade and sunset…

east side causeway

We arrived early to some very low temperatures… We were the only ones on the beach.

The west side of the causeway is the best side to see the sunset and a nice view of the Gulf of Mexico. We brewed a pot of coffee and relaxed. Barney loved walking the beach and chasing the wading birds…

Lee County provides some very nice picnic tables and spotlessly clean rest rooms...

Lee County provides some very nice picnic tables and spotlessly clean rest rooms…

We all enjoy each others company and we took advantage of Ross’s visit to catch up on all the news that he had to share since his last Florida visit. Ross travels for a month in the winter and then another month in the spring. The stories he tells keep us laughing. We brought simple foods to keep meal prep to a minimum. Lots of healthy snack-food, and no heavy dinners.

Lucy wore her hoodie to ward of the chill of the strong sea-breeze...

Lucy wore her hoodie to ward of the chill of the strong sea-breeze…

We stayed on the west side of the span until the sunset was over. Packed up and drove to the east side to enjoy the full-moon rising over the water…

As the sunset ended we loaded up and headed to the east side of the causeway to watch the full-moon rise.

As the sunset ended we loaded up and headed to the east side of the causeway to watch the full-moon rise.

When we arrived on the other side Sanibel Lighthouse was flashing its cheery light through the gathering darkness… There is a museum and gift shop located at its base…

Sanibel Lighthouse welcomed us with its warm cheery glow.

Sanibel Lighthouse welcomed us with its warm cheery glow.

We had a marvelous night. We sat up visiting and sipping adult beverages until the wee hours and fell asleep with the balmy breeze rustling the curtains that covered our windows. It was truly magical waking up on the island. No traffic going by and no other people…

It was a perfect place to camp. No I meant "fish".

It was a perfect place to camp. No. I meant “fish”.

It just a few minutes the Kelly Kettle was boiling and we were enjoying steaming mugs of coffee brewed in our aero-Press. It was a glorious time to be alive. Total cost: ZERO

Just a few twigs picked up from under the gorgeous Long-Leaf Pines and the water was on-the-boil...

Just a few twigs picked up from under the gorgeous Long-Leaf Pines and the water was on-the-boil…

Maybe it is being with people you love. Maybe it is being on the beach with the smell of the salt water and the soothing sounds of the surf. All I know is our fresh ground, Aero-Press brewed coffee, always tastes better in the great outdoors…

I was up early and had the coffee makins on standby. As soon as I heard Lucy stirring I fired up the Kelly Kettle. Nothing beats coffee brewed in an Aero-Press...

I was up early and had the coffee makins on standby. As soon as I heard Lucy stirring I fired up the Kelly Kettle. Nothing beats coffee brewed in an Aero-Press…

I spent an enjoyable hour wade fishing, but had no luck. I did meet a few other long-time causeway fishermen who were putting a few Speckled Trout in their ice-chest. It just wasn’t my turn…

The fish just were not hungry for what I offered. That's why they call it "fishing" and not "catching"...

The fish just were not hungry for what I offered. That’s why they call it “fishing” and not “catching”…

… If we were camping it was wonderful. Fishing, not so much. I tried live-shrimp, assorted plugs and spinners and finally some Greenbacks that I caught in my cast-net. I never got bit, but I had a marvelous time…

Two men and a dog... Good times (Oh yes. Lucy was still fast asleep)

Two men and a dog… Good times (Oh yes. Lucy was still fast asleep)

Our overnight on Sanibel was another fantastic outing. I think the fact that we might have been awakened by a deputy and asked to leave, made it even more exciting. No one bothered us and we bothered no one else. Just a fabulous “Fishing Trip”…

 

Advertisements

Very first fish!

2 Comments

Pam said “Terry has never caught a fish on his own rod.”

When I heard this, my mission was ON. Terry would catch his first fish, on his own rod, while fishing out of “Camo-Tow”. In case some of you are first time visitors to “Five Spoke Wheel” I must explain that Pam and Terry are new friends, who have completed two years of overland travel, in a custom built Land Rover Defender camper. They are a delightful couple from Wales, whom we met on a recent Land Rover camping trip to Holder Mine. They have been staying with us for a few days, here at O.O.C.

Sanibel Causeway Island Park

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Freddy” on the left and “Voyageur” catching some rays…

We are very fortunate to have a wonderful place to set-up a beachhead, right on the Gulf of Mexico. “Sanibel Island Causeway Park” is one of the last places where you can park right next to the water. There is ample parking, some shaded by gorgeous Southern Pines and the rest fully open to satisfy the desires of sun-worshippers. Lucy and I , always concerned about preventing skin cancer, chose the shade… Just after we finished setting up Pam told us she “Really wanted to sit in the sun.” She reminded us that the weather in Wales is frequently; cloudy, rainy and cold… We offered to relocate, but she said she was fine…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

l to r: Pam, Terry and my Lucy.

The beach was well attended, but there was still plenty of room for all. Terry’s Land Rover Defender “Freddy” attracts attention wherever he parks it. Our beachfront location was no exception. Terry answered questions for the many curious people who strolled by and posed for several photographs. The custom vehicle, equipped with right hand drive, is not only a fine rolling-home, it is a great conversation piece… “Voyageur”, our trusty Roadtrek, was quite hurt, as she got nowhere near as much attention. There was however, one jovial beach goer, who offered to swap his Honda Element for our well equipped camper – “straight up”. We declined his offer… We sat in the shade, enjoyed a few ice-cold adult beverages and planned our fishing strategy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our salty little yacht “Camo-Tow” was in full “Fishing” mode

We were all ready for some hardcore fishing. A quick stop at a local bait shop and my bait bucket was brimming with two dozen, very lively shrimp. The shrimp were dying to get on the end of one of our hooks and give it all for the cause. The weather was ideal for the little Gheenoe. Comfy swivel seats, convenient rod-holders and a wide beam, combine to provide an ideal fishing-platform. There is no boat ramp at the park. No problem for our little craft. I unhitched the trailer from Voyageur and Terry and I simply rolled it into the surf for the launch. I wish we would have taken some photographs. Pulling it back out of the water required a bit more effort, but it was actually no problem for we two incredibly strong, senior citizens, Camo-Tow is equipped with a 6.6 horsepower outboard that provides a proper cruising speed while only sipping a tiny bit of petrol…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Then you twist it around six times and run it back through the double loop” I explained…

Terry confessed he just did not have much experience with a rod in his hand. First lesson was to demonstrate one of the proper monofilament line fishing knots – guaranteed not to pull loose. On the third try, I finally got it right. I heard a few chuckles (with a British accent) over my multiple attempts. Terry opined “It was a good idea showing me how not to tie it first.” Ha Ha Ha… We set up our fishing rigs on the beach, so we would be ready to drop our hooks immediately…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Terry, be sure you put plenty of sun-screen on your head!” Cautions Pam

Camo-Tow, our 15′ 4″ Gheenoe, while small in size, is huge in fishing comfort, stability and good looks.  ;O) We carried everything we needed with a “no-frills attitude”…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A hearty “Bon Voyage” and we were off on our three hour tour

FISH ON!

There was very little breeze, calm waters and the tide was perfect for catching… I wish I had taken some actual fishing photos, but we were too busy pulling them in… We set up to drift through the deepwater channel, normally a very productive method. In this case, 30 minutes of hardcore beer drinking and drowning shrimp, resulted in no fish. I cranked up the outboard and motored a half mile to a new location. Thirty seconds after Terry’s bait hit the water WHAM! “FISH ON!” He hooked and landed his first fish. Catching it on his brand new, open face spinning rig, made it even more special. It was a nice 1.5 pound Speckled Sea Trout. Perfect size for the skillet and one notch down on his four-fish bag limit

taxidermy_spotted_seatrout

Speckled Sea Trout

The scrappy little Speckled Sea Trout hit hard and fight bravely. All to no avail. Our British Buddy landed all but one. The fish is one of our favorite for a crispy Southern fish fry. In only a few minutes we had caught our “limit’ and the two dozen shrimp I had bought were gone. There was a lot of excited hollering and yelling, some in a stately Wales accent, and a good bit of Florida Crack caterwalling. It was a wonderful fishing trip with enough fish in the box, for a fantastic seafood dinner. I cleaned them on the side of the boat and left the entrails for the crabs. Terry had a wall-to-wall grin that lasted for the rest of the day. We couldn’t wait to return to the waiting women and show off our catch. They both admitted equal amounts of surprise and appreciation. “I can’t believe you caught all those fish.” Pam commented…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Terry’s happy smile, lit up the entire beach

Good friends, Good fishing and Good fun!

These are not big fish. Each was carefully measured with my trusty fish-ruler, to make sure they were “legal” Terry did catch the two largest trout, but we didn’t get a proper photo. These little beauties produce a tender, sweet meat, with very few bones. I made a batch of “hush puppies”, a first time treat for our friends from the United Kingdom. There was nothing left on the platters when we left the table… All in all a perfect day at the beach. We hung around for most of the afternoon and then retrieved Camo-Tow and headed for O.O.C.

My mouth was already watering…

As I thought of the delicious dinner to come…

Peace and love, “Spokesman” Dave

%d bloggers like this: