Friday, July 18, 2008

A Day To Remember

Yesterday morning as the Island King headed out to do a photo shoot I decided that it was time to get the laundry caught up, clean the house and get some work done. I got a load of laundry going and sent out some emails for our business and was just getting ready to start cleaning when the Island King got back from his shoot. As soon as he walked in the door he said "I want to go crabbing" The really nice thing about being self employed is that we can work anytime we chose - which means we can go play whenever we chose as well and playing sounded a lot better than cleaning so I agreed. The Island Girl was off on a deep sea fishing trip with the Lifeguard program so it was just us and the boys. The Island King wanted to go out to the jetties at the pass which is just a little over a mile's walk so I loaded up backpacks with supplies, we grabbed our crab nets and off we went. We hiked around to the jetties and got to where we were going about 4. The Youngest Island Boy has just learned how to snorkle so we thought it would be fun to snorkle around the jetties and see what we could find. The Oldest and his dad immediately took off for deeper waters while the Youngest and I stayed a little closer to the beach. He was a little unsure of himself so he slipped his hand into mine and we slowly swam along, pointing at baby stone crabs and colorful little fish. There is something magical about the first time you put on a mask and snorkle and swim along looking at what lives beneath the water and the Youngest had so much fun. It wasn't too long before he got really comfortable and was ready to head into deeper water with his dad. It's funny how that works - I've taught each of my children how to snorkle and each one would hold my hand and swim along for a while but it was only for a short while and then they were ready for big adventures, deep water and no hand holding LOL
We snorkled and swam and watched the charter boats come back in through the pass and the afternoon was perfect. The charter boat the Island Girl was on came back through the pass but because I had my little point and shoot camera I couldn't get a good picture of it but you can see it as it went by.
As it got a little closer to sunset two guys showed up on a small barge and anchored right in front of us. I'm looking at the barge when the Island King says "Hey! It's Thursday night and that's the fireworks barge!" Every Thursday night one of the developers puts on a fireworks show over the harbor and by a huge stroke of luck we ended up sitting directly in front of where they set the fireworks off.

Well since we've obviously got the best seat in the house we decide that we have to stay and watch the fireworks LOL We'd seen a lot of crabs while we were snorkling so the Island King tells me that he wants to stay for the fireworks and then go crabbing after. This means we'll be staying a lot longer than we planned which means someone needs to make a supply run (translate - we need more beer LOL) so he ran back to the house, grabbed flashlights, snacks for the kids and more beer and came back. He tried to get the Island Girl to come back with him but she was exhausted after her day of fishing (where she caught 4 red snapper and 2 white ones) so she wanted to stay home. It was getting closer to sunset and all of a sudden these 3 old war bird airplanes flew overhead. They flew around for about 15 minutes doing all kinds of stunts right over our heads. They were so close at times that one of the pilots waved at us as he made a pass.
After the planes finished and flew off (which was really cool because they flew real low over the water, out through the pass and then up and off) this guy showed up.

He flew all around and the Oldest Island Boy watched him for a minute and then turned to me and said "I've got to have one of those!" LOL He asked his dad if you had to have a license to fly one and his dad said no but that he was pretty sure there must be some kind of class you needed to take before you strapped yourself into one of those and flew off LOL
We watched a beautiful sunset and then it was time for the fireworks. We sat in the water and we were so close that we had to look straight up to see them. I've never been that close to the barge before and the fireworks were so close it looked like you could reach out and touch them. The moon rose and was SO big and full it was amazing. It started off as a big pink ball in the sky and as the night went on it got brighter and brighter. It was so bright reflecting off the white sand that you could have read a book out there. After the fireworks it was time to catch some crabs. The Island King wanted to walk over to the Gulf side of the jetties (we'd been sitting on the inside of the pass) so we hiked over the Gulf to crab. It was absolutely flat and with the moon shining down it was spectacular. My pictures don't even begin to show how pretty it was out there.
We got our flashlights and crab nets and waded out into the water on our hunt for crabs.
We've had some really bad luck with crabs this season, first our traps were stolen and then when we replaced them they've come up empty EVERY single time we put them out but this was our lucky night because we caught lots of crabs. We caught a lot of crabs and after we'd been out there for a while the Youngest says "Let's go skinny dipping!" There wasn't a soul around so it didn't take but a minute before bathing suits came off LOL
The Youngest told the Oldest to hold up his bathing suit so mom could take a picture and the Oldest said "Are you crazy? You know she's going to put that on the internet!" LOL The Youngest could care less - he loves to be naked and has decided that skinny dipping is his favorite sport LOL It's cute now but I'm not sure I'll be laughing when he calls me from jail after being arrested for indecent exposure LOL After crabbing and skinny dipping we sat on the beach to rest for a while and the Youngest starts saying he's hungry and getting tired. "What time is it?" I ask the Island King and as he looks at his watch his mouth fell open. It's 11:45! No wonder the kid is tired and hungry. I had no idea we were going to be here so late so the only food they've had all evening is watermelon and chips LOL It's definitely time to pack up and head for home so we walked back to where our stuff was on the inside of the jetties and started packing backpacks and getting ready for the mile hike back to the car. "What were you planning for supper tonight?" the Island King asks me. I had planned to roast a chicken but I also thought we'd be home before dark and now the idea of roasting a chicken in the middle of the night is not sounding fun. We immediately decided that a trip through Whataburger's drive through on the way home sounded a lot faster and easier than going home and roasting a chicken LOL We gather all of our junk and off we go towards the car. We passed several people along the beach that were also crabbing and everyone seemed to be catching lots of crabs. We got back to the bridge where the truck was parked but we still had to clean the crabs (cleaning crabs in the kitchen sink is something you only do once before realizing what a bad idea that is) so the kids swam some more while the Island King and I cleaned crabs. We were almost done when this guy, who'd been fishing a little farther down the beach, walked up and asked if we wanted a Redfish. What? Redfish are a prize catch here and some of the tastiest fish you'll ever eat and I couldn't believe this guy was going to give one away. I asked the guy why he didn't want it and he said he only likes to fish but doesn't eat fish and so he always lets them go but that if we want it we can have it. Yes we want it! The Island King walked down to where the guy was fishing and came back with a really nice fish. Red fish are highly regulated here and they can't be kept if they are less than 18" or longer than 27" and this fish came in at 26". I couldn't believe it! I would have taken a picture of it but I had already put the camera in the truck and was just too tired to walk back up and get it. We finally finished cleaning the crabs and got everyone loaded up in the truck and I was shocked to see that it was 12:45. The boys were real troopers too - they weren't complaining and didn't even seem that tired. We drove through Whataburger for some dinner and headed home. The Island King and I were both exhausted and as we pulled into the driveway he said "Well damn, now I've got to go down to the dock and clean this fish!" He didn't have what he needed at the beach so we'd brought the fish home. Another thing you don't want to clean in your kitchen sink is a 26" fish so he grabbed his knife and off he went to the dock. While he was gone the boys ate and took showers and were asleep within seconds of their heads hitting their pillows. The Island King came back and said that he was just too tired to really clean the Redfish so he'd cut the head off, gutted it and stuck it in a trash bag. He put the bag in the fridge and said he'd go filet it tomorrow LOL
So tonight we are having a feast. We're going to blacken the redfish, fry the snapper the Island Girl caught, boil the crabs and eat until we're stuffed.
Meanwhile, I have to muster up some energy and do all of the things I didn't do yesterday. It was definitely worth it though and it won't be long before I'm ready to do it again.
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