Gasparilla half marathon

I set my alarm for 2:50am, picked up Seth at 3:15 and we drove to Tampa for the Gasparilla distance classic.   Seth and two other friends were running the marathon. I signed up for the half, which started and ran alongside the marathoners for about 8 miles. It was ultimately my slowest half marathon at 2:32, and I’m sure it had nothing to do with the screwdriver I consumed at mile 5 thanks to merrymakers with an unofficial aid station along the route.

See my photos on this public facebook site.

Long Point trip report

Abstract: the fishing was pretty good and consistent, but the camping was uncomfortable.sunrise790

Its October and the mullet run has commenced.  They are in the surf, and in the river.  I reserved a campsite for Tue-Fri, and headed out at 5am for the 2 hour drive.   Launching the boat at the campground I noticed an unusual proliferance of mosquitoes.   But thats not a problem on the water.  I pitched camp in the afternoon, got some groceries, and headed back out in the boat for the consistent sunset bite.

We’e got an unusual heat wave this week, temps in the 90’s every day, and the bugs were so bad that it was difficult to hang around the campsite.  Building a smoky fire helped a bit at night, so I still managed some camp cookery.    I didn’t bring my window AC, so I sweated through each night in the tent.  In the midday, I headed to the beach to chill under an umbrella and keep a live finger mullet out in the surf.  The beach bite was pretty good too, and I got a 24″ spanish mackerel and many bluefish.  Slideshow below, or go to photo set

trip report

0722092042a.jpgSmall photo set here.  Since I had scheduled time off work, I took a break from helping Linda set up her practice and reserved 5 nights at Long Point park.  I booked Sun-Fri hoping to avoid the weekend crowds.  I’ve never camped down there in the dead of summer, but  I used a window AC with my smaller tent, which meant sleeping on the ground.  The bigger tent in which I can fit a cot is designed with massive ventilation which makes the AC less effective.    The campground was surprisingly crowded and I had RV neighbors on either side of me in the latter part of the week.

My eye problem flared up the morning of my departure and bothered me most of the day, but it got real bad around late afternoon when I think some sunblock leaked  into the eye.  It was really bad after that and I spent a miserable Sunday night and endured two violent storms.  My RV neighbor had internet service and warned me about the second storm line coming our way, and I rode that one out in the car and then finally turned in to the tent about midnight.  My eye problem kept me up most of the night.   I went home on Monday to nurse the eye and left my tent and boat at the campsite.   I took a pain pill Monday night, and slept through, then saw a doctor Tuesday.  He said “It is what it is” .   I was able to complete a lot of business chores for Linda, and went to a quartet rehearsal Tuesday night.  I was better Wednesday and returned to camping.

I found outstanding bites Wed at dusk and again Thu at dawn.  Lots of bluefish, ladyfish, with some trout mixed in   Caught numerous slot sized trout, and lost some tackle to the cutting teeth of the bluefish.   Love me that topwater lure action!   Outboard motor conked out late Thu morning, so I pulled the boat and took it to a mechanic in Melbourne.  They quickly diagnosed water mixed in with the fuel.  They drained 2 gallons of gas, charged me a half hour of shop time and sent me on my way.  I can recommend Boathouse Discount Marine.

Had a bluefish for dinner Wed eve and it was not very good.   I prepared trout Thu eve that turned out really well!   I drenched the fillets in salad dressing, then coated with ground pistachio nuts, wrapped in oiled foil and cooked over the campfire for about 15 minutes.  It was delicious, and I wolfed down all the fish with a white wine and cheese on the side.

Packed up and came home Friday.