Today marks the official first day of fall as seen on today’s Google Doodle, but with temperatures expected to reach 90 degrees in Bradenton (with a RealFeel® of 107°,) it’s safe to say it’s an endless summer in the Sunshine State.
This past weekend, I spent more time on the water than I have in the past year. It all started under a full moon around 5 a.m. on Saturday when I met my friends at the marina for a day of deep-sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
We headed out to the first fishing spot and dropped anchor. Offshore about 20 miles, we ran into some steady winds and rougher-than-I-would-have-liked seas, which made me feel seasick and nauseous, something that I’ve never before experienced on a boat! My friend told me, “Keep looking at the horizon,” and that seemed to help.
After a few hours of catching nothing but bait fish, we moved to a second spot some miles away, which was thankfully tranquil with little to no wind – so much that it felt like we were baking in the boat – and we opted to jump in the ocean to cool off for a second. It’s always scary swimming for too long when they’re chumming the waters…
We ended the day with a swim at Egmont Key State Park, which is accessible only by private boat and “primarily a wildlife refuge, it can be a personal refuge – a place to relax and collect shells along secluded, pristine beaches.”
During the 19th century, the island served as a camp for captured Seminoles at the end of the Third Seminole War and was later occupied by the Union Navy during the Civil War. In 1898, as the Spanish – American War threatened, Fort Dade was built on the island and remained active until 1923.