I have returned from the sea.

I am back from a week long vacation in Mexico Beach, Florida. Mexico Beach is an oddity in Florida these days, it is one of very few fishing towns that are left unspoiled. It is a glimpse of Florida of the sixties or even before. There are no high rise condos, the beachfront is nice, clean white sand and the waters are clear and calm usually. It lies in a protected area on the bay opposite Cape Sand Blas. During the day all you see on the beach are women and children and a few old timers out surf fishing. At night families gather on the beach to shoot fireworks and grill hot dogs, and hamburgers, this is when the men are present. At daylight every morning the men gather at the marina, loading the boats for the days fishing. Mexico Beach is all about offshore fishing. There are literally over one hundred wrecks, and reefs both natural and artificial, within 35 miles offshore of the tiny inlet. Species of Snapper, Grouper and othe rbottom fish are abundant. Pelagic species like Wahoo, Cobia, King Mackeral and Spanish Mackeral, Sailfish, Marlin, Blackfin Tuna, Dolphin (The fish not the mammal…better known to landlubbers as Mahi Mahi) Tarpon, and Redfish roam the waters heavily. In the summer St. Johns bay is one of few breeding grounds for bay scallops left in the state, you may harvest the scallops there starting July 1. They are easily gathered by walking the shallow marsh flats or snorkeling.

At night the local restaraunts are packed with families eating fresh seafood and with men talking about the days catch. Mexico Beach is not a commercial fishing village, it is almost exclusively sport fishermen, commercial boats cannot get in and out of the small inlet.. You won’t find beer or alchohol on the boats, these guys are serious about fishing. Mexico Beach has no police department and the rental houses that are the most prized are not the ocean front ones, but the ones with docks or slips on the tiny inlet.

Early in the morning at sunrise you can watch a steady stream of offshore fishing vessels making their way out the bouy line into the open ocean and at sunset you can watch them come in again. I was surprised the houses didn’t have widow walks. It was nice to get away from “civilization” for a while.

3480cookie-checkI have returned from the sea.

I have returned from the sea.

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