Overstock Sale Print Coupons Turning Point Print Coupons Wakeboard Skis Kneeboard Tube Rope X-dog All Fuzion Watersports Clearance Print Coupons
Click here to view this email newsletter online with images
The iboats.com Review
Shop our most popular categories Boat Covers Engine Parts Props Trailering Blowout Specials

In This Issue

Front Page

Insurance Corner – Top Reasons why Boats Catch Fire from NBOA Boating Safety – On Maneuvers: Driving After Dark iboats.com Overstock Sale & Bimini Skin Clearance Red Sky at Night with JB Cornwell Nautical Humor Stupid Human Boating Tricks You Wonít Believe Your Eyes Featured Products and Specials

Overstock Sale [Click Here]

Bilge Pumps [Click Here]

Red Sky at Night with JB Cornwell | Travels with my first born

I have four children. They are all middle aged now, but when they were growing up I would find time for one-on-one quality time with each of them in addition to our regular family vacations. That quality time involved a variety of activities, but a winter fishing/camping trip was one of my favorites.

I had spent a week alone out on Alligator Alley in 1970 and had a grand time, so I planned to take daughter #1, Dania, then 14, to the same place in the winter of 1971 for a few days of sun, warmth and fishing.

There was no problem getting her assigned to write a report on her wilderness fishing/camping trip with Dad and excused time to take that trip. I was a member of the School Board at the time; a thankless job that did have a few perks.

Alligator Alley, also known as The Everglades Parkway, is a highway that crosses The Everglades and Big Cypress swamp from Fort Lauderdale to Naples, Florida. In 1971 it was only a few years old and still pretty wild. It was also a toll road in those days. In recent years it has been rehabilitated as part of Interstate 75.

The highway is raised above the surrounding swampy terrain by digging two parallel canals and piling the spoil between them. Then the top was paved. The canals were inhabited by a great variety of fish; tarpon and other salt/brackish water species in the western portions; bass, bluegill, bowfin and a variety of their relatives in the central and eastern reaches. Our destination was where the Miami canal crossed Alligator Alley, about 40 miles west of the eastern toll gate at Andytown.

The trip is roughly 1500 miles from Warrenville, IL, where we lived at the time, so we planned to take 2 days to get there and 2 days to return, which left us three days of camping and fishing.

We departed Warrenville early on a Saturday morning. It was -20F with a wind chill of around -35F and a foot or so of snow on the ground.

After overnighting in Chattanooga we arrived at the east tollgate late Sunday afternoon and drove west to the bridge over the Miami Canal, where we set up camp under the bridge.

During the night there were throaty bellows from the swamp. Dear daughter thought they must be gators, but they sounded like cattle to me. Never did resolve what they really were. Didnít see any cattle and the gators we saw were pretty small.

Dawn found me filleting a couple of bass I had harvested with a flyrod and popper and enjoying the sights and sounds of many exotic birds. Breakfast was freshly caught bass fried in Pam, Tang and coffee. To this day, many years later, my treasured first born would rather eat fish than any other critter.

The day was glorious. What we called a bluebird day when I was a wee tad; a cloudless sky, light breeze, temperatures in the 70s. We wandered up and down the canals casting small spinners to the monster bluegills that were spawning on the shallow sandy bars and marveling at each new bird or critter we saw. We hadnít brought a boat and I didnít miss it at all, though I had a great time with the wonderful SportYak II the year before. We collected a stringer of bluegills to ensure good meals for a few days and hung it in the canal under the bridge. Then we just walked along the paths by the canals, enjoying the wildlife.

Each period of the day had its own wonders. As the sun sank in the west the light changed and flocks of egrets ghosted over . . . destination unknown . . . painted pink by the setting sun.

We had fish for breakfast; fish and canned beans for lunch; fish, rice and canned peas for dinner. The menu didnít change much and we didnít care. Not much can beat fish fried within minutes of being filleted.

Each day differed from the others only in the small adventures of discovering some new critter, catching a new species of fish or catching a bigger fish. We did get browner and stickier (no shower) in the sun.

After our three days we packed up the car and headed west to Naples, where we checked in to the first motel we saw. Both of us were rather desperate for a shower and some ice cold beverages.

The trip home was consumed by the sharing of memories and impressions.

There were to be the usual family Summer vacations but among my favorite memories are those adventures shared with my children one at a time.

(JB Cornwell writes from ďThe HideoutĒ in Whitt, TX, and is also an expert moderator, instructor, and fountain-of-knowledge in the iboats.com Boating Forums, where he may occasionally share a yarn of his own.)

Bimini Skin Closeout [Click Here]

Tarps [Click Here]

RV Covers [Click Here]

Send Us Feedback Email to a Friend Back to Front Page
Disclaimer for iboats.com Review Articles:
The information and articles provided in this newsletter and/or in any publications provided by iboats.com are for general purposes only and intended to help you make better janisions about your boat and boating equipment. Such information is not intended to substitute for instructions from the manufacturer, dealer or marina about your specific boat or boating equipment and iboats specifically disclaims any liability for damage to your boat or equipment arising from your following suggestions in this newsletter. For more details about your equipment or application, we suggest you contact the manufacturer of your boat or other equipment.

iboats.com Overstock Sale expires Sep-30-2010. Sale prices cannot be applied to previous orders. iboats reserves the right to cancel or modify all or parts of the sale offers at any time and without prior notice. Copyright iboats.com 2010.

Copyright Notice:
All materials contained on the iboats.com site and on this Review publication are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed (except for use of the iboats.com "Email to a Friend"), transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of iboats.com or in the case of third party materials, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

Photo Credits:
Header photo courtesy of Take Me Fishing.