Lobster Lunacy – the Annual Feeding Frenzy for the Meat That’s Better Than A Mother’s Love

As long as I can remember, my family has spent our summers in Islamorada, in the Florida Keys. Part of a multi-family tradition begun by my parents and their friends long before I was born, this annual vacation lasted anywhere from one week to one month, and always involved more time spent on the water than on land – fishing, diving, and searching for that ultimate maritime delicacy – the lobster. Though I was born merely Cracker and not Conch (people native to Florida are called Crackers – those fortunate enough to have been born in the Keys are called Conchs), this annual migration instilled in my soul an eternal respect for Mother Ocean and a lifelong lust for Panulirus argus, the Spiny Lobster. This year was extra special for my father, marking his first return to the deep after undergoing open-heart surgery on August 1, 2007. We hoped to herald this anniversary with a bounty of crustacean goodness, so on Tuesday afternoon I traded our island for another and headed south to join my family in pursuit of the wily critters.

Published in: on August 12, 2008 at 7:26 am  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Captain Baldi’s Diving Legacy

In last week’s story in the Island Sand Paper on the Purple Heart Theater, Carl spoke about one of the previous owners, Captain Bob Baldi, and how, in the ‘70’s, he made the building at 2915 Estero the new home for his dive shop – the Everglades Skindiving School. Bob taught many native Islanders how to dive in an age when scuba was a relatively new sport, and his story is another important piece of Island history. I caught up with him this week to find out how he came to run the school and what it was like to live on the Beach in a younger era.