Taking the Back Country in the Blazing Mako

February 16, 2016 at 10:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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BlackBy Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

scocking@guyharveyoutpost.com

Even though the Guy Harvey Outpost Blazing Mako Festival and Fishing Tournament is still four months away, it’s not too early to sign up your team or start plotting a strategy for claiming $10,000 in prize money– particularly if you enter the inshore division.

The tournament date of June 18 falls squarely during the peak of the inshore fishing season in and around the Florida Keys and two days before the full moon. Catching, measuring, photographing and releasing the eligible back country species of permit, bonefish, tarpon, snook, redfish and the funfish category of shark, ladyfish, jack and trout for points, cash, and bragging rights won’t be as challenging as during other seasons of the year.

Anglers will be allowed to enter a maximum of five fish in each category using live bait, artificial lures, or fly tackle. More points will be awarded for lures and fly rod.

“This is a great time of year to catch all these species,” said seven-year veteran Keys light-tackle guide captain Richard Black, who fishes from a 17-foot, 8-inch Hells Bay Professional skiff.

Black said his strategy would be to locate small tarpon first thing in the morning in Florida Bay– likely near Snake Bight– and fish with fly rod (if the angler were capable), or with small Mir-O-Lure plugs or light jigs. Snook and redfish tend to inhabit the same territory at that time of year and likely would bite the same offerings.

Once you’ve racked up enough points for those three species, Black says step two would be to blind-cast a jig or plug for ladyfish.  You could enter the larger ones in the funfish category and keep a few to hang off the skiff while anchored to attract lemon sharks to within fly-casting range.

“In a good spot with good current, you could catch five sharks on fly pretty quick,” Black said.

Then if you are lucky enough to have sufficient sunlight in mid- to late afternoon, the guide said, you could look for bonefish in Florida Bay or on the ocean side of the Upper Keys.  Bonefish almost never turn down fresh shrimp, and they also are likely to bite small jigs and shrimp-patterned flies.

“I know some anglers I’d lead off with fly and switch to bait,” Black added.  “You have to fish the conditions.  If conditions are crappy and you have to cover more water, you would use a spinning rod.”

Black  believes it will take 1,500 to 2,000 points to score a top-three finish.

Even if you don’t accumulate nearly that score, it will be more than fun to try and then you get to celebrate at the awards party at the Islander– a Guy Harvey Outpost Resort in Islamorada.

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  Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on GuyHarveyOutpostNews.com/.  For 21 years, Cocking covered the full spectrum of outdoors adventure opportunities in South Florida and beyond for the Miami Herald, including fishing, diving, hunting, paddling camping, sailing and powerboat racing.  She is a certified scuba diver and holder of an IGFA women’s world fly fishing record for a 29-pound permit. 

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Share your photos, videos and experiences with Guy Harvey Outpost by hash tagging #OutpostAttitude to all of your social media posts.

Get Your AARGH on with Guy Harvey Outpost Outfitter Full Moon Treasure Dives

February 10, 2016 at 2:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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gvilleBy Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

scocking@guyharveyoutpost.com

The treasure won’t consist of authentic pieces of eight, nor will it be buried. But divers will still get to hunt for some special hidden coins at two popular South Florida dive sites under the full moon Feb. 22 and then redeem them for Guy Harvey swag and other prizes, including scuba trips and gear.

This month’s Guy Harvey Outpost Full Moon Treasure Dive is the first of a series of monthly night dives being conducted by Outpost Outfitters South Florida Diving Headquarters in Pompano Beach and Capt. Slate’s Scuba Adventures in Tavernier, Florida Keys.  Enough coins will be sprinkled around the dive sites so that everyone has a shot at taking home a prize.  A grand prize of a three-night lodging package at Hotel Playa Media Luna, a Guy Harvey Outpost expedition property in Isla Mujeres, Mexico will be awarded at season’s end.

Captain Jeff Torode of South Florida Diving Headquarters plans to host a one-tank dive departing from his new dock at Sands Harbor Resort at 6 p.m. to the wreck of the Ancient Mariner, 70 feet deep off Pompano Beach.  Upon returning to the dock, divers will exchange their coins for prizes and enjoy a waterside after-party at the tiki bar.

Captain Spencer Slate will conduct a one-tank dive departing at 6 p.m. from his Tavernier headquarters to the popular Davis Reef, about 30 feet deep off Islamorada.  In addition to hunting for hidden treasure coins, divers may enjoy a visit with Wasabi– a large, friendly green moray eel who frequents the reef.  (Don’t worry; Wasabi isn’t interested in grabbing a share of the treasure.)  An after-party and prize-giving will be held at Slate’s dock, followed by an optional after-after party at the nearby Morada Bay Resort in Islamorada.

For reservations or more information, call 1-800-513-5257.

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Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on GuyHarveyOutpostNews.com/.  For 21 years, Cocking covered the full spectrum of outdoors adventure opportunities in South Florida and beyond for the Miami Herald, including fishing, diving, hunting, paddling camping, sailing and powerboat racing.  She is a certified scuba diver and holder of an IGFA women’s world fly fishing record for a 29-pound permit. 

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Share your photos, videos and experiences with Guy Harvey Outpost by hash tagging #OutpostAttitude to all of your social media posts.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

January 5, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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P1010298By Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

scocking@guyharveyoutpost.com

I can’t think of too many outings more fun in winter than going patch fishing off Islamorada.

While you are almost certain to catch big numbers of yellowtail snapper, plenty of other species either hang out or pass through these miniature ecosystems at the same time.

On a late December outing with captain Greg Eklund and mate Cory Nelson on the charterboat Cloud Nine out of Bud n’ Mary’s Marina, our group of four anglers boated nearly 40 yellowtail and gray snapper, a handful of cero mackerel, and the broad head of a big red grouper that got cut in half by a suspected shark.  We also released about dozen and half undersized mutton snapper.  We couldn’t lower our baits into the current without getting a hit.

“Yellowtail is one of the most important species we have,” said Eklund, a 21-year veteran captain.  “They’re delicious. abundant, and fun to catch.”

Check, check and check.

The fishing grounds Eklund chose was a sandy plain in the ocean off Islamorada about 20 feet deep with scattered patches of coral reefs to the north and south.  He dropped the Cloud Nine’s anchor in the sand up-current of the live bottom.

“You don’t want to damage the reef by anchoring on it,” Eklund explained.  “You don’t want to damage your tackle on the bottom and lose fish on the reef.  You bring the fish to you.”

Nelson deployed a chum bag on the transom and prepared a bucket full of raw oats mixed with the oily fish parts.  For bait, Cloud Nine had brought live shrimp threaded on 1/4-ounce knock-off Hook Up jigs.

“Live shrimp is a very effective bait in wintertime because a lot of shrimp are going under the bridges,” Eklund said, referring to the spans dotting U.S. 1 that separate the ocean from shallow Florida Bay waters.

The captain said fishing for yellowtail with live shrimp on the main reef tract further offshore doesn’t work as well as it does on the patches because the fish aren’t used to seeing them in wintertime.  Most of those migrating crustaceans get picked off by predators long before they make it to the open ocean.  Live pilchards, he said, are the preferred bait in deeper waters.

The captain tossed out a cloud of oats and chum from the stern of the boat, waited a few beats, then sent out another one.  Within a few minutes, he pronounced, ” I can see them; they’re swarming.”

Flashes of dingy yellow appeared in the green chum slick as Eklund baited my jig with a live shrimp.  I lowered it into the water, watching for the line to start zipping through the rod guides.  It didn’t take long.

“You’re on,” Eklund said.

I slammed the bail of the reel closed, and came up tight on a feisty fish.  It even made the drag sing a little.  Within a minute or two, I swung a 14-inch yellowtail over the transom.

My fishing companions–Bud n’ Mary’s owner captain Richard Stanczyk, tackle shop manager Stephen Byrd, and North Carolina charterboat captain Dave Peck–all joined the action, which was constant and frenzied for several hours.  Mixed in with the tails was a handful of mangrove snapper; quite a few muttons too small to keep; and several ceros.  A heavy bottom outfit yielded the partial grouper.

The weather was bumpy the day we fished, so we pretty much had the area to ourselves.  No commercial boats plied the area for yellowtail because NOAA Fisheries had closed that fishery Oct. 31, projecting that the total annual catch limit of  about 1.6 million pounds would be reached.  Commercial fishing re-opened on Jan. 1.

Yellowtail is considered a success story by both fishers and fisheries managers.  Unlike some grouper/snapper species, the stock is not in trouble from overfishing.

Eklund said part of the reason is all the chumming that goes on in the area.

“It’s like a small farm,” he said.  “[Yellowtail] will gorge themselves on chum, then go to the rocks and regurgitate and it feeds other fish.”

We scored a cooler full before noon, and I went home with plenty of five-star entree fare to serve at holiday feasts.

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Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on GuyHarveyOutpostNews.com/.  For 21 years, Cocking covered the full spectrum of outdoors adventure opportunities in South Florida and beyond for the Miami Herald, including fishing, diving, hunting, paddling camping, sailing and powerboat racing.  She is a certified scuba diver and holder of an IGFA women’s world fly fishing record for a 29-pound permit. 

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Share your photos, videos and experiences with Guy Harvey Outpost by hash tagging #OutpostAttitude to all of your social media posts.

Nova Southeastern University & Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts Present Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival

November 20, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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BlazMako

Event Combines Fishing, Conservation, Research & Marine Science Scholarships

FORT LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla. – What do you get when you combine world-class fishing, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and world-renowned conservationist and artist Guy Harvey? A one-of-a-kind marine conservation festival and tournament in the Florida Keys!

NSU is proud to be part of the Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival, to be held in the sportfishing capital of the world – Islamorada – in the Florida Keys. The three-day event is scheduled for June 16-19 2016, with management provided by Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts. Formerly named the Fort Lauderdale Billfish Tournament, the event has been moved to the historic Islander Resort for 2016, a Guy Harvey Outpost destination in Islamorada.

The event will include a premier, not-for-profit fishing tournament; innovative art exhibits featuring recycled materials, conservation organization displays and local vendors, all showcased in a 100 tent “Conchservation Village; cyber on-the-water release documentation for research using the IGHOfish App; and watersport demonstrations and competitions.

While there will be a fishing tournament as part of the event, like other Guy Harvey Outpost Bonfire series events, there is much more to the Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival. Community engagement is at the heart of the weekend’s activities. The event will also aid in raising funds for marine sciences scholarships at the NSU’ Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, which is home to the Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center.

“Once again NSU and Guy Harvey are teaming up to help today’s students become tomorrow’s marine researchers and scientists,” said Richard Dodge, Ph.D., Dean of NSU’s Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography. “We have a long-standing relationship with Dr. Harvey, and I am continually amazed at how much he wants to help students follow their dreams. This tournament promises to be fun, while at the same time continuing to add to Dr. Harvey’s legacy at NSU.”

The Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival, managed by Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts, has targeted a fundraising goal of $100,000.  NSU’s Halmos College of National Sciences and Oceanography, home to the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI), the Center of Excellence in Coral Reef Ecosystem Research and the Save Our Seas Shark Centre, will administer scholarship funds donated through the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF).

“This will be an event as much as a fishing tournament,” said Mark Ellert, president of Fort Lauderdale-based Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts.  “Like our other Bonfire series tournaments in the Bahamas, community engagement is a key and we have planned quite a weekend of activities that will stage an innovative ‘Conchservation’ Village to highlight ‘trash-to-treasure’ art exhibits and conservation efforts in the Florida Keys, live music, a trivia event and beach and wastersport competitions, a Rum Village and Kids Pier Fishing Tournament, fishing seminars and our traditional burning sculpture bonfire—this time a 15’ mako shark design beachside at the Islander Resort.”

The bonfire sculptures themselves have a conservation theme given that they are created out of recycled metal by various local artists.  Each sculpture is designed with a specific fish species unique to each destination. Well known Islamorada artist Pasta Pantaleo will design the Blazing Mako sculpture for the tournament and festival. Pantaleo, recognized around the world as a gamefish artist, operates a popular gallery, Pasta Pantaleo’s Signature Gallery, at mile marker 81.5.

The Blazing Mako tournament, named for NSU’s mascot — the mako shark — will encompass an inshore and offshore division. Corporate team registration (offshore) for the non-profit tournament is $5,000 per team (six anglers).  Inshore registration is also available for $2,500 (three anglers).  Larger boats (26’ and up) will be accommodated by the Post Card Inn Marina and smaller (25’ or less) by the Islander Bayside Townhomes. Internationally renowned sculptor Kent Ullberg, who designed the mako sculpture at the NSU main campus, has been commissioned to create a similarly designed perpetual trophy for the tournament.

Ellert said more than 100 vendor tents will be onsite along with fishing seminars provided by  professional and local guides, and free downloads of the iGHOFish app powered by iAngler that will allow anglers to log their catches, which can be used a valuable information for fisheries management.  In the case of the Blazing Mako tournament, the IGHOFish app will be used in documenting inshore and billfish catches along with photos and measurement before releasing the catches.

For more information on the Blazing Mako Tournament & Festival please visit www.blazingmako.com

I Am Woman; Watch Me Fish

November 3, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Samantha-Slater-Jon-Earhart-troutBy Sue Cocking

scocking@guyharveyoutpost.com

Plenty of women would love to fish with their husbands and boyfriends, but feel intimidated because their partners don’t take time to explain what’s going on and then rebuke them for making minor mistakes.

Betty Bauman found herself in that position nearly 20 years ago, but decided to do something about it.  In 1997, the Fort Lauderdale marketing executive created what she calls the “no yelling” school of fishing, and it has turned more than 8,000 women and girls into avid saltwater anglers.

“When they are done with us, they’re more confident, going to a tackle shop and saying, ‘I’d like to buy this lure to catch a mackerel,'” Bauman said.  “If a lady can do a bit more and is part of the team, tying on her own hooks, she gets more respect.”

The 2015 edition of “Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!” returns to Islamorada the weekend of Nov. 13-15, headquartered at the BPOE Elks Lodge.  Participants will enjoy a welcoming social on the evening of the 13th, followed by a full day of instruction and hands-on demonstrations on the 14th, and an optional inshore or offshore fishing adventure on the 15th.

Women will learn from both male and female instructors how to tie fishing knots; de-hook or gaff a struggling fish; rig a bally hoo for trolling; cast-net a live well full of bait; back a trailer onto a boat ramp; and numerous other skills.  They’ll be challenged to put their newfound knowledge to work on the water the following day.

“We get a lot of people who have never fished before,” Bauman said.  “They need somebody to open the door and give them a helping hand.”

New this year is the option for women to bring along a male guest or family member.

“Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!” has won several national awards for its outreach and instructional accomplishments.  Sponsors include the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.

To sign up for the program, visit www.ladiesletsgofishing.com or call 954-475-9068.

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Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on GuyHarveyOutpostNews.com/.  For 21 years, Cocking covered the full spectrum of outdoors adventure opportunities in South Florida and beyond for the Miami Herald, including fishing, diving, hunting, paddling, camping, sailing, and powerboat racing.  She is a certified scuba diver and holder of an IGFA women’s world fly fishing record for a 29-pound permit.

Celebrating Seafood Month at Guy’s Beachside Bar and Grill in Islamorada

October 27, 2015 at 9:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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By Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost staff writer

scocking@guyharveyoutpost.com

You could say that every month is “Seafood Month” at Guy’s Beachside Bar and Grill at the Islander, a Guy Harvey Outpost in Islamorada.  Sure, you can still get a burger, or steak or chicken anytime.  But the fresh local fruits from the sea prepared in every imaginable, delectable way generally rule the table — especially with October’s opening of stone crab harvest season.

Executive chef Andy Niedenthal favors Mediterranean/Floribean cuisine and loves to mix and match flavors and textures, surprising and delighting guests with an ever-changing menu that includes fruits and vegetables from Homestead and fish from the Keys.

“Nothing is set,” the veteran five-star chef said.  “Whatever piques our interest and we try to do something unique with it.  I’ll go in and say, ‘today, we’re going to play with this hogfish, tripletail, whatever’s fresh that day.’  When it’s gone, we do something else.”

Take stone crabs:  most people eat them fresh, cracked and chilled with a side of mustard dipping sauce.  And you can get them that way at Guy’s.  But in Niedenthal’s creative cuisine, the crab’s knuckle meat is used as a stuffing in fish; or in a pot pie; or to top a salad.   And lobster and shrimp aren’t just for scampi or po’ boys.  For lunch, the chef may prepare a bratwurst, mixing the shellfish with spices and stuffing it into a sausage casing served on a bun with a side of fennel slaw.

One of Niedenthal’s signature dishes is snapper ceviche  (see recipe below).  Fresh and light, it tastes as good as it looks and has appeared on many a patron’s Facebook wall.

The purveyor of all this fine cuisine has been at it a long time all around Florida and the Caribbean.

A 1988 graduate of the International Culinary Arts Institute in Baltimore, Niedenthal spent his career cooking for, or running fine restaurants in Islamorada, Miami Beach, Savannah, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.  He’s been executive chef at the Islander since 2012 and oversaw the re-launch of the resort’s restaurant as Guy’s Beachside Bar and Grill.  He also supervises the Bonefish Flats breakfast restaurant and the catering operation at the conference center — scene of many weddings and corporate meetings.

“We serve very upscale food in a very casual atmosphere,” Niedenthal said.  “You can get a five-star meal while dining out at the beach or at the pool.”

Now here’s how you can try this at home:

Chef Andy’s Snapper Ceviche:

Ingredients:

1.25-pound cleaned fillet

juice of six sour oranges

one red onion; one red pepper; one green pepper; one yellow pepper; one tomato all diced very finely

4 cloves blanched garlic

1 bunch of cilantro with leaves picked

1 bunch of scallions, bias cut

1 bunch of chives, finely chopped

drizzle of chili oil

drizzle of Key lime oil

four fried tortilla strips, julienned

salt and pepper to taste

four small scoops of orange sorbet

Directions:

Thinly slice the fish into two pieces against the grain on the bias and place on four plates in a five-point star.  Season with salt and pepper.  Divide sour orange juice over all four plates and cover the fish completely. Cover each plate with plastic wrap and press out the air so the fish is covered completely by the juice.  Refrigerate for about an hour.

To blanch the garlic, thinly slice the cloves on a mandolin, or v-slicer and place in a cup of very hot water.  Let stand for five minutes, then drain and refrigerate.

Remove the plastic from the plates of fish and pour off half of the juice.  Wipe the rim of each plate.  Distribute the vegetables, garlic and cilantro equally on the four plates, making a confetti-like appearance. Drizzle with Key lime and chili oils.

Place a scoop of sorbet in the center of each plate and garnish with tortilla crisps.

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Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on GuyHarveyOutpostNews.com/.  For 21 years, Cocking covered the full spectrum of outdoors adventure opportunities in South Florida and beyond for the Miami Herald, including fishing, diving, hunting, paddling camping, sailing and powerboat racing.  She is a certified scuba diver and holder of an IGFA women’s world fly fishing record for a 29-pound permit.

Guy Harvey Outpost’s Islander Resort Profiled in “Southern Boating” Magazine

September 17, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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IslanderBeachThe following article appears courtesy of Southern Boating magazine.

“If it swims, I’ve caught it! How’s that for a one liner?” he chuckles. His white mustache is Tom Selleck-esque, and the sparkle in his blue eyes intimates wisdom, adventure… and a bit of trouble. Sitting in his office at the Bud N’ Mary’s Marina in Islamorada, Florida—the walls covered with pictures of himself, friends, family, celebrities, and the fish he’s caught—Richard Stanczyk captivates me with countless tales of the sea in his 50-plus years as an angler, captain, guide, and owner of the marina. Stanczyk is a bit of a celebrity himself. He’s often credited for reinventing swordfishing and once caught seven of these gladiators in a single day.

I’ve come to visit to talk about Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts & Lodges (GHO) and their expeditions—organized trips for adventure-oriented travelers. The expeditions are a new product for the brand, created “given the time poverty prevalent in everyone’s life,” says Mark Ellert, president of GHO. There’s “Mako Mexico” to follow and tag a shark off Isla Mujeres; “Panama Trifecta Safari” for a chance to tailor your experience on three fishing machines; and “Fish Daze Islamorada,” a three-day adventure with Stanczyk to battle swordfish and tarpon. (More expeditions are available and some are in the making in Central America and the Galapagos Islands.) “I’ve had the pleasure of taking Guy Harvey fishing,” Stanczyk says. “We had a stellar day. We ended up catching four of these giant swordfish.”

Guy Harvey—marine biologist, artist, diver, and conservationist—has come to embody the ocean lifestyle. Ellert saw the opportunity to create a lodging brand that would resonate with families and the salt life, and the Guy Harvey Outpost was born. Current destinations include The Bahamas; Isla Mujeres, Mexico; Dominica and Little Cayman Island in the Caribbean; and Isabela in the Galapagos—a project on the easternmost side of the island is also underway. In the U.S., GHO locations are only in Florida so far. The first was the TradeWinds Beach Resort in St. Petersburg Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. A new spot is set to open in this fall in St. Augustine on the Atlantic Ocean. A freshwater resort with RV campground and marina on Lake Okeechobee is also planned for 2017. Then there’s the Islander Resort in Islamorada—it joined the GHO brand in 2014—with unique access to the bay and the ocean.

The Islander Resort offers two locations: on MM 82 (Oceanside) and MM 81 (Bayside). With 114 guestrooms that spread across 25 acres, the Oceanside exudes the island resort feel that one expects in the Florida Keys. Past the reception area, pristine white sand paves the way—with scattered palm trees from which hammocks hang—to rooms with a screened front porch and full kitchen. Chirping birds and conservation quotations from famous characters accompany you while the salty sea tang lures you closer to the beach. The typical Jimmy buffet melodies hint of the two pools’ proximity and Guy’s Beachside Bar & Grill—Fish Daze participants get to dine with Stanczyk right here, a “truly memorable opportunity to hear Richard some incredible fishing tales,” says Ellert. (I second that.) the restaurant will cook your catch of the day—Harvey’s words on the menu remind you of ocean preservation just like in the rooms.

The Islander Watersports (IW) by the pier has water toys galore—all the GHOs do. There, Donna Warwas and her friend, Joni Taylor, are looking for fun while their husbands are out fishing on a Bud N’ Mary’s charter boat. “What do you have for women like us in their fifties?” Warwas, a petite brunette asks Jaime sanders, a tan and toned IW attendant. They settle for kayaking from the bayside (“it’s calmer,” says sanders) and a snorkeling trip to Cheeca Rocks Reef, a shallow site less than five miles away. Wave runners, sailboats, aqua cycles, and three 18 to 29-foot powerboats are also available. Sanders says she sends boaters to the sandbar right off Whale Harbor bridge on mm 83. “It’s ankle deep, the kids can snorkel and the dogs can play,” she adds. “There’s also the Alligator [Reef] Lighthouse. It’s only six feet deep and it’s St. Thomas [U.S.V.I.]-beautiful.” She advises using Whale Harbor rather than Tea Table Channel bridge on mm 79.1 to go from the bay to the ocean because the latter is lower. Rent a mooring ball on the Oceanside for boats up to 30 feet, or dock on the bayside complete with 14 slips (for boats up to 24 feet), fish cleaning stations and shore power—guests must stay at one of the 25 bayside townhomes to use a slip. There’s no onsite ramp but plenty nearby, and trailers may be stored on the Oceanside property by the Florida Keys Conference Center.

The bayside has more of a private property feel. Colorful two-story townhouses are lined up leading to the docks, the small saltwater pool and beach area. Standing aboard his flats boat, Daniel Brotzky, a husky red-haired man in his early 30s with an infectious laugh, is getting ready for another relaxing outing to the sandbar. It’s his fi rst time at the Islander and he’s beyond ecstatic, most likely due to his recent engagement (wedding scheduled for January 9th). “You’ve got everything you need—you’ve got your home feel with the townhome, the bay, the ocean… the markers are all right there,” Brotsky says. “It’s a beautiful dock with easy access and [the slip rental] is dirt cheap!”

Back at Bud N’ Mary’s, Stanczyk ponders the Islander. “I have a lot of respect for the owner David [Curry]. They’ve maintained what I call the ‘character’ of the Florida Keys, and when you go to the Islander… you find their own feeling of the Keys.”

Help Guy Harvey Outpost Volunteers Clean Up the Keys

September 15, 2015 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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11990489_10154198595179027_1235612983481628913_n            By Sue Cocking, Guy Harvey Outpost Staff Writer

Some staff members of Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost in Islamorada plan to don work gloves, long pants and sun hats to join hundreds of others collecting trash along U.S. Highway 1 and ocean and bayside beaches on Sept. 19.

The Florida Keys Scenic Corridor Alliance has partnered with the Ocean Conservancy for the 30th anniversary of the International Coastal Cleanup– a one-day effort that last year attracted 560,000 volunteers in 91 countries who picked up more than 16 million pounds of trash.

For this year’s cleanup, teams will fan out along the entire 110-mile U.S. 1 corridor and adjacent beaches from Key Largo to Key West, clearing roadsides and waterfronts of trash and debris.  Some employees of the Islander are expected to join a team organized by the Islamorada Chamber of Commerce cleaning the area from Tavernier Creek Bridge to the Channel 5 Bridge including Sea Oats Beach, Anne’s Beach, and Indian Key Fills.  If you would like to help, call or email Judy Hull, executive director of the Islamorada chamber at 305-664-4503/director@islamoradachamber.com.

Discarded plastic items — flip-flops, water bottles, bags, and popped balloons–are a serious environmental and ecological problem worldwide, with more than seven million tons ending up in the world’s oceans.  Not just an eyesore, they sicken and kill sea birds and marine mammals.

For more information about the Coastal Cleanup, visit the Ocean Conservancy’s web site!

Sue Cocking chronicles the Guy Harvey Outpost travel and adventure experience in regular blog posts on GuyHarveyOutpostNews.com/.  For 21 years, Cocking covered the full spectrum of outdoors adventure opportunities in South Florida and beyond for the Miami Herald, including fishing, diving, hunting, paddling, camping, sailing and powerboat racing.  She is a certified scuba diver and holder of an IGFA women’s world fly fishing record for a 29-pound permit.

“Underwater Realism” Art Course Offered at Islander Resort In Islamorada

September 14, 2015 at 2:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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RoysterBJ03tn-300x278Islamorada artist BJ Royster will unlock the creative process in you in a relaxed, informative and creative manner. This class is for designed for complete beginners, as well as those artists who want to enhance their knowledge and discipline within the creative process. You will take home a Keys reef scene on 11 x 14 stretched canvas.

WHAT: “Underwater Realism” art course

WHEN: Thurs, Oct 8, 22, Nov 5, 19; 1 – 4 pm

HOW MUCH: $165 REGISTRATION (Materials Included)

Born and raised in South Florida, BJ is recognized as a foremost artist specializing in reefs. After overcoming a fear of diving, she became a certified SCUBA diver and now translates the underwater beauty to her canvases. Her award winning work can be seen around the world, in several publications, and in her gallery, BJ Royster Ocean Gallery in Islamorada.

CALL 800.513.5257 TO RESERVE YOUR ROOM AT THE ISLANDER AT OUR INCREDIBLE WEEKDAY RATES!

Join Us for Sea Turtle Release Saturday at the Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost

May 1, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Posted in Conservation | Leave a comment
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The public is invited to join the Turtle Hospital for Miley’s release back to the wild on Saturday, May 2nd at 10:30 a.m. at The Islander Resort, a Guy Harvey Outpost M.M. 82.1 on the Oceanside.

The Turtle Hospital ambulance will arrive at  the Islander in Islamorada at 10:30 a.m. and Miley will be released off of the beach promptly at 11:00 a.m.  Miley was rescued off of Dove Key in early March where she was found floating and what rescuer’s described as “twerking”.  The rescuer’s named her Miley, after Miley Cyrus.
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Loggerheads nest on beaches at or near most all Guy Harvey Outpost properties. It seems they know good fishing and diving spots.

Miley is a sub-adult Loggerhead sea turtle.  She arrived at the hospital on March 8th following a boat strike.  She weighs 117 pounds.  Loggerheads are the largest hard shell sea turtles and adults typically weigh between 180 and 440 pound.  They can grow to over 1000 pounds. Loggerheads are considered a “Threatened” species and are protected under the Endangered Species Act.  Following a treatment course at the Turtle Hospital that included broad spectrum antibiotics, lactulose, beano, vitamins, and a healthy diet of squid and fish, Miley is ready to hit the main stage.  Miley is swimming strong, healthy, and no longer “twerking”.  Bring your friends and help us to give Miley a proper send-off on Saturday!

GHO-Turtle-ReleaseMore Information on Guy Harvey Outpost & their great resorts:  http://www.guyharveyoutpost.com/

For Fishing with Guy Harvey Outpost: www.ghofish.com

For the Guy Harvey Outpost Blog www.guyharveyoutpostnews.com

For Guy Harvey Outpost on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GuyHarveyOutpost

For Guy Harvey Outpost on Twitter https://twitter.com/GHOutpost

For Guy Harvey Outpost on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/GuyHarveyOutpost

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