Archive for September, 2007

Short of Graveyard Creek

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

My cousin taking “skinny water skiff” to the extreme.

I was leafing through some old papers a few days ago, and in among the notes from lost loves and forgotten friends, I came across the photo above. It took me back.

It was taken in the early 1990s. The guy in the picture is my first cousin Shannon. At the time, we were single, lean and hungry, and our free time was usually spent on the water in pursuit of game fish, often in each other’s company. In the wintertime, our regular trips were curtailed by cold weather that drove the snook inland and emptied the flats of redfish. We’d both get the shack-nasties, so when Shannon mentioned that a friend was joining a large group at Graveyard Creek, a small beach down south on the edge of the Everglades, I was game. The agenda called for a single day of fishing and camping, so we loaded his boat with food, ice, beer, tents and tackle and headed down to join them, reports of an approaching cold front be damned. We towed his boat to a ramp at Chokoloskee, a sleepy little fishing town, to avoid a long run in kicked-up water. From there we roared south in the early afternoon, weaving along in a backcountry river, following a local guide in a little skiff. About a mile into the trip, the guide’s boat skipped over a submerged oyster bar. We weren’t as lucky.