This morning the Captain and I slept in a little late….well, for us it was a little late. Say until 8:00 a.m.
So, as we dressed… we decided to jump in the convertible and drive down to one of our favorite outdoor breakfast places…down on the water.
It was such a beautiful day. A cool tropical breeze….the bright lime-green Monk Parrots that live on the Cape were chattering in the tops of the palm trees, ….flying and perching and fluttering about.
The sea gulls were swooping down from time to time, catching their fresh breakfast near the top of the water and then taking it to the sandy beach below the outdoor deck of the restaurant.
Yes, a perfect day in Paradise.
Shortly after placing our breakfast order, the cheery little server brought our mimosas and as she turned around I noticed her T-shirt with a “DEA” decal on the back and I had to laugh …..
And then …..
And then……we noticed a gathering of people on the Pier.
They first peered over one side and then quickly ran to the other side to peer over that side.
It was obvious…something was in the water that attracted their attention.
I just assumed the few people gathered on the pier were mostly tourists,… and were looking at the usual variety of “baitfish” that swim in and around the pilings ….which of course attract fish such as Snook, Grouper, Spanish Mackerel, Flounder and Sheepshead.
The server brought our breakfasts and I nibbled on my toast while watching intently as the scene on the pier unfolded. I was hoping to get an idea of what was causing all the commotion…. without having to leave my comfortable perch on one of the high top stools.
I noticed there were children playing on the beach to my right and there were children in the water who seemed oblivious to any action near the pier….so I assumed there was nothing dangerous to man or child…just some sort of curiosity.
After about 15 minutes, my interest was piqued just a bit more when a Marine Research boat suddenly appeared out of nowhere and tossed an anchor over the side of the boat….staying to the left of the walking pier.
Again, my eyes turned to the children playing in the water, seemingly unaffected by boats and jet-skis. The 8-10 children continued to play frisbee in the water near the beach and I noted two young adult supervisors in the water with them, so I assumed they were from a “camp” and this was one of the camp counselor activities.
And then my gaze went back to the Marine Research boat and I saw two young women jump over and into the water….they half swam, half walked towards the pier and disappeared under the pier. They were tugging a large container which appeared to be a beverage cooler of some kind, although I don’t suppose marine biologists haul around beer coolers on their research boats…but then one never knows. 🙂
By this time, my eggs were sitting with their sunny side up yolks split open, cooling and jelling…. as I continued to watch the scene being played out under and near the Pier.
Meanwhile, the Captain was devouring a huge stack of Tropical pancakes which he explained were pancakes with orange marmalade stirred into the batter…and he kept muttering how delicious they were as he from time to time looked out at the action on the water.
“Are you curious as to what is going on out there?” I asked pushing my unappetizing looking plate to the side.
He paused and gazed out for a bit and then said:
“… someone probably caught a small shark”!
I glanced around at the people on the pier and have to admit I did see a few people with fishing poles…but they certainly were not fishing at the moment.
“Hmmmmm, perhaps you are right.” I mused as I sipped my Mimosa, knocking my little umbrella to the floor of the deck.
As I looked down at the pretty orange umbrella, gently being moved around by the tropical breeze…the Captain jumped up to fetch the umbrella for me.
“Aaah… while you are up,” I hesitated as I stammered….
“I don’t suppose you want to walk out on the pier and see exactly what is going on? I would go, but my knee was aching almost all night long”, I added, rubbing my knee as if to confirm my malady.
Actually, I would rather sit in the cool open air deck, sipping my drink instead of walking down all those stairs and then hiking out to the middle of the pier, only to discover it was really nothing but fish.
Shameless! I know.
And I do feel a bit guilty….well, maybe not.
The Captain looked down at his plate and the remainder of his tropical pancakes still oozing with sticky syrup and then he looked up and out on the Pier.
He must have determined that he really didn’t need to finish off the plate of flap jacks because he said…”I’ll be right back” and he walked out and onto the Pier.
I watched as he joined the people peering over the railing…and then he moved to get a better position closer to the rail.
He looked back at me but gave no indication as to the cause of the attraction, so I continued to sip my refreshed coffee, letting the server clear away the half eaten plates of food, assuming there were no dangerous shark or sting ray that could possibly cause consternation among the gathering.
I was also hoping that the Captain was actually finished eating his pancakes….I mean, who would want to finish up cold pancakes with even colder syrup?
At this point, the Captain was leisurely walking back towards the BoatHouse Restaurant which features all open air seating….stopping from time to time to peer over the railings, but eventually making his way back to our high top table.
” A woman caught this on her fishing pole”, he said as he thrust his IPhone camera close to me and showed me a picture of a sawtooth fish.
“Oh,” I commented as I withdrew like the fish was going to jump out at me…”I was reading in the paper that there seem to be a few of them hanging around the shallow waters near a few of the piers in SW Florida these days, …….what are they going to do with it?”
“The biologists are going to tag it, mark it’s weight and a few other things and then they are going to put it back in the water”, he said as he took over my mimosa and finished gulping it down. (you see I very rarely finish a drink…and when the Captain sees my drink beginning to water down…he jumps to my rescue and finishes it off for me…what a guy!) 🙂
I didn’t realize it, but there is a hotline number anglers can call when they catch one of these (apparently rare) prehistoric-looking fish that are related to the sting ray, but look sorta like a shark and a little like a gar. See the sawtooth fish pic I googled below.
Now, I don’t know about you…but I would not want to meet up with one of these “toothy” fish….and the one caught off the pier was about 4 foot long which is about 3 foot 11 1/2 inches too big for me!
Have a great and blessed day!