Forget about the fireworks!! July is a great month for adventure and making memories that last a lifetime. Kids are out of school and the days are long and hot. Summer vacations are in full swing and the opportunities for fun are near limitless. I’m talking about dolphin and tuna offshore fishing, snapper fishing on the reef day or night and the annual migration of lobster seekers is just a few weeks away. Beat the heat and jump in for some snorkeling, spearfishing or relax at the sandbar with a beer as the kids explore. If you can beat the heat and dodge a few rain showers, there is something for everybody going on right now. Booking a trip is way easier than trying to figure out what to do first.
I want to remind everybody that I am booked for lobster mini season and my August dates are filling fast. While I am on this subject, lobstering is a challenging activity. Without preparation, there is plenty of room for things to go wrong. I do realize this is a unusual activity for most, so let’s do some “homework.” I said homework! The test will be when you hit the water and I always can tell who did/didn’t prepare. It shows quickly!
I usually ask if you are bringing your snorkel equipment or are renting mine or from others. Generally speaking, your gear sucks! On 100% of my trips, somebody has catastrophic equipment failure. I ask all of my customers to check and RECHECK your equipment!!! If your mask leaks, straps break, snorkel is a straw, fins fall off and so on…you will have a rough day. You need to stack every odd in your favor, so when your equipment is failing you, you are set to fail. Next hurdle is your breath hold. How long can you hold your breath? I guess you don’t need a long breath hold if you are good at coaxing lobster out of their holes, but the two go hand in hand. Here is how. You dive down and see your lobster. Let’s say he is all alone and “easy” to catch. 6 seconds into your breath hold, you start to get weird and instead of gently working the lobster out, you start whacking at it and it goes deep, deep into his hole. Game over, no lobster for you. If you can’t comfortably hold your breath for 30 seconds and repeat that 50 times, lobstering may not be for you. There are a few ways around this obstacle, but I believe nearly anybody can hold their breath for 30 seconds under nearly any circumstance. If you can’t it is because you have serious health problems, do not like the feeling of holding your breath or do not want to. I need my customers to have a 30 second breath hold throughout the trip. That is how the job gets done. When I am told you have a good breath hold on the phone and you show up with a 6 second breath hold….we’re both screwed!
Here’s the real homework…what are you doing down there? Keep in mind that I am on the boat and you are in the water. I know what the activity looks like and what you need to be doing. Do NOT swim to the marker buoy, stop and look at me like you are lost or it is time for me to put lobster in your pockets. Do NOT dive 4 feet down and pop up 6 seconds later and tell me there is nothing in the hole. Noooooooooo……..This is an earned activity. Pretend you are starving and your life depends on catching lobster. That’s your motivation!! A little extreme, yes, or you can watch ONE HOUR of “How to Catch Lobster” videos on YouTube. Just click on the big YouTube logo on my page and you can watch a handful of mine. Scroll through to find the lobstering videos. This is a critical visual aide to prepare you for exactly what you will be doing. Watch very closely the dive technique, how to approach a hole, how to move short lobster out of the way, how to catch the keepers, how to measure, how to work together, what the holes look like, how not to “dust” the hole and so on. You should be holding your breath when you watch, but keep in mind you are sitting down and not moderately exercising as you will be doing. This is a process with much technique to it. This is more technique than skill, so pay attention.
In summary, I spend a lot of time setting up for your trip and a system is in place for you to have a successful day with me. When we stay on the system we are good and things flow in the right direction. When I have to change the system to fit my customer’s unique issues, then we are off program and are in compromise mode. Lack of preparation by my customers always leads us to compromise mode. They both work, but one works better than the other! These trips are built around you. If you have restrictions, I can find a way to make it work. Just don’t put me in a bad position because you forgot to mention that you have a blown knee, severe asthma, blown ear drums or have a 6 second breath hold. These are things that have actually happened!!! Lobstering is not for everybody. When I am prepared for you and you are prepared for me, lobster are in big trouble!! When booking a lobstering trip, please ask lots of questions or provide me with good information about your group. It all helps in making your trip the best it can be!
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