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Key West And Hurricane Wilma

Report Date: December 2, 2005

Greeting from Key West, Florida. The Captains log, star date. December 2nd, 2005. I have survived this year?s hurricane season. Hurricane Wilma however, did rock our world in the lower Keys. We had on average a four to six foot storm surge. As luck would have it, this hurricane came on the date which we would have the largest high tide for the month of October.

My boats where on the trailers under the carport, the hurricane shutters where shut and the truck was parked in a neighbors carport all of this in preparation for Wilma. While my favorite partner and my love, myself Stephanie had to report to Florida International University, as this is the Monroe County hurricane shelter. Stephanie is a R.N for the Florida Health Department. So I took my chance in the LaQuinta Hotel in south Miami, while Stephanie did her shelter duty. With the Dog, and the lizard and my guitar I sat in this hotel room and weathered the storm. Watching the fascia boards rip from the hotel roof and land on the cars parked below with each gust of 100mph or better wind, I kept saying: there is no place like home, there is no place like home. Not fun, nor was Stephanie time any better in the hurricane Shelter which of course lost power, and had issue with the back up generator. God bless those women for working a hurricane shelter. It is not and easy job. We sat at the top of U.S. 1 Over Seas Highway for hours or maybe a day waiting to get back down to Key West. Many sections of U.S. 1 where washed out and or over with sand and debris. So finally we made it back down the Keys, and back to the ranch. My boat where now tied to Coconut trees in front of my house. Upon arrival home a neighbor greeted me and said my boats (boat and trailer) had been lifted up with the surge and where heading down the street toward the canal, to go for a swim. Daringly he waded out to retrieve my boats and tied them to Coconut trees. These are the kind of neighbors every one needs. So I know the boats where fine, however, the truck was filled with ocean water. The highest watermark on the truck was just below the door handles and the whole center console was filled with salt water. The living area of my house thank the lord was fine as we are elevated. However, I still don?t know where my fly tying station went. My fly tying vice gone, power tools, rods, reels, lot of tackle gone, thanks to the lovely salt-water bath we encountered. My whole work area and storage sheds under the house were wiped out. My workbench was down the street in front of my neighbors. Anyhow this kind of shit is depressing so that?s enough about the Hurricane.

I did just get my DSL service restored, so I am buck up online. Sorry that there has been a long gap for fishing reports, and that is why.

The fishing is pretty good right now. The day after Turkey day was amazing. Permit everywhere. Big tailing Permit all over the flats. For that matter there where lots of Barracuda, Shark, Permit and I even say a few Bonefish on this day. But over all the fishing is been pretty good all this weather and season change considered. We are still dealing with a few water clarity issues on the Gulf side flats, as the Gulf of Mexico has been stirred up quite a bit this year.

I?ve been fishing on average of 4 or 5 days each week and coming up with some good Barracuda shot, mixed in with great Permit opportunities and a few Tarpon shot amidst this all. The big Jack Crevaille and schools of Ladyfish and Trout are showing up in the Mud?s out back. So this provide great actions and another chance to catch lots of fish down here in Key West. Over all I am quite pleased with the fishing.

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Capt. Lenny Leonard
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