I am writing this blog on behalf of Derek Rust, Jason Fernandez and myself. Sorry for the amount of pics and bad grammar. This past weekend was nothing short of spectacular, from the events that took place and to the unforgettable memories. It all started friday night as I was sipping my water, which “Lared” probably spit in, at a local spot in Miami. I called Captain Derek Rust to see if he wanted to fish this weekend since he hadn’t casted a rod in over 2 months. I never ever hesitate when it comes to fishing, but the weather looked like complete crap with winds up to 20 knots. I almost didn’t feel like going but Derek mention that it was suppose to be really sunny. I asked Jason Fernandez (PK) who was sitting next to me chowing down a Sausage Sandwich, his favorite, to see if he wanted to come down and fish the Keys with Derek and myself. He didn’t know if he had work the next day but still decided to tag along with me. The Alarm went off at 0400 hours the following morning, timing was everything today. Jason pulled up to my gate, we got the rods and stuff in my truck and headed out for an adventure. Two hours later we were greeted by Derek who was getting his skiff ready in his new beautiful home. First thing I said to him was “This is the dumbest decision to fish on a day like this.” We went upstairs for a tour of his new house as “Chowda Dog” was happy to see us at the front door. We were in no hurry today as it was blowing 20 knots and completely cloudy. We slowly rolled out the house to get some gas and food, for our day on the water. Faces full of discouragement at the marina, with sounds of crashing waves and cold winter air. 9 am , we launched regardless and hoped for the best. On the way out PK had seen a Sailboat doing some serious speed off in the distance as we made our way out the marina. We rode to the first flat to fish for a little while. We had seen some good life on the flat with Rays, Cudas, and Sharks swimming around but not what we were looking for. Something told us that we should move out of the area. We didn’t stay long, so we headed west. With no other boats in sight PK and Derek spotted something on the water, as we got closer it was some guy in the freezing cold water. Really far from the shore Derek knew this guy needed help. We quickly rushed his way and asked him what was going on? Holding 3 waterproof bags, he told us he had flipped his Hobie Sailcat and had been in the water over an hour. Without hesitation we got him on the boat and met Jake, a Civil Engineer from North Carolina, who was sailing from Key Largo to Key West.
We offered Jake some warm clothing and he kept on saying that he was alright, not sure if he was in shock at the time. We knew he wasn’t good as he was shaking and the hair on his arm was sticking straight up as if we had gotten shocked with a thousand volts of electricity. Hypothermia was possibility due to the fact that it was so cold and he had been in the water for a while. We asked where his Sail-cat was at and pointed down about 1 or 2 miles down from where we had found jake. We Jetted to Hawks Cay Resort to get him some help and hot shower. On our way, I couldn’t even complain of how cold I was, because I couldn’t Imagine how Jake felt.
Once at the Marina, Derek rushed and brought the truck over to get Jake in to the Resort Spa for a Hot Shower. The Staff was very courteous and got Jake settled.I couldn’t believe how brave and positive Jake was about this whole situation. Even with the freezing situation he managed to smile at the camera because he knew he was going to be alright.
Derek had asked Jake if he wanted us to Salvage the boat back to the Marina? Jake replied “No, that the Sail Cat was only couple of hundred of dollars and I am just glad you guys rescued me.” Derek did not take no for an answer, we jumped in Derek’s roommate Mike’s Charter boat that was at the marina and decided to look for the Sail-cat.
Since we were in the bigger boat we were going over 50 Mph looking for Jakes Sail-cat. Miles down the coast we finally saw it and headed straight to it. Once at the location we had to figure out how the hell we were gonna flip this thing over.
We tied some Ropes around it and hope that we can flip it sideways without having the sail mass fall on us. Luckily everything turned out fine! Check out the video below to see how we were able to flip it.
As we were pulling up we can see Jake at the Dock with the biggest smile knowing that he was out of danger and his Sailcat was in safe hands. With clouds covering the Keys the entire morning, the moment we parked the Bay boat the Sun came out and everyone was happy. It was definitely God’s way of saying Thank You for the good deed.Jake Reunited with his Sailcat.
Back at the Dock we talked to Jake about how the Cat had flipped and how everything happen. What a coincidence the same Sailcat PK had seen that same morning was in fact Jake. It was a Miracle that we had ran into him the water because there were no other boats out that morning.
We were done around One in the afternoon, by this time we were pretty hungry and had lunch at the Marina and decide if we were gonna head out and fish. With full bellys and bread crumbs on our beards we knew God had given us the opportunity to fish because the Sky went from Crappy Clouds to Blue Bird in a matter of minutes. Karma was on our side for sure so we got back on the skiff and headed to the fishing grounds.
Bumpy ride in the wind and finally it was time to fish, I poled for a bit and the flat looked really alive, Derek said “Bonefish 2 o’clock spin the boat” I quickly did, he took the first shot and didn’t work then made a “Hail Mary’ in this heavy wind and it was FISH ON!!!!! I was screaming “Thank you Jake!!!” PK Couldn’t believe it and was giving Derek pats in the back as the fish was melted line off the reel.
High fives all around the boat and we were so happy to have actually caught a fish in this Cold Weather during Winter. It was time for Pk to get up on the bow and the spirits were high. Not even 10 minutes go by and PK spotted a shadow cruising slowly on the bottom. He told Derek to look and it was a bonefish. PK Made the first cast and the fish wanted to eat but didn’t find the fly. Second cast and without thinking about it twice the bone gulped on PK’s Fly!!!
We were in complete shock that we had gotten another bone to the Boat! We were so Happy and Blessed with the opportunities that God had given us. Once again high-fives and hugs were a must on the skiff.
Now it was my turn to catch a fish, unfortunately we didn’t get shots after that other than a couple of Boxfish. The sun was going down and the wind was picking up. We headed back into with rough seas and couldn’t stop thinking about eating Churrasco aka Skirt Steak at Derek’s house that night. Derek washed and flushed the boat and headed to the Super Market to get stuff for the cookout.
After the butcher got our fresh meat in a fastly manner at the Super Market we headed to Derek’s house for a cookout.We got appetized with some chips and sauce that Derek had made for us. PK made his “World Famous” Chimichurri Sauce.
I want to thank Derek for taking us out on his boat and always welcoming into his house as if it were our own. I can’t explain how life works out and how little events lead up to running into Jake that morning. It was truly fate in the wind. What an amazing day, start to finish that I will never forget…….. The best part was helping Jake out. CHEERS!!