When the staff of the Tropic Star Lodge tells you it is a fairly hard 35 minute walk/climb from the lodge, across the peninsula, to the white sand beach, believe it! And that is each way, NOT over and back! And if it has rained earlier in the day, which turns the clay soil into grease, it is even more difficult!
We all made it but found out we were not as fit as we would have liked! If one of us had slipped and been hurt, getting someone with even a minor injury like a twisted ankle or busted leg up, and then down ( down was even worse in the mud), would have been a real challenge. Our clothes were wringing wet with sweat from 100% humidity, hot weather and exertion, when we got back down to safety a drink of water and then a cold beer!
Tropic Star is a spot I have been recommending for decades after I had visited a few times several years ago. I first met Terri Kitteredge and her dad Conway when they visited Australia in 1982. Terri and her husband Mike run a great operation.
Before this trip, I had fished Piñas Bay on big U.S. boats owned by Jerry Dunaway and Jean Paul Richard, but had seen the lodge’s fleet of 31 Bertrams in action. I was also lucky enough to have stayed in the original owner’s private home, now part of the accommodation for guests, and referred to by one and all as “The Palace”.
There is a little cable car up the hill to the palace which we used for what we called a cocktail cruise as we had for a much needed shower at day’s end. Mostly, I walked it as it is just enough of a climb to make you breathe heavily, but always glad you did it —good cardio exercise and not TOO hard.
The efficiency of the crews, mechanics, and support staff, make this arguably the best run and most successful, charter fishing fleet anywhere. With over a dozen identical boats (31 Bertrams, a long established gold standard) fishing daily, there are always extras available and every essential spare part is on site.
The boat I was on caught a blue and a sail and lost another blue in 4 days fishing, reasonable action, but not great. Some of our boats had quite a bit more action and had multiple marlin days. The sun does not shine on the same dog’s back every day.
There were good luck and bad luck tales every night over a choice of tasty Piña Coladas, rum drinks or beer before we retired to our luxurious accommodations to shower and get ready for dinner.
It seemed to me that communications between crew and anglers, in both English and Spanish, were not as good as they could have been due to a reluctance of both the local crews and our team to TRY to speak in an unfamiliar language. The better Spanish speaking students translated when necessary and after a couple of days both sides found out the reluctance to attempt to speak together were not necessary and basic communications improved.
When traveling, do not be embarrassed, go ahead and try to communicate. Often, both sides know some words, enough to communicate. Things like “weight “ for more drag, and is NOT “wait”, and let him eat it, got resolved over time.
We came home and I retrieved the computer I had left in the TSA screening area in Miami. What a relief that was!! I had failed to back up files on my new computer and the idea of losing all those magazine articles made me decide to get a new flash drive ASAP!
When I got home, I helped coach some brand new members of the “Young Guns at Quail Creek”, the local scholastic shooting team. Some of the youngsters who started shooting less than a couple of years ago are already winning, not only in junior class, but even winning state championships as High Over All – beating everyone including all the adults and the instructors who got them started.
My hat is off to the entire crew of kids, instructors, parents, owners and staff of Quail Creek Plantation. GREAT JOB!! I really enjoy teaching young people to both fish and to shoot. It is very gratifying to give back some of what I was given when I was a kid! Also, ethical fishing and hunting are the strongest forces for real conservation of our game fish and game animals.
Good fishing wherever you are.
For a complete list of our other featured blog posts and to see the full line of Guy Harvey Sportswear, please visit: www.guyharveysportswear.com
- Cayman New Buoys Win Tropic Star Tournament
- Marine Conservation Update
- Yellowfin Tuna Tagging in Panama
- Guy Harvey’s Marlin a Month / March 2010