Showing posts with label Adventure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adventure. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Voyager Deep-sea Fishing Disaster - Must Read!

No trip to the coast is complete without a party boat deep-sea fishing trip. If you have never been deep-sea fishing or if you have a trip planned, I highly recommend Deep-sea Fishing Tips for Beginners. You will find some helpful tips to save you time, money, and frustration.

While searching the various options for deep-sea fishing charters in the North Myrtle Beach area, I came across Voyager Deep-sea Fishingand Dolphin Cruises located in North Myrtle Beach. The website is very well designed and it offers good information about what to expect on your trip. Unfortunately, this is where the good ends. If you read to the end, you will see that this trip gets progressively worse.

I knew that the crew did not expect a big day when I saw that they only had two
Dollar-Tree-sized laundry baskets and slightly more ice than large McDonald's Coke!

Voyager is located at Dock Holiday’s Marina, which is further inland than some of the other fishing charters. I knew this when I booked the trip but I figured the cruise out to sea would be a nice addition for my son. Turns out that I was right, the trip out to sea was nice, but it does cut into your fishing time. Round trip, you will probably lose a total of an hour.

The Captain of the Voyager was friendly and his methods were different from what I had previously experienced. I am far from a boating or deep-sea fishing expert but it seemed like he spent too much time in one fishing spot. Our first stop produced very few fish; the fish we did catch were too small to keep. We played catch and release for what seemed like an eternity before moving to the second and final stop.

The best part of this trip ended up being the cruise down
the Intercoastal Waterway that leads out to sea.

Here we came across a school of small black sea bass; most were around ten inches and had to be released. I happened to reel in the only keeper that was just over the thirteen-inch mark. It was at this stop that I also caught a 14” Chocolate Chip Porgy. The Porgy ended up winning the fish pool for the biggest fish. I hate to boast, but this is the second year in a row that we have won the fish pool. Last year my wife won with an Atlantic Sharpnose shark! The deckhands made their way around the boat with a bucket to collect tips while we headed back to the marina. When we returned, we were given our fish. Sadly, the majority of the passengers had no fish to show for their day at sea.

This is where the first mate let his true colors come out. This is also where I determined that I would choose a different deep-sea fishing charter on our next visit to North Myrtle Beach. When entering the fish pool, my family of three were the last names added to the list. I also paid for my son just in case he landed a whale. I later spoke with one of the deck-hands and he let me know that there were approximately 30 names on the list. Thirty passengers who pay $5 each would create a jackpot of around $150. But at the conclusion of our trip, the first mate handed me $65 and walked away. When I asked about the difference, he told me that the crew keeps a third to split between them, I still should have gotten $100.

I was going to leave it alone at this point. I just wanted it known that, unlike the first mate, I can do simple math. However, on the heels of lying to me about the fish pool, he offers to clean the few fish we caught for $15. The website that I mentioned earlier clearly says that they clean fish for their guest at a rate of .50 per pound. Pardon the expression, but there is no way in hell I had 30 lbs. of fish. 


Beware!! This guy simply can't resist trying to rip off the passengers!
You will know him, because he is the only deckhand that goes shirtless. Very unprofessional.  

When I told him that I would take my fish elsewhere to be cleaned, he got defensive. He began to rant about how little the deckhands are paid and then he pulled some small bills out of his pockets and tossed them in my cooler. All of this went on in front of my son. I am thankful that my wife decided to head to the car. I refused to take any of his money. I simply said, “You don’t owe me anything, I just want my fish.”

On the way out, I briefly spoke to the owner. I posed the question of how much the crew takes of the fish pool. The owner, who was a nice guy, said that they usually take a twenty-percent cut to split between the crew on top of the tip to which most of the passengers contributed. When I told him the cliff-notes version of what had just taken place, he shook his head in frustration and offered to get the rest of my money. Instead of waiting for the line of passengers to board, I refused the money. I told him that it was not about the money, but I do not like to be lied to, stolen from, or to be treated with complete disrespect.

On our next trip to North Myrtle Beach, I plan to book our deep-sea fishing excursion with Little River Fishing Fleet. On our previous trip with them, we caught more fish and had more fun. Read the full review by clicking the link above.  


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Gran Maze of Coconut Creek, Panama City Beach, Florida


The Gran Maze of Coconut Creek was the first maze adventure for our family. I originally had low expectations of the maze, walking through a maze was not my idea of a fun time. As it turns out, I was wrong, my family and I had a lot of fun. That said, the entertainment value was on par with my original expectations. I know that it may sound like an oxymoron to say that something is fun but not entertaining, but this is the case with the Gran Maze. I think this could be improved by adding some themed d├ęcor throughout the maze. If nothing else, it would be an opportunity to stop for a selfie or a family photo.
 

The object of the maze is to find your way to four points located in the center. All four points are connected to form one football-field-sized maze. Once at each point, you punch your card to show that you have completed the maze. My family of three, who depends deeply on Google maps for navigation, finished in around 30 minutes. The leader board that is located just outside the maze, displayed times as low as 15 minutes. Honestly, it is hard to believe that the course could be completed in 15 minutes without being extremely lucky or by cheating.

The maze at coconut creek provided a fun way to stretch our legs and to log a few steps in our Fitbit’s. Our first maze was a learning experience. I am sure we will seek out this type of adventure more often going forward. With a little practice, we may even shave a few minutes off our time.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Harbor View Golf, North Myrtle Beach

Whether you are looking for a driving range, a par-3 golf course, foot-golf, or putt-putt, you will find it all at Harbor View Golf, in North Myrtle Beach.

I played this Par-3 course with my wife, who had never played, and my 7-year-old son. We visited during the off-season and it rained most of the week. This left the entire course soaked and the greens extra shaggy. I assume that the greens would be in better condition during prime season. That said, on this occasion the slow greens were a plus. They were just right for my wife and son to enjoy.

This tee shot landed hard on the green, it was a very wet day.

Many of the greens are on the small side. Since we were scrambling, we were able to hit many of the greens in regulation. In the unfortunate event that we did not, we allowed my son to use his foot-wedge. We were out there to have fun, not to beat ourselves up over missing a green by two feet.

Many of the fairways at Harbor View are wide open,
a great golf course for the family.

I have seen other reviews of Harbor View that say it is overpriced. I disagree, 18 holes of golf and a golf cart cost the three of us $80. I felt that this course offered a lot of value at this price.

If you are looking for a pristine par-three course, Harbor View may not be for you. However, high-end golf courses do not usually offer foot-golf for the kids. This Par-3 golf course is great for a day trip with your family or an easy day of working on your short game.



     

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Little River Deep-sea Fishing, North Myrtle Beach, Best Deep-sea Fishing


Unforgettable Experience!


We showed up at Calabash Marina on the morning of our deep-sea fishing trip. They asked that we arrive 30 minutes early so breakfast came from a drive-thru on that morning. The check-in process was flawless and it only took a few minutes to get us checked in. Once checked in, we boarded the Hurricane II where we were greeted by one of the crew members. He recognized that we had a young fisherman with us so he offered us a spot in his section of the boat. He assured us that he would help my son out as needed, which was nice because I was trying to figure things out for myself. Since this was our first deep-sea fishing excursion, we opted for the half-day trip. The captain did a great job, he kept us on fish all morning and we moved to a new location each time it slowed down.

Calabash Marina, NC
Coastal Morning View

The deckhands were knowledgeable, they were able to identify many of the different fish species that were caught. They were quick to assist with removing fish, adding bait, and fixing tangles as needed. On top of all this they were fun to hang out with, and they really made this a memorable. 

My wife ended up catching the largest fish of the morning; she managed to reel in a Sharp Nose shark that was just under 4ft in length. When we returned to the dock one of the deckhands cleaned our keepers. They do not charge for this service, but keep in mind that they do accept tips. We gave some of our fish away to other passengers and we still ended up with plenty of fish for lunch. When all was said and done, we able to take a couple of pounds of shark and Grunt fish over to Crabcatchers restaurant, in Little River, NC. I can't say that I had ever had shark, it was very good, but I enjoyed the Grunt more.

Sharp-nose Shark

Everything about Little River Fishing Fleet is top-notch. They provided my family with a unique deep-sea fishing experience that we will never forget. If you have never been deep-sea fishing, I highly recommend going. If you are in North Myrtle, I highly recommend Little River Fishing fleet.


I have compiled a list of things that I learned from my first deep-sea fishing excursion. Take a minute to read Deep-sea Fishing Tips for Beginners.