17 Jul 2020
Last week we took you inside The Spa at Silver Shells, and this week we’re taking you aboard Navigator! Keep reading for one of our marketing member’s firsthand experience fishing for the first time.
The sun was just starting to peek over the horizon when we arrived at Harbor Docks for our fishing charter aboard Navigator. Even though it’s summer, I was a bit cold. I couldn’t tell if my goosebumps were from the morning chill or my excitement to board the 50-foot Viking Convertible. I’ve never been fishing before, let alone on a luxury vessel out in the Gulf of Mexico, so I was eager but didn’t know what to expect.
As we launched from the dock, I could see the first light of the morning shining on the waves. It was truly beautiful, and a bit blinding if you didn’t have sunglasses. You could smell the salt on the ocean spray, hear the sea gulls crooning from the air, and feel the hope of seeing dolphins flutter in your stomach.
Taylor and Bill, the captain and first mate, let us ease into the trip to get our sea legs. They were so helpful throughout the charter. We were admiring the scenery of the open water and chatting amongst our group when Bill started to peruse the water nearby. He was checking if any fish were biting and explaining the process along the way. I never realized that there were technicalities for fishing, like how many fish you can keep or what fish are “in season” to catch. With all the instructions and helpful information about fish, the sea, and fishing in general, I feel almost equipped to do to it on my own now.
Strapping our harnesses on, I felt silly and even more unprepared. Why do we need harnesses around our waist to hold the fishing pole? I thought this as fish kept flirting with my line but never committing. It’s too hot and humid for a harness!
I lurched forward almost falling over the side of the boat. Oh, that’s why we need a harness. A few hours into our charter and a giant red snapper had just about knocked me off my feet. Back and forth, back and forth, I was determined to reel him in. Bill and another member of our group both helped me pull back on the pole. Finally, we heaved the snapper on deck. She was a beauty, and it would turn out the biggest catch that day! My smile was beaming from ear to ear. The first fishing trip I’d ever been on, and I caught the largest fish with a little help from my friends.
Taylor stood watch at the wheel giving us helpful tips while Bill took a more hands-on approach. He showed us how to hold the pole, how to cast, how to bait your line, how to untangle lines (oops!), and what to do after you catch the fish. Being coached by professional fishermen while being able to practice alongside them made all the difference for a day’s fishing charter.
When we caught all the fish we could, my group went inside Navigator and enjoyed the snacks, SiriusXM radio, and air conditioning. The view of the inside was almost as great as the view of the water. Inside Navigator is a luxury cabin with a sitting area, kitchen area, dining area, bunk rooms, and a nice bathroom. Everything was immaculate, too, and you could tell they take care of her inside and out. The weather started to look rough before we could decide if we wanted to go to Crab Island, so Taylor took us back to Harbor Docks. We asked if we could use the Bluetooth, and we jammed to our favorite songs the whole way back.
After docking, we were able to hang our fish and take pictures. We even got selfies with our catches. I wasn’t going to pass up that opportunity, especially with the largest catch! Our group watched as Bill and Taylor cleaned and cut our fish for us to take home. I’d never heard of or seen such care from a fishing charter. The small details like cleaning our fish, having a pristine interior and exterior, providing snacks and entertainment are all details that set Navigator apart from other fishing charters. Plus, Captain Taylor and First Mate Bill provide great instruction and company. Navigator fishing charters and private cruises are unlike any other, and it’s the best way to experience The World’s Luckiest Fishing Village!