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Old Gold: Bringing the Decathlon to ‘Tween Waters

IMG_8682I blame Ashton Eaton. My television. And my parents.

After all, if not for the now two-time Olympic decathlon champion and his late-summer omnipresence on NBC, I’d have never come up with the silly idea. And had it not been for Bernard and Alice Fitzsimmons welcoming me to the world in March 1969, I’d not have been so old by the time it arrived.

Nevertheless, thanks in part to all of them, the testosterone die was cast.

Fueled by Eaton and the other nightly images of competition from Brazil’s coastline on the south Atlantic Ocean, I decided to pursue my own brand of Summer Games glory during a recent jaunt to the Tween Waters Inn – roughly 4,300 miles north of Maracana Stadium.

My personalized five-ringed gauntlet included 10 events that’d take me across and around the resort over just more than 24 hours, and incorporate as many different endeavors as my middle-aged body would allow without outright collapse.

The sweltering Sunday portion included a trip to the fitness center for a 30-minute workout, followed by a hardcourt set on the nearby tennis courts, a quick sidestep for a game of shuffleboard, a trip across Captiva Drive for a Gulf water surfboard relay and a trek back to the marina to depart on a kayaking dash around the mangroves.

It was challenging. It was invigorating. It was exhausting.

And to suggest I had a restful sleep – from roughly 8 p.m. straight though until 7 the next morning, in fact – would be an understatement of gold-medalist proportions.

But, alas, there was still a day’s worth of “work” to be done.

Russ TWIAnd while the Monday follow-up was certainly less strenuous, it was by no means less busy.

It began with a 15-mile rental round trip bike ride from the resort to the Sanibel School and a one-hour dockside fishing pole respite upon return.

As for those results, suffice it to say I remind exactly no one of Greg LeMond or Jimmy Houston.

Regardless, a 50-minute deep tissue massage at The Spa as event No. 8 provided ideal therapy for tired muscles nearing their collective half-century mark, and a penultimate sunset walk with the wife, son and pup blended nicely into a Crab Races at the Crow’s Nest finale – where, ironically, the extent of my exertion was exhorting a crustacean who looked as if it’d been through a weekend similar to mine.

Though the untimely slow-shelled tardiness cost me a few bucks, I was in no shape to criticize.

And when the Tokyo Games come on the tube in four years, I’ll make sure and switch to PBS.


One fish, two fish … catch some, we wish

photo 1 (1)Ask any world-class athlete – LeBron James comes immediately to mind – and he or she will tell you it’s all about the hardware. Problem is, I’m not a close friend of LeBron James.

Or any other world-class athletes, for that matter.

So with neither the Cleveland hoops deity nor any of his high-tax bracket peeps as backup, it was left solely to my 8-year-old son – Ryan – and I to pursue a trophy that would instantly elevate our family to mandatory financial advisor status.

In this case, that meant either the “Most Caught” or “Biggest Caught” prizes at the annual Tween Waters Inn family fishing tournament, which took place earlier this month in the waters on both the gulf and bay sides of the resort.

OK, truth told, the perks of winning weren’t exactly life-changing in nature.

Rather than a vacation home in the Keys, it was a foot-high trophy with a generic nameplate.

Rather than a phone call from the president, it was a quick snapshot along resort GM Tony Lapi.

photo 3 (1)But it wasn’t a total loss. There was ice cream and popcorn.

And as it turns out, the few hours spent aimlessly tossing a line from a scalding splinter-laden dock while trying to keep live shrimp from boiling in a bucket has some benefits beyond economic ascension.

Though whatever critters were in the water decided to dine elsewhere – a total of 71 were caught, in fact, but none by us – the chance to simply sit with my boy without being interrupted by pesky fish yielded memories that’ll last at least until the next episode of American Ninja Warrior on NBC-2.

Or heck, maybe they’ll even go until Peter Busch’s hair moves on camera.

A 24-inch lady fish – the poor man’s tarpon – was the largest monster plucked during the competition, and a slew of consolation door prizes made winners of several others who’d had roughly the same luck with rod, reel and 20-pound test as me and my would-be Bill Dance.

I’m guessing the pelicans had a better go of it – minus the cookies & cream, of course.

And when next year’s event comes around, we’re casting from LeBron’s boat.


Getting fit for a pool-side escape

You’re on vacation.

So there’s a good chance you left your body-image issues at home.

IMG_8437But if a few minutes at the pool or beach still make you feel like a T-shirt swimmer adrift in a sea of six-packs, fear not.

The Tween Waters Inn has got you covered.

Just a quick flight of stairs and a couple right turns from the hot tub is a judgement-free Valhalla where even the least-toned visitor can take 30 minutes to eliminate whatever guilt lingers from that extra slice of Crow’s Nest key lime pie.

The guest fitness center at has all the bells and whistles of a full-size gym in a conveniently compact size.

Free weights? Got ’em.

Cabled machines? Check.

Treadmills and stair-climbers? Yep.

There are clean towels and cold water, too.

And if you find your motivation lagging, take a look outside.

Imagine yourself playing a sun-soaked five-setter on the tennis courts that sit just an overhead smash from the second-floor window, or turn to the right a bit and catch a glimpse of the action on the pool deck.

Or, if that doesn’t do it, bring along an 8-year-old.

IMG_8439My main man Ryan accompanied me while the lovely Danielle slept in for Mother’s Day, and it wasn’t long before I realized keeping up with a second-grader provides whatever impetus that stepping on a scale might miss.

A brief tutorial on gym etiquette quickly gave way to an alpha male power struggle, featuring a revved-up mini-me bent on meeting and exceeding whatever standards the old man tried to set.

Five minutes on the treadmill? I can go 10.

Twenty sit-ups on the inclined bench? Watch me do 30.

Forty pounds on the lat row? Think I’ll try 50.

It wasn’t long before I was seeking out the water cooler, and breathlessly suggesting to the little guy that it was high time we got back to the room to hang out with Mom on her special day.

All of a sudden, body-image issues are the least of my concerns.

And next time, T-shirt or not, I’m pretty sure I’m stopping at the hot tub.


Queasy Rider: The Open Seas (In 30 Minute Increments)

Upon first glance, it certainly seems inviting.

Go to any beach on any coastline and you’ll see them whipping through the whitecaps, usually at the direction of smiling, fit and tanned folks who appear to be having the times of their young lives.

And who among us — whether smiling, fit and tanned, or wincing, sore and pasty — wouldn’t want that that?

Dare I say… probably no one.

So with that as lofty motivation, I decided my adventurous Tween Waters mission for the month was to take the Jet Ski by the horns and get in on some of that “times of their young lives” action.

PittTurns out, though, that the first rule of Jet Ski Club is you do not refer to it as Jet Ski Club.

Thanks to the trademark lawyers at Kawasaki, that’s a no-no unless you’re planning to pilot one of their products.

Which, incidentally, are available for purchase in any number of places.

But for those more desirous of a vacation fling than a long-term finance, the acquisition of personal watercraft (yes, that’s the proper generic term) can best be handled barely a mile from resort property at YOLO Watersports on Andy Rosse Lane.

There, a fleet of WaveRunners — Yamaha’s proprietary label for the crotch rockets capable of up to 50 mph alongside dolphins, tarpon and whatever else that may sidle up — is available for rental in 30- and 60-minute increments.

Rentals run from $90 for the half-hour to $120 for a full — that’s per machine, not per person — and as many as three people can pile on, provided the combined weight doesn’t exceed 450 pounds and the driver is at least 16.

The ride area spans a mile-and-a-half along the coast and up to two miles offshore, and that’s aside from guided tours which take the bold and/or beautiful up to and around Cayo Costa before returning to home turf.

For the record, my wise-guy 8-year-old passenger likened my driving to that of “an old grandmother.”

FinsBut I’m not insulted. I prefer to think of it as not slow, but deliberate.

And in my defense, there were zero claims from anyone that I’d left a blinker on for 15 miles.

That said, I do see at least one advantage of burying the speedometer needle in the red.

If I’m going that fast and something resembling a shark fin zooms by, I’m pretty sure no one on land would hear me scream.

And as for the 8-year-old, he’s grounded until he’s old enough to drive himself.


Tools of blissfulness: Making the most of sandy souvenirs

A $5 postcard. A $10 shot glass.

A $20 stuffed alligator with a clever T-shirt slogan.

IMG_8115By the time Tween Waters guests return to hometown ports of call, there’s a 50/50 chance one or more have been stuffed in a suitcase to meet the souvenir mandate of cubicle mates and dog walkers.

But fear not, sworn enemies of kitschy gift shop convention… there is another option.

And as vacationer luck would have it, all it takes is a quick stroll across Captiva Drive.

Available on the beach – whether the forecast calls for snow, rain, heat or gloom of night – are raw materials for mementoes that’ll evoke your trip at every moment their glimpse is caught.

They’re shells of all shapes, sizes and colors. And rather than dropping cash on a bauble forgotten before the sand has left the laundry, even the least handy adventurer can turn them into something special.

I took the challenge alongside my bride of 10 years – the former Danielle McIntosh – who vowed it would take no more than 30 minutes to transform a keyboard jockey like me into a jewelry engineer.

IMG_8122We headed out on a Sunday with our ebullient near-8-year-old, who was more than ready to charge into the shallow surf with a trusty orange shovel before ultimately delivering the goods – a dozen-plus fragments of pen, conch and clam shells, among others, on which she’d help me work my, errr… magic.

I eventually chose the sliver of a Florida prickly cockle shell, and my lady put me to beach-chair work with the small sheaf of materials she plucked from her purse. A small pair of cutters snipped an arm’s length of aluminum wire, which was wrapped around the head of a pair of similarly-toted needle-nose pliers and twisted to create a small loop known as a bail – through which a necklace is strung.

From there, the remainder of the wire is wrapped around the shell at the whim of the artist. Following grooves and contours enhances the natural feel of the piece, while a quick twist with the pliers every now and then makes sure the wire will stay tightly adhered, keeping the shell securely stable.

IMG_8131The trailing end of the wire can be tucked underneath the existing wrap, or swirled into a curly-q, which delivers a final visual accent without overpowering the innate simplicity. I chose the latter option, though I’ll concede now it was as much to divert attention from the mess as to provide a final touch.

Let’s not kid anyone, mine wound up as much jumble as masterpiece.

But because there are no wrong answers in art class, a victory was nevertheless claimed.

The wife signed off on the finished product without so much as a cringe, which for a moment made me think I might give it another go. Sanity quickly prevailed, though, so I took the symbolic $30 I’d saved on knick-knacks and headed back across the street to treat her to a latte at Tween’s Beans.

It’s no bag full of shark’s teeth. But I’ve never been much for seafood anyway.


Python Challenge accepted: A quest for snake-wrangling glory

For one reason or another, it seems that a surprisingly large number of Floridians thought owning a pet snake was a good idea – right up until the moment they threw it into the canal at the end of their street.

Now, the state says that there could be as many as 150,000 invasive species of python living in our sun-drenched backyard, killing and eating things that rightfully should be killed and eaten by card-carrying American snakes. The situation is so dire, in fact, that sightings of raccoons, rabbits and other animals are down as much as 99 percent in places where pythons are known to reside.

IMG_7972And so, in its infinite wisdom, said state has created the 2016 Python Challenge to encourage overmatched but adventurous people like yours truly to go out with guns and knives to “humanely dispatch” pythons for cash and prizes. Pythons, incidentally, can grow to more than 20 feet and have been known to nosh deer and alligators whole.

All it takes is $25 and a dream. And seeing how I failed to hit Powerball, I figured what the heck.

Once the paperwork – in the form of a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission-sanctioned online training module and a passing grade of 100 on a 15-question multiple-choice test – was handled from the comfort of my kitchen table, it was time to gear up for my quest.

A baseball bat and some brass knuckles appealed to my New York sensibilities, but I ended up choosing a machete and a 7-iron – both capable of wicked slices.

Incidentally, for those thinking The Island Store is a one-stop shop for all things machete, think again.

It turns out that tools of killing are in stock neither there nor Periwinkle Place on Sanibel, so I had to go ahead and borrow a machete from my neighbor (Mental note: Don’t fool with the neighbor) before I packed a lunch, charged the iPhone and ventured out to make our fair region safe for the opossum.

IMG_7974My plan was to find roads not taken and trails not followed that would yield pits of the slithering insurgents. But when I lost cell service about 500 feet past the causeway, I thought “This is madness.”

Still, seeing as how I’d packed the lunch and the 7-iron, I pressed on.

The question quickly became, though, to where? Drive too far and I’d risk a washout during high tide at Point Ybel. Not far enough and the night-side bartender at the Crow’s Nest wouldn’t take me seriously.

Ultimately, given that it’s only a functional 15 miles from the accessible tip of Captiva to the base of the lighthouse on Sanibel, I chose what rookie typists once labeled the “hunt and peck” approach.

Wherever I saw overgrown grass and a lack of curious onlookers, I unsheathed my shiny Taylor Made, assumed an interlocking grip – right pinky between the left index and middle fingers – and channeled my inner Bear Grylls while visions of three- and four-figure payouts danced in my head.

The top solo hunter stands to rake in a cool $3,500 for volume, while the longest snake gets $1,000. The prizes drop to $750 for second place in both categories. Though, at last check, that’s still plenty for a massage, facial and pedicure at The Spa followed by a cool post-sunset nightcap at the Oasis Pool Bar.

IMG_7982The vision grew clearer as I prowled the paths adjacent to the Sanibel Fishing Pier, and it drew me into chest-high weeds and brush, a tool of death at the ready, slowly creeping my way toward greenery that looked moderately similar to the official FWC guide. And there it was, between five- and seven-feet long and about two inches thick. A beauty. Problem was, as I pulled back the lower branches with my beautifully crafted club, it suddenly occurred to me I’d forgotten to bring a bag to put it in. It was just going to have to lie on the front seat of the Kia.

And that’s precisely where it would have gone had it not turned out to be a palm frond that had seen better days. Twenty yards away, an ibis chuckled.

I trudged with slumped shoulders back toward a clearing until, steps from surrender, I decided to at least leave the mud-probing crustacean eater with a face-saving gesture. But as I turned to flip the salute I’d learned as a malevolent northern youngster, the recoil of a nearby branch landed first and not only sent me sprawling – but left me with a deep purple eye welt that’s still tender as I write this.

I checked the guidebook for advice and found none. Well played, Florida. Well played.


Kid’s beach decathlon provides early Dad test

Think you have some extra energy, dear vacationer?

Get yourself a 7-year-old.

Though I like to consider myself a (relatively) fit and (moderately) active 46-year-old, it took little more than a four-night stay at the Tween Waters Inn this month to illustrate the error of my ways.

To a youngster, it was a waterside audition for American Ninja Warrior.

To an oldster, it was a compelling reason to look at supplemental medical coverage.

Though the wife, son and I arrived on a late Saturday afternoon, any illusion that our first few resort hours would simply include a meal and a relaxing stroll until sunset were put to rest at the precise moment our wide-eyed Little Man realized what was directly across the street from our screened-in patio.

C'mon, Dad, you can't be tired already
C’mon, Dad, you can’t be tired already

To say the vantage point from our third-floor room in the Sea Grape building was idyllic would be an understatement. High enough to not be blocked by the trees, low enough to still hear the waves.

In a setting like that, the Gulf to me represents contemplative majesty.

But to him, it was a chance to dive headlong into the area’s saltiest playground.

We started with a knee-deep jaunt that evening – I noticed he was decidedly unmoved by my “sharks feed at dusk” advisory – then fell asleep to waves from an open patio door, before hitting the sand again the following morning for a decathlon of castle building, barefoot sprinting and shallow water snorkeling.

Thankfully, our only daytime contact with watery wildlife came without teeth, though not without terror. Without going into full therapy detail, my challenge is this: If you can be in waist-deep Gulf water, have your hand brush against something that you turn to see is large, gray and swimming – and you can do so without shrieking like a middle-school girl at a One Direction show – you’re a better man than I.

Manatee. Shark. It made no difference to my central nervous system.

American Ninja Resort Guest.
American Ninja Resort Guest.

A trip back across the street provided a chance for shade, sustenance and a slow return to resting parental heart rate in the resort hot tub, while Little Man dipped and dived in the main water alongside. But while the 100-plus degree waters slowly sapped my initiative to do anything but sleep, immersion in cooler water for him was far more catalyst than calming.

And so it went for what felt like each of the 96 hours.

We hit the finish line Wednesday morning with a rousing send-off to our temporary home, in the form of a jumping contest from bed to bed that had him testing out various landing contortions – belly flop, kneeling, on his behind – while my only wish was to clear the three-foot gap without prematurely compromising fatherly street cred.

He didn’t burst out laughing then and hasn’t subsequently shunned me in favor of an alternate male role model, so that’s good. There’s plenty for time for that between here and college.

But yeah, if I come across another sea cow on our next trip… all bets are off.


You Don’t Mess Around With Fishing Tournaments

Some lean on Deepak. Others tilt to Oprah.

But when I’m in need of fundamental life lessons, I point myself in another direction.

crabsToward the song stylings of early-1970s balladeer Jim Croce, who’s already taught me these gems:

  • You don’t tug on Superman’s cape;
  • You don’t spit into the wind;
  • You don’t pull the mask off an old Lone Ranger; and
  • You don’t mess around with Jim.

It’s sage advice. And it’s helped me get through 46 years relatively unscathed.

Nevertheless, after my most recent Tween Waters Inn jaunt, I’ve decided it’s time to add another:

  • You don’t enter a guy whose angling expertise is, well… suspect, into a family fishing tournament that’s chock full of competitors who actually might know what they’re doing.

OK, so it doesn’t roll off the tongue as smoothly as Jim’s stuff, which is probably why he had a platinum album and two No. 1 singles, and my singing career never advanced past my shower or steering wheel.

IMG_0352Still, after the four-hour Friday morning waterside shindig, my lyric-smithing was no less accurate.

I arrived on property with the wife (Danielle) and son (Ryan) the night before and properly prepped with a meal at the Crow’s Nest Beach Bar & Grille, where not only was the food great – but a successful run at the Captiva Crab Races allowed us to sock a few bucks into the 7-year-old’s college fund.

Not to mention acquiring the gold-tinted kazoo that kept neighboring guests, and us, awake far beyond sundown.

Anyway, the subsequent sunrise brought me bleary-eyed to the resort marina, where super-helpful maritime guru Sam properly re-rigged my amateur hour Ugly Stik, and sold me both a bucket and enough live shrimp to get us through dozens of fruitless casts into the pristine waters.

Competitors were allowed to pursue fish on both the bay and gulf sides of the resort, so, after checking in with tournament record-keeper Stephen – a 6-foot-6, 250-pound alumnus of the University of Miami football program – the boy and I found a cozy, uninhabited spot on the dock to try our luck.

As it turned out, we were pretty lucky… or sort of.

To both Ryan’s and my amazement, our very first cast yielded action.

The tip of the pole plunged, and, after a 30-second struggle that only felt like a day-and-a-half, we cranked in a prize that was sure to get us to the top of the leaderboard. We hurried to Stephen to record it for posterity – not to mention bragging rights – but were crestfallen to hear a three-word phrase that ranks right up there with “Let’s be friends,” “Get lost, creep” and “Call your lawyer”:

“Catfish,” he said gravely, “don’t count.”

IMG_0358But it wasn’t quite over for us.

An afternoon ice cream social celebrated the eventual tournament winners – all of whom plucked their prizes from the gulf, incidentally, rather than the bay – and while neither Ryan nor I got our names on the plaque in the resort lobby, we’ll surely spend the next 12 months spinning tales of Loch Ness Monster-sized catfish to anyone who hasn’t read this.

Oh, and as for you fish… we’ll see ya around.

P.S. – Next year we’re bringing radar.


Straight Outta Putt-Putt: 18 Holes of Golf Reality

I go to bed each night knowing my son thinks I’m the world’s best golfer.

Of course, I should say here that my son is only 7 years old.

And he’s never seen me play a course without a windmill or a clown’s mouth.

But while a lot of guys would be perfectly happy living the rests of their lives without spoiling such a mirage, I decided to go do something stupid – which, in my case, meant searching for a little more length.

Golf 2As it turned out, the Sanibel Island Golf Club provided precisely what a credibility-seeking adventurer was seeking. The scenic, lush 18-hole layout is a tick more than 12 miles from the ’Tween Waters Inn’s front door, residing just a stiffly struck 3-iron off Sanibel’s main drag at 1100 Par View Drive.

The spread plays a shade past 6,000 yards from the blue tees and a smidge less than 5,500 from the whites. Not surprisingly, given the fact that my game has gone exceedingly short since 2008, playing pal Michael Korb and I chose the latter option for a recent Saturday morning excursion.

Non-member weekend gatherings of one to four players can tee off for 18 holes as early as 7:30 a.m. and as late as 5 p.m., with regular costs ranging from $35 to $46 and specials bringing the bill a bit nearer to $30.

But while we were quite happy to get under way for less than a C-note, it wasn’t long before the glee turned to something else. After a 374-yard first hole that rewards unspectacular length so long as it stays straight, the second ratchets up the difficulty with water on both sides on the way to a diabolical 90-degree left turn in the fairway and a green that’s 18 feet smaller than its predecessor from side to side.

A dead straight 144-yard par-3 provides another faith-saving respite on No. 3 (the course’s easiest hole, according to handicap charts), but by the time we’d played the subsequent four holes – the sixth-, fourth-, 16th- and second-hardest by handicap – any lingering self-assurance had been firmly supplanted by timidity.

Water from nearly tee to green doesn’t help the nerves on either the eighth or ninth, and though the 10th is bone dry, it’s got just enough trees and green-side bunkers to keep the jitters close. A watery right-side dogleg is the main feature on 11, too, while 12 and 13 return to dead straight and 14 includes only a slight turn from right to left.

Golf 3The 15th plays 408 yards from the whites and is the facility’s most challenging hole according to handicap, thanks to a fairway bunker in play off the tee and the lovely (albeit inconvenient) presence of the Sanibel River down the entire right-side length. Two more bunkers guard the front sides of a rolling green that’s 29 yards from front to back.

The par-3 16th includes more water down the right side and bunkers that’ll snare shots both short of and over the green, while the par-4 17th requires an accurate tee shot over water and the homeward-bound 18th is a straight-on par-5 – albeit with a wickedly narrow fairway landing area and still more water ready to gobble up approach shots that meander too far from the short grass.

If the fiscal success of a round is measured by per-stroke cost, I came out well in the black. But, truth told, by the time our sojourn was done I’d have given my bag for a free-game hole.

And if it’s all the same to you, we can agree that my son is too young to hear any of it.

NOTE: Receive a 10-percent discount when you show your TWI keycard. Call ahead for a tee time at 239-472-2626.


Chute to Thrill: Conquering the Gulf from the Friendly Skies

Ever think that you knew in advance precisely what an experience would be like, only to actually go through it and find out you weren’t nearly as informed as you’d thought you’d been?

Never? Really?

OK, well… me neither. But this friend of mind sure has (we’ll call him Kyle Fitzgibbons for the sake of identification here) and he was nice enough to tell me all about it.

It’s a heck of a coincidence, but it seems ol’ Kyle happens to have a gig as an outdoor adventure writer in his own neck of the woods, too. His idea for this month’s death-defying blog endeavor was to hop aboard a boat, settle into a seat, buckle up safety belts and take to the skies as a first-time parasailer. And for convenience’s sake, he decided to set out from the ‘Tween Waters Inn to do so.

Greetings from the flight deck.
Greetings from the flight deck.

Because Kyle had both been on a boat and jumped out of an airplane, he was certain he already knew all there was to know. And right up until the moment the experience began, he might have been right.

From there, though, let’s face it… he didn’t have a clue.

(Truth told, Kyle’s kind of a know-it-all and we’re really not that close. But I digress.)

Anyway, his unexpected education began when he and his ratty Teva sandals waded a few feet into the Gulf waters to hop aboard the YOLO Watersports boat from which his airborne excursion would begin.

From there, class was most definitely in session.

Lesson No. 1. Rather than starting in the water and waiting for the boat to reach a speed enabling the parachute – and its passengers – to actually take flight, the process actually started from the rear of the craft with the parachute tethered to the boat by a line capable of handling 6,000 pounds of tension.

Lesson No. 2. Though I, errr… Kyle, expected the flight to be bone-rattling and turbulence-filled from start to finish, the aforementioned high-tension line – not to mention the smarts of the crew – gets the passenger cargo up to 800 feet for a tranquil 12-minute ride with nary an airsick bag in sight.

Lesson No. 3. While a novice might be alarmed by looking down to the water and seeing sharp-toothed critters within relatively close proximity of swimmers, the prevailing thoughts of the grizzled airborne set lie comfortably between “better them than me” and “if it ain’t flying, I’m not dying.”

Your scheduled departure gate.
Your scheduled departure gate.

Upon landing, the disembarking process is just as simple as the load-in. Dislodge the harness, stand up from your seat, grab hold of your carry-ons and head leisurely back toward the beach.

Though if there’d been a stopwatch on his wade back to shore … ol’ Kyle might be an Olympian.

NOTE: YOLO Watersports flights are $89 each for an individual, or $79 apiece for a maximum of three passengers. Minimum weight per flight is 150 pounds; Maximum weight is 450 pounds. A picture package of 50 to 80 high-definition photos is $39. YOLO, incidentally, is at 11534 Andy Rosse Lane on Captiva — a four-minute car ride, a six-minute bike ride or a 22-minute walk from the ‘Tween Waters Inn.