Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley
Sponsored by: MercuryMarine; Air Ranger Airboats; Haynie Bay Boats; Baysport Marine Victoria; Castaway Rods; JL Marine; Pure Fishing; Corrosion X; and, Bob's MachineShop.
We had the honor of welcoming lots of great folks from all over the State including some legends of UT Baseball and current Ambassadors of Major League Baseball. For us here at the lodge, it was a fun time blending Field of Dreams; For Love of The Game; and, Bull Durham all into one, and taking place right here in the Heart of Seadrift!
A bachelor party sometimes turns into a class reunion and that was the case over a very special weekend here at the lodge. Former friends and team mates during a magical time in UT Baseball all came together to celebrate the upcoming wedding of their friend and former team mate, Brandon Workman. Brandon is presently a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox and World Champion. From a bio, there are many accolades including pitching a perfect 8th Inning, in the final game of the 2013 World Series, setting up their closer to take the series win.
We've welcomed notable figures before like Colt McCoy, Jordan Shipley and guests. One thing I've learned, people are people, and away from the flash of cameras and the hype of any moment, good people are just that. While the guys let their hair down over two days here at the lodge, they did so with respect, class, kindness, and consideration. I will always be touched by the special nature of the occasion, the guests, and their time with us. From swapping Brisket cooking tips with Cole Green; or, Brandon Loy (coach at UT) talking baseball with one of our boys, Ty Boedeker, whose working hard pitching at Calhoun County High School; playing guitar with Garret Clyde; talking relaxation with Cameron Rupp whose currently a Catcher with the Phillies; or, seeing the look on Capt. Kolten Braun's face when he learned he was fishing with Cameron Rupp, one of Kolten's favorite players; hearing Sam Stafford(Rangers Farm Team) talk about looking forward to a workout Monday; and, so on. It was a very special time for everyone and it was neat watching guests interact.
There was that moment though, something that sticks out just ahead of everything else and while I won't forget any of it, not even the possibility of coming down with Alzheimer's will ever erase the moment when Brandon insisted on dropping by the home of one of our staff, Rebecca Ureste. Wendi had mentioned to him that Rebecca's husband George Ureste had suddenly and very recently run into some tough medical problems including a stroke. Even with lots of moving parts and everything going on with departure day, Brandon made a Bee-Line for her house to drop in and say hello; take a few pictures; and, put a smile on George's face. To me, "that's selfess class that is the mark of a true and deserving Champion".
Fishing & Lodge Scene
I told the boys that they had stepped foot into a very special place, and in the fishing world, it's the Big Leagues in it's own right. From Wendi and her team in "the back office" handling the dining and presentation of the lodge to the guides on the water, it's "The Bigs". On the lodge side, the boys quickly got introduced to Wendi and her girls, Laura Villareal & Rebecca Ureste, as they knocked it out of the park on the dining and Southern Hospitality side of things. The girls always work so hard and this occasion was no exception. From New York strips to Custom Cooked Brisket, boys all got the tastes of home they loved!
On the guides side, it was funny, I introduced the line-up of guides in terms they were familiar. "Capt. Chris Cady, drafted in the first round as a Sophomore in High School and starting for Castaway Lodge; Capt. Kolten Braun, drafted in the first round as a Freshman in High School and starting for Castaway Lodge; and, Capt. James Eastep, taken in the first round, reliever and closer par excellence for Castaway Lodge and so on, ha! Sure enough, it was a slugfest with homeruns flying out of the park left and right. Our starters just smashed the fish with full limits coming in on all boats both days with lots of catch and release action. The guys were working mud/grass on schools of solid fish that were eager to please.
So it was a whirlwind of action and excitement and sometimes everything just comes together at a point in time. I call hit hitting on all cyclinders and it's always magical. That has led me to use the term more than once: "Castaway Lodge, one of the last special places"!
Come see us when you get a chance.