My advice: When a guy asks you if you would like to motor his skiff over to an island, you have to say yes.
You disregard the fact that your expertise is neither motoring, boats, nor islands.
You say yes. Then you figure it out.
I was interviewing Cary Lightsey, the 2009 Southeastern Farmer of the year, and he started telling me about Brahma Island, a piece of property that's been in his family for a couple of generations.
"You really need to see the island," he said. "I've got an appointment, or I'd take you there myself."
"That's alright," I said. "Don't worry about it."
"What are you doing this afternoon?" he asked, as he pulled out a laminated map and started giving me directions.
"So, you're gonna want turn left here," he said. "Then go left when the road forks. You're gonna pass a church. About a quarter of a mile later, you're gonna see a service road on your left with a gate. The combination is 1-9-5-1. You'll be on a shell road for a long time. Now, you're gonna want to call me and say, 'Cary, I think I've gone too far.' You haven't. Keep going. That road will end at a dirt boat ramp. There's going to be a skiff pulled up on the grass. The key to the ignition is dangling from a piece of a coat hanger beneath the seat. Crank the motor and let it run for a while. You know how to drive a boat, don't you?"
That's how I got to the skiff, which cranked right up and scooted me across Lake Kissimmee to Brahma Island, the largest freshwater island in the United States. 28 endangered species inhabit that island. There are deer, bison, water buffalo, wild hogs, and bald eagles there.
Cary also runs a private hunting camp there to manage the abundance of deer.
I heard the camouflaged golf-cart-turned-ATV before I could see it. Like some welcoming committee from "Heart of Darkness," Moby (the hunting guide) and three hunters came bouncing down to the dock in the vehicle.
"You need a ride?" laughs Moby as he pulls up to me.