From the Office and Backyard to the Road, Boat, or Plane–Backstories and
Side Stories While on Assignment. Updates on Personal Projects, Too.

Archive for June, 2007



Diving for big bugs

Thought I’d share an excerpt from an upcoming article… had a great day on the water, watching Mike and Lou dive, and then seeing them cook everything. Yes, Lou has his own outdoor pizza oven. The complete story, recipes and images are to be in the July issue of Charleston Magazine,

Mike, Louspiny lobster

Just after dawn on a calm-water Sunday, after cruising about 29 miles out from the Folly River, Luigi Scognamiglio (”Captain Lou”), cuts the engine to a purr. “Oh, it’s good vis Mikey,” he says. “It’s very good vis’.”

The 21-foot, center-console catamaran has made it to the shallower water above an offshore reef. And yes, the visibility is good. The ocean here is a clear, Gulf Stream blue, and the boat is nearing a favorite dive spot that’s known to be teeming with fish. (A mix of experience and GPS coordinates are their guides.)

Two bottlenose dolphins appear, braiding through each other in water that channels off the bow. Everyone thinks this is a good sign, and Michael Scognamiglio, Lou’s son, is on the deck prepping a dive marker, getting it ready to throw. When he tosses the floating buoy, its small anchor sinks to the bottom, pulling a white rope line that’s visible for at least 30 feet below.

“This is going to be a very, very good dive,” Lou predicts. The captain has been watching the surface, and checking the boat’s sonar which is showing schools in the ledges below. “Now let’s get underneath and look for bugs,” he says.


There has already been much talk about lobster on the ride out… with father and son hoping the trip wouldn’t end up being just puffery and old sea stories. They were counting on finding good-sized fish and spiny lobster on this rough patch in the ocean floor. And they brought along fellow diver Rodney Fazilat to see what they could see and catch down below. The Scognamiglios’ confidence level was pretty high… the plan was that some of what they would find 95-110 feet below the surface they’d bring back to cook at a dinner party that night, a gathering that Michael had been calling an “Italian Folly Feast…”

cooked loboven

– Sandy Lang, June 2007

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