NewsMax: The Florida Keys and Hurricane Irma

Image: The Florida Keys and Hurricane Irma
A man looks out at the ocean from The Southernmost Point marker in Key West on September 16, 2017, in Key West, Florida. (Angel Valentin/Getty Images)

Anyone who lives near or on the ocean knows the risk of doing so. Those who take the risk, know what it is to look at the beautiful, sparkling clean water of the tropics. From Key West to Key Largo represents the furthest south of the United States, some 100 miles strung together with many island chains, represent perhaps the most beautiful part of the United States.

Those who fish in salt water claim it to have some of the greatest species of salt water fish literally found anywhere. Glimmering 2-5 ft. flats represent a flyrodders dream for bonefish, tarpon, trout and permit. With the continental shelf some 3 miles off shore, game fish such as blue marlin, white marlin, swordfish, tuna, dolphin, and wahoo literally provide world class fishing. The Florida Keys is beautiful. It is a friendly, laid back place that was vividly written about by Hemmingway and many of the world’s top anglers. It is on the bucket list of every fishermen but also available is the world class diving and snorkeling as well as all of the watersports such as sailboarding and kayaking. Compared to many parts of world, the Keys offers the best of the best of anywhere while not being subjected to terrorism in a foreign place or subjected to so many corrupt governments to take residence.

The Florida Keys did not have as great of a disaster as what you might have read or seen on the news, we all know that if it bleeds, it leads. It goes without saying, that if you lost everything you own including your house, it couldn’t get any worse. The truth however is that there were many parts of the Keys that were not terribly affected. At an eyeball, I would say about 35 percent of the Keys were really slammed, mostly confined to where the eye wall crossed.

The greatest single asset that one of the most beautiful places of the United States has is its people. At its core are its captains and mates that represents one of the greatest charter fleets of boats servicing flat, reef, and off shore fishing. As a general rule, this represents the youth of the Keys and although there are many old salts like myself, there are many charter captains and mates that have new families and have started their lives in the Florida Keys. These are the men and women who know all of the intricacies and secrets of the surrounding waters. These are the people who unlock those secrets of the surrounding waters and who guides visiting tourists to them. So many home owners and boat owners in the Florida Keys started to see the hidden gem of the Keys the first time they chartered from this group. Therefore, it can be said with great accuracy that almost every business in the Florida Keys in one way or another is tied to the ocean and that the ocean and the bays literally run through the veins of those people who live here.

The greatest tragedy of Irma is that no matter how hard FEMA tries and no matter how hard our government tries to provide relief from tragedy, it is not enough. Many people in the Keys do not live on credit. Everything they own they have worked for day by day. Very few charter captains and mates will ever become rich. At best, they will earn a living but oh how they smile when you make that perfect catch and catch your first bonefish and it is incredible to see their joy when your son or daughter catch their first fish. For all of you who have ever been to the Florida Keys, for all of you who will someday fulfill your bucket list by coming here, please help me bring immediate and direct relief where it is most needed.

The Florida Keys plays a very special part in every American’s life. Please help it survive and let its greatest asset stay in the Keys, its local people. If you can help, please donate to the charity of your choice.


Captain Tred Barta


Barta Fund

Thank you everyone for the great start of the Barta Fund!

There are some who may not think that what we have done is a miracle but it is.

Our captains’ board has been filled by Captain Paul Minning, Captain Matt Bellinger, Captain Tred Barta and Captain Billy Chapman. Anyone who knows the Florida Keys, knows these guys. They are the best. Our attorney has been picked and we appreciate him very much, his name is Mr. Nick Mulick, Esq. Our first business man has been picked, Mr. Pasta Pantaleo, he is a world class artist.

Progress is being made. Right now, the 401c3 is in the works, we have 17 donations and have raised $1,385 which will help a captain or mate and that’s in one day. With over 12,000 people on my Facebook, can you imagine if everyone stepped up over the weekend?

I have always said, if you are afraid to lose, you will never win. So, I am asking all of you, step up this weekend and please give. Let’s see what next Monday’s miracle will brings us.

You know the names of the heroes who have donated so far, you can see it on the GoFundMe page.



Thank you everyone for letting me get out the emergency communique.

My friend got out to The Keys and found a great military presence, I believe the safety of life phase has passed. I share with you some pictures of where I and Dorothy live. At this time, there is no potable water, no electricity and no elevator.

I am still in Missouri and like everyone in Irma’s way, have got things spread out all over the place. The only thing I can do is pray for others. There are so many people worse off than myself. All fuel was stolen and siphoned out of my boat and unfortunately it now rests on some highway in the middle of Florida with 3 blown tires. Obviously, I have a lot of anxiety about that.

Anyone reading this post, when you are away from home and all the physical possessions you care about are in jeopardy, you quickly are just so happy that you are alive. In my case, I do not have anywhere to live at the moment which adds to some confusion. I’m trying to work this out but don’t be surprised if I soon post for an opportunity to stay with someone; Imagine having me as a guest.

I must say I am proud of President Trump, our government is all over South Florida. I truly believe they are doing the best that can be done with the circumstances at hand. I pray for my community which in some ways are all connected to the ocean and fishing. There is not one business nor activity that is not tied into the beautiful waters of The Keys. I know my church, Island Community Church and its entire congregation will galvanize to help.

So, while at this very moment I feel unsettled, I ask all of you to pray for those who are less fortunate. I will be starting a fund shortly to benefit charter captains and mates get back on their feet and will soon ask everyone to help me with this project.



If you are in a life threatening situation between Marathon and Key Largo, please immediately communicate on this Facebook post as a dear friend remaining anonymous will have 2 Bell Jet Ranger helicopters and a small crew with chainsaws available.

If you are a captain or mate, give me your lat. and long.; all other friends on Facebook, supporters and detractors, do no communicate on this post unless it provides a direct rank to a life threatening situation.

Thank you in advance,

Captain Tred Barta



Trailered the boat to Fort Myers, checked into Ritz Carlton (a friend of mine owns quite a few). Was going to stay in Fort Myers for a week but they said they were going to kick us out of the hotel Thursday night because of the mandatory evacuation. Hard time finding fuel.

My friend and agent Travis Brown has flown me to St. Louis, Missouri, 4 ½ hours, 26000 ft. and now at the Ritz Carlton in St. Louis. Will fly back as soon as Irma passes. Dorothy and I are praying for all those affected. Of course, we hope we don’t lose our home in Islamorada, our belongings, our cars and our boat. No matter what happens, God listens to every prayer of every person. You may not get the answer that you want but he will choose the right answer for you.


Despite the horrendous banking fraud which I am fighting, thousands of dollars have been taken from my account. It’s fraud. The FBI, police and the bank are all trying to solve it. On top of all of this, I have been in the ER 3 times this month. So, what am I going to do?

Well, on Sunday Makaira, my 26 ft. Andros with me at the helm are departing Florida to West end Bahamas and then making the run to Marsh Harbour, about 200 miles total. It will be extremely hard on me and I pray for the strength to pull it off.

A dear friend has offered me his home to stay in at no charge at Marsh Harbour, this is what makes it possible. The condo which I live in is working on the elevator from September 11th to October 20th and they’ve offered me zero relief. I will not be able to get into or out of my unit without an elevator. Can you believe that in today’s time you can cut off a paraplegic from his domicile and offer zero relief?

So, in many ways I’m down and out and have tremendous pressure from every quadrant. What am I going to do if I have a medical problem in the Bahamas? What am I going to do if Erma decides to dance on the Bahamas? All of these are legitimate questions. The answer is very easy, I will fight, move forward and I will do what has to be done.

There are many people who follow me on Facebook who have more severe medical problems than I have and in my present condition, probably have more money than I do, which is hardly anything after this last debacle. I am down, I am beat up, I am tired, I am disappointed and very disillusioned.

So, everyone, watch me go to sea, watch me cross a rough part of the world between Florida and the Bahamas, watch me run Makaira down the Abacos and right to Marsh Harbour. So out of the dust I sail, I hope it’s an example for anyone who might find themselves in my position. I will advise all of you during my adventure and I will take all your souls with me to give me strength.

Never say never, never give up, if you attained your dreams, you haven’t dreamt high enough. Forward and upwards, God Bless you all!


Riding my bike, working out with weights, working on my diet, reading the best book ever written and by the way, that’s not my new book “Driven”. Attitude is good but can’t seem to catch a break.

Recently endured a real tragedy that you only read about in books and see on TV. An individual or entity has been taking money out of a corporate account. Unfortunately, it was thousands of dollars. I’ve met with the FBI, the police and the bank and it is a fact that the economy and the real estate market have not been good to me. Although to a very wealthy person this would be a hiccup, to me it is creating a mini disaster. It is often hard to be a good Christian, on one hand I want to lock this guy up forever and on the other hand, I wonder if someone needs the money that much, unfortunately, I do and it is my money. I feel very violated.

On a lighter note, I have had quite a bit of activity on my endeavors to get back on TV and I sense that many of my larger sponsors are starting to see my value again.

Everyone have a good weekend and remember always move forward. If you have already accomplished your dreams, you are not dreaming big enough! Ever moving forward, ever moving upwards.

Tough Going

Evening before last I was taken to the ER at 2 AM by the Islamorada Fire Department who put me in a stretcher and took me by ambulance. I was having severe stomach pain coupled with severe arm, back and neck spasms. I had a hard time talking, a hard time seeing and to tell things just like they are I was very, very scared. I was sweating like a pig and then a couple of minutes later I would be freezing. At one point my arms and hands were flailing without control. I didn’t think I was going to make it and I was not prepared to leave this world yet.

Trying to get off pain opiates triggers many complications that I was not aware of. The situation which I found myself in was due to a stalled out lower gastronomic system and a buildup of gas which basically short circuited many of my operating systems from my chest down. Last night I don’t believe I slept more than a couple of hours and again was in terrible discomfort. When you are sick, when you are in excruciating pain or when you are out of control, your entire world stops. Monster swordfish, sunrises and sunsets, all of the things in life which are so valuable to you, don’t mean anything. It is funny just how important basic health is to your outlook on life. As I was getting through this terrible ordeal, Dorothy never left my side and never cracked.

Why do I mention to you these last couple of terrible days? I do so to remind all of us that going through something like this alone would not only be harder but perhaps would not have ended up the way it did. To remind those of faith and to invite those who have not yet understood faith, those who walk with Him do not walk alone and so it is with Dorothy at one hand and the Lord at the other that I am on my way to recovery and this is just another bump in the travel of life. One of the reasons I documented what I have gone through is to show you that I really was scared. At the time I truly did not think I was going to make it. As hard as it is for me to admit that I did not flinch when taking a grizzly bear at 8 yards with a wooden arrow all of us have our breaking point and I just faced one of them.

On Track and Building Speed

Perhaps all of you can gain something from what I am about to say. I wake up between 6 and 6:30. If I don’t my wife Dorothy just about kicks me out of bed. I either ride the bike or workout with weights. Some workouts are terrific and the results of some are pathetic. But I am doing it. My methadone use has come down 50% and by the end of August my goal is another 10 to 15%. I am keeping everything written down so I am not kidding myself.

During the day I am super active, often helping other people and also following my passions for work and play. I am in bed usually by 6:30 to 7 which is very, very early. Get my dose of Fox News and try to fall asleep between 8:30 and 9. I am losing weight but very alarmingly slowly. Dorothy has me on a diet of between 1250 and 1550 calories a day.

The net is I feel better, my attitude is better, I feel more in touch with the environment around me and I truly believe that many of my goals are not being reached because I was in denial.

What’s the net? If you don’t get exercise, if you don’t eat healthy and great food and in my case if you do not believe in the Lord and Jesus Christ as our Savior and read the word you are missing out on so much. Many people think that when I write this stuff it is easy and all I am looking for is attention. People can believe what they want to believe. I am trying to be the most that I can be, I am trying to make the world a better place, and I am trying to have a good life. As we get older, as many of us are, we tend to lower the scale of which you judge yourself every day. I am ashamed of myself that I have to write this. I am basically saying that I have caught myself talking about some accomplishments that I haven’t really made, have either given up on or am just in denial.

So I am back on the track, I am gaining speed and momentum, my energy level is high and as I have said before, this is my year.

If any part of this shoe fits you, why not join me?

If there are any of you out there who are interested in my coming to a surprise birthday party or an event, let me know. I love surprise events. Talk to you soon.