LIFE MAGAZINE, 1941

FISHERMEN GET AWAY FROM IT ALL AT A CLUB KNEE-DEEP IN BISCAYNE BAY

Off the Florida mainland, riding on the shoals of Biscayne Bay, stands, an an extraordinary American community dedicated solely to sunlight, salt water and the wellbeing of the human spirit. Built on piles imbedded in shallow flats where the water lies but two to seven feet deep, the Quarterdeck Club hovers between sea and sky, a $100.000 play-place equipped with bar, lounge, bridge deck, dining room and dock slips for yachts. Ranged about it in tile Bay's wide watery acreage are the green-and-white shacks of members and vice-commodores.


Hot feet are cooled off in an open-air shower. Most of the shacks are equipped with running water, individual electric-lights plants, bottled-gas stoves and refrigerators.

Membership in the Quarterdeck Club is by invitation, costs $150, involves no annual dues. Bay-bottom flats on which shacks and club are built are leased from the State of Florida at the modest rate of $1 per acre per year. Shack owners generally take five to 25 acres, spend $1,000-$6,000 constructing their homes. Most own fast speedboats for commuting between club and mainland. Charter members are all vice-commodores with facetious titles such as "vice-commodore of deck-necking," vice-commodore of the poop deck," etc. Here LIFE shows you some of the homely pleasures of those who dwell in Quarterdeck Club's oceanic heaven.


Fishing in bed starts the day for Quarterdeck Club's Commodore Edward Turner. Many members catch breakfast before rising simply by thrusting rods out window.


Fishing in the front yard is the favorite sport of Quarterdeck Club members. If luck is bad, the anglers can always try the back yard or the neighbor's yard next door.


Tired of casting, businessmen and friends bear down hard on Gulf Stream game. When fish spurn bait, a versatile sportsman can often kill them by well-aimed gunfire.