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Take a look back at some of Terry Tomalin's most memorable stories

Steven Lindenmeyer, Mitchell Erickson, George Erickson, Stella Puckett, Nia Tomalin, Patience McKenzie and Sean McKenzie react to a ghost story told around a campfire at Fort DeSoto Park. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times (2010)]
Published May 20, 2016

Times' Outdoors writer Terry Tomalin knew the swamps, beaches and forests of the Sunshine State about as well as anyone. He brought them all alive for readers with dozens of first-person narratives, often funny, sometimes poignant, always pure Florida. Here are a few from over the years.

In pursuit of the famous Skunk Ape

Knife in hand, Tomalin hopes to capture one of Florida's most elusive creatures. He wrote:

"A couple more feet and I would be famous. 'Man captures Skunk Ape,' the tabloids would scream, 'and lives to tell the tale.'

One man, a kayak, the open, angry sea: Solitude is the quest

Tomalin loved a good adventure. In this one, he took on "The Outside," the 75-mile stretch of unprotected waters down the west coast of Florida ... in a kayak ... all alone.

The power of the paddle

In 2003, Tomalin took readers on a trip to Bimini by canoe. "Keep paddling," yelled one crew members as waves broke across the deck. "Keep up the speed!"

Big fun for small fry

Tomalin often included his family of his adventures. In this 2003 story, he wrote about fishing with his then 2-year-old son.

Portrait of a nephew as a young, happy camper

Family was also featured in Tomalin's 1991 column about taking his 6-year-old nephew Tyler camping for the first time.

Camp fright

Tomalin went looking for ghosts in the Florida wilds, including Edgar J. Watson, the planter, trader and murderer who terrorized swamps at the turn of the century.

Scare tactics

He also explored the art and science of telling a good campfire ghost story.

The grouper catch: You order grouper; what do you get?

Tomalin also wrote some hard hitting stories, including a two-part special report about how the grouper you eat often isn't grouper. Tap here to read Part 1. Tap here to read Part 2.

Father's Day means lure of memories

Fishing with his father wasn't so much about catching as it was talking, Tomalin wrote. "It was just he and I, pals for life."

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