Monday, July 30, 2007

My Fishing Hero


Ashley Spalding is a local Junior Fishing Angler. She is already infamous on the fishing forums as her Dad is her biggest fan. Her catch during the tournament is now in "Pending" status with the IGFA (International Game Fishing Assoc.) as a World Record. She battled the 155 lb Swordfish for 1 hr 45 min. She is a stronger woman than I!!

God bless her. We saw her riding on the bow of her Dad's boat several weeks back and we radioed to her Dad to keep Ashley away from our fish. LOL. They had a good laugh over that.

Girls Rule!

Saturday, July 28, 2007


I need to post about our fishing day today but I'm just barely conscious. Anyhow, it hits me that tomorrow is the 29th. Join with me in watching all the great shark shows on Discovery channel.

We had a bit of our own shark week today. We went snapper fishing and ended up catching 7 sharks (total) and 3 small peanut dolphin (mahi mahi) which were in a school under a board 140 ft of water. I didn't get the camera out much but I'll leave you with what pictures I have. These are 3 ft sharp nose sharks which were primarily caught in 140 ft, 125 ft and 58 ft of water (pretty much everywhere). I even caught 1 of the 2 that were in a glass minnow frenzy.

Da-dum...... da dum..........da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum (think JAWS theme)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Paula Deen on Food Network

Our day started at 6:30am with hooking up the boat and heading down the road only to u-turn back for home because the clouds threatened early thunderstorms.

By 8:30, we were back on our way out, now to the market to find our ingredients for Paula Deen's Seafood dish - The Lady's Bouillabaisse. We saw it on her show (Food Network) and it reairs on July 30th if you want to see her make it.
A trip to the Seafood Market really should count as a homeschooling field trip because I have to answer dozens of questions about the animals we see there.

For our dish, we needed 4 Blue Crabs. They come LIVE, so watch out!

Kids, don't play with your food!!

We also picked up a pound of white Canaveral shrimp and the recipe calls for 1 pound of mussels but we choose pasta clams since they're my favorite. Our fish monger gave us extra clams incase some didn't open up. THROW AWAY the ones that don't open up! We also thawed out a pack of our snapper caught earlier in the month. We're substituting this for 2 lbs grouper.

This was a fun day for Jack and I. He loves to cook and I'm a good assistant. We put on some Smooth Jazz and flirt around the kitchen. We even had time for a slow dance between one of the steamings. Here he is chopping up the snapper into 1 inch pieces while the blue crab are being boiled. My job is to boil 2 cups of water in a big pot and steam the clams (6-8 min) or until they open.

When the crab are done cooking, you must cut into halves, remove the top shell and remove the poo & lungs. A quick few minutes and the job is done. Rinse to remove shells or poo.

Through the steam, you can barely see my clams are opening up.

Jack finishes up the crab work and I'm off to make the Bouillabaisse .

Heat the oil in a large pot, add the garlic, onions, tomatoes, fennel, saffron, salt and pepper. Add the mussel/clam broth to the pot and 2 tablespoons of butter (we use Smart Balance). Add the 2.5 c boiling water and clam juice.

Bring to a rolling boil, add the crabs and fish, and continue to boil for 6-8 minutes. (keep the lid on)

Add the mussels/ clams along with the shrimp (left unpeeled), and boil for an additional 5 minutes w/ lid on.

Make some garlic bread & broil it. Serve the bouillabaisse in a large individual bowl lined with the bread; pile in the seafood and ladle the broth over it. Paula adds more butter at this point, but we didn't.

Next, call the kids and let them dig in. This is my seafood boy. He loves everything we love to eat.

This one is too young to appreciate seafood, but he is learning. He loves the fish & shrimp & BREAD.

As you can see from the first picture, I got large glasses and filled them with lemonade. My sister went last weekend to Paula's restaurant and she said Paula makes great lemonade too.

Ingredients in the Bouillabaisse sauce:
1/3 c EVOO
1 1/2 Tbl chopped garlic
3/4 c chopped onion
2 cans of Italian whole tomatoes (or 5 Romas peeled & sliced)
1 tsp fennel seed (don't leave out but you can back it down to 1/2 tsp)
Pinch of saffron
1 Tbl, plus 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt (we used Sea Salt)
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbl butter plus more for bread

2 1/2 c boiling water
8 oz clam juice
Lobster Diver Vanishes Off Brevard County Coast
"It wasn't a very deep dive, roughly 75-80 feet," said friend Gary Heidelberg. "He was coming up when we expected him to, but the bubbles just stopped." (the rest of the story is here) Also, check out the video link and you'll see the docks where we put our boat in.

Gary H. is a member of our fishing forum and wrote in twice yesterday about what he saw and did to try to find his friend & diving partner of 12 years.
"Not wasting time to pull on wetsuit top or gloves, I jumped in and made a beeline to the bottom. Pretty quickly I found his net, spear (he used for a tickle stick) and lobster inn lying together on the top of the ledge. I stuck my head under the ledge to see if he was trapped, but he wasn't there. I turned around and saw Blake had jumped in behind me. We had a quick underwater conversation, and started zigzagging back and forth across the ledge going out on the sand in both directions and looking under every ledge. We burned our tanks finding nothing but the lobster gear."

Another two of our forum members were there in their boats, one being No Doubt (in video) to look for Johnny. It has been a very sad day for our local fishing/diving community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Sandbury family, Gary & the diving partners, the community of divers that participated in the rescue and US Coast Guard as the are still searching for the body.

Rest in Peace John,

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Ok, I'm really not plugging this place (on US 1 just south of Port St. John) but we eat here often. The food is fantastic. The seafood is always fresh. The waitress knows that my youngest will spill his drink while he's there (Six spill streak). If we get the brunette, they get free ice cream sandwiches. It's one of those quaint, hole-in-the-wall restaurants that the tourists don't know about. Did I mention the atmosphere? They have prized fish pictures on the walls, plus mounts of fish too. My favorite is the Mako shark with an arm sticking out of the mouth.

BUT, that's not what I wanted to write about today......

I wanted to tell you that Jack couldn't wait to get out to the car to tell me something. He overheard the lady at the table next to us tell the waitress that she was going to treat herself today. What do you think she ordered?



Mahi Mahi?

Guess again.


Not even close.

Can you say GATOR TAIL??? Yep, she was treating herself to the infamous delicacy of Florida Gator Tail.

We thought that was pretty funny.

Well, that's all I wanted to say about our FL homeschooling lunch break today.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Happy Birthday Captain!!

May God continue to bless you with large fish and many safe days on the water. May He enlarge your territory with more secret numbers of fishing holes in your GPS. May He keep your freezer full with bounty from the sea to feed the family. And may you always wear a smile on your face like the one you had this day.


Your wife & fishing partner

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cold Updwelling

This is mostly for my notes (not too interesting for anybody else). It was a blessing to stay home today and not fish. I read three fishing reports on our local forum and all of them told the same story with the same ending. Cold water on the bottom w/ slime on weights, bait hard to find, 86-90 deg on surf temps and current ripping at 4mph = no fish. Unless you were fishing 27 fathoms with 3 lbs of weights, you weren't touching the fish.

I'm glad we didn't waste the gas today. Tomorrow, Jack and I get to attend a wedding just off the beach at sunset. Should be beautiful! Can't wait to dance with my hubby and then have a walk on the beach with my babe.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Snapper Lunch and Lobster Season

Yesterday, we finally had a moment to cook our snapper from last week. We had vacuum-packed about 9 bags and so we did a quick-thaw in warm water. Note: Not HOT water or else that may cook your fish.

After it is thawed, we like to rinse it, check it once more for bones to be cut out, then put it on a platter and dry the filets. Next, Jack puts on whatever seasonings he is "feeling" that particular day. A week or so ago, I had some Greek-seasoned shrimp from a restaurant, so Jack took that idea and put it onto the Red Snapper. I have to say that I loved it on the shrimp even though it treaded out of my mild comfort zone and was medium in heat. Maybe they added some tabasco.
Next, we take it to the grill and make sure that the first side has a wonderful color & slight crust to it. To the right, you can see that the piece on the right is heavily seasoned and the ones on the left are less seasoned. I'm thinking we cooked at least 3 lbs of meat. These were thick filets. Jack likes to call the local fish market and determine price. Market price for snapper is $14.99/lb. WOW.

Anyhow, I had mine seasoned lightly and that was a big mistake. Jack's piece was much better than mine. Snapper has a good white meat without much oil, which gives the fishy taste. So, while it wasn't seasoned perfectly, it was still very good.

Most days, I pretend to be a vegan.... LOL.... that is, with the exception of my love for fish and seafood. So, to the left, you can see that I have prepared 2 sides. One is a cucumber salad and the other is a tomato/olive salad with cilantro. Why not combine the 2? Dh get bad indigestion with the cukes. I also make the guys whatever sides they also ask for because they are not vegans.

My 2nd part of the post is to mention that July 25-26th is the sport season for Spiny Lobster. Jack has his diver's certification but hasn't dove in quite some time, so we tend to sit this season out. However, one day, I hope that we will all be certified and able to take the boat to the Keys for Lobster season. I don't know who this is..... I only have the picture to show you a Spiny Lobster, aka Florida Lobster. Notice that they do not have claws.
True lobster season opens August 6th for everyone. The 2 day season next week is just for recreational divers.
Also, 1 more reminder......... SHARK WEEK begins July 29th, I believe. I am looking forward to that, as I do every year.
Bon Appetite,

Monday, July 16, 2007

Christmas in July

Back when I was a kid visiting my grandparents here in Florida, I remember going to the Early Bird Specials and seeing a Christmas tree up in the corner of the room. We would laugh and then Grandma would educate us that they celebrated Christmas in July. Now, I've been a Floridian for several years myself and I have not once come across that same custom here on the East coast. Maybe it was the sales pitch of the day to boost commercialism. Maybe it was a senior citizen-induced holiday since all the grandkids would come visit in the Florida summers. Either way, it's a tradition I had forgotten about until yesterday.

We had another one of those horrible late afternoon thunderstorms. Power flickered multiple times. It rained cats and dogs. And then I heard a noise I was unfamiliar with. I peeked out the windows to see hail! Hail was pelting the porch roof and making little dive bombs into the pool. By the time I thought to get my camera, it was finishing up and so you cannot see any marble-sized balls on the deck. I suppose the decking was so hot that they melted in seconds. So, I had been thinking all day, maybe our summer hail is the reason why they say we have Christmas in July.

Today, we had a high sitting over the center of Florida and so the coastal sea breeze is acting differently. The west coast is getting our storms and we had a perfect day of sunshine and hot temps. We couldn't wait to finish school so we could jump into the pool. The pool has become a big incentive to work diligently.

Anyhow, me and my big guy were out there first. The clarity is perfect across the pool, so I got the idea to take pictures as if I were underwater with him. The trick is to go down with no held breath and hold still for as long as possible. You sink right down and then pose.

We sure did enjoy doing this. He took a couple of me, but I didn't like any of them.

Merry Christmas,

Saturday, July 14, 2007


As you can see, Jack and friend, John C went far east of Port Canaveral and caught their limit of Red Snapper. Jack says the big guy was his first and it nearly gave him a heart-attack to bring up. They limited out on keeper snapper in a very short time and tried trolling but it was some awful weather today.
They left the port entrance approx 7am and came back in at 2pm. Jack said they ran into many 4 ft seas with a 5 footer thrown in once in a while.
John was so nice to share with Jack his favorite snapper hole. Mind you, he did not give us the GPS coordinates, but he led the way with his GPS. Fishermen's secrets usually die with them. A consistant-producing area would be considered gold in these parts.

While Jack hit the port at 2pm, he did not make the house until closer to 4pm. He cleaned fish for an hour!

We had 2 huge popcorn bowls filled with meat from the 4 fish. We always do our best to keep the meat chilled during the whole process.

In the end, we vacuum-packed nine bags of snapper filets for the future. John was kind enough to decline keeping his fish since he already had a freezer full. Now, we do too.
I was rather glad to see the guys come back to port by 2pm because the t-storms rolled in like clockwork. To me, it is very scary to be caught on the water with a big electrical storm near you.
Have a wonderful weekend!
PS: Jack saw that big tripletail (from last week) in the inlet again today.

Monday, July 09, 2007

BUOY, WHAT A DAY!! - hunt for mysterious tripletails.

It was our intentions to have a quick couple hrs on the ocean to hunt for tripletails and then be back in for lunch.
Well, there was no debris on the beach. There was no debris a couple miles off the beach, so we found buoy #2 out in the middle of nowhere and decided to look under it for a tripletail.

We saw a few barracuda and Jack got one nibble. "Nobody home."

Buoy #2 is one of the furthest buoys at our port.
I did happen to see a small school of kings chasing baitfish just north of here.

Approaching Buoy #3 with tripletail still on the brain.

There is much anticipation of seeing either a tripletail or a barracuda.

Well, I guess there is nobody here but toothy barracudas. Might as well move on to the next buoy.
If you can count, you can probably guess that our next buoy was #4 and you'd be right.

Nobody here either. We are seeing some small number of baitfish.
Here we are at #5. We are greeted by.....guess what?......... barracuda. Right.

I just knew you'd want to see the actual buoy. We hung around here for a while because Jack and I were pretty certain that we saw a "doormat"-sized tripletail that popped out for just a brief second. I'm sure that fish was pushing close to 20 lbs. We tried and tried but gave up and went to..........

I bet you thought it was going to be buoy #6. Well, it was busy with other folks so we basically headed in to the jetty area to use up our shrimp.
Here is Jack trying to not lose his gear in the rocks and yet come home with a delicious Sheepshead fish. (We've given up on Tripletail at this point.)

We were interrupted by this guy & his gal who slid right between us and the rocks (not quite yet in the photo). We worked hard to not yell at them and so we went to the other side of the rocks. Guess who showed up over there too? The dummy pinned us between the rocks and the pier with his boating skills. We had a few hair-raising moments of reversing to fight the current and get away from him. It is really hard to fight obstacles an incoming tide with a big boat like ours, which is lacking in maneuverability. Finally, I guess he'd pushed our buttons enough and left before we said something to them.
We we're coming into the inlet, we tried a couple more casts toward the concrete walls, meant to host the tugs & tankers. Low and behold, what comes our way????
The mysterious tripletail that is suppose to be sitting outside the port.
Another big one, also pushing near 20 lbs. Jack cast to him and tagged the shrimp on his nose. He popped back up and Jack cast again. He was interested and then changed his mind.
We lost it a couple more times and then found it again crossing the channel and again, interested, but not biting. We could see that it did have a smaller triple under the bigger one. Anyhow, we refound it a 3rd or 4th time, again crossing the channel to the original side. Nothing. Nada. Would take a shrimp to save our skunk of a day.
Oh well.... off to Rusty's for a late 2pm lunch. We were starving. I had the clams and Jack had the shrimp.
Here is a picture I took of us going over the Indian River bridge. Our house is in the far, far distance (red). We're not on the water but only 1-2 miles from the Indian River. The VAB bldg for the space shuttle would be to the far right (out of the picture). This is the view looking northward.

Happy Fishing..... I've got to go wash the skunk off of me.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Friday's Fishing - No Go Houston.......

"The Lord supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills." Psalm 147:8

However, all this rain and lightening are making it impossible to go fishing. We had to cancel today's trip. Instead, we ended up doing a lot of shopping instead. All 3 boys were very happy to make their purchases from Toys-R-Us for their transformers.

Stay dry & watch out for lightening!


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy 3rd of July

The thunderstorms have taken over each afternoon, but we're planning on making a Friday fishing trip.
Here I've posted a picture of our afternoon shower. Captain Jack and I enjoyed our time sitting under the tin roof, listening to the sound of rain. Sometimes I think that I've bought property in the middle of a rainforest.

After the boomers had passed, we let the boys back into the pool water to enjoy the rain. They had finished up a big lunch and cheesecake for dessert.

Last night, I muralled for my youngest a ME-262 jet on his wall. (14" across) He loves WW2 aviation. This is the first in a series of WW2 planes that will make up a bigger picture on the wall. The 262 was the first German jet fighter plane (Messerschmidt). I believe that I have a P-51, BF-109, FW, P-38 and Flying Fortress on my list of other planes to mural. Then at some point, I have to paint Bionicles portraits for my older son.

UPDATED: July 4th... I did the Flying Fortress (B17G) in the top corner of the bedroom.

Stay dry and enjoy your 4th of July safely. We will be firing off an arsenal of fireworks that we bought from the store.

“Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable ministry, sound learning, and pure manners.”– Thomas Jefferson

“May that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of Order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Protector in all ages of the world of virtuous liberty, continue His blessing upon this nation.”– John Adams

“Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him, who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust, in the best way, all our present difficulty.”– Abraham Lincoln



Sunday, July 01, 2007


Well, these are the dog days in Florida. If your have some decent seas that are fishable, the thunderstorms will rob you of fishing time. If you don't have t-storms, then you have high winds & hurricanes. This weekend started pretty bad with a Tropical system bringing us some much needed rain. As you can see, the weekended ended with more sun than storms.

Tomorrow is a possibility to fish with 2-3 ft seas but the wind is from the wrong direction and Jack doesn't like to start off his work week tired. We're hoping and praying for Friday to be the day. We have a summer guest (in photo) staying with us and that will be his last Friday with us. It sure would be nice to be able to take him offshore with us.

For now, we were playing in the pool after church today. When Capt Jack is in the pool, everybody wants to go airborne. By 4pm, the boomers were building. I uploaded some fun pool flips onto You Tube.

I am truly enjoying my summer in this new home. It is very relaxing here. We have lots of privacy and some great neighbors on the one side. The man cuts our front yard every week because he *wants* to. We have taken all of June off from homeschooling in order to move in and enjoy time with family. We will return around July 9th for the new school year all refreshed and renewed.

Happy Summer Days!
PS: Congratulations to all our fellow CFOA members in their many wins at the CFOA tournament June 23rd. There were some beautiful trophy fish brought in.