Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The past 2 days in Florida waters were considered mini-season. Mini-season is when the recreational divers are allowed to go out and harvest what spiny lobsters they can legally catch (based on bag # limits, size & without eggs) before the regular season opens up in August. The point being that the average Joe can go out and get something for the dinner plate before the commercial guys get their share. It quite a nice advantage.
Sadly, this two-day event usually brings some bad with the good. Off of one of our favorite fishing spots, Pelican Flats, 2 divers were separated from their boat. Fortunately, those two were found by lunch time & rescued. Another 2 divers in 2 separate FL locations were not so fortunate. My deepest condolances to the families.
If you'd like to read more & see the rescue video of the 2 divers, please follow this link:
FLORIDA TODAY Mini-season
By the way, we did not go out and dive for lobster. Jack is a certified diver but we've haven't had the time to really pursue diving for spiny lobster. It always sounds appealing though. That and scallops on the Gulf Coast in late summer. I hear scallop diving in the shallows can be quite the family event. I think that would be a fun thing to do as the boys get older.
Happy Diving & BE SAFE!!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Thank God that nobody was injured and that containment booms were set up fast to catch the diesel fuel. We passed this marina on our "Water Dog" outing on Friday.
We had torrential rain over the weekend and I guess it was enough to flood the barge and turn it over.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
While it was hot, she cooled right down once the boat was up on plane. She makes a wonderful boat dog.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Pray for some nice fish!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
The wake of Mike's boat. Look how beautiful blue the water is. This is why people fall in love with offshore fishing. It is a blue that you can not find anywhere else in nature. And usually, it is clear for 20 feet down when hurricanes don't stir it up.
Here is the catch at the end of the day. Notice how big that one Kingfish is. Granted, the phins aren't huge but still..... that was a good size one.
I wish I had a better way of linking to this video that I did not create but I don't. They describe it as Helicopter fishing but it is more like Marlin Wrangling. I don't suggest anybody do this from a helicopter OR a boat without a life insurance policy. Very foolish on the man's part, but interesting to watch (like in a car wreck kinda way).
Warning: there is a bad word over the video screen as a description so you may not want your children to view the video.
Back to fishing pictures after this.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
It was a day of non-stop action, according to Jack. Nice day to be on the water. No storms at all. Hot sun, flat seas, plenty of humidity and guys catching fish.
I'll post up some pictures later but overall they brought home 2 mahi mahi, 3 kingfish (one huge one), lost another mahi boatside, caught an under-sized cobia and hooked a sailfish for a temporary tail-walking on the water.
Tail-walking is when they swing side-to-side so hard, they come out of the water and end up moving across the top of the surface with their tail. I guess the sail did that a couple of times and before Jack could capture a picture of it, he was off.
Needless-to-say, we had some grilled & fried fish for dinner last night. According to what I saw on the reports, they did better than most. I'm also noticing that there are less and less fishing reports with the increase in fuel prices. In the news, Japanese commercial fishermen were striking over fuel prices, asking their govt to help offset the costs.
Happy Fishing! Pictures tomorrow.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Jack, Mike and some friends are all heading offshore tomorrow to celebrate their birthdays with friends while trying to catch some fish. I really do hope Bertha and the low circulating by the GA coast have mixed up the cold waters out there. We're in the midst of our "Cold Thermocline" season and storms tend to mix in warmer waters to help with the migration of fish. Tuna have been slim this year, as well as big schools of mahi mahi.
The guys are going on Mike's Luhrs. Seas are suppose to be 1-2 ft. They may have to dodge some rain & t-storms but Mike has radar on board to help them with that.
Today, we've had family day which was a much needed restful day. We've had VBS all week. Tonight is the big finale to Outrigger Island VBS 2008. I have really enjoyed the Hawaiian theme this year.
I'm sending the camera along with Jack.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
What kind of aquatic lover would I be if I didn't announce that Shark week is on the horizon.
Happy Fishing. Hug a Shark!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Well, this is my take at riding Kraken with my almost 12 yo son.
"Oh my gosh!..... (145 ft fall)
Oh my gosh!...... (do I need a reason here?)
Oh...... my gosh!!...... (loop)
Oh my GOSH!!!! (think corkscrew here)
Oh my ...... gosh!....... (another loop going into the ground)
Oh my goodness!" while fighting desperately hard to say something new.
Then, I was purposely forcing myself to stop saying any words. Upon pulling into the unloading station, I sighed in thankfulness, "Oh my gosh!"
I don't know what happened to my vocabulary or my scream. I'm just so glad (er... embarassed) that only my son could hear me and pleased the wind took the rest of it off into the sky, as we were the last seats in the series of cars.
One can only hope that somebody has dumped my digital photo from the automatic 'Ride Cam' by now. I was completely embarassed, yet again, of the look of horror on my face.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
These are all photos that I took on Friday that were Photoshopped to look like artwork. Hope you enjoy seeing Sea World a little differently. Golden Trevally (right) done in metallic.
Southern Ray (left) done in color pencil
Friday, July 11, 2008
Is it wrong to bring a sleeping bag and just live in the underwater viewing area of the Dolphin Cove?
If you look closely in this one, you can see my eldest's head at the end as the dolphin swims by him.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
With gas prices being what they are these days, I thought I'd give a little break-down of the costs of offshore fishing. Guides and Charter boats charge what they do because it really does cost some hefty $$ to play in the ocean.
Gas. For near-shore/beach trips, we fill up 20 gallons of fuel. Offshore is a minimum of 40 gallons when we're talking about running at least 80 miles of distance. So, upfront, we know the gas will be anywhere from $80 to $160 minimum in our fuel-efficient Opti-Max. We have a neighbor that runs over $500 of gas on his big offshore trips. There are a lot of variables between types of engines, water choppiness, wind and weight of supplies on board which can affect your gas miledge. In summer, water is flatter so we burn less fuel. Expect more $$ for diesel or boats paying for gas at the Marinas.
Oil. If there is an outboard engine(s) on board that takes in oil, expect $13/gallon per engine for the trip.
Bait. Bait is variable depending on whatever your fishing. On a cheap day, it can run us under $10 for a few dozen of live shrimp, but if you need sardines, cigar minnows, ballyhoo, squid, you need to head to the ATM for more $$. Expect at least $30-50 in bait for a big offshore day.
Ice. Wow, I never realized how much one would have to spend on ice when we got into fishing. Many charters or professional fishermen own their own ice machines. That may be an option for us in the future but for now, we're still buying ice. We use 40 lb bag of ice in the fish cooler and 2-3 bags of 7 lb ice in the food cooler. That's over 60 lbs of ice for nearly every trip fishing whether it be inshore or offshore. Expect another $10 to fly out of the wallet for frozen water.
Poles. Well, that is the biggest variable. Just know that the bigger the fish you plan to catch, the more you will spend on your tackle and rod/reel combos. Oh and one pole will never do the trick. We keep anywhere between 4-6 poles onboard the FIRST CHOICE. We frequently see boats carrying over 10 rod/reels leaving the port. Cheap is nice when you check out of Bass Pro Shop, but it won't hardly bring the big fish up off the bottom. What you want to look for is QUALITY. Quality means that your pole won't break on the first fish that takes you to the gunnel. Your reel's gears won't fall apart either. Consider this an investment. The better your gear, the less $$ you'll spend in the long run. If you're taking a charter, expect either a rental fee or assume the "you break, you bought" policy. It's only fair to somebody who's just lost out on a couple hundred bucks of gear. Poles sometimes come with warranties so check into that.
Tackle. While tackle can be reused many times, it still needs replacing over time. Offshore fish have TEETH. Their mouth plates are like armor and so hooks & jigs need replacing constantly. Many have gills that will damage line if not cut it entirely. All this needs constant replacing and evaluating. Reels should be respool with new line a minimum of once a year. We're talking hundreds of yards of line per pole, approx $25 + up.
Safety. While many people do not even think about this as an expense, they should. How many $$ would you give to drift in the ocean 10 hours less than the last guy? How about drifting in the complete darkness of night? I don't know about you, but I'd give my home away to never experience being lost at sea if that could be guaranteed. Invest in a top-end EPIRB (personal beacon) with fast position-locking satellites. Invest in heavy-duty vests, not just the cheap orange ones. We have vests meant for holding 200 lb+ men on their back for hours in the water. Make sure the amount of floatation fits the size person it will keep afloat. It will do no good for a man to be counting on a pink, child-size Barbie life-vest to keep him alive should he fall asleep drifting at sea. Buy hand-held GPS, batteries, mirrors, flares, flare guns, horns, whistles, matches, water, food, whatever you need. Keep them in a water-tight case or Abandon ship bag. Expect to spend $600-$1000 decking out your emergency bag. If you charter a boat, make sure you know what equipment is available to you in case of an emergency. When Jack fishes with other friends, he brings along his "ditch" bag along with his poles.
KNOWLEDGE. If you've had a wonderful and safe day out on the water, consider it money well-spent. If you catch fish, all the better. If there are deck-hands who are handling your fish or baiting your poles, tip them. They work very hard for their money. If a Captain puts you all over fish, add more money to the charter costs. It's a reward and they've earned it. If you get skunked, don't sulk. It happens to EVERYBODY who fishes on the water. That's why they call it fishing not catching. A lot of time is spent loading the boat, getting to the spots and looking at every nook and cranny. We don't expect our friends or family to tip us; however, we also don't expect people to complain over splitting costs either.
FOOD. Some Captains and charters/ head boats now provide food with their services. Don't expect Giada in the kitchen. It's probably some guy named Lou with tattoos on his forearms and a cig out his mouth. But, they won't let you starve. Sometimes it is just sandwiches and can drinks. Always ask ahead of time. For us, we usually provide for our family and let our guests pick out their own food at the convenience stores. Our baitshop, Sunrise Marina, happens to make a wonderful sub, packed with deli meats & cheeses. We always bring a big bag of salty snacks too. Pringles are #1. Peanuts are another big hit. I don't know why, but we'd rather munch than eat sandwiches most days. Egg salad sandwiches are great too because they're filled with protein which seems to settle the stomach better. Beef jerky also seems to be popular with the men. Watermelon can be rehydrating, but you may want to skip if it upsets your stomach. We can easily spend $20 in offshore foods for a family of 4, even if most of it comes from home.
MISCELLANEOUS. One thing I'm trying to get better about is bringing Ziploc baggies. Jack will clean whatever fish we get at the cleaning tables, rather then bring them home and have them sit in the garbage cans attracting flies & maggots. It's like oceanic recycling. Crabs & little fish get to pick the carcasses clean and we keep it out of landfills.
Of course, there are expenses to processing a lot of meat. See how-to-process-101-lbs-of-fish-meat .
So to recap, if your friend asks you to go fishing, expect to pay some $$ out of pocket. An offshore trip, this side of the Gulf Stream (26 miles away) will cost roughly $200-400. If you go to "the other side", expect a minimum of $600-800. Something in the river or off the beach, $100 or less.
It really is a bargain when you consider all the fun, memories and fresh meat you'll be eating. Oh and don't forget to bring the camera. It keeps fishermen from lying!!
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
This......... I did not do. It is a deep gash on the bow that was made last month when Jack went out with a friend. Accidents happen. Wind, waves, current, learning a new trailer....
And then this happened last week when I was loading the boat onto the trailer. I had the wench hook (barely in the picture) in front of the orange bumper when Jack drove it up the trailer. As the boat settled back down, it made scratches up the front. (below the hooking ring - ??name)
Jack had to reverse so I could pull the wench line back out of that area. Oh.....how badly I felt. The only silver lining about the situation was that Jack hadn't fixed the spot right above it. So now, we will be fixing both spots at the same time.
I'm so sorry honey! - Robin
Monday, July 07, 2008
See where the "prosthesis balls" are in place to give him balance? They work just fine. Of course, begging fishermen for leftover bait seems to work well for him too. He got 2 fat sardines from Jack this day.
Happy Fishing & support Wildlife rehab!
Saturday, July 05, 2008
Water like glass, almost metallic-like. Here, it is about 8am, heading down the beach.
We saw about 5 species of jellyfish. Here is one of them. The green water is almost always found on the beach.
Cocoa Beach Pier
Advertising airplane. We've seen this plane for the entire 6 years every single time we're on the beach.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
I have no energy to write a post tonight. We spent a half day on the water. Best skunking we've had in a while. Lots of cool things on the water.