Thursday, November 20, 2014


by Robin

Had a few more minutes to downsize some more pictures from yesterday before we get to the New Dock pics below.  Here is my youngest with the map room behind him.  There is also a dining table.

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He had many questions for the French men that were learning how to sail this vessel. These two had pretty good English.

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Here is the lamp that lights up the front of the boat as it travels.  It is actually at an angle but I changed that  for the blog.

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Ok, here are the OLD DOCKS for Port Canaveral.  This is where you used to stage and un/load boats onto trailers.  They're filling it all in with dirt.  There will be no ramp follies to watch any more from Grills restaurant.  Btw, Grills has made some beautiful new construction to its existing building and added a bait/tackle store to where the motorcycles used to park.  I have no idea where motorcyclists will go after that.  Hope they made plans for more parking!!

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Here is the side view of the new terminal.  Still off limits but I think they said it opens up this weekend.

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Ok, so if you go past all the  old dock area on Flounder St., and continue heading down toward Jetty park, you will see the NEW DOCKS, just before the park entrance.  Turn left there.  Here are the new docks.  There is plenty of concrete for backing in trailers and place for boats to drop off drivers to pick up trailers.

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Here's the same view to the left, looking back at the parking area, which is very spacious.

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They put in fish cleaning stations, which I love.  There are nice restrooms.  To the left is a bait/tackle store.  I would think they're probably going to upgrade that trailer that sits there now into something more concrete in the future.

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This property is adjacent with Jetty Park camping grounds.  No more slow cruising until you get to the rocks.  As soon as you launch, you can hit the gas right out to your fishing grounds.

Although I wasn't thrilled with the change originally, I have to say that I do like this new space much better and away from the tourist (if you can get past the tourist traffic).   I look forward to seeing how it all works with spring/ cobia rush of recreational fishermen.  I wonder if they'll even be able to find the new docks if they haven't been around for a while.  :)

So, I hope this blesses somebody.
Tight Lines,

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


by Robin

I have been so time-challenged for well over a year now.  Got one son graduated and in college and the other one begins a new journey called high school.  Every weekend seems to be filled with events and volunteer work.

All those things are wonderful but it is great to come back to some of the things we really love.  Last weekend, Jack and I took an overnight trip to Sebastian Inlet.  We fished there and docked at Captain Hiram's.  More on that another day.  I have to downsize pictures for that.

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But, now that most the focus is off the big kid, I am able to do fun stuff with my baby.  We had a superb field trip today down at Port Canaveral.   A Spanish Galeon is here through the end of the month.  He was so excited to get on the ship and out of the bitter cold wind (above).  He was first on the ship.

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Immediately, I fell in love with all the wood and rope (lines).   So many cool angles to shoot from.  Below is the crow's nest at the top of the front mast.

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Below is my son standing in front of the crew cabin doors.

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Up on the bow, there were plenty of lines.  I am assuming they to go the sails when they are finally down and full of air.

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This galeon is a replica, constructed in 2009.  It truly sailed across the Atlantic, from France, over 28 days to Puerto Rico.  Then, they were in Port Canaveral last year and up the Atlantic seaboard.  Now, they are on their way back down the coast.  My youngest tells me they are headed back over to Europe and Asia.

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They have a crew of 20 and some are there to learn sailing technique.  A couple are there from a French culinary school and fulfilling some school requirement of cooking for over 20 people for 6 months at a time.

Below is the Poop Deck, Captain's Quarters (down below the deck) and the Ship's Wheel.
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Here is a picture from the outside.  You can see the faux cannons through the windows.  Back in the day, these were carrying cargo (not war ships) but they did have to defend themselves.

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Hope you enjoyed my quick tour of the ship.  It was about 48 degrees but I guess that beat having snow & ice like the rest of the country.

Maybe the best part of the field trip was our lunch date afterwards.  Hot cocoa warmed us up and then a good meal fit for any pirate - mahi mahi and wings.  Great conversation with my son.  Priceless.

God bless you & happy fishing,

Saturday, August 16, 2014


by Robin

Ok, these made the top 50 pics that I had time to upload and down-size for the blog.  I regret that I have no video because my underwater camera broke on the 3rd day, before we went scalloping.  The video from the springs has disappeared.  I am just ever thankful that the I did not lose everything.

Dropped Jack off at Pete's Pier and he motored over to the Days Inn for First Choice (our boat's name) to stay in slip #1 for the week.

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First day.  Boys with too much energy wrestling in the pool.

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Day 2:  Went out of Crystal River only to be met with 2 rain cells merging into one big t-cell.  180 turn-around.  Head to Three Sister Springs for manatee viewing and ice cold swimming.

When we arrived, we saw many tour boats there with people in the water all looking down.  I jumped in and captured this picture of the 2 green blobs lurking, I mean sleeping, on the bottom.  Kinda creepy to swim through water this dark.  I am SO GLAD these images didn't turn out to be gator shaped!  Tour guide complained at my youngest because he was wearing flippers.  Me too, but I kept mine down until he left.  Ooops.

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Ok, so I head into the springs.  These are slightly out of order but starting with the prettiest one first. :)  This is the deepest of the 3 big springs back there.

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This is a grouping of tree roots just to the left before the area opens up to the springs.

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I feel like I'm going in backwards order, but the rocks are right after the underwater gate.  Some pretty little fish live in the rocks.

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My eldest going under the deepest branch.  I wanna say this goes down about 20-25 ft.  I don't know how his lungs and ears aren't killing him.

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Wait, maybe they were!!  I really do feed this boy.  (He is my garbage disposal.)

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My youngest needed to work up his nerve a little bit more.  Afterall, it is 71-73 deg water.  See him shivering??

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Another dive.

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Thumbs up!

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My turn!!   He actually went completely under that branch.

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So brave!  Multiple dives down about 15+ ft.

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Ok, well that didn't last for long.  We heard the thunder catching up to us and had to head back in through a downpour.

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And it rained ALL NIGHT.  I bet the dogs are very glad they didn't come with us.

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Here we are waiting it out.  The hotel owner told us we could cancel our trip and head home without any cancelling fees.  We are debating that.  Why is the vote always 2 against 2?  Good thing I won out this time!  LOL.  We stayed and tried to wait for weather to clear.

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Bored, swimming in rain. As long as there was no lightening, we were fine.

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This may have been somewhere around Tue evening.  Weather moved through but it was too late to head out scalloping.  Hubby and I went to the end of Fort Island Trail and went out on the fishing dock.

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Our view to the left.  Nice little marshy area and the man-made beach is beyond that.  photo 2014-08-12071005MarshGrass.jpg

We did look up the sunset times but I forgot to add an hour of daylight savings time.  Oops.

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We were killing time so we took some pictures of us with the camera timer and it sitting on a tri-pod.  Not bad!

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A young lady almost lost her pole over the side of the rail.  I saved it.  She pulled this guy up but was too scared to touch it.  Jack stepped in and held onto it so the boyfriend could dehook it.

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Back to some nice pictures of Jack.

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Well, I didn't downsize the sun setting but here is one from right after it set.

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We totally enjoyed our evening together.

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The colors were magnificent.

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After sunset, we had an appetizer at Cracker's restaurant.  Conch, Gator bites, and Clams.... while watching Shark Week.

Wednesday, we finally were blessed with a dry day.  Time to throw on the suits and snorkel gear and hunt up some scallops.

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We traveled through some beautiful area.  I turned the camera to get a vertical shot, but I think I prefer it this way.  Looks like a Llama to me.  Any else see that??

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These two have been sitting up here for several years.  Life jackets change but the fun conversations never stop.  It does my heart good to see them getting along.

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Oops, a throwback to the canal again.  With sunglasses this time.

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At one point, I was in the cuddy, organizing all the gear and sending it up to the guys.  I think I must have said something funny to get them to smile.  Hmmm.  It worked.

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These two get along so well.  Hard to believe our son is 18 now.

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If you've known Jack for any length of time, you will know that he makes a lot of funny faces, especially for the camera.

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I do have more scalloping pictures but forgot to down-size them today.  Here was our entire catch for the day (& trip).  Very pitiful this year.  Current was ripping because of the full moon.  There were times I was kicking and kicking and wasn't sure I could make it back up to the boat.  I was concerned a little bit for our youngest.  He was smart to stay by the boat and extended rope we leave drifting behind it.

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We came in before dark so we could explore Shell Island.  We thought it would be like a mini-paradise.  We were SO WRONG!!  It was filled with biting flies.  Couldn't enjoy 2 minutes out there without getting bitten, stung!!   Jack swam my camera out to me so I could take these photos.

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The boys are already back in the boat in the picture below.  They just laid down.  ha ha.

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I think this actually goes on Tuesday night pictures... playing with the underwater camera.... while it rained.  Then, the camera bit the dust while looking at the pics online.  Waaaaah.  No camera for scalloping.

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Thursday, we loaded the boat back up and then left it at the hotel while we went down the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Refuge.  So many great pics, but here are just a few.

Horned Owl.

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They have Louie the hippo (honorary Floridian).  He didn't want to participate much for the crowd.  I have one or two pics that maybe I can try to show later.

We saw gorgeous birds, foxes, bears, deer, gators, manatee and fish!  We saw they were building a Florida panther exhibit too.  Should be coming soon.

These are Barred Owls.

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The whole center is built around a protected spring.  Boat and people are not allowed back in there. But, they have this fantastic underwater observatory.  (There is a manatee in this picture!)

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My Captain, O Captain!!  (in honor of Robin Williams, who passed while we were on vacation)  Love him.

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And I am his Mommatee!!  LOL.  Hey, if you're going to be a manatee... you need to do it in style.

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I could not stop singing, "Barbara Manatee".   We showed up in time to see their feeding time.  Kids called this cabbage but I think it is more like a bok choy.  Right?

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Ok, this picture (the really big, quality pixel one) is going in a frame or a calendar somewhere.  Love it!!  Those are healthy Sheepshead feeding with the manatee.

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We could have stayed here for hours.  They even use their flippers to hold the food in place.  LOL.

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Well, that's a good portion of the pictures.  Hope you enjoyed them.
Happy Vacationing and Beginning of School,