Monday, September 30, 2013


Aiden, my grandson, turned five years old last week. I gave him a fishing rod for his birthday, and Chuck was to teach him how to use it. Sunday was that appointed day. The boat was loaded with rods, chum, bait, and we headed out for the open water.  Chuck knew just the spot for Aiden to have a positive experience for his first fishing trip. We anchored, put the chum bucket overboard, and there were many hungry yellowtail fighting for their fresh meal. Chuck rigged Aiden's Spiderman rod with hook and bait, threw it in the water, and immediately got a bite. Aiden pulled in one after another... so many that we lost count! All but one were under-sized yellowtail, but one fish was a keeper.
His first fish

Aiden took us home.

Chuck lead Aiden in his initiation into the world of anglers. Aiden will be a tournament champion in no time. I can see many more afternoons with a rod and reel in Aiden's hands, and Chuck by his side.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Four generations.

Mom & Dad meet Presley.
On September 22, 2013, my grandson, Aiden turned 5 years old. There were balloons, cupcakes, gifts and... a 'bouncy house'. The theme was 'super heroes', with an emphasis on Spiderman, because that is Aiden's favorite super hero. My parents flew down for this event, and to meet the new addition to the family, Presley. It is rare that the four generations are together, it was a Kodak moment. However, I couldn't get my mother in the bouncy house with me. Chuck, Bill and Amy did though. As safety conscious adults, it was our job to make sure it was safe for the kids. What gift did Aiden receive from me? Well, a Spiderman rod and reel, of course. Chuck gave him his first fishing lesson after the party. From the other room, I heard Aiden yelling, "Reel that baby in!" Chuck is teaching him well. Soon, Chuck will put real hooks on his line, and Aiden will be reeling in a real fish.

Rocket and Nana in the bouncy-house.

Saturday afternoon, Chuck took us out on the water. We had two manatee pay us a visit while we were still at the dock. We headed out on the water, Chuck and I did a little fishing. We didn't catch anything, but Mom and Dad enjoyed watching us try.

It was a great weekend, full of fun and laughter. Many memories were made, and will be cherished forever.

Aiden turns five!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Sean sailing 'Scout'.                          photo by Kiko

I feel like that mother that gave up her child for adoption. I will always love that child and watch her blossom. Instead of recitals and graduation... I will be watching for those reports and videos of sailing the different waters of the world. Okay, maybe not the world, maybe the adventurous sailing events like the Texas 200, the Everglades Challenge, Sail Oklahoma...

Yesterday, 'Scout', formerly TARDIS, was taken out for her second sail. The winds were 20+ knots, but a Paradox knows how to handle it. Sean is still getting used to the lug sail, but it won't take long to get the hang of it.

Sean had a friend video the sail, and Sean put together an amazing video. Yes, I did tear up, but nobody was in the room, so it was okay.

To follow Sean and Scout's adventures, visit Sean's blog:

Saturday, September 14, 2013


photograph by Sean Mulligan

Okay, I know her name was changed to "Scout", but I will always know her as TARDIS. When I checked my email this morning, I found an email announcing a new post on her guardian's blog: I have been following her progress as Sean gets her ready for her first sail. Reading of her splash and seeing pictures of her floating, tears of joy and jealousy, streamed down my cheeks. This was my baby that I created and nurtured, and I never dreamed I would feel such emotions seeing her in someone else's hands. But, I will get over it, life goes on.

Scout is in good hands, Sean will take care of her and take her on all those sails that she was built for. I hope she treats him well and gives him years of fun.

Someday, I will see her again.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Little Sailboat

My friend Chuck, has several boats, and one is a Precision 23 sailboat. When I saw the boat, I didn't see a name written across the transom. I asked about her name, he replied, "She doesn't have one. I just call her 'the little sailboat'." I told him that she needed a name, but I don't believe he thinks that's very important, so I will name her 'THE LITTLE SAILBOAT' until I come up with a better name.

Her mainsail was ripped, and in need of repair. I kept my heavy-duty portable sewing machine, so I took the sail and fixed it, now she's ready for another romp in the Atlantic.

Many homes in the Keys have canals behind the house, and Chuck's home is no exception. How convenient is that! Yesterday, Chuck and I decided to take 'THE LITTLE SAILBOAT' out for a sunset sail. We got the jib on, mainsail cover off, drinks and chips aboard, motor warmed up, cast off and headed for the channel. Once we got to the channel, the motor would die when we tried to give it gas and get on down the channel, so we slowly crabbed toward #2 marker. Once pasted #2, we turned to port and raised the sails. We barely had any wind, which was probably a good thing. Not sure of the swing keel's position, Chuck pulled up on the line, but the keel didn't fall back down. Okay, now we don't have a keel, the motor is not reliable, we decide to head back to the dock. Luckily, it's down wind and with the current, so off we go.

It was nice to be back on a sailboat, even if it was not a very successful sail, it was fun for me. I will make a list of repairs that need to be done so she can go out and have fun in the warm waters of the Atlantic. Sailboats are not Chuck's favorite mode of transportation on the water. She has spent most of her time at the dock, but I hope to change that now. :-)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


In past years, I've had some fun Labor Day Weekends. However, this one was very different from any other. This day was spent looking at the landscape of the Atlantic. The weather and water was perfect, the most bright and beautiful turquoise you've ever seen, and calm. It was a perfect day for diving.

With six aboard the boat, we shoved off about mid-morning and headed out the canal and into the Atlantic. Our objective was to find lobster. Lobster live under rocks and coral. How do you find these rocks and coral? Someone wearing fins, mask, and snorkel is pulled slowly behind the boat and looks for these lobster condos. When a promising location is spotted, they drop off and go down to investigate. If lobster is seen, the location is marked, the boat anchored, and everyone goes in.
This is how it's done in Conch Country.
Our first stop was right in Chuck's backyard, a spot that has been labeled "rock pile" on the GPS. Only one legal size lobster was found at this stop, we then moved on out about 3 1/2 miles. The water was clear and we anchored at about 25'.

There is a completely different world under the water's surface, and I am in love with it. I am trying to learn all the different fish, and have heard a lot of talk about the hogfish.
Wikipedia says:
Hogfish is a commonly targeted species for many spear and reef fisherman and is regarded highly by many for its taste and food value. 
 I saw my first hogfish, and can now identify one. For now, I will be the spotter, and let Chuck use the speargun. But, someday........

If you use an old anchor for a doorstop, 
you're in Conch Country.