Monday, September 29, 2014


Yes, you read that right.

BULLY NETTING: The art of catching lobster at night with a net from the boat.

After a delicious spaghetti dinner at sundown, Chuck and I loaded the new skiff…. oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about the new boat, but first, I'll tell you about my first experience at bully netting.

We gathered our flashlights, nets and tickle sticks, and hopped on the boat. Lobster come out and feed at night, so they are walking around looking for their dinner, instead of hiding in holes during the day.  There are two different lights mounted on the front of the boat, shining in the water. When the light hits their eyes, they glow red. Sort of like the freaky way a cat's eyes do.

The 12 volt light hanging off the bow has a shield above it so the light won't blind you. With both lights on, the bottom is clear and you can see very well in shallow water.

We ran out to the shallows close to the mangroves, just out from the house. Chuck took the net and climbed up on the bow, while I got behind the wheel. I have not had much experience behind the wheel of a power boat. I thought that was very brave of him to stand at the edge of the bow while I drove. We trolled around for about 20 minutes and didn't see a one. We got into some very skinny water, and Chuck thought it was best he took the wheel. If we hit something, he wanted it to be him driving… so did I. I took a net and positioned myself at the bow. I am not the most graceful person, and I couldn't help fear falling off if we suddenly ran aground. Within a few minutes, I saw my first lobster, but the water was too deep, and I was a little too cautious and let him get away before I could get the net on him. After three attempts, I gave up on him. It was getting late, so we headed back to the house. While coming through the channel that leads to the canal, I again took my net to the bow. I caught one, but he was a shorty. A shorty is a lobster too small to keep. He was thrown back and I quickly caught another. He was a shorty too. but man was that a blast.

The ballyhoo were just going crazy in the channel, and they are a good bait. We went to the house and got another net, went back out and caught 13 ballyhoo, stuck them in the freezer. By the time we got back to the house it was midnight. I had a blast!

Now about the new boat. Chuck is known for being a boat collector. . .

A couple months ago, a neighbor walked across the street and asked Chuck if he was interested in buying his boat. Chuck asked, "How much?" The number given had too many digits, so the answer was a quick, "No thank you." Chuck turns to walk away, and the neighbor asks, "How much would you give me?" Chuck came back with an amount just 1/5th of the asking price. Some haggling was done, and shortly thereafter… there was another boat parked in the driveway.

This boat needed some work, but will be a cool little boat for diving, lobstering, and working the stone crab traps. It is a 19' Sundancer with a Yamaha 4 stroke engine hanging off the back. It will be great on gas and low maintenance.

The motor needed work, new trim motor, new running lights, new battery and the gas tank cleaned. The upholstery was trash and was replaced. The bimini was not in bad shape, but the tie-down straps needed to be replaced, and a bimini boot will probably be added at some point.

She is in the water now, and she is a sweet ride. Last night the weather was perfect, a little moonlight, on the water with my Sweetie … what more could a girl ask for!

Friday, September 26, 2014


Ever since I got to Key West, I've felt off a few degrees. I finally figured out what has contributed to this feeling. First, I stayed with my daughter and her family. It was a temporary situation until I figured out my next move. The decision to stay in Key West was made, so I looked for a place to rent. Rent is VERY expensive here, so I took the cheapest route and rented a room from a lady. It never felt like "my place"… I was "staying" with someone. This lady put her condo up for sale, so again, I must relocate my belongings. The other day it hit me, I know what I need to make me feel more settled. I now have a legal mailing address all my own! A PO Box, and I got my first piece of mail. It may seem a little odd to some of you, but I have the need to have something all my own. Someday I will live in a space that I can decorate to my own taste, paint the wall if I want.  Who knows the future shape of "my space". It may not have four walls, it may have bulkheads and a cockpit to sit and watch the sunset. Anything is possible….

Thursday, September 25, 2014


We all have our favorite Jimmy Buffet song, and know the words to many of his songs. I have many of his songs, but I didn't understand some of the lyrics until I moved to Key West. Jimmy has spent a lot of time here in Key West, and even has a little recording studio by the water.

"All of a sudden I wasn't  alone picking' country music with old Joe Bones. Duval Street was rocking…"

Joe Bones plays a lot of Buffett's music and played at Margaretaville on Duval Street, here in Key West. 

"I'm goin' down to Fausto's to get some chocolate milk…"

Fausto's is a small grocery store on Fleming, just off Duval Street in Key West. It's within easy walking distance of the dinghy dock we always tied to when we first got to Key West. I didn't know it was famous, I just thought it was really expensive. Who knew!