Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving all, especially those in my life that I'm particularly thankful for; my family and friends that have been so supportive to me over the past six months.

Of course, it's nice to have a day to remind us to be thankful for these things, but the more I think about it, I realize that I need to try to do a better job of being thankful for the special people in my life each and every day.  It's easy to take the people you love for granted, and assume they'll always be there.  Hopefully, no matter I am, I'll remember to always be as loving and supportive of them, and hope they're as thankful that I'm in their life as well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Patience and Perseverance

I got a couple of e-mails and comments giving me a kick in the butt to update a bit more, and they were right, so thank you.

It's been a little tough to motivate the last week or so because things have started off a bit slowly here. I hit the ground running with a few good fishing days to start, but unfortunately charters in the area seem to have gone the way of the stock market, and have been way down this month.

But the keys are going to be patience and perseverance. After all, as the old adages go, "It's not called catching, it's called fishing" and "It's not called killing, it's called hunting." You learn quickly that patience and perseverance are necessary qualities in being good at either of these endeavors, and those traits carry over to life in general if you want to be successful.

So, even though it's slow now, I know that in time, we'll be booked more regulary, we'll fish more, and I'll get the chance to learn more, get into the flow, and hopefully be successful in my new endeavor. In the meantime, until those bookings pick up for our boat, I'm going to have to try hard to continue to meet people, and continue to try and get on the water in any capacity that I can to get the experience I need to better hone my craft.

But, that said, since this week is going to be slow, I'm going to hop a plane to Chicago tomorrow so I can get home and see my family for Thanksgiving, and then hopefully come back and hit the ground running with renewed energy as Sailfish Tournament season takes full effect in December.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Great Day Fishing!!!

It was a great day fishing, but how often after that, do you get to sit and eat dinner with Chico Fernandez and Steve Huff?

Yes, I know that the few that read this often may not totally understand, but basically it was eating dinner with two of fishing's royalty.

It's late and I'm tired, but I have a short day tomorrow, so more then.....but really an all around incredible.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fishing Islamorada!!!

Day one in the books. Was gratifying as well as difficult. Definitely a lot of hard work, which was to be expected, and I know I have a lot to learn. It's discouraging sometimes when I feel like I don't know things, but I also have to remember that I'm comparing myself to someone who has been on the water almost daily for 20 years, so I should probably cut myself some slack as well. A lot will be repetition, and I'm confident that I'll pick it up as time goes.

It was pretty windy when we hit the dock this morning, so the run to the Gulf Stream for Swordfish was scrapped. We started out Sailfishing, which was slow to begin with, so at about midday we hit the reef to fish for dinner. We hit the Yellowtail Snappers pretty hard, and ended up with 30 or so in the boat, as well as a Mangrove Snapper. Fresh fish for dinner!!!

While we were anchored on the reef, a Sailfish crashed some baits behind us, and the first mate, Mikey, tossed back a bait and in short order we were hooked to a decent sized sail. One of the anglers fought it for a while from a dead drift, and was playing it well, but it threw the hook about 5 minutes in. It got some good jumps in, though, which was exciting.

The day ended with a double header. Two small sails hit the baits, and both were brought to the side of the boat.

All in all, a nice first day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Back to schoooool....

Good learning day today. Didn't hit the engine room after all, but helped build a bait pen, learned to spool and re-line reels, and helped clean out the boat and reorganize from Marlin/Dolphin season to prepare for Sailfish season.

First full day of fishing tomorrow, and then learn to throw the cast net for bait on Monday or so. Very exciting.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Welcome to Islamorada

I arrived in Islamorada Sunday night and have been getting myself situated since. I enjoyed my trip through North Carolina to see friends and send my dogs on their way to Denver, which was much more emotional for me than I had expected, but all went well. They're with Janis in their new home, and everyone is reportedly happy, so I'm very grateful for that.

Stopped in Jacksonville and spent a nice evening with Craig and Wendy on Saturday night, and then headed to Islamorada on Sunday to begin my new adventure. I've been out with Greg the past two mornings catching bait in preparation for some tournaments in early December. We're planning to do some boat maintenance tomorrow morning, and I should get a good initiation with the engine room.

My first official fishing day will be Friday when we venture out for some Swordfish. I've never fished for Swords before, so it seems apropos to get off and running in with my new career with a truly fresh experience.

I hope to have some pictures up from the trip in the next few days. Thanks to all of those who provided me places to stay and all of your hospitality along my trip back east. I hope everyone is well.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thank Goodness for Audiobooks

Before I headed west in July, Craig suggested I look into Audiobooks. He said they were a great way to keep yourself entertained and awake when driving alone on the open road. I enjoyed a few on my way out, but I don't think there's been a time that I felt more fortunate to have gotten that advice than the last couple of days. Southern Colorado is just desolate. The drive into Albuquerque isn't bad, but once you turn east from Albuquerque, there's nothing there.

I take that back. Amarillo is in the Texas panhandle, but I'm not sure why. My friend Alan said, "It's there 'cause that's where the wagons broke down." It seems about as logical a reason as any. But other than Amarillo, sagebrush, and a few windmills, there's just nothing between Albuquerque and Oklahoma City that even comes close to grabbing your attention.

I used to whine about driving through Iowa and Nebraska, but I think I owe them a written apology and a fruit basket or something. At least they've got some corn and a rolling hill or two.

But don't get me wrong. While the Audiobooks have been a savior while I've been driving, I'm having a great trip. Hung out with my friend Brett in Laramie for Halloween. Met my sister Janis for brunch in Denver yesterday morning. Continued on to Albuquerque where I arrived to a beautiful sunset over the mountains of Sante Fe last night and had dinner and drinks with my friends Ann and Steve. They have a new puppy, and Ann faught with her daughter Jaime over who'd get to show me the puppy tricks. I've never heard a grown woman huff "No! He's my friend, I get to show him the tricks. You can do the tricks when YOUR friends are here," as she pushed her daughter aside. I was quite amused.

Headed to Oklahoma City today and met up with my friends Renae and Alan. Enjoyed a great Mexican dinner with a couple of margaritas, and then hit a local poker room for a bit for old time's sake. I'll head out leisurely in the morning, as I've got about 2 days worth of driving to get back to North Carolina.

From there, I'll need a few days to get some personal business attended to, and then it's time to go south, but I'm looking forward to spending some time with some friends while I'm there.