sold the boat

There she goes. I bought her in 1994 for $2K and just sold her for the same. However in the intervening 18 years, I purchased 1 outboard, the poling platform, 3 trolling motors, 2 trailers, 3 sonar units, 2 props, lights, bearings, water pumps, springs, a rebuilt transom, an axle, batteries, and couple of major repairs. Probably over $8,000 for a lot of good times.


I rode from about 1978 to 1986 and used to think I would someday get a BMW boxer twin cylinder motorbike for long distance highway travel, perhaps in my retirement.

But recently I’ve had my eye on the Suzuki Tu250, a single cylinder, retro-styled small 250cc motorcycle.  It seems a much preferable alternative to the popular scooters that have been trending in recent years.     Linda’s expressed interest in learning to ride and this would be perfect.  Maybe we’ll hit the lottery.  oh wait, we’d have to play the lottery.


Link for Florida sales:|2320128&model=Tu250x|764861455&state=Florida|FL&vrsn=hybrid

race report, 2/13/11

It was the National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer, and it was an ocean of Pink.   4,000 runners in the half, and 1600 runners in the full marathon.  Plus many more doing the marathon as a relay event.

I was worried because of my plantar fasciitis problem, I haven’t trained for the last 6 weeks.  The longest I’ve run is 3.2 miles.  My foot held up fine for the race, although I’m limping several hours afterwords.  My difficulty was the pain and lower body fatigue in the last 3 miles from failure to train.  I walked the first mile and a half with daughter and her friend Nicki from UF.   Nicki was not an athlete, and Gina hung with her and walked the entire half marathon.

It was in the 30’s at the start of the race, but warmed up nicely.

Still I came in at 2:42 for the half marathon.     Not too shabby, my PR for a half marathon is 2:15.

Fall getaway to Long Point

Almost forgot to write this one up.  Its a couple of weeks ago already, I took advantage of the cancellation of my Wednesday class due to an odd weekday football game, and scheduled 4 nights camping and fishing at Long Point Park  (Oct 5 – 9.)    Its my go-to annual getaway.  I’ve learned that weekdays are blessedly quiet and uncrowded, and the mullet run is usually in pretty high form in October.

Unfortunately, I was greeted by a couple days of very high and consistent winds, which kept me off the water for much of the first days.   The good news: the water was unusually high, making access to some mangrove shorelines I had never fished before real easy.   Those shorelines were also protected from the wind.  On the second day I tried those backwaters and found redfish.   Using a gulp swimbait I caught 3 juvie’s and one healthy upper slot fish which I kept for the cooler.  On the following afternoon I got another upper slot red in the same place, and the following day, I caught a third bruiser redfish on a live finger mullet drifted behind the boat.    Additionally, I caught ladyfish, some cats,  and dozens and dozens of sea trout including one trophy sized trout on a 6 in. purple plastic shad

Redfish caught on gulp bait along mangrove shorelines trophy sea trout caught near St. Sebastian river off spoil island

The windy weather curtailed my usual outdoor culinary pursuits, so I’ve got no enticing cookery photos this time.  But I did fire grill some of the redfish and on my final night a boneless ribeye steak.  In the  evenings after dinner, I would set up coffee for the next morning, then retire to the tent and watch  archived episodes of Freaks and Geeks (1999) on my netbook.    Sunrise that week was not until 7am, so I could sleep in until 6, brew the coffee, grab some food and easily be out on the water at first light.    Heck, I get up earlier than that most weekdays at home.

By the end of the week, the winds had calmed down and water levels returned to normal.   The St. Sebastian river across the lagoon is under controlled release from the Upper St. Johns watershed, and I suspect there was a big release around the start of the week, which takes a few days to fully drain out through the Sebastian inlet.   On Thursday afternoon, I had to enlist some muscle assistance from friendly campers to push my beached boat back in the water.  I forgot to raise my outboard motor, and it was stuck in the mud by the falling tide.

On Friday night, the partying crowds  and weekenders arrived and every waterfront campsite was filled, mostly with RV’s.   My novice tent-camping neighbor was a friendly enough young tattooed guy, but he started drinking early, and by nightfall, he was out of control and engaged in off and on abusive arguing with his girlfriend.   He also played thrashing rap/rock too loudly.   He didn’t cause me any trouble other than annoyance, and to his credit he extended apologies the next morning.    But like I said, weekdays are the way to go down there.

Saturday night, back home, unpacked, shaved and showered, I grilled up the rest of the redfish which Linda and I enjoyed out in our patio twilight.

Canaveral beach walk

untrodsand Hal had the idea to attempt another beach walk this holiday weekend, and I jumped at the idea.   Hal has completed it 4 times before, and the last time I went with him, I had knee trouble, and bailed out after 4 miles.

This time Hal wanted to walk south from New Smyrna end to the Playalinda end.  Our spouses graciously agreed to provide transport, and Alison dropped us off about 7:30am at Apollo beach at the tail end of a rainstorm with blustery winds.   However, it rapidly cleared up, winds dropped to gentle breezes, and we discovered the tide was ideal; it was dropping to a low at about late morning, leaving us with lots of hardpack sand for the first 2/3rds of our walk.

We encountered no one along the way except for a ranger running turtle patrol on a 4 wheeler.  Since it is still summer, we each carried about a gallon of water.  We saw thousands of staked turtle nests, a few fresh turtle crawls and one dead hatchling, dolphins doing acrobatics and leaping completely out of the water, and nudists at each end of the walk.  The oddest sight was a set of footprints at about mile 9.  They seemed to walk out of the surf, went straight towards the dune line, and did not come back down.

Flickr photoset hereGoogle map of the 14.5 miles covered.

Linda and Alison met us in Playlinda about 5:30pm just ahead of some rain squalls coming in, and we celebrated at Dixie Crossroads with shrimp and seafood.

730am 14+miles untrodsand Headless hatchline break time lagoon croaker turtle nestings finish rockshrimp

so this is how it can happen

That is what I was thinking as I bounced off the hood of car while crossing six-lane Semoran this morning near the start of my run.   The light turned green while I was crossing in front of stopped cars, but there was one open lane and a driver came on through.   I thank god that he was paying attention enough to hit the brakes so it was a slow-speed collision, but a collision nonetheless.  I rolled onto the asphalt and then got to my feet.   I’m just fine.  I reassured the drivers and waved them on their way, and I finished my run.    I’m extra thankful today.

catfish barb

chillin’ in the shade waiting for the evening bite.

I was out Saturday fishing the Long Point area and planning to spend the night.  Fishing was pretty good in the morning.  I took a break from the midday heat and headed out again in late afternoon.   I wasn’t having any further luck with artificials, so I cast netted some small baitfish.   I had one terrific long run on the bait that threatened to spool me, but it broke off and I recovered most of my 30lb braid.   Other than that, I was getting small catfish on the baited pole.

One of those cats was my undoing.   Near sunset I was removing a hook from a catfish held firmly in my right hand.  The hook came out with a snap and the catfish barb went deep into my ring finger through the callous worn by my wedding ring.  I freaked out.  The serrated barb was stuck fast and deep.  After a couple of tries, I ripped it out.   Blood was flying all over the front of the boat.  I wrapped the wound in a dirty rag,  pulled anchor with one hand, and fired up the motor to return to the ramp.  While under way, I called Linda and asked her for research on dangers of catfish barbs, and the nearest ER.  I started getting quite woozy and became concerned that I might lose consciousness.  But I made it back to the campground in about 15 minutes, and staggered over to the adjacent campsite to ask for help.

Turns out that neighbor Ron is a Vero Beach firefighter, he concurred that I would need stitches, and he offered to drive me to the hospital in Sebastian, about 18 miles away by roadway.  Here’s an irony;  my location when the accident happened was no further than a half mile from that same hospital.  I could have anchored, waded to shore and walked to the ER in less than 15 minutes.

When I did arrive about an hour after the 7:30pm accident, they cleaned my hand, cut my ring off, and discovered the barb had fully pierced my finger.  I certainly did more damage pulling it out than it did going in.   Wish I had not panicked.  Xrays showed that “self-administered foreign object removal” was completely successful, as the pretty young ER doctor phrased it.  She declined to stitch the wounds up citing the danger of infection.  They bandaged me, put a splint on the finger, dosed me with tetanus and antibiotics and discharged me.  Ron was waiting with a cheeseburger for me.    What a guy.  I have his wife’s business card, so I will send him a thank you note with a medical update.


In the ER waiting room

wedding ring
ER personnel had to cut off my ring.

After a somewhat fitful and sweaty night sleeping in the car, I got up Sunday about 7am, made a pot of coffee and hung out enjoying the beautiful morning (and updated facebook via my phone.)  Ron had left for an early morning shift, so I waited for his teenage son to arise to help me load up my boat.  At 9am Anthony was up, and he brought my boat around to the ramp and did the (literally) heavy lifting of getting the boat back on the trailer and unloaded.

I was home by noon, filled my scripts, and I’ll see my doctor for a followup on Tuesday.