If time is money and you have more time, Do you need more money?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Tin and I took a trip downtown today.  He needed a doctor to check out his eye.  Some type of infection was making his eyelid all puffy.

While we were there we had lunch at Tom's Hot Dogs and stopped by Books by the Sea.  Sitting on the shelf at books by the sea was Echo written by Dana Smith,  Tin's Mom and my best friend.

Go out and buy a few thousand copies at IndieBound.

Having a Gypsy dancer living in the basement and a practicing witch as a guardian, River Valiente thought nothing in life could surprise her. A vengeful, murderous father and a psychotic sister she never knew existed proved that River’s life was much more complicated than she thought. Magic, romance and prayer prove not to be enough to save her from the life she is destined to live. With a murder plot unfolding, River is forced to seek help. Raine, River’s intuitive, lesbian, pregnant sister, becomes her only chance to survive.

Love Ya

Monday, December 19, 2011

The fisher king now has his own blog...

As part of his Creative Writing the Fisher King now has his own blog.  This is part Boat School part passing the adventure on to others in his age bracket that may be wondering how it is living on a sailboat 24/7 and having to be home schooled.


Friday, December 16, 2011

We had the GoPro out for a splash today

Took a few photos of our "lawn".

Typical growth under the water in St Andrews Bay
Typical murky bay views

While we were taking photos I thought a look at our underwater grocery store would be good too.  Maybe you  have noticed in our blog we have categorized the Sheephead and now include the portions from each .  In the dock we have seen several Major Stripes but have not seen any of the larger off shore sizes hanging out.  If we do that would be a good post and a great dinner for a few days

  1. 15" Private Stripes (2 plates)
  2. 18" Sergeant Stripes (4 plates)
  3. 21" Major Stripes (6 plates, yes on fish feeds us both 3 times)
  4. 24" Colonel Stripes (?)
  5. 27" General Stripes (?)

 Sheephead!  Hopefully we will put a spear in a few of these and try some sushi
Bad photo but you can see Major stripes hiding behind the Sergeant in the center.

One day I will get the Fisher King during one of his Fish Dances on video.  But for now he keeps busting me when I try to take a photo.  

 The Fisher King in one of his fish dances

Well we now have underwater photo and vid capability and with some tweaking of the hardware we will be able to jazz up your part of our adventure.

Time to go spear some Sheephead, I hope!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Today was a grab bag of mixed projects..

First was getting the on board WIFI set up.  Last spring I set up the Bad Boy WIFI antennae atop the mast and plugged straight into the on board computer.  That has all been good except Bad Boy WIFI and Chrome don't play well during set up and channel changes.  Every new port I have to go to IE long enough to pick a station.  I could leave it on random but a lot of "available" stations in the Keys are actually only an entry portal to Pay Connections.  One other thing that has been driving me crazy is the reception at water line!  Being on the laptop is an act not unlike being on AOL years ago!  You just never hear the "GOOD BYE!"  as you loose connection.
Bad Boy Unleashed! I had been looking at this for some time now that Tin is aboard.

Today, to save a hundred plus bucks, I dug out the old Netgear wireless and found it was 12volt, yehaaa!  That makes connections much better than having to run an inverter.  So the morning was spent looking up passwords from 3 years ago and getting the Netgear wireless to broadcast the signal it was receiving from open WIFI ports.  Now I am typing this with my "pirated" (actually free from the dock but you know what I mean) and rebroadcast of the signal from the laptop.  I now have a glitch free connection to the laptop and can move around the boat when the available signals are weak.  If I find the need for more power (taking the laptop to the beach etc.) I can always upgrade later.

 HERO 2 Sequence of greedy bird with Blondie in back ground

Also on the list today was getting the old spinnaker pole rebuilt and as soon as I get some crimps that will be done.

We tried making Sushi last night, key word tried.  I was so worried about the rice not cooking well on the grill that we kept putting it off.  Well... rice on the Magma Kettle came out perfect.  One cup sushi short grained rice, 1 1/4 cup water and cook on med hi with lid until water is absorbed and set to rest for 10 minutes!  Stir in sushi rice sauce and place into gallon zip lock and put in cooler, I hate hot rice on sushi.   The rice was perfect but the Sea Bass was tough and not that good raw.  Now that the "ice" is broken we can experiment more!

Tin grumbled through his "Monday" in Boat School but is doing well overall.  He is now on Math 6 before Christmas in his 5th grade class.  He is regretting the fact that he chose a book with 438 pages to read.  But for most everything else he is on track, by June he will be 1/2 way though 6th grade lessons. with only a couple hours +_ each school day.

Fisher King and his mom from water level. 

I also managed to get the long postponed installation of the Solar Vent complete.

Also did a little fishing and caught one White Trout.  I spent more time playing with the new HERO 2 camera to see what I think.  I had the frequency set to quick so I never got any underwater photos of the trout or anything else.  I will change the settings and try again on another day.  If all goes well by the time we get to crystal clear water I will have a good lens for the GOPRO.  I was able to use one of the boat poles for a 12 foot extension to make different point of view photos.  We also found out that among all the fishing gear we have I need more light weight braided line.  Oh well more things too do.

Hanging out in PC for Christmas

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Well day 5 did not produce a sunset but surfing the web produced Kepler-22b

Today in homeschool, I mean boatschool we learned about Kepler-22b


NASA scientists have identified a new planet they believe to have several similarities to Earth.
Kepler-22b, named for the Kepler planet-hunting telescope it was spotted with, is the first planet to be confirmed beyond our solar system in what the Guardian called the "Goldilocks zone:" not too hot, not too cold, and therefore possibly habitable.
The planet is 2.4 times the size of Earth. It orbits a star similar to the Earth's sun and is believed to have a surface temperature of around 22 degrees Celsius, according to NASA.
Astronomers say Kepler-22b's temperate climate makes it possible that it possesses liquid water, CNN reported.
Kepler program scientist Douglas Hudgins described the discovery as "a major milestone on the road to finding Earth's twin."
NASA still does not know what the planet is made of, however;  continued

Us military pays SETI to check Kepler-22b for aliens
"Space situational awareness" cash for Allen Array  story

more on Kepler-22b here
Tonight we will be watching Jodi Foster make "Contact"
have a great day, a full week of great fishing on the lunar calendar starts tomorrow!  But, so does the cold.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

dAYS 2,3 & 4

dAYS two and three were almost the same.  We were out fishing on day three so...
We borrowed the day three photo from Salt 'n Sand's blog, that is our roller furl in the corner

Day two came and went without much to write about.  This is the week during the month where the Sheephead stay on the bottom.  They must have shrimp for dinner or the barnacles react to the moon phase and don't seem appealing to them.  Too bad as the new pole spears need broken in.  

Day three consisted of organization and fishing.  We caught about 27 fish,  12 for him and 15 for me,  that were worth mentioning as we there were several Lizard fish we just don't count.  We did catch more white trout than ever but through them back as trout isn't our favorite.  We kept 6 Black Sea Bass for the day.  

Day four was cleaning the bottom of the boat and getting some engine maintenance done.  Of course there was fishing since this is supposed to be "vacation" time.

Tin was practicing with the Conch Horn at sunset day 4.

Tin hates honey and dislikes cheese but somehow he has a new favorite meal.  Honey Teriyaki Seabass and Mac and Cheese or Honey Teriyaki Seabass and just about anything else.  Too bad we are out of honey.

The Fisher King's Teriyaki
3 oz Kikkoman Ponzu
2 oz Honey
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 a lime juiced use the rest for garnish
      Suate' or grill firm white fish (we like lightly floured and pan suate'd).  Remove fish and any oil, add Ponzu to hot pan and start reduction.  When the Ponzu is all bubbles add the honey and ginger stirring constantly.  Once mixed reintroduce the fish to coat.  Serve with your choice of sides.  It's that simple


Thursday, December 1, 2011

dAY one of 2012 Cruise...

December 1st was our departure date for the last few months.... however December 1 came and went and s/v Gemini Dreams is still tied to the dock  At this point we still have some details and engine maintenance to take care of before we leave the dock.  But it didn't mean we couldn't start living the cruising life.

Today we fed and saved a brown pelican from the nemesis of poorly disposed fishing line.  Perhaps it was even just cut as the pelican tried to take a bait.  Either way he was struggling to compete with the other birds due to two stainless treble hooks, stainless leader and mono all wrapped around his beak and wings.  He was unable to fly due to the web that surrounded him and the hooks that had his throat connected to his tongue.  Tin asked to save him so it was but to do...
1st step 
 Clipping away at the leader and line
Trying to remove all the line
One of the stainless treble hooks
 Success and Freedom

4:42 pm I sounded the Conch Horn as the sun set,  the wind in less than 5 knots for the first time since Thanksgiving.  Pasta is cooking on the kettle and freshly caught Sea Bass is waiting to be grilled.  With margarita in hand the horizon is turning from orange to peach and then as always to the steel blue that proceeds the black.

Yes the sun sets in PC early!  Already 4:42 and 12 days to go until winter!

Our largest Sea Bass of the season! Enough for two meals

I will attempt to keep a journal of fishing and expenditures for those budget minded cruisers, especially with children.  It is so hard to cut the dock lines with the crew on board.  I must play father and be responsible for the little man.  Last winter it was exploration and learning.  This year it is caution with a side of adventure.  Trying to fit everything we need for 6 months or longer into a 27 foot boat is beyond a puzzle.  Actually I am looking for a magic bag to store items into that doesn't require any space.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Tripping on the road to Thanksgiving.

 We just took a major road trip to restock and regear for the season.  Tin played tag with his mother and myself ridding in different cars and staying in different places over the holidays so that I could get things done and he could see his family in Clearwater.  One the first day out I went by Sailor's Exchange in St Augustine.  Since I knew my traveling companions from s/v Wee Happy were hanging out in St Augustine on board their new acquisition s/v Way Happy I dropped them an email and a call.  They didn't get this until about 2 hours after I headed out of St Augustine.  Funny thing they were on the road ahead of me by an hour going to basically the same place in St Petersburg.  Funny how life cross paths over and over.  We made contact and took time out on Thanksgiving day to meet up...

 Thanksgiving day at Fort Desoto and where we found Capt K and Lita

The Crew of s/v Gemini Dreams and s/v Way Happy
St Augustine?   St Petersburg?  Marathon? Bahamas? Destination unknown!

After Fort Desoto we went to spend Thanksgiving afternoon with their mom's family.  Oh how poor my Spanish is!  See our host only speaks Spanish and has a world of culture.  Time there was too short.  After eating I headed out to south Florida for a couple items.  I decided to do some black Friday shopping instead of spending the night in a motel.  What a group of morons.  I did black Friday 4 years ago for a TV and some other items it was organized and went rather well.  This year it was just plain stupid and unorganized everywhere.  I guess in an effort to keep you in the store longer "to buy more stuff" they make you go down individual lines to get the golden goblet, then another line for the golden fork.  What moronic was of time.  But I didn't spend money on a motel room and it was only around 40 hours.  Practice for overnighters!

I managed to get a few new toys to play with while we are on our journey.  One of our new toys makes one of our recent toys 3d. We will soon be able to post up some 3d photos and videos.  I also finally paid off the Halloween for Tin,  He wanted to skip Halloween and get five bags of candy, so he now has the last two.

We also have added 3 more pole spears to out fishing arsenal!  Tin earned one for doing all his math in boat school.  I replaced one of the three piece that I wore out then destroyed buy spearing the dock about 4-5 feet under water.  I also have a new Manny Puig 8.5'.  This wasn't really in the budget but I had wanted a good spear since before moving onto the boat.  So I now have one...

Look out Bahamas here we come!  It may look simple like this but in person it is like an AK-47!

The wonder of foil wrappers,  Back up just in case the "Fisher King" has a bad day

Over the next few days we have engine maintenance and storing all the supplies then it is off we go!

PS   over 2200 miles on the rental car this week with only two nights in a motel!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hurricane Force winds and Smile your on Candid Camera.

Well as we sit here hunkered down a braving out the North Wind I just saw that Alaska has hurricane force winds!  Worst storm in 40 years!  Hope you are all okay Tom!  See you at Bahia Honda in a few months.  Maybe Linda wont kick us out at sunset! lol

Ok back to getting ready.  I have a new toy!  I just sold the camera that has brought you so many good photos of last seasons trip.  There will be some times when I wish I still had it (low light and long distance) but I was always stressful having it around the water.  S/v Wee Happy (now Way Happy) has lost two since I met them last year and their new on is acting up even before it gets to the keys!  So they are shopping for their 4th camera?  I also keep telling Tin "no" when he asks to use the camera for fear of water.  I have made the decision and got a GOPRO Hero2 Hd.  Long name for such a small camera.
I hope it is as good as the hype!

Of course there are massive amounts of accessories.  If you have massive computing power for editing video  there is even a 3D housing to hold two cameras and give 3D. So as not to sound like a commercial you can go to GoPro.com and see for yourself.

We hope to have awesome pictures and videos of our adventure.

Getting ready part 4,278.3 or at least it feels that way

Sitting here today waiting out the latest North Blow (20knts and cold!) I took time to install the latest upgrade.  I upgraded to Fugawi Marine ENC 4.5  complete with Navionics chart reader.

Navionics platinum 3D!
It includes support for Google Earth.  
And GRIB file support!

I know I could get all this from Lowrance or Garmin or even some other guys but this comes in at 2K less.  I put this on both the main boat computer and the new Panasonic Toughbook 

(Do not buy Asus netbooks!  They are energy efficient but have a serious issue with the chargers, charger connection and living in the "Live aboard world"  Buy a used Toughbook for $100-$500)

With this upgrade from Fugawi 3.0 it puts us with two computers running Fugawi Marine ENC 4.5, Lowrance 38c, a whole collection of paper charts, more cruising guides and Active Captain we are covered for the season.  I hope!  Well Santa could bring a Navionics 906P+ for Christmas.  


A long, long time ago in a far away place...

Last year was the culmination of  thirty years of lost and postponed dreams.

About 3 years ago on a random road trip escaping a severe case of cabin fever it slammed me pretty hard.  The call of the ocean that is.  I don't know why I have always been drawn to the ocean.  Maybe it was my parents being Florida when I was conceived.  Maybe it was being born a restless Gemini.  What ever the reason, I set into motion a plan to escape from the daily grind and sail into the sunset.

I started looking for a boat, not just any boat but a Hans Christian...
...See way back in the mid 80's a girlfriend and I were going to go to Key West and run dive charters off a Hans.  Things come and things go, the next one was afraid of water.  That drastically altered the events from that point on.  Then there was the racing phase, sports cars and F1.  Then somewhere down the line I met my best friend and had a couple of children. Even named my son after a Formula one driver.  Over a long quiet time I began to find myself and my dreams again.

Well a Hans Christian was currently cost prohibitive and I went on to the next option.  Morgans at 41' then 35 footers...  The rest of the world got bigger and my world got smaller.  I got more practical and started shopping smaller.  "Go small, go now!" began to really hit home.  I purchased "Twenty Small Boats to Take You Anywhere".  I began to check out the boats listed in the book.  Trips to Annapolis, Norfolk and the Keys to look and check out some of the options.  Albergs, Pearsons and Dorys Oh My.  Then I found s/v Whisper on a blog and the decision was made for an Albin Vega.  Back to Norfolk to look at a Vega.  It was a cold Noreaster that day, the Vega was in poor shape and the broker was a dick, so no deal.  Now to find a good one.

After months of watching eBay, Craigs and all the trader sites I saw Vegas come and go.  All the good deals in California and all the high prices on the east coast.  Then a boat popped up on eBay and I hoped to snipe it for a good deal.  Then it disappeared before the end of the auction.  Turned out in my favor as it was pulled for lack of interest and a fear of going to cheap.  I ended up making an acceptable offer and the rest is history.

Almost two years of planning, searching and organizing came to a close last Thanksgiving.  I had a boat, quit my job and headed out on the seas.

This year my son goes with me...


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Running With The Bulls...

No we haven't crossed over to Pamplona, Spain or even purchased a Lamborghini Murceilago to "Run with those bulls" either.  This story is about Bull Redfish and the Fisher King!   With life on board replicating life on land for the last few months off shore sailing and fishing was nil.  Even though the bull redfish were on the channel markers the logistics of fishing and holding/drifting through the channel or abouts were not appealing.   We had been to the bridge several times catching a few fish including the Cobia but still all summer long produced no redfish from out adventures.  Yesterday one of the "locals" at the dock brought in 3 redfish from the bridge.  They had been caught on the much abundant pinfish swimming around the dock.

So today we launch Tin Tin Boo Boo from the resting place on the dock and off we (I) row to the bridge.  Seems like we spent a couple hours with the anchor down in a few places waiting for the first bite then...  Tin's rod bent over!   He set the hook and started to reel!  The excitement filled the air.  He had hooked the bottom. Yes it was a pretty pink soft coral or fan fragment that he landed.  That was the only bite we have had.

The Fisher King with his first Bull Red!  (yes he had a hair cut)

No that we had been on an 8 foot dinghy for a while with 5 fishing rods and gear the little man was starting to get aggravated.  "This isn't any fun" didn't take much longer.   His request for shallower water became more and more.  He had just watched the "Sportsman's Best Red Fish" video and knew that the chances in the grass may be good and we had the tackle on board.

I started rowing against the current heading toward the "spot" where I caught the Cobia earlier this summer.  The more I rowed the more the current seemed to slow us down.  Then knowing we would be leaving soon I decided to row out to the power line tower.  We had stared at this structure on almost every trip across the bridge and especially on all the fishing trips under the bridge.  Today was the day.

It wasn't too much longer and I was slipping the anchor on the steel bar attached to the side of the concrete monstrosity.  Drifting back about 12 feet to keep out of the firing range of the feathered guards.  We now call the tower the "Bird Cage".   We had two pinfish down and I was casting a Gulp shrimp underneath.  Still no bites not even on the shrimp!  My back was to Tin and suddenly "Dad, Dad!" rang out from the stern of the little boat.  As I turned around his rod was almost touching the water.  You should try to catch a fish half your size in a boat twice your size,  obviously it can be done but it sure makes balance a necessity.

Once the red was abeam Tin Tin Boo Boo we could see that it was over the slot.  I pulled it on board to take the photo for the blog and history.  Trying to get the big fish balanced in his hands was also a challenge then.. there the perfect frame...Damn! the iphone overheated in the sun! It will not take a pick!  So we made our way back to the other camera with fish in tow.


Now off for more Bull Reds and some to eat.

PS:  We ended up with a cooler stocked for the next few days

Day one: Blackened Redfish while listening to New Orleans Cajun radio on the WIFI.  A classic moment
Day two: New Orleans Seafood Delight,  Spicy pasta Alfredo topped with blackened redfish and shrimp.
Day three:  Grilled Orange Ginger Redfish and brocoli
Day four:  Hmmm Grilled or Blackened sandwiches maybe.
Day five:  Mushroom, pineapple, pepper, pepperoni pizza from Papa John's! lol

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Honey Ginger Sea Bass

Thanks to a Bee Keeper friend in NC we had Honey Ginger Sea Bass tonight.  This is the first time in over a week we have had fish!   The Fisher King's taste buds cried "Unkle" on eating fish 5 nights a week so we took a week off for Mexican and Pizza.  Hopefully the change in scenery soon will change the fish in the diet.

Honey Ginger Sea Bass, thanks Rick!

The projects has been dragging out due to other obligations, softball and the damn cold!  The mid 40's keeps you in the cabin.  Hopefully the warming trend will allow us to get some of the necessary things done.


The Fisher King still needs a donated laptop!  Wouldn't you hate to be following an unedumacated person?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Project 7 complete...Project 0 making headway, project 18 almost complete!

Project 7:  Well after staring at a new Standard Horizon VHF for months (16+-) I have finally installed it and removed the old Uniden.  I will donate it to the community table at the marina.  Once all the Lowrance is up and going I will enable the DSC on the Standard Horizon.  Funny how 4 screws and 3 wires can lead to such procrastination.

Both Lowrance units and GPS antennae waiting for final wire runs

Project 18:  Another item that moved on board with me last year was a Lowrance GPS/Sounder with Radar capabilities.  While camped out here in PC I have managed to get the transducer epoxied into the hull and the wiring rough ran.   Seems I need another foot on the transducer (or a different route) and I definitely need more feet on the GPS antennae.  The biggest hold up on the completion of Project 18 is buying more overpriced proprietary wires.  A NEMEA starter kit, 6' NEMEA wire and a GPS extension should do it...or in another text...$200+ bucks!  The final mounting of the "Mother Unit" is waiting for me to decide the route I will take for project 9, the Dodger.  For now we can tie it down and see our position and FISH.

Project 0:  I have also back tracked and am working hard on Project 0.  Project 0 is the storage on s/v Gemini Dreams.  I have taken one of the diagrams of the Vega and labeled all the compartments I needed.  This diagram will correspond to a spread sheet saved on all computers. a hard copy and in our email.  This is in an attempt to get things stowed!
Lots of places to loose things aboard

Last year I moved aboard with way too much stuff.  Now that Tin is here and has his needs too, things have become even more disorganized.  I am tired of too many items without homes!  With this I can categorize items and store them DEEP into the boat.  Items that are for non emergency repair can be buried under food storage or daily items.  I would hate to have to buy a new block if one fails because I can't find the ones I have.  This will allow much more dense packing freeing up more room in daily use areas.  After living 10 months on the boat I hope my location decisions prove to be wise.

Emergency repair items easy reach
Wet with Wet
Dry with Dry
Daily use readily available
monthly use shallow
yearly use deep in the hold

The Fisher King needs a laptop to surf the net and do his school work on!  His was damaged beyond repair a couple weeks ago when the screen shattered.  If you precariously live through the life of a 10 year old that gets to sail and fish freely in today's world please help!  He is a sad little boy.  We are not asking for your cash just your old laptop.  If you have a spare email us for the correct address of the moment.

If you are looking for adventure try out the s/v Wee Happy crew on board s/v Way Happy!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Project 8 nearing completion... Cockpit Sole

Project number 8 is nearing completion.  The old cockpit sole was broken and leaking water into the keel during every rain.  I kept worrying about taking a wave into the cockpit or an actual named storm dumping inches upon inches of water into the cockpit.  I only have to bed the inserts for the 1/4-20 screws and all is complete.

 The Fisher King does the inspection
Out with the old in with the new!

This project was way more expensive than I wanted it to be!  The lumber alone retailed for $450.00!  It also took longer than expected due to manufacturing differences in available teak (some are 3.75 and some are 3.875 wide).  I found this out on the last board and had to source a replacement.  lucky to find one the correct dimensions on the last road trip.  No it is not perfect but with the tools available on s/v Gemini Dreams, it will do.

It FEELS so much better under bare feet!