Category Archives: RVing

California Fun, Part 3 (the final chapter)

Our final destination in California was Joshua Tree National Park.  We camped at Indian Wells Carefree RV Resort in Indio.  It’s a beautiful RV park that offers a lot of amenities.  Snowbirds come there for the winter. Their rates were exceptionally low, $25!  That is the cheapest we stayed in California.

Since we arrived early in the day, we took a ride to Joshua Tree NP. Twentynine Palms is the closet town to one of the three entrances to Joshua Tree.  It is on the northern side of the park and does have a RV park.  We chose to stay on the southern side of the park, which meant a 45 minute drive to it’s entrance.  Most of it’s trails and sites are in the northern part of the park as well, so it meant a lot of driving for us.

We grabbed a map at the visitor center and talked with the park ranger about places to see.  He recommended a couple of good places to be around sunset. Cottonwood Springs was our first stop.  It is a little oasis you can drive to with a very short hike.  The palm trees looked weird as they had never been trimmed. They were tall with green tops and dead palm fronds hanging to the ground.

Next, we drove to Cholla Catus Garden.  It was amazing!  The area had a large concentration of Jumping Cholla cactus, also known as Teddy Bear Cholla, as far as you could see.  It looked beautiful with them all glistening in the sunlight.  I would like to have walked through the gardens, but there was another area we wanted to get to before sunset.

Skull Rock and Jumbo Rocks are across the street from each other and offer some great sunset shots.  There are trails where you can walk around and over the rocks.  At Jumbo Rocks a couple was having a pre-wedding photo shoot. What a beautiful setting for wedding pictures.  The bride had to be freezing though.  The wind was blowing and the temperature was really dropping as the sun faded.  This area has Joshua trees.  They only grow in the northern part of the park.  The Joshua tree is neither a tree or cactus.  It is in the lilly family and looks like a yucca.

We got to the park early the next day, driving to one of the north entrances to go hiking to Fortynine Palms Oasis.  It was a moderate hike three miles long with an 300′ elevation gain both ways.  The weather was great for hiking – sunny and cool.  As we climbed the ridge the landscape was dotted with barrel catcus.  John stopped me on the trail and pointed out some Bighorn Sheep.  We watched them as they crossed the trail and went up the ridge where they stopped to graze.

Upon reaching the oasis, we saw charred palm trunks caused by an out-of-control campfire.  According to the park’s information, fire can be benficial to the palms by encouraging seed developement and killing off competing plants. However, campfires are illegal.  The oasis are formed from a crack in the Earth’s crust and groundwater rises to the surface.

After our hike, we went into town for lunch and then returned to the park.  We made the ride out to Keys View.  The elevation is over five thousand feet and you can overlook miles of valley, mountains, and desert.  It was very windy and cold. Since we were in shorts and the views were hazy that day, so we did not stay long.

It was much nicer in the lower elevations.  There were still two short hikes I wanted to do, Hidden Valley and Barker Dam.  Hidden Valley is a rock-enclosed valley said to been used by cattle rustlers.  It certainly was a well hidden place for cattle, but I wondered how they managed to get water to them.

Joshua Trees abound in this part of the park.  The landscape was just thick with them and some of them were huge.

Just before sunset we hiked to Barker Dam.  It was built around 1900 to hold water for cattle and mining use.  Sometimes you can see wildlife there, but not during our visit.

We really enjoyed our visit to Joshua Tree NP.  California is a great state to explore with so much to offer.  There was only two highlights for the trip back east after leaving California.  One was a stop in Arizona at Green Valley to visit with John’s brother, Eddie and his wife Judy.  We spent five days there doing some maintenance and repairs on the RV.  While there, we also visited the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area in the Coronado National Forest.  Then our last stop was in NC to visit with my family.  It was a great ending to a wonderful trip.

 

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California Fun, Part 2

After leaving Half Moon Bay we drove south to Monterey.  We drove on coastal Hwy 1, which is fairly RV friendly compared to the northern coast we had driven on a previous trip.  We chose an RV park (Carmel By The River) nestled against the mountains instead of one we could had stayed in right on the ocean.  Their advertisement said something about being lullabied to sleep with the sounds of a river and croaking frogs.  It sounded like a nice change from the ocean – Duh! California is in a severe drought.  The river was dried up and I never heard one frog, but John said he did.  Oh well, we went to sleep with the sound of silence.

Isn’t it always fun to go down roads with the uneasy feeling you shouldn’t be there.  The road that led to this campground was like that.  It narrow down to one lane and it would be impossible for another RV to get by if you met one.  There was no shoulder to pull over on, but there were a couple of pull outs so cars can get out of your way.  An RV would NOT fit in these pull outs.  Thank God we didn’t meet one going in or out.  There was a very steep hill we had to go down that ended at the campground.  On top of all that, there wasn’t good signage leading you in, which made you wonder if WAZE was taking you down the wrong road with no way in hell you could turn around.  Oh the joys of RVing.  All in all, the campground was nice.  The sites were not as spacious as we were hoping, but we did fit in.  The length was fine, but there are tall bushes between each site that just barely gave us enough room to put our slide out.

That afternoon, we took a nice drive down to Big Sur State Park.  Big Sur is the southern most boundary for the redwoods.  The southern redwoods are smaller and less numerous than the northern redwoods.  That is due to the warmer and drier air.  Also, scientists have learned from studying their growth rings that the coastal fog has decreased by 30% in the last 50 years.  The redwood’s survival is at risk.  There was plenty of coastal fog the day we drove to Big Sur.

The next day we drove into Monterey to go on a whale watching excursion.  The weather was as near perfect as it could get.  The winds were almost calm, which they said was very unusual for the bay.  We saw sea lions, seals, dolphins, orcas and humpback whales.  The humpbacks nor the orcas were close enough to us for great pictures.  The whales were feeding down deep, so they did not stay at the surface for long periods.  It was a bit of a disappointment in comparison to our whale watching excursion in Nova Scotia.

We had a late lunch on Fisherman Wharf, then explored around Monterey by car.  We liked Monterey.

Our next stop will be Joshua Tree Nation Park.  Stay tuned.

California Fun, Part One

Not only is California a big state, it is a very scenic state.  We have driven and explored many of it’s highways over the last eight years. There are still some parts that we have not covered.  All the roads we traveled on  have been scenic. There are some states that are just boring to drive through, at least in my eyes, but not California!

Our main goal this trip was to arrive at Half Moon Bay and set up camp for six weeks.  From there we would explore the San Francisco Bay Area and spend a lot of time with our son’s family, who are a mere thirty minute drive away.

There are many areas of California that have captured my heart, but I have to say the coast pulls at my heartstrings.  All of California’s coast is dramatic with it’s towering cliffs and jagged shoreline.  I enjoyed morning walks along coastal trails as well as bike rides with my husband.

We made a day trip to Santa Cruz, stopping along the way to admire the magnificent coast, stopping at Pigeon Point Lighthouse and even walking down to the beaches.  In Santa Cruz they have a boardwalk with shops and carnival rides, which didn’t appeal to us.  We really didn’t see a place to eat that interested us, so we set our sights on the Wharf.  There is parking on it and quite a few restaurants to choose from.  A local had recommended Stagnaro Bros. Restaurant and we were not disappointed with the view, service or food.  I had crab cakes and a cup of clam chowder, both were outstanding.  John had seared tuna on a bed of sea weed that was also outstanding.  It was pricey, but then everything in California is. On the way back to my son’s house, we stopped at one of the many roadside farm stands to buy chocolate covered strawberries.  My granddaughters loved that treat.

We have visited San Francisco before, did a tour there, visited Fisherman Wharf and China Town, so those things were not on our list to do this time.  Alcatraz was though!  It was a very interesting tour.  Did you know that Alcatraz was known to have the best food in our prison system?  They say there was not a successful escape, but five prisoners are listed as missing and presumed drowned.  Al Capone was their most famous prisoner.  The view of San Francisco from their recreational yard must had been a psychological punishment.

We discovered a lovely winery while driving along the scenic Skyland Blvd.  We drove through Thomas Fogarty Winery and Vineyards, but did not have time to do the tour and wine tasting.  I really meant to get back to it on another day.  We have toured Nappa Valley on a previous trip and found it to be delightful.  I enjoy wine and find wineries alluring.  Driving Skland Blvd. allows you fantastic views of the valleys on both sides.

There are lots of hiking trails in the Bay Area, and we took advantage of this a few times.  We hiked a coastal trail, through a redwood trail and even a trail in our son’s neighborhood. There were always nice views and a chance for a little exercise.

We stayed at three campgrounds in Halfmoon Bay.  Half Moon Bay RV Park was the first one, where we spent five nights.  It is behind Cameron’s Pub.  We found it to be quiet and very friendly, but very dusty.  Then we moved to Pelican Point RV Park, just a little outside of town.  We spent four weeks there.  We had a view of a golf course in front and if nobody was camped in the sites to our right, we had a small view of the ocean.  There is a short trail to ocean access and the coastal trail where you can walk, jog or ride bikes.  Reservations for October need to be made in advance.  They really book up on weekends due to beautiful weather, pumpkin farms and a Pumpkin Festival.

After that point, we didn’t have reservations.  We wanted to stay a little longer and to also see how we would like Pillar Point RV Park.  Pillar Point is right on the ocean and is first come first serve.  Sunday and Monday are the best days of getting in.  They also have a website that they update several times a day telling you how many sites are available.  We moved in on a Tuesday to an ocean view site.  I think it helped that we were only 15 minutes away.  You can arrive as early as you want.  We stayed six nights. It is like a big parking lot, with sites that are a little tight, but the view can’t be beat.  You can watch the surfers to the left of the campground and there is a nice beach in front.  Several restaurants are within easy walking distance.  However, they don’t have laundry services.  The biggest drawback to us was the road noise.  There was road noise all the time, but we drowned it out at night with a portable fan.

We left Halfmoon Bay to start our trip home.  More on that in the next blog.

Just a Bump In The Road

We are westward bound to the west coast where we will spend five weeks just thirty minutes from our youngest son and his family.  His family includes his beautiful wife and two of the cutest and sweetest girls around – at least in my eyes.  I’ve been telling everyone that I was going to find out what it is really like being a grandparent, well, a grandparent who gets to see their grandchildren regularly.  Not only that, we will get to explore the San Francisco Bay Area!

We are allowing eleven days to our final destination, Half Moon Bay.  That way John won’t have to drive extremely long days and we can even spend two nights at a couple of spots.  One thing about RVing that all RVers know, you may hit bumps in the road………that is in your well laid plans.

It was a good start, traveling smoothly down the road, until we hit Memphis, TN.  John hates driving through Memphis.  There is not a great southern loop around the city and the roads are rough to say the least.  We made it to I 40 in West Memphis when a trucker was honking at us and his passenger was waving wildly at us.  At first we both wondered why he was honking at us.  We certainly couldn’t tell anything was wrong, but we knew something had to be up, so pull over on the shoulder we did.  John gets out to check things out and then returns with the words, “It’s bad.”  We had lost a wheel off our tow dolly and the dolly was dragging along the road.  Amazing that we didn’t even feel anything.  Even more amazing that it didn’t cause us to wreck or damage the car.

We don’t know how long we had been traveling that way, but surely not far.  John unloaded the car and went in search of lug nuts so he could put the spare on.  Luckily, he did not have to go far to get to an auto parts shop.  He even backtracked to see if he could locate the missing wheel with no luck.  With the spare on, we decided to camp in West Memphis in order to buy a new rim and tire.  We didn’t trust that spare for the distance we were going.  Oh, and all this happened with a light rain falling of course.

Now for the lucky part of the story, and we are very thankful that we had some luck too.  When we arrived at the campground, the bottom fell out of the sky.  Thank God it waited ’til we were off the road.

I explained our predicament while I was checking in and they gave me a business card of a tire shop very close by.   After the rain let up, John went to the shop and they said they could have a new rim and tire ready by 9:00 the next morning.  As luck had it, it was ready by 8:00 and we got back on the road by 10:00.  I’m so thankful we didn’t have to wait two or more days.

Bump number two happened in Oklahoma.  Rolling down I 40 and a beep beep starts sounding.  Now we are losing air pressure.  We just happened to be at an exit with a Loves, plus a mechanic.  If it had happened a little sooner, we would had lost all our air and the brakes would lock up, leaving us on the shoulder of the road again.  We just did make it to the parking lot.

John found a hose where a hole had rubbed in it.  Between him and the mechanic, they removed it, but of course they didn’t have a replacement part.  The mechanic located a part for it, but it required John driving a good ways to get it.  When he returned, the mechanic was busy and John replaced it himself.  The mechanic did not charge us, so it was a rather inexpensive fixed, but we lost a lot of time.  We are still on schedule though, but we did lose one of our two night stay to do something fun.

Then we hit scenic New Mexico along with it’s long grades of hills.  Now our RV does not have a big engine allowing us to go uphill at a fast rate, but the slowness we were going was bordering on ridiculousness.  I kept thinking we didn’t have this kind of trouble for these size of hills before and was wondering how the heck we would ever cross the mountains in California.

We stopped for lunch and John brought up the subject.  He had been wondering the same thing.  Something was definitely wrong and the only thing he came up with was a dirty fuel filter.  He had a new one with us, so he changed it at a truck stop.  What a difference it made!  It was just a short hang up and we were once again rolling smoothly along.

Now we are in Bakersville, CA, just one day from our final designation, and a day early!  Tomorrow, I get to see my son, Kevin, his wife, Susie, and their two daughters, Eliza and Hazel!  Yea, yea, yea!

Wading Bird Rookery in St. Augustine, Florida

One of my favorite places to view birds is the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine, Florida.  An alligator farm, you say, for viewing birds?  Yes, wading birds of different species come there to nest for the safety of their young.  You see, the alligators protect their young from tree climbing predators, such as raccoons. There is a very nice boardwalk that puts you at tree level with the birds, giving you a great advantage for photographing them.  I’m not sure there is any other place where you can get this close to the birds and still be viewing them in a natural habitat.

They start arriving in February, starting with the Great Egret and are followed by Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Snowy Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Tricolored Herons, Little Blue Herons and Green Herons.  By July, fledglings are everywhere. Mid-March through July are prime time for viewing.

We were there April 1st this year.  There were lots of Wood Storks in the tops of the trees, and just a few Tricolored Herons and Cattle Egrets were on the scene. The birds are dressed out in their mating plumage and colors, looking their best in order to attract a mate.

The Great Egrets are magnificent with their plumage and bright green color by their eyes.  There was plenty of displaying going on, many were sitting on nests, and I saw one set of very young triplets.

The mating dance of the Great Egret.

I think the Great Egret has the best display of their plumage and seem to just love showing it off.

Great Egret tending its nest and the only set of chicks I saw.

The Snowy Egret is highly conspicuous and vocal in their sexual displays.  They have plumage on their backs and heads.  Their eye patch sometimes turns reddish as well as their feet, which is usually yellow.

The Roseate Spoonbills have always been one of my favorite birds.  Probably because of their beautiful pink color and unusual beak and the fact that it is not that common to see them.  There were plenty to be seen at the rookery, but it was a little early yet for their young.

In the past I have viewed the entire park, seeing all the gators and exotic birds they have.  This trip I only spent time in the rookery.  They also have a zip line, which I have heard was very good.  Please allow a good bit of the day to view everything and to attend their shows.  You can spend hours in the rookery alone, I know I do.

I just can’t leave you without baby pictures, so to give you a taste of what can be seen in the month of May, I am posting pictures from 2011.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

Oh, A Fishing We Will Go!

February was a great month in the Keys, in spite of having some cold weather.  I know, I know, it certainly wasn’t the cold everyone north of us was experiencing, but it was cold for the Keys.  We awakened one morning to forty-eight degrees and a couple of other mornings in the low fifties!  Good thing that didn’t last too many days or the drop in water temperature would start killing the fish.  That happened four or five years ago.  A lot of tropical fish died and a lot of manatees also.

John and I have become quite experienced in fishing in the Atlantic.  We were able to venture out in the ocean a dozen times during the month of February. We had some great catches of Hogfish and some poor catches.   We were lucky enough to have our friend Gary to give us a daily ocean report.  Gary goes in the Atlantic almost everyday and calls us to let us know how rough it is.  He left a few days ago to head back home.  Gary, come back!

We took our friend, Pam, fishing a couple of days.  Her husband had injured his finger, had to have stitches and couldn’t fish for a few days.  Pam turned out to be the “Hog Queen,” because she out fished John and me.  One day, John couldn’t catch a Hogfish for nothing, and Pam even traded places in the boat with him.  He still didn’t pull in any Hogfish and Pam caught one right away where he had been fishing.  John was sure catching all these pretty tropical fishes though.  There is one fish that John and I just hate to catch.  I think he is in the Boxfish family.  He doesn’t fight coming up, and it feels like you are reeling in a really big fish.  Nope, it is this triangle shape fish that has a very dense body.  We nicknamed him Sponge Bob.

A sunny day, mimosa, good friends and Snapper make for a fun day in the Gulf. It started out slow, but who cares when you are having fun.  After having no luck on the first couple of holes, I suggested we try a hole we had not fished on this winter.  Sometimes, I just know how to pick them and the girls ruled that day. Louise and I caught the most and the largest Snapper.  I think the guys had the most fun watching us.  After returning to Jolly Roger, the guys cleaned the fish and then we had a wonderful dinner of fresh fish.

On one of our great days on the Atlantic, where we limited out on Hogfish, I also caught four really nice Porgies.  They ranged from 16″ to 18 1/2″.  Porgies give you a good fight, and when you are fishing in 90′ of water, it can be a real struggle to bring up one that large.  It was really wearing out my arms.  When I hooked up another large Porgy, at least that’s what I though it was, I knew from the start I couldn’t handle it.  John took over for me, and he was struggling with it also.  When it reached the surface, it was a four-foot ell!  I had snagged it.  We didn’t even take it out of the water, got the hook out and down it went.  Good riddance.

It’s not just fishing though.  We do other fun things as well.  The campground hosted a Mardi Gras Parade.  It’s a short one, but is growing every year.

The campground hosts a cookout twice a month.  Here is one of the fish frys.  The fish is donated and cooked by some of the campers here.  Everyone brings a dish to share.  There is always a huge turnout and lots of great food.

This year a lady has been leading a wine and paint class.  She provides all the materials, paint and wine.  The cost is $15 and you can choose to paint a wine glass, lobster buoy, or the end of a palm frond.  The first two times, I painted a lobster buoy.  This week, I painted a palm frond.  I am no artist, but it was a lot of fun meeting new people and I thought my artwork didn’t turn out half bad.

John went to the nautical flea market on Islamorada, looking for a new rod and reel and other stuff.  He found one and was pretty pleased with it.  One day out in the Atlantic, I was having a miserable time.  John was catching fish, but I was just getting cleaned.  I wasn’t even feeling them bite most of the time.  After awhile, John suggested I try his new rod and reel.  It was shorter and lighter, and he thought I might be able to feel the fish bite better.  What a difference!  Not only could I feel them biting, I was catching them!  Some time later, I turned and said to John, thanks for the new rod and reel, you are not getting it back.

Some cool things happened while we were fishing in the Atlantic.  One day a pod of a dozen or more dolphins swam close by.  I had never seen that large of a pod before.  We’ve seen a lot of sea turtles, but one day a turtle kept hanging around near by.  All through the day, he would stick his head up and look at us, like he was telling us, hey, you guys need to move on, you are in my spot.  I can’t count how many days two jets buzzed us.  They would fly low, right over our boat and turn sideways.  It was the coolest thing and gave me such a rush.

March has been a time for lots of good byes.  Many of our friends  have already left.  We miss them, but we still have some friends here.  To date our total for Hogfish we brought back is 96, Mangrove Snappers – 67, Yellowtail Snapper – 31, Porgy – 44, Mutton Snapper – 1, Mackerel – 2 and Cero Mackerel – 1. That is the total of the ones we brought back.  We released many more.  Our freezer is full, we gave a lot of the fish away, and we’ve eaten lots of fish.  We bake, saute, grill, fry, and stew it.  I have tried some new recipes that have been pretty good.  The fish stew I made tonight was outstanding.  It sure was a lot of work though.  I made my own fish stock and even made a roux.

Fish Stew

Fish Stew

Next week, my brother, Mike, and his wife, Terri, will be here.  John and Mike will be going fishing and Terri and I will be doing fun things on the different Keys.  Then our time will be almost up.  We plan on being home the first week in April.  It will be sad to leave the Keys, but it will be great to get back on Tybee to see our friends.  Won’t be home for long though, we will be flying to California the second week of April!

One last picture.  Me and my 28″ Cero Mackerel.

Happy fishing y’all!

The Quest for Hogfish

John and I have done quite a bit of fishing since we arrived back at the Jolly Roger, December 29th.  This January has been no comparison to the January of 2014.  Last year the fishing was excellent on the bay side.  We were regularly getting our limit on Mangrove Snapper in the range of seventeen and eighteen inches.  Not so this year and I don’t know why.  The Snappers are plentiful, but we are lucky if we get one that is sixteen inches.  The majority are throw backs and the ones we have been keeping are twelve to thirteen inches.  John did have a nice surprise when he caught a fifteen inch Yellowtail Snapper!  That is rare on the bay side.  The water temperature is a little warmer this January, so I am thinking the bigger Mangroves have not moved into the bay yet.

Just recently, we have been seeing great catches coming in from the Atlantic.  We haven’t even tried fishing the Atlantic this year, but we sure got to thinking about it when we started seeing all the Hogfish at the cleaning station.  Just had to wait for a calm enough day.  I’m not fishing in the Atlantic when it is rough.  It is so hard to keep your balance in a rocking and rolling boat while holding a fishing rod.

Finally, calm winds were in the forecast for Sunday morning with them picking up a little in the afternoon.  We decided to get an early start to take advantage of the calmness and did manage to leave the dock by eight thirty.  As we left the dock, well prepare with rods, tackle, bait and ice, visions of Hogfish were swimming in my head.  Hogfish must be very plentiful this year.  I have never seen so many coming into the cleaning station.  In the past, John has caught a Hogfish here and there, but they have eluded me.  That was about to change.

Our boat ready for a fun day of fishing.

Our boat ready for a fun day of fishing.

It was a fairly smooth, six-mile ride out into the Atlantic.  We drifted a bit while fishing, waiting to find a good spot to anchor on.  The bites started immediately, but they were Porgies and Grouper, not the much sought after Hogfish.  Once we anchored, it wasn’t long before we started pulling in Hogfish.  I caught my first one ever and made John stop fishing for a photo opt.  He was only thirteen inches, but I was proud and he went in the cooler.  Then John caught a fifteen inch one, and I thought to myself, I need one like that.  Woo-hoo, was I ever excited when I pulled in my very own fifteen inch Hogfish!  No more keeping the shorter ones, we were going for the big boys.  We came back with eight Hogfish, just two short of our limit, and five of them were fifteen and sixteen inches.  The Porgies were plentiful and they are good eating as well, so we brought back a good many of them.  There is not a size or bag limit on Porgies.  John also caught five decent size Yellowtails.

My first Hogfish!

My first Hogfish!

As predicted, the winds did pick up after lunch.  By two o’clock, it had gotten quite choppy and the ride home would be into the wind.  The bites had greatly decrease along with the size of Hogfish, so it was time to pull anchor.  I really didn’t want to wait to see the Atlantic get any rougher.  Another friend of ours was fishing near by and he also pulled anchor.  His boat is a little bigger, so we road in behind him, letting his boat smooth out the water for us.  Otherwise, it would had been a bumpy ride for us.

John had a lot of fish cleaning ahead of him.  I don’t clean fish.  We put up several quarts of Hogfish in the freezer and cooked some for dinner as well.  So delicious!  It looks like the winds will be in our favor this week.  I’ll be dreaming of another fun fishing day and HOGFISH!

We went fishing in the Atlantic three more times.  Now I have to eat my previous words about not fishing in a rough ocean.  It looked to be calm enough on Monday, but once we passed under the Long Key Bridge I knew it might not be good.  Three miles out it really became rough and I had thoughts of heading back.  The going was slow the next three miles, but we made it out there and we decided to see how it would go.  It was a cloudy day, which made it on the cool side and there was a good chance of rain in the afternoon.  The boat was rocking and rolling, making it a challenge to walk around.  I pretty much stayed seated. It was real slow going on catching fish.  We moved around a lot trying to  find where the fish were, but to no prevail.  Once, the anchor became hung up and we spent at least thirty minutes trying to get it up.  At one point I was in fear of the boat sinking as the back of the boat was filling up with water.  John had the anchor rope tied to the transum then and was using the motor to pull the anchor up.  The anchor held and started pulling the boat backwards causing water to come over the transum.  I scrambled to the front of the boat with my phone ready to call my friend who was fishing near by.  John got it under control, worked more on releasing the anchor and was at the point of giving up and cutting it loose, when it finally released.  Whew!  Glad that was over.  We continued fishing, even through some light rain, catching only two Hogfish for the day.  Not such a good day of fishing.  The ride back wasn’t too good either.

 

The next day was super weather.  Calm winds and sunny skies!  It was a beautiful ride out in an almost flat Atlantic.  We caught three Hogfish fairly quickly, but after that, just about nothing was biting.  We couldn’t even give away our bait.  It was so frustrating.  Our friends did better than that, so now we are rethinking our gear.  They were using lighter line and maybe that is the problem. Some people in the campground swear by smearing peanut butter on your bait. The fish love it, they say.  I can understand that, I am a peanut butter addict. Just might have to try that.  I will let you know how it works.

Today the fishing was better, well, at least we were catching a lot of fish even if they were mostly Grunts and Porgies.  I did catch two keeper Hogfish.  The ocean waves were big today.  We rode the six miles out to our spot only to decide it was way too rough to be out there.  I suggested another Hogfish spot closer to shore thinking it would be somewhat better there.  That put us about three miles off shore.  The waves were still pretty big but they were goiong from the front of the boat to the back, which is better than them going from side to side.  I guess I felt more comfortable being closer to shore with the bigger waves.  John says I must be getting tough.  Oh, I did try the peanut butter today and can not say that I saw any improvement on bites.  They took my bait with or without peanut butter. Spreading it on sure made me hungry though.  One plus for sure, my hands smelled yummy.