Saturday, July 16, 2011

June 12, 2011 Day 8 The Gulf of Mexico!

After a short night of sleep in the outer harbor of Tampa Bay just off Kristy's Key ;)   (Egmont Key), I woke up to my Crew moving around on deck. Rob & Randy were hooking up the jack-lines and getting the deck ready for our crossing of the Gulf. Jack-lines are safety lines that run from the bow to the stern of the boat. When our crew steps out of the cockpit-they snap their tether, that is attached to their life jacket, to the jack-line. In rough waters and especially at night the person out on the deck is attached to the boat incase they fall.

We sat in the cockpit for a bit over coffee & enjoyed the sunrise.

The guys chatted and discussed the helm schedule and game plan.

We hoisted the anchor and were underway @ 0645 hr with Capt' Rob at the helm. The sky was clear, water was flat and it became another beautiful sunny day on the Gulf! Up went the main sail but on came the motor! Hardly any wind! 
Tummy is full!
Dad & I got busy making pancakes for breakfast. Gotta keep the Crew happy! 

After eating and clean up  we decided we should be dragging a couple lines to see if we could catch anything. Dean, Dad, & Randy decided on their baits and rigged the two poles we had with us. My Dad had borrowed a pole from my brother in law Russell and he also brought me a pole that was my Grandpa's (Grandpa "Roy Wheeler" recently passed away). Between Russell and and the help of our friend Larry, we had alot of baits and equipment to catch some fish!! So began our day of fishing!
Randy took over helm at 0850 hr.
After about an hour things got quite busy! Dean reeled in the first fish of the day! 
A nice "Spanish Mackeral" (according to our Fish Book). Dad no more had that one cleaned and we had another one on the other pole!
So Randy reeled that one in! Another Spanish Mackeral. 

I ended up taking over the helm and manning the camera because we had a double header!
Poor Dad couldn't clean em' fast enough!!

We all had a ball! 
Fresh Fish for Lunch! Yummy!

I made coleslaw and Dad fried up the fish for lunch. We had homemade bread with it. It was excellent!

Before we were even done with lunch we caught more! It was decided to clean them & bag for later. Randy took over the cleaning station to give Dad a break. It ended up our catch for the day was 7 out of 8 hits. 2 Spanish Mackeral (light flesh) and 5 Frigate Mackeral (dark flesh)
**Our Grandson Kolden's Book says the Frigate's are called Little Tuna. He is soooo into fishing!**
And I am proud to say that my fishing pole from my Grandpa caught all but one fish!
I think he was watching over us from above & enjoying every minute of it too!!

The Admiral even got a nap in!

Rob trying for a nap

After I cleaned up lunch, we all tried to take naps.
I took the helm about 1545hr to give the 3 main helmsman a break before our "night shifts" start. It is official now....we are running around the clock now until we reach Kemah, TX ! 

Smooth water & Lucky Fishing Pole!!
Dean & Randy took advantage of the smooth waters and made it a "Project Day". They adjusted the steering so the knot was on top of the wheel, installed a fan in the master stateroom, and they installed the Radio/CD player. Those two just can't sit still long! No wonder their GM co-worker's hated to see Randy retire and Dean to leave Grand Rapids!

Soon as it was working, I spent the rest of my watch singing & dancing to Keith Urban at the helm! :)

Rob & I soon decided it was "Beer:30" We worked so hard watching Dean & Randy on their projects!

OK, I guess you both deserve one too!! Didn't take long for them to wander around the boat looking for the next batch of projects!! No one can say this trip wasn't a productive one! ;)

It really is so beautiful out here! The sky is so blue...the water is so blue! We see nothing but the sky meeting the water all the way around us. Strange to realize we are out here all alone...miles & miles & miles.......

Daddy reading & relaxing!
I know Dad still doesn't feel very well. He has been snoozing & reading on & off today. It seems to act up the worst at night, which is usual. His cough is pretty bad and he gets some pretty rough coughing spells. Whenever he tries to sleep it wakes him right back up!

Capt' Randy
This a favorite picture of mine!

Great photo of our Helmsmen!!
As the sun began to set Randy took the helm over and we decided to have "Sundowner's" to celebrate our 1st night out. We mixed up Rum & Cokes and then we shared the most beautiful awesome sunset!! 

I think I should win an award for this one!!

and this one!

Me & my Daddy!
It was so Brilliant & Stunning! We were all amazed and awed by it. More of God's awesome handiwork! I was really impressed with my photography as well! :) And Randy shot a great video too!

Hope you all enjoy as much as we did! The guys watched carefully for the "green flash" but didn't see it.

Then Capt' Randy decided that Our Way Too! needed to be initiated so he brought up a bag of pistachios into the cockpit & all of them started to crack & munch. 

They filled the floor with all the shells!! I found shells in the aft head when I went down to potty!! 

My guys were in the being "Silly" mode for awhile! I think they've been out to sea too long! ;) It may have been too many Rum & Coke's?? Ya think??? Gotta have some silliness to make the time pass!
Oh my it sure is dark out there!! I see nothing but darkness thru that window up there!! 

Hammin it up!
And I think it's gonna be a long, long night.....

About 2300 hr, with Randy & I on watch a pod of dolphins started playing along side us. Randy alerted me & we went up on the bow with Edgar guiding the boat. There were 8 to 10 of them! We talked & whistled back at them for about 10 minutes. I couldn't get any pictures. We could only see them by the light of the moon. Fortunately, we had nice low wind  & flat calm water's because Randy & I didn't even think of our #1 Nightime Rule in the midst of our excitement to see the dolphins! My loving Husband & Captain of Our Way Too! scolded me later for going out of the cockpit at night...without our lifejackets...everyone else was sound asleep down below and couldn't hear us...and we didn't attach to the jacklines! Lesson learned!

Randy stayed on watch longer to let Dean catch up a bit more on sleep. Then Rob woke up early to come up on watch so Dean really got extra snoozing in! They are so much help and we appreciate it so much!! We just love those two guys!! Great friends!

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