Friday, September 30, 2011

Working Saturday -

Busy day today -

I was asked to give a tour of the Base today so early up and out.

After that, there was an operation going on that needed my attention so I've been at the shoreline waiting for the tide to come up so the op can go forward.

Well - while waiting for the tide to come up, I decided to check out some more spots that I haven't really spent time at yet. First spot was Turtle Cove. This place was named correctly - lots of small turtles, but there were also lemon sharks (I saw 3), stingrays, a titan triggerfish, several batfish, mullet schools, permit (or pompano) and bonefish. The scenic pictures are the flats (and what a flat it is - flyfishing perfection). However tempting, this is a natural preserve that needs to be respected. Still - I bet even I could catch something on a fly at this spot.

I went back to the work site and the tide still hadn't come up fully yet. So I did what I always do when at the beach with nothing to do - started looking at the beach, the water, the wildlife and anything else out there. I collected some nice shells, but more of interest was this dead moray eel. The eel must have gotten stuck on the reef during low tide. Poor SOB.

I've got a few more obligations to get to today - so much for relaxing on the weekend... (but today is still awesome).

Jet Lag Fishing

So -

My jet lag is still kicking my butt. After sweating in the afternoon sun fishing, then catching the three aforementioned fish, I had the uncontrollable urge to take a nap - 1800ish.

I reset the squid bait on the hook and cast out past the piles. I then laid down on the curbing, leaned the pole across my chest, placed a wrap of the line around my inboard hand and placed my visor over my eyes. Two seconds later, I dropped into a nice late afternoon nap.

I woke to the three other guys I was fishing with yelling at me that I had a fish on -

I jumped up and started reeling in and this bonefish was on the end of the line.

I've lost a lot in this description - like the three other guys laughing at my wrapped up hand moving around while I was asleep. Like the "Zero to Hero" instant jump up - reel in move I executed once they decided to wake me up. And the juggling I had to do with the bonefish to get him off the hook and back into the water (not quite lumpia sized).

That's fishing!

The Drought is Over!!!

Three of the four fish I caught (and RELEASED) today.

A small grouper, a grunt and a snapper.

The story about number four will be on the next post - stay tuned.

First Fishing Outing Back and Gyotaku Wizard

Okay -

I'm back to work now.

Three days back. Nearly 10,000 miles - oh my aching back.

I finally cleared enough of my plate to try fishing again. All day the wind was down. So I thought I'd bring my fish rod out.

As soon as I get to the beach, the wind picks up - totally my luck.

I start casting out anyways - practice makes perfect.

On the way back, I stopped to talk to some of my coworkers. One of them has been working on his gyotaku. More like doing wonderfully with his gyotaku.

Inspiration for me to catch a trevally and get my ass in gear to make at least a halfway decent gyotaku.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Glowing Mechanical Jellyfish

At least I think is what this was supposed to be. This was an exhibit at the back of the Ocean Hall at the NHM. I felt it was one of the many awesome ways the museum is staying relevant, modern and interesting. I remember going to this museum (as I said before - AGAIN - we been back to this one I don't know how many times) and walking through thinking nothing has changed since the 70's. Not so anymore - especially with this art exhibit -

Recycled computer fans, cool LED lights and a wonderful imagination. Marlon, Noe and I spent a while in the room looking at the different versions buzzing around. I think this one with a set of eyes (we kept debating how a eye that looked human could be arranged like that and function separately - I said through computer manipulation) kinda freaked them out a little.

Natural History Museum Visit

I'm back to work now.

Leaving each time gets harder. The kids are more animated now and I'm missing that part (mostly - thank goodness for Skype).

Before I left, I took the kids to the Natural History Museum (AGAIN) via the Metro. We had a wonderful time.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Blown Out Outer Banks

So much for surfing while on leave...

The third straight day of strong winds, cooler air temperatures and washing machine surf. We tried. I did not anticipate the weather cooling off this fast - I remember September being HOT-HOT-HOT... with the weather here, I should have brought the wetsuits and jackets.

This is the waterfront at Kill Devil Hills - victory at sea conditions, but Marlon insisted on seeing the water. After a few seconds on the beach, he and Noe were both asking to go back to the car - but that's just when all the cool stuff on the beach was being noticed - mermaid's purses among other things.

This guy was pitching some bait out into the maelstrom - we didn't stick around long enough to see if he was getting any bites, though he was tending the line so I think there was something playing with the bait.

Despite the weather and lack of surfing, still a fun time down at the Outer Banks!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Staring at Flies

We stopped in at the Hampton Bass Pro Shop last night on the way down from DC.

Bob was tying flies as a demonstration. He and La spoke about how the tools for tying flies and sewing projects are similar. I asked about the type of equipment - what is good and bad. He showed us his arsenal of flies and discussed his experiences with WD40 and doll brushes (on keeping his flies in great shape).

More Virginia Beach Sand Crabs

This was the largest specimen we caught today (Noe captured it - she said she felt it and just grabbed it).

Sand Crabs from the Atlantic Ocean

We are spending the weekend down at Virginia Beach - actually one of our favorite places!

The kids are getting really good at catching Sand Crabs. We used to dig them out at the beaches in California, but having grown a bit since then, both Marlon and Noe are exercising critical thinking to solve the problem of "where are the crabs, and how can I catch them".

The next couple of posts will demonstrate this -

Marlon is using a net on a draining wave to catch the sand crabs retreating into the sand (and he caught a bunch!)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More Singapore

I barely slept on this trip -

I felt like I had to maximize the short stay (overnight layover to catch the commercial flight the next morning).

What a clean town! I guess the fines/penalties are incentive to keep the infractions from happening, but at what point does pride and wanting to do the right thing take over?

In any case - Singapore is better off for it all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Overnight in Singapore

Before I get too far down the line with posts from CONUS, here are a few pictures of my short stay in Singapore. Why is this 'amphibious'? Open your mind grasshopper - SIngapore is an island nation. Singapore is also a massive trade site - busy harbors/ports, huge banks and lots of different cultures mixed in a single space. And the food!!!! Steve-O and I had incredible Indian food for lunch (gave Apphu Ghar a good run for the money) and street vendor soft-shell crab for dinner.

I'll post more pictures in a second (it's only taking me 30 seconds to upload these pictures - it takes about 20 minutes to do the same out on DGAR).

SUPing Lake Audubon

La and I went SUPing on one of the local lakes. We did about two miles at a nice leisurely pace. I kept my eye open for any signs of bigger fish, but instead got more bird watching in.

It's good to be back with the family!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pocket full of shells

I punched out at 1800 and ran to the O'Club Beach. The tide was pretty low so I didn't have much expectations. And I had the fly gear again - actually, it's nice coming back from fishing and not smelling like squid.

I thought I had a couple of bites, but no hook ups.

Not a loss in my book though - besides the stress relief, I got this awesome Indian Ocean sunset and a pocket full of cool shells!

No more DGAR fishing reports for a couple of weeks - I'm off to a conference and HOME!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Second Outing - Second Fish

1745 - a little less than two hours of light left.

I hop in Mike's truck and we're off to go fishing. I bring the flyfishing gear today.

We hit "Cables" first. No bites, but some large fish were tailing in the shallows. We've seen them before at Cannon Point (I'll have to ask some of my workers what those are and what do they like to eat). No takers on fly or lure/squid - so we decided to go to Eclipse Bay.

Back in the water, the picture is of the view around 1900 - Orange and Purple Indian Ocean sunset. With the seasons changing, the winds are starting to die back to the "light, but steady" range. For reference think "16m kites on a surfboard" - soon it'll be a lake and flyfishing will reign.

Now back to fishing - I ended up catching another "MONSTER" - this time a tiny grouper - maybe 5". I did not get a chance to take a picture of it, but it was very eye catching.

I'll take it!!! I have no shame about catching the smallest fish. Two fish on the fly to date!!!

Tomorrow I may try for bonefish behind the O'Club - especially if the wind dies down even more.

Monday, September 5, 2011

First Fish on a Fly!!!

My world is now forever changed!

I finally caught a fish on a fly rig!!!

Even if it is small -

The neat thing is one of the first fish I caught when I first started fishing out here was a goatfish.

So here I am starting from scratch with a different type of fishing and what do I catch - a goatfish!

The little guy is a different species from the other ones I've been catching.

SO -

I noticed that I was casting better (keeping my elbow in and paying more attention to the stop and starts) - I think the new line also had something to do with it. That is actually more data that adds to my theory that fly fishing is the equivalent of golf in the fishing world - you can buy more and more equipment and psychologically you think you are getting better.

Spinning gear is more like the "redneck shooting in the woods" type of fun as opposed to an "afternoon on the fairways". Both have their benefits.

To illustrate that point, the three other guys I was fishing with decided to pack up from the Donkey Gate area since they weren't getting any hits. We headed for the O'Club Beach. As usual, it was pretty windy so I used the Ugly Stik with a bubble float and a red squid lure I chopped up from a sabiki rig. I had a few small hits where the fish "spit" the hook - I knew the Bonefish were patrolling, and then I got a good hit! After a great fight, I pulled up a 15" Bonefish!

Spinning gear - you can't miss (just like a 12 gauge shotgun in the backwoods)!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Flyline Spooling

So I was supposed to be on a free deep sea fishing trip this morning. The wind was up past 16 kts so that got canx'd.

I was pounding out some work emails and then I saw the extra spool, new fly line (scientific anglers, mastery series, saltwater WF-9-F) and 30 lb backing sitting near the TV.

Seeing as how I am easily distracted, I grabbed the fly rod, cut off the poor clouser that has been serving as my training fly, reeled up the old line and leader and removed the current spool.

After that, I tied the backing on, spooled it onto the reel, tied a nail knot to the running end of the fly line, attached a piece of mono with a perfection loop on the side facing out with a nail knot to the working end of the fly line, looped on the leader (0X) and finally blood knotted on some 0X tippet (about four feet).

This spool is ready to go!

Now back to work - if I can crap out seven things I've been working on, I plan on going out to the Donkey Gate (fenced off area to keep the donkeys out of the airfield) to try casting a 'gotcha'.

Stay tuned...

Kiting Again

I experienced technical difficulties with several things today.

First - I dragged the kite/board around on errands this morning (I rarely drive the truck around - my way of cutting back on carbon footprint and burning, but today I did) - I didn't end up kiting this morning due to the errands. Also I passed on the morning kiting session in anticipation of a sailing regatta this afternoon - save energy for butt kicking!

So I am back on the bike and off to the marina for the regatta. I'm there early talking about the course and the wind conditions (a little blustery). Stretching, gearing up and looking forward to running the course early to get a lay of the wind lines.

Then, as I was waiting for the skipper's meeting, a small craft warning went up (and the regatta was called off).

So - back to my room on the bike (I must have rode back and forth between the marina and my room at least 4 times by this point), I got the kite gear and then back to Jake's Place to launch.

Now that all that discombobulation was over, you think everything was smooth from this point forward. Furthest thing from the truth -

Really choppy water. Made riding actually painful at times.

The wind was full of holes south of the marina, and full on north of it.

Also, I thought I'd get more charge out of the batteries on the GoPro - not. These three pictures were the best out of the 13 taken.

Put those negativities aside, it was fun trying to step up the game during the jumps - I lost the board three times today and got some wicked crashes.


This guy apparently hangs out at the fish cleaning shack and has convinced the people working there to feed him regularly. He's pretty good at catching chunks of fish when they are thrown upwards.

When I've seen documentaries of Frigates, they are always accused of going after other birds that have food they caught on their own. The smaller white birds would also wait for fish scraps thrown upwards and were more often successful (more so than the frigate). The frigate would subsequently go into pirate mode and chase until the smaller bird either swallowed the fish chunk or dropped it trying to do the former.

When there is wind blowing, these guys exemplify efficiency - I watched them for 10 minutes and they flapped their wings maybe twice.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Grazing = Snacks; ? = Slabs of Tuna

If you are "grazing", you are just eating simple foods several times a day instead of eating larger meals.

So what is it called if you are eating seared tuna in the same manner (smaller chunks, spread throughout the day)?

I propose we call it "gnawing"

Three slices of the seared ahi in addition to two lightly scrambled eggs was my breakfast. I'll "gnaw" on it before and after lunch until it is gone.

For dinner tonight, I might actually cook chicken (just so I don't grow gills from eating too much fish).

Saturday Morning Kiting Session

Got a bunch of jumps in today. This jump was one of the better ones - I got the board and most of me above the bar.

Check out the picture of me coming up after a dunking - you can see large water drops in suspension in front of my left leg. Sometimes you get some pretty cool pictures from the GoPro.