Thursday, October 31, 2013
http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2013/10/27/south-china-sea/ Check out this article from the NY Times - very cool format to include different types of media and integrate it with a story. I wish I had the job that these Filipino Marines currently hold - minus the being away from family part. Oh - and I used to butterfly fish like this all the time when I was a kid. Cut off the fins, scale, split down the middle, rip out the guts and gills, soak in a solution of vinegar/pepper/garlic then set out in the sun to dry. When you are ready to eat some, fry them in a skillet of hot oil and enjoy with rice (kanin). Take a few minutes to read the article
Monday, October 28, 2013
Kabuto 6'6" 3 weight 3 piece - fiberglass flyrod perfection... pair this with an Abel Creek Size 1 in standard black and you could cook eggs on this thing it's so hot!!!! I need to win the lotto... or get a better paying job... or learn how to make gorgeous rods like this...
Water and filter change on the aquarium. Not one of those things I look forward to - but the kids like doing it. I'll have to appoint them the official water changers next time.
I have always been intimidated by sewing machines - mainly because I didn't understand why they worked. When we bought this sewing machine during the Sailboat show in Annapolis, I ended up asking tons of questions to the guys demonstrating the machine - and my fear of sewing machines slowly melting away. For my first project, I dug out a board bag that I keep the paipo in. I had made a mistake a while back by assuming that I could sew in a long zipper and use the bag from the top instead of the side zip. Unfortunately I didn't get the zipper sewn in and the board bag, although functional, required lots of concentration to make sure the contents didn't fall out. That ended yesterday - the bag was thick and didn't want to stay aligned, but it got it repaired. I even broke a needle and heard/felt how that happens. I spooled a bobbin and threaded the machine a couple of times. I got the thread started multiple times and learned to keep a finger on the ends until the first knots were sewn. I've got a ton of projects in my head now and I am glad I got over the reluctance to sew. Now I look forward to taking notes to determine what needle-thread-material combinations are out there and make rod socks, rack strap chaffing gear, fix old rack pads, hiking strap pads for the Weta, handles for potted plants and tons of other useful things.
Instead of venturing out to enjoy nature this weekend, I buckled down and nuked my backed up to-do list. I cleaned and lubed the three reels I use for saltwater fishing. That took longer than I thought it would - or I've become slow...
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
My parents made this soup often when I was a kid. Chicken and rice soup. Lots of ginger and onions. Wonderful on a cold winter day (or cool, gray overcast autumn afternoon like today). Why is this an "amphibious" blog posting? Two reasons - the Philippines is an immense archipelago so anything from there (including this recipe, and the hands that made it) is amphibious; and the last time I ate some on a cold day was on board an LCM anchored off the coast of San Clemente island - night diving training in cold California water. Nothing warms the soul better than soup like this.
Found these on sale at Jo Ann fabrics - new thread nippers!!! I've been trying to get comfortable keeping the scissors I have in my hand while I am tying flies (so I can be cool like all the guys on YouTube tying like gurus) - conventional scissors weren't going to work out for me. When I saw these on the rack, I could already feel the mana emanating from the silky stainless steel... I envisioned tying perfect flies that were so good that the fish lined up to be caught... To confirm my suspicions, the cashier made an unsolicited comment that "those scissors will last you a lifetime - they are the best out there". So what is the lesson learned here? Never underestimate your local craft and hardware stores - for in their cavernous depths, there exists hidden gems among the masses of consumer madness, you just have to follow your senses.
I paddled out at Algonkian Regional Park on the Potomac River again for my weekend fishing expedition. I brought a lightweight spinning setup, an ultralight, and the Orvis Helios 5wt. There is an island to the West of the launch, and one to the East. For the three times I've been paddling here, I've always gone upstream (West) - logic being on the way back in when I am tired, I can drift with the current. No change in direction this time either - but I did paddle on the Northern side of the island. The current was stronger on the Northern side, but still not overpowering. I saw a few channel cats taking chunks out of a dead carp - I took a few casts at them, but they saw me and bolted. I paddled right over some huge carp that were rooting around the weed beds - I was too close to make a cast... Finally I saw a channel cat nose into the current, lined up looking for food to drift by. I cast a Gulp Cricket on a small jig head hook and watched the cat chomp on it. It tugged well on the ultralight rod, but if the rod were any stiffer, the cat would have been dead weight. Pretty lethargic for a medium sized cat. Kinda skinny too. I saw a few more carp and cats swimming around, but go no response from any casts. I made it around the island and started casting in the crosscurrent. Using the lightweight spinning rod, I hooked up with a little small mouth - it put on a good airshow jumping several times before I got it on the board. Nice fish! I cast back into the same area and got a hit from an even bigger small mouth! Multiple jumps and a few runs from this one!!! I started my drift down stream back to the launch - I stopped fishing because there were two jet skis ripping back and forth across the river. Nevermind the canoes, kayaks and jonboats fishing in the area - they could have gone just a few hundred yards to the West and there would have been clear and open water - but they were clueless. Sharing is good so it was a good time to leave anyways - and on a good note with three fish caught and released.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Okay - I couldn't break away from the keyboard - here is the last post for today. This is the Tiwal - an inflatable 10' boat with a 400 pound capacity. The boat comes in two bags that can fit in the back of a pickup truck (or even a car trunk). The valves and construction look a lot like the inflatable standup paddleboards (the Naish boards to be exact) - but the thing that looks to make it work is the aluminum frame that holds the daggerboard, the mast and the rudder. If I had sold the Weta, I might have left with this boat... I'll wait for some reviews to come out on the performance (free wisdom - don't throw your money into volunteering to be a beta prototype tester - you are supposed to get paid for that kind of work), but if I had to guess, this is going to be a tremendously fun boat! Maybe replace the aluminum tubing with carbon fiber tubes, and move to the same fiber reinforced sailcloth that the Weta uses - then I'll throw some cash at this. Google Tiwal to see pictures of the boat sailing fast and kids having fun on it.
The rocket skiff was a prototype. It was tucked into the back of one of the aisles and we stumbled onto it by accident. The life raft was towards one of the exits on our way to lunch. At this point we decided it would be best to start our way back home limping on the run flat. There are a few more pictures to go, but I'll post those later. Despite the overcast (and rainy at times) weather, this year's Annapolis Boat Show was pretty good and really informative!
I won't even bother - just make sure you're mouth is not over your keyboard as you salivate over the carbon fiber everything and organic curves of forward amas. Boats aren't supposed to look this good...
I can't say much about this boat except that my mouth and eyes were jammed wide open in utter amazement of how nice a boat can be. I mean check out the transom on the tender - carbon fiber. When the tender is more expensive than most of the boats at the show, you quickly realize this craft exists on a different plane. Anybody out there want to donate a few million to a worthy cause?