Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pictures in the Nook.

After receiving a request to provide some information on the pictures in my Tiny House ,  here is some background information to explain.

My first "Puffin", a Marshall Sanderling, 1970. Leaving the Harbor.

While beach combing in the 70's, I came across this glove nestled in a bed of sea shells.

A Christmas card from one of my co-workers, he was an Art teacher and this was his way of sending Seasons Greetings. The subject was a beach scene from near his home along the Shore.

One of my Japanese, Artist friends did this ink drawing for me. The subject, a traditional Japanese fishing boat.

This is the house and property where I grew up, in a tiny seacoast town of Sea Girt, NJ. My father built this when he came back from a tour in the South Pacific, United States Navy Chief Petty Officer, Sea Bees.

A picture of another tiny house I found in a thrift store, it gave me some inspiration for my project.

The town of Sea Girt, one square mile, on the Atlantic, this was my favorite beach as a kid growing up.

My first attempt at a carving a half model.

Half model # 2

One of my better efforts, models usually face left to right, I did mine facing right to left.

Custom Built by Charles Best

To take the edge off a cool day or evening.

Our Futon, serves as a sofa during the day and a sleeping surface at night, very comfortable.

A clock given to me from my athletes during my coaching days.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Final look at Fran's "Nanny's Nook"

With the project finished, it's time to turn my attention to a trip to Maine, a motorcycle ride to the Smokey Mt's. and then my return to the Keys before the leaves drop and the snow flies. It will be good to get back on the water after such a dry spell here in NJ.

Friday, July 25, 2014



A neat chair and picture that  Fran picked up a local Habitat for Humanity Thrift Shop

An Amish cabinet and chair compliment the other side of the room.

A Pastel of Sea Girt Beach, commissioned  many years ago,  circa 1980's. Philadelphia Beach, our family beach.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Since coming back to New Jersey after a winter in the Florida Keys, sailing or fishing several days a week, I found myself  high and dry for the summer. The result, I had to find a project that would be challenging and keep me busy for a couple months. My choice was to build an extension on our existing Pergola Deck and create a quiet space for Fran, a Garden House.

The project was challenging, mostly because I have never tackled a job like this and I was faced with working solo to boot. I was able to muddle through the building part but working alone presented the greatest challenge for me. Purchasing the lumber, hauling it home, measuring the boards, cutting and then fitting everything together was exhausting and seemed that it would never end. Funny though, at the end of every day when I looked back to see what I had accomplished, it gave me a measure of satisfaction that inspired me to work another day and so on and so forth. The project is drawing near completion and only installing the floor remains.

Here are some pictures to help get the feel for the process.

The work begins

Setting the frame on piers

Ready for the deck

Decking going into place

Frame for the Garden House

Work progressing

End of the day refreshment

All decked out

Add caption

I thought that I could save the tree in the foreground, no luck.

View from below

A Cupola from our Sea Girt House, my dad and I built that many years ago. I plan to use it on this structure if possible.

Walls going up

This is the tough part, solo installation of the walls.

Fran enjoying the progress

To the right of the picture is the bench I built into the deck

Warm glow of the light invites one to enter, not yet,  interior walls have to go up.

Frans Basket seats that I incorporated  on the Pergola.

Landscape is changing

The sign over the door reads, Nanny's Nook. French Doors a steal from Craig's list, $20, including hardware.

I took one afternoon to make this coffee table 

Walls are 1x8 tongue and groove knotty pine boards.

With the completion of the walls the flooring is the next and final step.

The combination of cedar and pine gives off an amazing aroma.

A look around the outside, 

The windows are single slabs from a french door. The front French Door was purchased from Craig's list for 20 dollars.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Remembering My Buddy and Constant Companion For Ten Years

Corky, ten years as a faithful companion. We sailed and fished together, walked the beach and even traveled back and forth to  the Keys each year. She loved boats and boat yards, my kind of girl, forgive the Dragon Fly, she was just groomed and the Groomer always had to make a statement.

Corky, because she was a corker

Sunday, May 4, 2014


"On The Hard"

Back in New Jersey until Fall, time to dust off the lawn mower, garden tools and the Harley. For the last six months I woke up every morning to a grand view of the Florida Bay, rode my bike seven miles by eight am, then planned my day around some type of activity on the water. There is a bit of culture shock each time I return North, more cars, sirens and higher food prices, not to mention the neighbor's dog incessant barking.

I am very fortunate to have both sides of the coin in my life, it provides me with a much needed change which helps me appreciate both worlds and not take either one for granted.

This will replace the boats until next winter, my "land barge".

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Time Has Come

Packing Up

After one of the best fishing days of the winter, it is time to pack up and head back to NJ for the summer. Both boats, the Catboat and the Flats boat are out of the water and safely tucked away for the summer at a friends house. Today all my fishing gear and items that I don't truck home with me will also be stored at my friends house, he allots me one room in his house to store such items. It is a great convenience to have this privilege. Thank you Roland Barth.

I head out on Thursday and will remain in NJ for several months, then it will be the return to the Keys for what I hope is another winter. So, until I get back to NJ and start some much needed motorcycling, yard work and other projects, this will be my last post for a short time.
Ready to get back to The Beyond.

Until next October

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Permit Information and Facts...Fly Fishing


trachinotus falcatus
Permit are one of the flats grand slam fish along with tarpon and bonefish. Permit are difficult to find, approach and induce to eat a fly. This along with their tenacious fighting ability, landing a permit is one of the most highly prized accomplishments on fly tackle.
Permit range throughout tropical waters including Florida from Ft. Pierce on the east coast to Panama City on the west coast and the Florida Keys.
Permit are members of the jack family living in deep water holes and around old wrecks. Permit move to the shallow water flats to take advantage of the rich food supply. Preferring the ragged rocky shorelines and hard bottom flats, they will work the deeper edges and points while waiting for the highest tides before moving higher onto the flat.
Because of their difficult nature, permit are usually caught while fishing the flats for other species. Permit are extremely wary, difficult to see in the water and if you do get a fly in front of them, they are very finicky
Permit can be caught all year in the Keys but Spring and Fall provide the most favorable weather conditions for them to move onto the flats. Northern areas are best during the warmer weather when the water temperature rises.
Permit fishers must understand that permit are out of their normal element on the flats. They move up onto the flats only to hunt for food and while there they are very nervous, fleeing in panic at any sign of danger such as boat noises and fly lines slapping on the water or flailing overhead. Fly fishers must understand this and assume the proper attitude and techniques.
Those going out with the purpose of catching a permit must be armed with information specific to the permit.
This begins with an understanding of the "flats fishing" basics.
The ideal conditions for permit would be:
A warm sunny day, the water is clear and 70-80 degrees with a slight wind rippling the water surface. A strong tide is coming in that will flood the highest points of a rocky flat on which you will be poling or wading.
While ideal conditions are rare, each element increases the chances for success.
A bright day with clear water is essential in order to see the permit and effectively present the fly.
Permit like warm water. They will not move onto a flat having water temperatures out of their comfort range.
Wind can provide an important advantage for the flyfisher. Permit do not like calm conditions in shallow water and a slight wind will ripple the surface enough to cover them as well as the splash of the fly line hitting the water. Too much wind, however, may cloud the water making conditions impossible.
Water levels also determine where permit will be found. At low tide, permit hold in channels and basins adjacent to the flats that have access to the safety of deep open water. On the weak high tides, the fish will be working the edges of the flats. Which edge they are on may be affected by wind and water conditions. Permit move up onto the flats during spring tides and other strong tides. Lush feeding areas are flooded at these times giving access to the opportunistic permit. The timing of these tides are well noted by serious permit fishers. During the colder months, tides are not as important as water temperatures but the rule is: The higher the tide the better.
Permit Food
Permit eat crabs. They may also eat other crustaceans but mainly crabs. Blue crabs are a favorite for bait fisherman.
Permit Flies
The permits favorite food is crabs. Flyfishers must have a fly that resembles a crab, quickly drops to the bottom like a crab and enters the water quietly. Crab patterns have been developed that look like crabs and sink quickly as do the naturals. Arguably the best fly pattern for permit is the "Del Brown Merkin" sizes #2-#2/0. The Puff, McCrab and other crab patterns are also good for permit. Fly fishing for permit was not considered reasonably before the developement of these crab patterns. Use a full size crab pattern on windy days. Large patterns are more visible to permit and their noisier presentation is less noticeable in the wind. If one pattern is rejected, change size, weight or try color variations but its a good idea to stick with crab patterns. Upon rare occasions, permit will take a bonefish fly but not with any consistency. Many Guides use nothing but the Merkin Fly in different sizes, weights and color variations.
  • Hook: mustad 3407 #2 - 2/0
  • Thread: Chartreuse 3/0
  • Tail (claw): Cree or ginger hackle tips, Tan marabou or fur and Pearl krystal flash or flashabou.
  • Body: Alternating strands of tan and brown sparkle yarn. Also blue and brown.
  • Eyes: 1/24 oz lead eyes dumbbell
  • Legs: White or chartreuse rubber hackle. Paint the tips red.
Permit Tackle
The one rod size to have for saltwater flyfishing is generally considered to be a 9 foot, 9 weight fast action graphite. This rod can be rigged for a wide range of gamefish including all but the largest permit. It has enough back bone to fight large fish and is able to cast fly patterns well in windy conditions.
The fly rod must have plenty of backbone to pull in a permit. Smaller permit can be taken on fly rods as light as 8 weight but a 40 + lb fish will require the recommended 9 foot 11 weight rod.
Reels must be of quality construction, corrosion proof for the saltwater environment, a strong smooth drag system, sufficient capacity to hold the fly line plus 200-300 yards of backing and be sized to match the fly rod. Single action reels are the standard for saltwater fly fishing.
Permit make long runs making necessary 250 yards of 30 lb backing. Add a shock absorber between the flyline and the backing using 20 lb high vis mono line.
Floating Weight Forward (FWF). Fly line one size larger than the rod weight is recommended to aid in casting the heavier crab patterns.
Permit mouths are hard but not abrasive and they have no sharp teeth making wire leaders and shock tippets unnecessary. Since permit do not seem to be spooked by leaders, a leader tippet 14-16 lb test works well. In windy conditions use 8 -9 foot leader with a larger crab pattern. When calm use 10 foot leader with a small fly such as a Merkin on #1 or #2 hook.
Permit Methods
Permit may be fished by wading stealthily or by poling a flats boat which are covered by general "flats fishing" basics. Guides who know the movements of the permit are strongly recommended.
Seeing the permit is critical for proper presentation and retrieve.
Look for permit on top of flats and around rocky shorelines and points during high tides. During falling or low tide check the basins and channel edges.
While hunting for permit on edges of flats and near rock piles, look for black sickle like tails and fins penetrating the surface and under water.
Look for muds and tailing permit. When they dip down to eat in shallow water the tail can be seen above the water surface.
Look for shadows underwater or a large eye without body.
Also look for a permits distinctive wake as they move.
Look for the mirage like shape of the permit caused by sunlight reflecting off their body.
When a permit is spotted, move into casting range very quietly. When in range the window of opportunity is very small. Keep false casts to absolute minimum and get the fly in front of the permit quickly. Accuracy of the cast is more important than the distance. On calm days sixty foot casts are normally sufficient but in a stiff breeze forty foot casts are adequate. The ideal cast has fly sinking right in front of permit.
When a crab is approached by predators out on the flat, it immediately drops to the bottom and stays still. This is exactly what the permit should see. When you encounter permit they will generally be either moving through the area or feeding. For the former, gauge the water depth, the speed of the permit, tidal currents and the sink rate of the fly and cast so that the fly reaches the anticipated meeting point just before the fish.
Feeding permit move erratically and therefore hard to lead. As they move along looking for food, they dip down to eat then come up and move in whatever direction they are facing. For this reason, the fly should be presented as close as possible. Wait for them to tail then put the fly right in front of them. Whatever the situation you must make your fly imitate a natural crab.
The best retrieve for permit is no retrieve. If your offering is refused, a small movement of the fly may bring back the permit for another chance.
Hook up
Since you wont feel a strike as with other species, seeing the permit tail near your fly is the best indicator that they have taken the bait. If the permit appears to take the fly wait briefly then pull the slack slowly with the line hand to determine that the fish has taken the fly. If you feel resistance strike firmly with the line hand NOT the rod tip. With this method, if you miss, the fly is still in the permits area for a possible second chance. Sweeping with the rod pulls the fly out of the area preventing a second chance. If the permit is indeed on the line strike several more times with the rod when you get a chance.
Extra sharp hooks are necessary as the permit mouth is very hard to penetrate with a hook.
When hooked the permit makes long powerful runs. Just let them go while trying to clear any slack line and getting them on the reel. If hooked near the edge of flats, permit usually head for deep water. Permit will use many tactics to dislodge the hook or tangle the line by using sea fans, coral, crab traps, rubbing their mouth on the bottom or other tricks. If nothing else works they turn sideways using their wide bodies to resist your efforts to pull them in. Keep constant rod pressure to keep the permit from resting and take back line when possible. Pulling opposite to their direction of travel keeps them off balance. Be ready for several more runs and settle in for a struggle.
Decide ahead of time if you want to keep your permit, if you should be so lucky as to land one. If you decide to release the fish, try to leave it in the water, unhook and revive quickly to insure its survival. Permit are very good eating and they are not endangered although Florida does have regulations.
  • Keep no more than 10 per day aggragate of permit and pompano.
  • Permit size limit: None less than 10" or more than 20".
  • May keep one over 20".
Other methods
A chumming method that works well for permit requires either good GPS numbers or a guide to find the locations of permit schooling up on the surface over deep holes. Approach the location quietly and anchor within casting distance. Throw live blue crabs to center of the school of permit one at a time. This creates a competition among the fish to get the crab. Continue throwing out the crabs until the permit are sufficiently teased, then cast a crab pattern fly.
Spin and Bait
Bottom fish over wrecks or deeper water at the edge of rocky flats with crabs, shrimp, clams and conch.

Permit Video

This is the video that was taken of my friend catching his 40# Permit, warning, is is long, however you can click forward at any time to any location on the video.

 Wayne and his Permit Quest

About a forty pound Permit, this is the fish from the video.