Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sjogin Coming To Rest

I caught this bit of Sjogin coming to dock this afternoon, I thought that it would be a stealthy moment on video, just Sjogin and a light wind to bring her in, no commentary just a peaceful moment; but alas, a vacuum cleaner aboard a not so Silent Maid changed everything.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Jersey Fishing 2011 Saltwater Regulations!

The following is a copy of the New Jersey Fishing Regulations for 2011! Click on the following link to view the site.



Scott, my niece's husband went out fishing for Striped Bass yesterday, this is his reward. As you can see from the picture the ocean was a little chopped up and there was no shortage of other boats trying for the same species.

Scott's prize, a nice striped Bass for his efforts!
Scott is an avid fisherman, teacher and all around good guy. He was named the teacher of the year this year at the Stone Harbor school system, Scott also is the leader of the schools fishing club. The club brings students together to learn about tackle, baiting, fishing techniques; it also provides the students with actual fishing trips where the get to apply all that they have learned.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Successful Afternoon Of Fishing With Family

Yesterday, Frannie and I loaded up the car with fishing gear and drove down to Marmora, NJ where my niece Cory and her husband live. The plan was to go fishing and then go out to dinner afterwards, Our plans changed, however, because we had great luck in catching Fluke.

With everyone officially registered with NJ DEP, we set out to do some Fluke fishing, this year the legal size for this species of fish is 18", so in typical fashion, it is not unusual to have to catch many undersized fish before you happen onto the larger variety. Today was no exception we caught a total of twenty fish but only ended up with three keeper's, not a bad average considering that most of the fish were in the 16 - to 17" range, just a little short to be put in the fish box.

When we arrived back at my Nice's house, I cleaned the fish, Scott washed the boat and Cory went to Shop Rite for some corn and a few other items to make a fine meal, which included, rice, string beans, corn on the cob, fresh Fluke and some much appreciated wine. Believe me,  I whined and wined!

Everyone caught fish, except me, I was suffering from a back problem that afflicted me not long after we shoved off from the dock; I think I twisted my back netting the first fish. Back spasms and a rocking boat do not make for a fun time, I endured the spasms until I arrived home later in the evening and applied ice.

My sister Peggy and her biggest fish

Frannie and her catch
One more time

Scotts catch

Three succesful angler's
Left to right, Frannie, Peggy and Scott
Missing from the picture, Cory and me, we didn't make the cut

Monday, May 16, 2011

Welcome to the beautiful Barnegat Bay

I have told you about the beautiful Florida Bay, now here is an interesting site that tells and shows you about the Barnegat Bay. This site provides pictures of the wildlife that inhabit the Bay, maps that divide the Bay into three sections, North,  Central and the Southern regions as well as links to direct you to other Bay sites.

During my six months in NJ,  I will try and provide you with further information and pictures of the sailing area that I grew up on as a child, young adult and more recently as an old fart. Barnegat Bay over the years provided me with great sails, good crabbing, fishing and a place to stay overnight (Tices Shoal), of course that was back when twenty boats on any given weekend were considered a crowd. The Shoals now days, for me,  is an overcrowded, overused resource that has lost it's appeal and charm.

Click on this link to get you started:

Although the Bay has changed drastically over the years, the memories of night or weekend sailing along the shores, which at that time were not overrun with houses crowded onto every possible space, will stay with me forever. Now,  I am very selective when it comes time to sail or otherwise venture out onto the Bay. I do not have a fondness for the go fast boats that you can hear coming and going for three miles in either direction, all the boaters in such a hurry to go nowhere while passing you with mere feet to spare,  or the incessent chop created by the boat wakes hitting one shore then heading back to the opposite side like a swimming pool. This effect, by the way, has been caused by the creation of never ending of bulkheads, there is very little natural shore line to absorb the chop.

I hope the efforts to clean up Barnegat Bay succeeds, but alas, as long as we keep adding to the concrete and asphalt, building homes and eliminating natural shore line, the runoff into the Bay will not improve. However, in spite of all the grievances I have expressed, if you pick and choose your experiences,  much can be gained from time on the Barnegat Bay. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rained Out In The NE...Perhaps This Week I'll Get lee Marie Launched,new+jersey&nc=forecast,pands,country

This says it all! BYE!

Then again, maybe not!!

Gil Smith Catboat...1890 Design...Newly Built By Stanard Boats

In case there are viewers that don't look at the interesting links list that I provide, here is a summary of the Catboat Clemintine that was built here in the Keys by one of our Catboat buddies down here.

Clementine,  is Great South Bay Racing Catboat built by Bill Stanard, she was designed in 1890 by a chap named Gil Smith. She was recently launched last winter and rests at the Upper Keys Sailing Club. Here are a few pictures that represent the process of her build, you want more details, go to my link Clementine @ at Stanard Boat Works. I have yet to see her sail, but by all indications, she will be fast. These pictures are only cursory, to view the whole process go to my link for Stanard Boat Works.

Lines drawing

Sail plan

Decked over

Stern overhang

Friday, May 13, 2011

Learn How To Sail A Gaff Rigged Catboat...An Arey's Pond Lynx

A heads up from my friend Roland.

MIT is offering sailing lessons on their new Lynx, Arey's Pond Catboat. If you are of that Ilk,  check out the following website:


Update on Whale Stranding

5 stranded whales taken to Key Largo for treatment

The Associated Press KEY LARGO, Fla. --
Five surviving pilot whales of a mass stranding off the lower Florida Keys are now in a Key Largo rehabilitation center, where they'll receive long-term treatment.
Officials say the whales arrived at the Marine Mammal Conservancy on Tuesday in a temperature-controlled semi-trailer normally used to transport food. Accompanied by responders, including two veterinarians, the animals rode on padded mats and were kept wet during the 82-mile trip from a temporary sea pen.
Three of the whales are in stable, but guarded condition, while the other two are critically ill.
Officials say rehabilitation could take months.
More than 500 volunteers have helped since some 21 pilot whales stranded May 5. All the others animals died.

Stranded Pilot Whale Rescue...Florida Keys

Two of seven surviving pilot whales stranded in the Lower Keys released
The whales came from a pod of more than 20 of the marine mammals who were stranded. Necropsies are being performed on the dead whales.
In this photo provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, staff members and volunteers from the Marine Mammal Conservancy care for four pilot whales Friday, May 6, 2011, in a temporary sea pen at Cudjoe Key, Fla. The four whales are part of a group of about 16 that stranded Thursday, May 5, off the lower Florida Keys. Three other whales are being cared for in the pen, two died and responders are endeavoring to secure the others in the sea pen. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Bob Care)
8 of 20 pilot whales stranded off Cudjoe Key rescued, being nursed back to health


CUDJOE KEY -- Two “robust” adult male pilot whales are back where they belong – in the deep ocean.
Late Saturday afternoon, the large marine mammals — which were among a pod of at least 21 that had stranded two days earlier — were slowly transported by barge from a makeshift sea pen off Cudjoe Key to waters 530 feet deep in the Atlantic Ocean.
Nine miles offshore, they were released.
“It was just amazing,” said Suzy Roebling, a staffer with the non-profit Marine Mammal Conservancy in Key Largo.
With a bird’s-eye view from the seat of the barge’s crane, Roebling watched as “Big Boy No. 400” was first to be put into the ocean. But instead of swimming away, he just seemed to float.
“He had his eye looking at his buddy,” she said.
About 30 seconds later, the other smaller whale was put into the ocean. The two got side-by-side, touching each other. Then, they swam away — together.
Cheers erupted from the marine professionals and volunteers on the barge. The whales, between 12 and 13 feet long and well over 1,000 pounds, could be seen surfacing in the distance, and then disappearing into the waters again.
But their movements won’t be a secret, at least not for the next two to three months. Before they were released, satellite tracking devices were inserted into their dorsal fins.
The release came less than 48 hours after the discovery of the first mass stranding of pilot whales in the Florida Keys since 2003.
It took an even more massive, around-the-clock rescue effort from several federal and state agencies, as well as SeaWorld, other private organizations and an army of volunteers.
The release boosted the spirits of the responders, who had to deal with the deaths of 14 whales, including one lifeless body brought to shore as news of the successful release was announced.
Necropsies were being conducted to help to determine what caused the stranding. The answer may never be known.
But the successes are what keep people volunteering to help, including Reen Stanhouse, who had spent more than eight hours in the waist-deep water of a makeshift sea pen over the past two days comforting and holding the distressed creatures.
“I feel like it’s the least man can do, since we’ve destroyed so many of them,” she said.
Now the effort continues to save the remaining five survivors, one male and four females.
They “are not ready to go anywhere,” said Dr. Christopher Dold, vice president of veterinary services at SeaWorld.
Two are particularly in bad shape. “One has pretty severe pneumonia and the other is developing pneumonia,” Marathon veterinarian Doug Mader said.
The lone calf, which one volunteer nicknamed Emily, is doing well.
The remaining survivors were being kept Saturday night at the sea pen set up at the end of Blimp Road. When it is deemed safe enough to transport them, they will be relocated to the Marine Mammal Conservancy for further rehabilitation.The goal is to release them back into the ocean.
“Wild animals do not do well in captivity,” Mader said. “The stress makes them more prone to get sicker. So there is a fine line between getting them out as soon as you can and keeping them long enough so they are healthy enough to release.”
“Pilot whales are deep-water animals. That’s why it’s so strange to see them in near-shore waters,” said Karrie Carnes, spokeswoman for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Carnes said no whales are released by themselves due to the species’ natural socialization.
The outlook for the two males now back in the deep is fairly good. “Best case scenario is they stay together and unite with another larger group of pilot whales out in the wild,” Dold said.
What caused this mass stranding is not known, and may never be known.
“It’s Mother Nature,” Mader said. “Are we doing the right thing by interfering? I don’t have the answer, but it is human nature to want to help.”

Stranded Pilot Whales being helped by volunteers

A deadly stranding

Read more:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Stranded Pilot Whales Off The Fl. Keys Rescued

From my friend and fishing buddy in the Keys, Skip.
Posted on Tuesday, 05.10.11

From The Miami Herald


Five stranded pilot whales delivered to Key Largo rehab facility

Florida Keys Keynoter

The five survivors of Thursday's pilot whale stranding off Cudjoe Key arrived early Tuesday at Key Largo's Marine Mammal Conservancy, where the next stage of their rehabilitation will begin.

MMC's Robert Lingenfelser said the goal there will be to get the whales healthy enough to return them to the wild, like the two podmates released in deep Atlantic waters on Saturday. There's no timeline for that, and no guarantees.

The marine mammal group is seeking volunteers to help with the whales at its facility. Volunteers work in four-hour shifts. Interested people should call (305) 451-4774.

The move began shortly before 3 a.m. down on Cudjoe. It took a crane and lots of muscle to transfer the mammals at low tide from the sea pen, where they've been since at least early Friday morning, and into a 48-foot refrigerated truck from Publix.

NOAA spokeswoman Karrie Carnes said the move was timed so the whales' feeding and medication schedules wouldn't be interrupted. Nevertheless, the move would be a stressful one for the whales. There were vets and husbandry folks aboard the truck to monitor their conditions and keep them wet.

Staging for the move started Monday night. Once the transfer started, it took just a little over an hour.

The five mammals weigh from 600 pounds to nearly 1,800 pounds each and are 8.9 feet to 13 feet long. The four females and five males were loaded starting with the smallest, a calf.

Marine mammal rescuers, with the help of at least 10 Key West-based U.S. Navy Seabees, loaded each animal into a stretcher and carried all but one from the water to the back of the truck, where the crane helped lift it up so it could be pulled in to rest on a foam pad. It took at least a dozen men to move each whale.

When it came time to load the large male, the crane swung to water's edge, where it was hooked to his stretcher to bridge the 100-or-so foot distance from the water to the truck. Even with the crane's help, it took lots of hands to boost him into the back.

As soon as he was settled in and the truck door came down, the assembled crowd of mostly volunteers erupted into applause. The truck headed up Blimp Road toward U.S. 1, and the remaining skeleton crew of volunteers started to pack up.

Two of seven pilot whales that survived a mass stranding Thursday off Cudjoe Key were released late Saturday afternoon in the Atlantic Ocean. The release from a barge happened in about 530 feet of water nine miles offshore.

Five other whales remain at the end of Blimp Road in a sea pen, where they receive around-the-clock care from a host of experts and volunteers. Saturday's release buoyed the spirits of the dozens of people working tirelessly on scene at the end of Blimp Road.

Better news came Sunday, when the Chicago Zoological Society reported that the satellite tags placed on the two showed they were in the Straits of Florida, headed north to the Gulf Stream, NOAA's Karrie Carnes said. The society's Randy Wells, who works out of Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, came down over the weekend to place the tags.

Two of the remaining whales were classified Monday as critical, and the other three as guarded. They were receiving broad-spectrum antibiotics, hydration and either a vitamin-rich milk substitute or a calorie-rich fish gruel.

The death toll from the stranding rose to 14 over the weekend, after an FWC boat found a dead whale in Bow Channel late in the afternoon. Aerial surveillance Saturday saw no more signs of whales, Carnes said.

Keys Sunday Editor Karen Quist, Senior Staff Writer Kevin Wadlow and Keynoter Editor Larry Kahn contributed to this report.

Read more:

Stranded Pilot Whales

Volunteers work around the clock to try and save the stranded whales

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Today I viewed the slide show, prepared by John Conway, author of "Catboat Summers" and an important member of the Cat Boat Assn.. The slide show is a historical representation of the races between Kathleen, a New England built Catboat  and the Silent Maid, a replica of an original design by Francis Sweisguth that has plied the waters on and around the Barnegat Bay for many years. You can look back at older posts to see some of her history in our local waters, as well as remarks prepared by Stan Grayson who wrote extensively about the Maid and his personal sail aboard the same. Incidentally, I was a member of the crew that took Stan for a sail on Barnegat Bay.

The DVD chronicles all the races that pitted the Maid and Kathleen in head to head competition, and because I have sailed on both vessels, I can put myself into each frame and feel the excitement that must have possessed the crew on each boat. My experience on the Maid, however, was on the original, not the replica. In any case, I enjoyed watching  the experience that each crew member lived.

DVD of "Challenge on the South Coast" by John Conway and the Cat Boat Assn.

Let There Be Catboats And Catboats And Catboats!

Beaton's is the default repository for a large number of Catboats;  Marshall's, Menger's, Cape Cod Catboat's and even a few Atlantic City Catboat's thrown in for good measure.

Each winter Catboat owner's make the pilgrimage to Beaton's to have their boats stored, repaired, refurbished or all three. The photos that are presented here shows just how many are tucked away each year until Spring arrives and like so many flowers come to life and blossom for another season on the bay. It is here that I got my first taste of Catboat's, at the urging of Bad Bob Reddington. It was Bob that built a fire within my soul for these smart little boats, a fire that has lasted these many years and has even traveled with me to the Florida Keys, where like Bad Bob, I am trying to instill that same passion in others. Eight years ago there was only one Catboat on the Florida Bay, that was Roland Barth's CCC, now there is a small fleet and a fledgling Southern most Catboat Assn. We anticipate more arrivals each year and the camaraderie that builds with each addition

A row of Marshall Sandpipers

Opposite, a long row of Marshall Sanderlings

Two of many 22' Marshalls

An early entry

One of the few Mengers

Back Home, This Is My Other Port!

LEE MARIE , back home waiting to be rigged and docked at Marie's
Mike Lee and Marie Darling built this boat from a kit in 1970
The view from Mike Lee's, now enjoyed by Marie Darling
Mike's place overlooks the Pond and Beaton's
LEE MARIE will occupy the slip in the foreground
This is the area where I have spent every summer for the better part of fifty one years, either at Beaton's or Mike Lee's next door. This is where I learned to sail, do woodworking and made great friendships that have lasted as long.

When I first came to Beaton's, Pop Beaton was the man that I gravitated toward, every Sunday we would talk and he with his extraordinary manner would share invaluable advise to me concerning old wooden sail boats that I was trying to make whole again, I even worked at the Yard for two summers back then. Lolly Beaton, Pop's son was the next to take the reigns for many years, I remember Lolly as a very gentle and kind man. Now there is Tom,  Lolly's son who is responsible for the day to day operations. I would be remiss, however, if I did not mention the contribution of Teddy Beaton, Lolly's  brother, who, in my mind is responsible for saving the many buildings that had fallen into disrepair. Teddy, also added many new docks and provided some firery conversation along the way. Oh, by the way, if you need a sail made or just repaired there is Mark Beaton, of Beaton Sails, who runs a sail loft above the main shop. Beaton's has long been the go to yard for anything wood and it looks to continue that tradition for some time in the future.

Silent Maid, Back In The Water For A Second Season

After a long winter residing at Beaton's Boat Yard and a long list of work that included; a new centerboard, new Edson Steering mechanism, miles of new and improved wiring, and an extensive fairing of the hull, not to mention all the bright work,  the Silent Maid rests comfortably at dock.

Last year, The Maid, in it's rookie year as a rebuild of the original Silent Maid, sailed North to engage, Kathleen, a Yankee designed and built Catboat in a series of races. The whole idea, instigated by Bad Bob Reddington, was intended to revive interest in vintage Catboats and possibly restore the Catboat to it's former prominence as a worthy and noble sailing craft. With much interest, the two boats competed on a circuit that included several ports of call, including Padanarum Rendezvous, Arey's Pond and other South Coast towns. It was billed as the "Challenge on the South Coast"

The Maids voyage and subsequent races were not without mechanical failures and unexpected challenges, other than Kathleen. All in all, the races did generate a great deal of interest and following as planned; both boats competed well with the Kathleen coming away with only a slight lead in the series when all was said and done. The following pictures are of the new and improved Maid which is said to be getting ready to campaign on the Barnegat Bay this year against the formidable A Cats.

Refurbished MAID
Even more stunning than last year

Just add mast, sail and wind

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Quick Reminder Of The Keys Life

Capt. Gus out of Tavernier Florida
Capt Gus and Grand Daughter with a great catch of Mahi Mahi
The first picture is the happy anglers and a 25 1/5 Lb Mahi Mahi Cow
OK, OK, I'll get over it for the next six months,  but I had to take a quick look back at one of my neighbors and his grand daughter. This is Capt. Gus who lives just a  couple of blocks away from me, I hijacked this photo from Capt. Keysmon's blog. For those that are not familiar with fishing in the Keys, the hottest months for catching Mahi Mahi are just arriving, some day I will have to go down one weekend for this much cherished season. Way to go Gus!

Pergola In Bloom

Pergola overlooking the Koi Pond

Wisteria in bloom

Waiting for the weather to warm up
After a winter in the Keys and having the Fl. Bay as my landscape, getting used to looking at landscape in solid form is an adjustment. Our Pergola, however,  is easy to look at and even easier to relax on, if the weather starts to cooperate.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Two Ten Hour Days Later, I'm Back North!

Starving for attention
After two days of driving, I have arrived back in New Jersey where I will spend the next six months. I was greeted by overcast skies and temperatures in the low sixties, quite a bit different from tthe conditions I was used to in the Keys.

It is apparent that the green stuff around the house requires some attention, unlike coral, it actually grows and needs to be cut at regular intervals. I also vaguely remember that it has to be fed as well, what a concept, not only do I have to cook for the house, I now have nurish the yard, ugh.

First things first, however, I trip to the boatyard is in order!

By the way, I wonder if Bin Laden was greeted by 72 Virgins or that red skinned fellow with the horns and a tail.