Sunday, August 7, 2011


Home in Port Charlotte
High of 92, mostly cloudy on Sunday

The floating dock didn't float very well.  I made a mistake when sealing the caps and they leaked while I was away on my business trip last week.  They didn't sink to the canal floor but they were barely floating when I got home last Friday.  I spent much of the weekend troubleshooting how to pump the water out.  After trying a drill pump that wasn't worth the 7 dollars I spent on it.  I tried siphoning it out and ended up puking in the canal.  I finally spent $93 on a decent electric pump and it worked.  This summary of what happened doesn't do justice to the frustration I went through with this project but in the end, today, the dock is floating again.  I will wait another week, while away on business, before installing the top deck boards so that I can guage the quality of my sealed caps.

Friday night, my wife's nephew Chase (17) arrived for a weekend stay, accompanied by his friend, Conor.
The night of their arrival they fished on my stationary dock out back on the canal.  With no notice whatsoever, a section of the redwood dock broke loose under Chase and he fell into the canal.  Thankfully he wasn't injured but now I have another dock project to do.  This particular section sits 2' lower than the rest of the 40' dock.  In the past few years, this "low boy" section has been under water with anomoly high tides, like after hurricane Gustav in 2009.  Further examination showed the nails or wood screws simply snapped from corrosion.  The redwood dock is likely 10-20 years old.  I imagine the floating dock will come in handy when repairing the stationary dock.

Saturday I took Chase and Conor fishing on the boat, while Kathy took the grand-twins back to the airport for their flight home to Phoenix.  I will miss those little guys more than they know.  The big guys and I had an amazing day of fishing in the Boca Grande Pass.  Between the three of us we landed 26 fish; grouper, snapper, grunts, cats, a nice jack cravelle and two bonnethead sharks.  Chase caught the most, 11; Conor landed 8 and I landed 7, including the biggest.

We gutted my 28" shark and put her on ice right away.  We steaked her out and enjoyed the fresh shark meat that night, grilled and served on crackers with gator hammock hot sauce.  It was the first time these fellas ate something caught in the wild.  They were impressed with the whole experience.  On the trip we had a dolphin hang out and play with us for about 10 minutes; we saw a gigantic loggerhead turtle; and we witnessed a manta ray with a 6' wing span jump 5' in the air right in front of our boat going 30 MPH.  A few pictures from our day are below.

Tropical Storm Emily fizzled out before reaching the US mainland.  There are no new storms on the horizon tonight.

Monday morning I depart for a week in the Philadelphia and greater New Jersey area.

4 pound Jack Cravelle (not edible, sport fish only)

Chase poses with my 28" Bonnethead.  He caught one a little smaller but it was his first shark landed.  Very cool.

Conor had a great time and even went swimming in the Gulf after seeing sharks being caught.

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