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Aaron Bud Elkin

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  Aaron Bud Elkin           

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Life has always been a career, and never a job!


Background Information

 Aaron "Bud" Elkin has been an author all his life. But, when life got in the way, he had to write more sporadically. He has written, produced, and published music, essays, poetry, technical CAD books, Young Adult Fiction, and magazine articles. His career path has taken him through the construction industry, music industry, software development, and as a high school teacher. “Retirement is when you just do something else.” So, now he is a full time sailor and freelance author.

 

“Remember: a job is when you go to work and aspire toward TGIF. A career is where you do what you love, and someone is stupid enough to pay you for it!”

Accomplishments

Achievements: I have succeeded in living for 57 years!
Certifications: Contractor, Teacher, Software Developer
Awards: Architecture, Salvation

Additional Information

Published works: Music: music and lyrics of to many songs to list. PIRATE'S GOLD fiction book 2007 THAT GIRL THING fiction book 2008 Christian Connections poetry 2008 TechDirection magazine article 2006 DRAFTSMAN'S CHOICE tech book 2002 3D PLAN BUILDER tech book 2003 CADian tech book 2006 FaithWriters article/poetry 2007-8 Women-Today article/poetry 2007 GuidePost article 2008 Downtown LA Life magazine (poems 3 issues 4/2008) Poetry Connection magazine poetry 2007 Masonry Magazine article 2008 DRAMA AT PALMETTO HIGH- BLIND LOVE BeachFront Press (2010) LIVING THE POWER OF GOD SaltySailor’s Magazine (2010) Latitudes & Attitudes (2010) SouthWinds Magazine (2011) Living Aboard Magazine (2011) Entitlement In order to change the welfare state of mind an understanding of the nature and personality of a generational welfare recipient is necessary. For those who have grown up in an affluent family unit, middle class household, or even a working class environment, find it difficult to understand the lack of stimulation a welfare dependant person has. In the early sixties television became commonplace, and broadcasting almost twenty-four hours. Parents continued the two parent income, which became the norm after World War II, and the Korean War. The need, or greed for such a lifestyle gave birth to the increased use of the television to occupy a child's time while mom and dad rested from a hard days work. Parents and children alike became more addicted to the television to the point that they no longer ate dinner, or any meal together. Family conversations became extinct except for arguments. Children were traded in for a newer car, or latest trend in appliances. No longer does the parent raise their own children. Either a babysitter, daycare, school, or the children themselves do the job. Children now became influenced and modelled by what and whom they watched on television. The untold hours that a television consumes is staggering. Motor skills, and problem solving skills decreased in the couch potato generation. Exercise, and play were replaced by video games, and portable video games. New experiences for children that have been around for thousands of years have been lost by simply not playing outside the house. Imaginations are confused with reality in this instant video world. With this type of modelling the work ethic is rarely understood or practice. Children are bought off by parents that do not have, or care to make the time to give the necessary amount of attention to their children. Children with only a receiving ethic instead of a work ethic tend to stray from work. They are given a myriad of acronyms at school to describe their lack of attention, aggressive nature, apathetic, immoral, violent, and many more unacceptable emotional problems. The problems are real. The have been born out of the couch potato generation that has ended up raising themselves because there were no parents around to model after. What happens is that these people have not gained a good work ethic, and have a thoroughly defeated approach toward life. They fail at even menial jobs, and often use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Many of the women get pregnant to be able to have the government take care of them. Where are all the good men Gone? By Lynda Elkin Questions to address: First, what defines what a good man is? Do I need a list of qualifications? Can I rebuild one of them? How do I find this elusive hunk in such a thinly populated field? Will he know he is the one when I think I’ve found him? Is there someone out there for me? Ø First, what defines what a good man is? There are many ideas floating around as to what constitutes a “good man.” One woman told me that a good man is one that has a valid drivers license, and has at least a part time job; most of the time. There may be some women who agree, but I think we all are still looking for our knight in shining armor, and although a new grill, and some extra bling may be made of gold and silver, the knight in shining armor in this context is metaphorical. So, what are some of the attributes that constitute a good man? Loving, kind, considerate, affectionate, compassionate, giving, unselfish, not self centered, one who can weigh out both sides of an argument without bias, and did I forget perfect in every way? These may constitute what the perfect man should be made of, but the reality of it is that God only made one perfect man. Ø Do I need a list of qualifications? I have learned that giving advice is always a gamble. When everything goes according to plan I am an angel in disguise, and when things go sour I am to blame. Nevertheless, there is never a lack of those who think my advice is what they need. Over the years I have come up with a plan that has been instrumental in hedging my bets. The one personality trait that raises its head early in a relationship slash burgeoning friendship is infatuation. Infatuation kindles and begins to burn without reason. Let me put it in a simpler non-metaphorical tense. If you become infatuated early on in a relationship you will become blind to reason. Hence the creation of “the list.” The list is a very important tool that can help detour many opportunities to choose unwisely. The symbolic nature of this list is just as important as what is on it. Consider the commitment it takes to keep a relationship going, and if it is a bad relationship, how much time could have been saved by not having it in the first place. Well, that is what the list will help you avoid. The following instructions must be followed exactly as stated in order for the list to have any chance of success. First it is necessary to write with your own hand on a piece or sheet of paper in order of importance the characteristics you feel you must have present in your choice of a “good man.” Usually I recommend a list of no less than ten features. Keep in mind it does not undermine your chances if you have more than ten. I just feel that ten is a good number to start with. The list my husband and I made up for our daughters may have been somewhat restricting, but we feel that until they were old enough to realize what they would want on a list we would put forth our suggestions. Here is the top four on our list. 1.) He must be a Christian. 2.) His original parents must not be divorced. (Death of either or both is acceptable) 3.) Both of his parents must be Christians. 4.) He must be college educated. Evaluating a man with ten items of interest will eliminate most of your challengers by default. Second. You need to place this list in a location that can be seen. Some have suggested that taping it to the makeup mirror is the best, and other prefer to keep in on top of their underwear drawer. Regardless of where it is just make sure it is somewhere that cannot be ignored by you. It is not for public use either. Now, after the list is made, and posted, it is mandatory that each potential man you meet be evaluated by the “list.” Do not expect the list to shorten the time it takes to find a “good man.” The list will just keep you from slipping on the ladder on your way up to finding him. Patience is not a virtue aging women want to hear, but it is better to wait for the “good man” rather than accept a short listed substitute. Ø Can I rebuild one of them? No! If it were possible, surely all women would not only be happy, but living the life meant for them. But, maybe there is hope to be found. Men need to see things in a special way to make a change. Pointing these needed improvements out will do nothing more than cause his boyish stubbornness to flare up. If it were possible to change a man, one would have to go at it in a clandestine way. My husband told me long ago that a wise woman would always get what she wants if she always makes the man think it was his idea. Even though the man can see what is going on, he will go along with the idea because his manly deity has not been challenged. Remember he is always going to try to satisfy the mother image in his life. Overall, if you already have a man, and he needs rebuilt, do not expect to do it overnight. Also, do not begin comparing him to other men that have attributes that you desire. In order to rebuild him you must take the first step by realizing he is not perfect, and that in spite of his idiosyncrasies, you chose to be with him for some reason. When your efforts do not work quick enough, repeat to yourself those redeeming attributes that you saw when you decided to get together with him in the first place. Be patient. Ø How do I find this elusive hunk in such a thinly populated field? No one can argue that the field is showing signs of decline, but each shinning knight has to be cultivated. Being prepared for when you do meet him is all that you can do. There are many women that will attest to the time they may have met a “good man” sitting beside them on an airplane, but forgot to get his number because she wasn’t prepared. Others have missed their chance because they felt they were not dressed appropriately, or didn’t have their makeup just right. Yes, maybe those opportunities would not have worked out anyway, but is it worth taking that chance? Be prepared! Remember, "good men" do not grow on trees! Many of the "good men" are married. So, if you know one of these captured beasts, take note of the attributes he displays that make you think he is a "good man." Add those to your list. Talk to the wife about how she found him. Did she find him in this desirable state, or did she have to do a little fixing up? Did he just realize after a point of time that his wife was not completely happy, and just change on his own, or did his wife pass subtle hints that were not infringing on his masculinity? Do your research! Ø Will he know he is the one when I think I’ve found him? Most likely not, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. Men have to be cultivated and led into the arms of commitment. You may be settled on the fact that he is the one, but make sure before you start planning you silver anniversary that he is on board. Men do not use the emotional bonding to make a decision. They use the concrete sequential method. If I want her to stay with me I must commit. If I want to have a family, and have all the children carry my name I must commit. If I want have her love me forever I must commit. If I want to keep this wonderful relationship I must commit. Commit may be a word he is not familiar with, but you must help him realize that if he wants all of you he must learn to act on that word. Keep in mind; man does not understand commit when everything he desires is given to him! Think hard on that. Ø Is there someone out there for me? Yes! Hope is on your side providing you do not overwhelm the odds by forcing someone to fit the profile you have designed. Also, if you expect to try to change someone to fit the list you may be setting yourself up for a fall. My advice, and that is all that it is, is to consider using a specification list, and to give it some time. Most people try to shortcut the process, and later find out that if they would have only stayed with the program that their wait for a “good man” would have been shorter. Author BIO: Lynda Elkin is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about relationships. She is a high school teacher who gets the inside on the new budding generation, and surmises through watching and listening to the high school students what the parents are like. Lynda has been teaching Early Childhood Education, and Family dynamics. She has been married for thirty-three years to her high school sweetheart whom she knew and dated for four years. She has raised two daughters successfully who are currently pursuing their careers. In her spare time she writes, and gives her opinion to those who dare to ask. She has her masters’ degree in counseling and psychology with and undergrad in business. Her plate is always full when it comes to counseling. When good advise it sought out the suitors tend to find Lynda's door always open. Some call her Dr. Lynda, some call her hope, but most call on her for her sound advise that more often than not proves to be the answer to what they are looking for. Lynda is currently working on her new book "Relationships." She has been compiling stories, and observations that will be included in the book. You may reach her at Lynda@allsheets.com SHARK ATTACK, OR ATTACK SHARK? BY Bud Elkin My name is Aaron Bud Elkin, and I live in Palmetto, Florida. I dock my boat at Tropic Isles marina. I often take trips up and down the west coast, but this day I just wanted to go out for a spin with a couple of my friends. I decided we should take a trip up and back in Tera Cia bay. The bay is no more than a couple of miles long and probably no more than a mile or so wide. We were out for a lazy afternoon sail in my Aloha 28. Austin is in the navy, and gets leave every now and then, so we decided to get together with Bradley, my neighbor, and go out for a spin. After clearing the shallows around marker 4 we set the genoa. The genoa pulls us along in a moderate wind about 4 to 4.5 knots, so we didn’t see the need to mess with the main. After all we were just out to enjoy the sun and water. On our way back down the bay, heading back in, Bradley was sitting in the cockpit on the port side, I was sitting on the starboard cockpit side with the tiller in hand, and Austin was standing by the starboard winch holding on to the boom. Two other boats were sailing past us, we waved, they waved, we smiled, they smiled, and then just as the last smile left our faces we hit something hard enough to stop us in our tracks. Austin was nearly thrown off the boat. He was hanging on to a rope I had tied off to the boom and a cleat to keep the boom on the starboard side of the boat. Bradley slid and hit the front cockpit wall, and I was thrown toward the open hatch. The hold on the tiller is the only thing that kept me from going down below. Using proper sailor terminology I said, “What the hell was that?” Austin was dragging himself back onto the boat as best he could, Bradley jumped down below expecting to see water flushing madly through what must have been a keel removing moment, and I continued to steer over something that first sent the bow straight up into the air followed with the bow heeled to starboard 45 degrees diving into the drink. Next the whole boat rolled to starboard touching the rail while Austin was holding on to the boom rope for dear life. After we righted and Bradley crawled up from below to say we had no leaks, we looked behind us to see a whirlpool right aft of the rudder with what looked like a flipper or some kind of gray looking fin just under the water spinning in a rather large circle. It reminded me of the whirlpools we used to see in the Colorado River when I was younger except this one had something large spinning around in it. We sat there for a moment or two before the Genoa took up the wind and darted onward. All three of us looked in amazement behind us as the roiling whirlpool got smaller and smaller while “Free Willy” sailed away. I jumped on my cell phone to call Ray. Ray scrubs all the boat bottoms in our area. I thought he could get hold of Mote Marine or the marine patrol to come over to see what I ran over. He has seen almost everything possible while diving on our boats. He has been rammed by manatees, bumped by sharks he didn’t care to measure, and has had to put up with red tide, and other anomalies in his tenure. I thought with all of his experience he would be able to figure out what it might have been that we ran over. I was certain it wasn’t the bottom or any obstruction because the water is 11 to 12 feet in that area, and there are no obstructions anyone knows about near that position. Mote marine came over and found two 9’+ bull sharks. They tagged both of them. “One was sporting a new white stripe on his side.” Ray said. It appeared the shark’s radar, sonar, or whatever they use was on the blink that day. I figured that shark helped me out a bit by scraping some barnacles off my keel. Two days later we went out again, and wouldn’t you know it I spotted a fin not two hundred yards away from my port side. I pointed the fin out to Bradley. I had to make sure it wasn’t just me that saw it. As we sailed very near where we hit the shark earlier I thought there must be something causing these suicide attacks. I have never heard of a shark attacking a sailboat, although I have heard and read a number of stories of sharks attacking people, rafts, surfboards, etc.; I have not heard of anyone running over a shark? It appeared like the crazy thing was coming back for a rematch. Now if you think that is strange, what happened next is beyond me to believe. As Bradley and I watched this psycho shark speed broadside toward “Free Willy,” my Aloha 28, I began to have flashbacks from the movie Jaws. What did I do to piss this animal off? We had no ill feeling toward the animal for getting in our way the first time. I saw enough shark shows to know that they have something going on that keeps them from running into stuff, so what was going wrong? We continued on our starboard tack awaiting the inevitable, and holding on tight. When the shark got no more than fifty feet to port a dolphin popped up right beside “Free Willy’s” port side spitting all over Bradley who went directly in to shock. “What the hell.” Is all he could say? His eyes were the size of silver dollars, his knuckles white as snow from the grip he had on the mainsheet and the side of the boat, and I didn’t look down, but I imagined yellow fluid running down the cockpit drains. “Are we in a Flipper movie?” He questioned. No sooner than he said that and the shark turned and swam away. Flipper stayed along side for a few hundred yards more. If I had not seen this with my own eyes I would not have believed it, and to be honest I still can hardly believe it happened. I am writing this down now before I forget all of the details, or it before becomes just another sailor’s yarn. To keep a wife on a boat: give her the Comforts of home Bud elkin I have read many sailing blogs about a man and his wife/significant other selling out and going cruising. Some do not completely sell everything, but going cruising is there goal. I’m not sure that anyone has the perfect formula to make the jump from modern society to the cruising life, but there is no lack of articles from those who have done it. When I was young, the minimalist idea was never a bother. Since I am older now I can see the choice is still clear, but the methods have changed. When I was young, I would take a 19’ boat out off shore for days and think nothing of it. I intentionally sailed out into a hurricane on the east coasts of Florida just for the rush of it. So, I do qualify as being crazy enough to try anything. But, to keep a wife/significant other on a boat for any length of time, and especially keep her happy, you might consider the Comforts of Home. I have a wife that I have been with for 41 years, and two daughters who love to sail as well. My daughters are tough, love to sail, and have traveled the world. They have hiked the Andes, ran on the Great Wall of China, been to Antarctica, rowed down the Amazon in a dugout canoe, and have eaten piranha for lunch. They are planning to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro within the next couple of years. I taught them both to work on cars, built houses, and my wife taught them to cook, clean, sew, and any other aspect of keeping a house. I did not want to make them boys, but I never wanted them to be at the mercy of one either. Knowledge is everything. If you want to make a boat more female compatible, you might think about doing what I did. Although the minimalist will cringe at my ideas of comfort, I feel that cruising does not have to be a camping adventure. There is enough adventure in cruising without the need to rough it. This is not to say that some women do not like roughing it, but that they are more able to make a home out of their surroundings. I have an Aloha 28 with lots of storage. The Aloha was built in Canada and is more than adequate to handle the Florida waters and the Caribbean let alone tropical storms and at least one hurricane I can personally vouch for. I like the molded in keel because if I had a bolt on keel it would probably leak from all of the sandbars I tend to find. We have a Yanmar 2GM20FC diesel engine to power us, which can go forever on a gallon of fuel. I would prefer a larger boat, but due to my heart health, and the mobility of the A28, I am content with “FREE WILLY.” I didn’t name the boat! Some of our comforts are granite counter-tops, two burner propane stove, microwave, electric refrigerator, running water, electric flush head with a Purasan waste treatment, memory foam mattress, matching dishes and napkins with gold trimmed silverware, color coordinated boat interior, 1350 AH battery bank, 1000 WH inverter, air conditioning, solar panels, wind and water generator, autopilot, radar and more. I do not use the gas-powered generator I bought because I do not need it, I think gasoline is dangerous on the boat, the gas fumes give me chest pains, and it looks great sitting in storage. My current system keeps up with our electrical needs. There are more items, but my point is that your wife will stay longer if she has the comforts of home. The investment was not much. I have little to no failures after two years, and my wife has not jumped ship. I believe women are capable of much more than man thinks. For example: I have had several heart attacks, which were painful, but I could not imagine how painful childbirth is. I am not a minimalist as you can tell, and I anchor out. The boat takes care of its self very well while we sit back and enjoy the sunsets. I say if you are going to go for it, you might consider making it comfortable enough that you do not feel as if you are on a constant survivalist camp out. You save tons of money by not having to go to marinas for decent comforts. A block of ice is camping not cruising. 1**When we first got FREE WILLY I had to have a friend, Ben, to help me sail her from St. Pete municipal marina to Anna Maria island where I was going to temporarily keep her. The Yanmar 2GM20FC started right up, and for almost a year continued to do so. As we headed out of St. Pete marina, we saw a 4' shark following us out. I thought nothing of this at the time since I not only have seen many sharks, but also have caught my share of them. The trip was exciting because here we were with a 28' sailboat I have never sailed; going on a trip, I have never sailed before, and with a NW wind of 15-20 knots. By the time we got through the Skyway Bridge and close to Egmont key I felt somewhat confident in the boat so far, so I told Ben we must take her out into the deep to see what she can do. I said, like captain Ron would, "what the hell. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen out there!" We stormed out of the south channel at 6.7 knots with full main and genoa. I tied the tiller to see if she would sail herself on a westerly point. Surprising, as it was FREE WILLY dove right in and kept her course. We went out close to 20 miles in 6-7 foot seas. On our way out, Ben, the fishing enthusiast that he is, dropped a lure in and trolled as we flew west. Not long after he pulled up a king mackerel. The thing was struggling to get away from this crazy fisherman who was out to drag it not only to the surface but also into the boat. As we flew into the wind Ben somehow got the king up to the back of the boat, and commenced to beat hell out of it until it succumbed. When he pulled it in with the murder weapon (gaff) the poor thing was taking his last breaths. There was fish blood all over the cockpit and the back of the boat. Soon thereafter, he boarded another king. The first one was 15 lbs., but the second one was a bit smaller, so he threw it back in. And no, he didn't beat the second one before he put it back in. 2** My sugar got low, so Ben fed me some beef jerky to get me balanced out, and then he took us in. Ben can no doubt cuss like a sailor, drink like a sailor, love like a sailor, maybe even work at having a girl in every port type of sailor, but to sail a boat that he doesn’t know with the sailing experience he doesn’t have, was something that real sailors are made from! The seas were to high to anchor off and fish, so Ben decided that we should go in. He took the handheld Garmin, took a minute or so to figure out how to run it, and sailed us in under the cover of darkness. I was somewhat incapacitated between my low sugar and heart condition. Ben carried on pulling ropes, lashing down the bimini, hauling in and out the genoa to balance the boat, and whipping the iron jenny until she bucked and spit into action. Yeah, Ben became a seasoned sailor that night. With fire in his eyes, he ran into the shallows off Egmont Key and threw an anchor. We both had no trouble sleeping. I slept down below in the starboard bunk, and Ben passed out in the cockpit. Dolphins and mullet helped to wake us. The morning sun had already started its day, and Ben was ready to get in and go to breakfast. The trip in the river to Anna Maria Island was not remarkable. We wandered through several canals until we came to Adam’s grandmother’s house. She had an empty dock that I kept the boat at while Lynda and I went to California to stay with our daughters. Ben got back on a plane, and left. I’m sure I must have left some details out, but overall this yarn concludes the getting the boat from St. Pete to Anna Maria Island. We planned on getting to the keys someday. Our hopes are still alive, but the urgency waits. FREE WILLY and I are here in paradise enjoying the sunsets and always preparing for the next episode. 3**Bradley decided we needed to go out for a sail. Even though he had never sailed on my boat or any other sailboat before, the lack of sailing experience and desire to go did not deter him. He came over to the house to pick me up for the ride. It was August 16, 2009. I don’t have a TV, and never want one. If I want to know what’s happening in the liars club, I mean the news, I will look it up on the Internet or read a paper. For weather, I either look out the window, or walk out on the porch and look up into the sky. While we headed out to Anna Maria Island, where the boat was docked, I noticed that the sky didn’t look like something one would want to go sailing in. But, being the eternal optimist that I am, I carried on. Bradley let go of the lines and we headed down the canals. We stopped at Rotten Ralph’s to get some tea, and go to the potty before we went out. I asked the marina guy/restaurant guy what the weather was supposed to do. I noticed he was watching a TV before we sat down, so I figured if he hasn’t heard the NOAA account he would at least have heard of any bad weather on the boob tube. He quickly mentioned that it would be a good day to sail, and that the cloudiness was nothing to bother with. Oh, and he did add that it wasn’t going to rain either. As I drank my tea I mentioned to Bradley that it might behoove us to just go back to the dock and forget sailing today because from what I saw, in MY weather report, it looked like a tropical storm to me. I have sailed and been in many tropical storms, gales, and two hurricanes, (one intentionally), but to me, sitting there looking out the window of the restaurant, it definitely looked like we were going to run into a gale if we went out. Bradley agreed with the marina/restaurant guy that it wasn’t even going to rain. I really didn’t argue because I thought, “what the hell do I know?” These marina/restaurant guys are paid to know these things. So, after getting to go cups of tea, we untied from their doc and headed out. We were almost to Egmont Key before I realized that putting up the main was not something I would think was wise. I could tell from my weather bone that we were in for a blow as I suspected. Bradley had always thought that sailing in rough weather was what real sailors hungered for. He suggested that these sailors did these things just so they would have yarns to tell. Bradley was at the helm, and I took hold of the bimini post and held on. I had Bradley turn the boat around and head for the Skyway Bridge. Although we wanted to go to Egmont, I felt that by the time the first gusts of the non-existent storm or rain hit us we would not be close enough to the island to anchor. FREE WILLY took off like a freshly branded pony with the first 40 plus knot blast. We heeled over on the rail before I helped Bradley find his mark downwind on the Skyway Bridge. After this, I reminded Bradley what my weather report said. “If this doesn’t look like a tropical storm, then it sure missed a good chance. As Tropical Storm Claudette bore down on us, the waves became exponentially larger with whitecaps, and the wind and gusts threatened to move us with just the genoa up over hull speed. I got Bradley to pull in the genoa as quickly as possible while I directed the boat off the wind. After he got it in and tight I gave him back the tiller, so he could enjoy the ride. With the winds building to 50 knots, I knew we were going to have an exciting ride. I’ve been in worse, but not with a newbie that was crazy enough to think, that this is what sailors’ do. With only the bimini up, we were doing 6.5 knots downwind. I fought the bimini down while Bradley tried heading toward the only thing we could occasionally see, the Skyway Bridge. The storm was heading north, so we headed east. When the rain became horizontal, visibility became nil, and a sailor’s craze found itself on to Bradley’s face, I began to laugh and holler at the top of my lungs. I was really having fun. I knew that FREE WILLY was built for those North Sea adventures, and that a little blow like we were in would be nothing for her as long as we kept in the water and not on shore. I don’t go looking for big storms to run in, but I have always been to stupid to understand their intensity. When my brother-in-law Gene and I sailed in the “NO NAME HURRICANE/ THE PERFECT STORM/ STORM OF THE CENTURY” (whatever you want to call it), back in March 13, 1993, I wasn’t too alarmed, but I probably should have been. They called that the "Storm of the Century that hit Florida's West Coast with awesome fury. Hurricane-strength winds and a tidal surge as high as 12 feet in some places swamped houses, smashed cars, scooped up furniture, appliances and boats.” Just in our area, six people died, and myriads of boats were wrecked and beached. It’s another story, but one time I did intentionally go out sailing in another hurricane. It was on the east coast near Cape Canaveral. We were closing in on the bridge, which is quite large, but with zero visibility the chance of hitting some part of it was good. I was expecting that the storm would blow by us, and allow us to turn around. Bradley was now somewhat alarmed. Since I wasn’t holding the tiller I was able to turn around and watch the rollers come after us. It was really cool. The spindrift would blow off the top of the waves and blast us like we were going into a carwash with the top down. As I watched large waves coming closer and closer I would holler at Bradley to turn around and “look at that big sucker coming after us.” I think his newfound sport was getting the best of him because he refused to turn around and look. One wave came up so quick it pooped us. I continued to rave and laugh. I was having a good time! Well, as they say, all good things have to come to an end. The storm relinquished just enough to let us turn FREE WILLY around. We used the iron jenny to get back to the dock before any more excitement could come our way. I suppose it was stupid to go out in that mess when I new different, but I didn’t fear for my life. Bradley is a Lifeguard, CPR, and first aid trained in the art of survival, so I wasn’t too much worried about him. He had a good first time sailing experience! 4** Lynda and I went out on the train to San Francisco to hang out with Lindsey and Maggie for the summer. We love the bay area in the summer. Maggie and Lindsey have a 1968 Columbia 28 that they sail in the bay. 5** Rene, Maggie’s boyfriend goes sailing too. He likes pushing the boat for all that it is worth. I think her Columbia may be faster than our Aloha because the beam is just over 8’ whereas ours is over 9’. Lindsey is a good sailor, but seems to be too overbearing for a captain. She gets that from her mother. 6** Lynda and I took a five day lazy cruise down to Venice during Easter. We were in no hurry. We took the Intracoastal Waterway down to Longboat Key pass, and stayed in the Gulf until we reached Venice. The water was so calm and nice we anchored out every night except our last night, which we stayed at Bradenton public marina off of the Cortez Bridge. We didn’t bother raising the main. The Genoa pulled fine enough to give us 3-4 knots. It was certainly nice having all the comforts of home except for leaving the gas for the stove at home. After filleting the grouper, we decided to have grilled grouper, but realized that there was no gas on the boat. Anyway, we settled for warming up something in the microwave, and putting the grouper fillets in the freezer until we got back home. Needless to say, we do have gas on the boat now. We were trolling with Ben’s pole and the lure he had. I believed for a grouper because I didn’t want to bother with any king or Spanish mackerel, or worse have to fight a Bonita. 7** Fred, my Brit friend is going to leave the area April 16, 2010 for the keys and beyond. He has been around for probably six months off and on. He has a 1968 Hunter 30. He put roller furling on it to make it easier to handle. He doesn’t have all of the amenities my boat does, but it will do until I jump ship. We are hoping to sail straight though to Marathon. I called the public marina today to make arrangements for a mooring ball. If I can survive a straight through trip I’ll need a couple of days to rest up. So, I’ll try to update this trip 1.) If I actually go, and 2.) I make it safely. Well, I didn't go with Fred because of another angina attack. Barry, a friend of ours went with Fred. The trip was horrid according to Fred. Not only did they have to power quite a bit, but also the tiller broke off on Barry's watch. Fred is very resourceful, so it took him no time to rig his alternate tiller. When they headed in for Naples Fred said the current was strongly against them, and it was difficult to get to the public marina. He also noted that the people around the marina were not the friendly type, and didn't want him to anchor near the marina area. Fred and Barry eventually made it to Marathon, and turned around and came back to Terra Cia. I think both of them would have enjoyed a root canal better than they did that trip. I expect to make it one day, but without all of the drama. 8** Well, I couldn’t make the trip with Fred because my EECP heart treatments caused me too much chest pain. Barry, one of our common friends decided to pack his bag and take my place. I just heard from them today 4/22/10, and they were going to leave Naples to skirt around the Everglades and end up in the Keys somewhere. I suppose when they send their next update they will tell me how far they got. Fred said he was having some trouble with air getting into hid fuel lines again. Being a Brit he grew up with diesel engines, but with this Hunter 30 he got an Atomic 4 gasoline engine with it. He rebuilt it perfectly, but continues to have fuel relapses. I’m going to sail down to Bradenton City docks at Cortez, and spend the weekend. I will be sailing out Longboat pass in to the gulf also. I’m thinking about going out fishing to pass he time. The 30” grouper in the picture was hanging out next to the boardwalk at the Bradenton pier. It wasn’t in more than 8” of water. I took this shot from about 20’ away. 9** Well, Zack and I took off from the dock about 10 o’clock or so Friday morning on the 23rd of April to take advantage of the high tide. We did not have any trouble getting past marker 4, which is notorious for snagging my keel. It seems I am the only one keeping the channel dredged. We motored out past marker 4 before we set the main and genoa. The winds were light around 8-10, but we were in no hurry. After we passed Egmont Key and headed out the South Channel, we went on a port reach into the gulf. We messed around at maybe 3-4 knots until Zack felt he was ready for a little more wind. The wind was coming from the south-southwest. We made a few tacks before the wind I called up, with Zack’s help, arrived. It slowly picked up the farther south we went. By the time we got within 3 miles of Longboat Key pass we had decided we would cut in there for the night and anchor off the Bradenton public dock. During those last three miles, we had six-foot seas bashing us around. Because they were short seas they hobby horsed us around until we became happy to see that first marker come into view. I went down to call the Longboat Pass Bridge tender to notify him that we needed to have the bridge raised. This is typical, and everything seemed to be all right. He radioed back to tell me that he sees us coming, and that he will have the bridge up by the time we got to the bridge. We were under sail, and I had Zack on the tiller because I thought it might be cool for him to steer the boat under the bridge. Now bridge tenders as a whole, are very nice and accommodating people, but the asshole that was working Longboat is either blind with no timing, or a complete moron. The first time I went through the bridge I noticed that he cut it quite close. Actually, I had to throw the boat in to full reverse to keep from hitting the bridge. I figured he was just a dumb redneck with absolutely no timing. So, this time he proved to me that he is totally incapable of getting the bridge up before a sailboat arrives. As we approached he ran the siren, which seemed to be okay, but then he waited until we were no more than a couple hundred feet before the bridge to start opening it. Being under sail, I realized that this moron was not going to get the bridge up in time before we hit the damn thing. I jumped down and hurried to get the engine going, and at 3000 rpms, in reverse, I attempted to slow the 7000-lbs.+ boat as much as possible, and then grabbed the tiller from Zack to try to steer as close to the wall as possible without hitting it or letting the mast hit the bridge. Zack jumped up to try and fend us off the wall as best he could while I stared up at the slowly rising bridge to watch the clearance between the mast and bridge become as close to nil as it could get. By the grace of God himself, we narrowly missed hitting. We then pulled ourselves down off that panic situation to the Bradenton public dock. We briefly hung out with Steve and Weldon before backing over to get some fish and chips at Rotten Ralph’s. We later pulled over and anchored out for a good rest and sleep. Throughout the evening and into the night the wind became a gale. We slept like rocks. Zack slept most of night out on the port side of the cockpit until the sun got in his eyes in the morning. I slept in the V-birth. By the time we got done pulling up to the dock and walked down to breakfast the boat was nearly pushed half way up on the dock from the 30+-knot wind. We scratched some gelcoat trying to get off the dock, but finally broke free. We decided to follow the Intercostal waterway back to our dock. We set the genoa, and after the Anna Maria Bridge, we raced three other boats to marker 68. Although they had us out of the gate, we ran away from them with that asskickin wind. Although this Aloha 28’s hull speed is around 6.5 knots, we were clocking 7.8 on the GPS at times, and averaging hull speed. What a ride we had! We made it back past marker 4 with enough water, and Captain Ron pulled up to the dock in full style. We tied her off got in to the car and called it a day. 10** I have sailed up and down and around Florida and the Caribbean for many years, so I have had a little time to try to make sense of a few things. It’s not that I am right or wrong, left or right, or up or down on my assumptions, but understanding the sailing cruiser mentality is quite exhausting. As an example: most of the cruiser of cruisers comes from the northern latitudes. They generally have decided that the employment that they currently have is not enough to keep their dreams alive, and that occasional vacations only instigate the argument that “is this all there is?” Soon thereafter, they think that in order to be happy they need to relocate to Paradise; wherever that is. Paradise is generally, not where they are currently. Although God did make the whole earth beautiful, it sometimes takes a special person to realize it. That being the case, these “cruisers” have had enough of the non Paradise that they live in, and decide that palm trees and sandy beaches sound better than winter, nasty winter, and more winter. These “cruisers” decide that they will quit their jobs, sell all of their possessions, buy a boat, and sail off into the deep blue sea to seek solace in their new lifestyle. This is not a bad beginning to a wonderful story. If in fact, you were or are one of these armchair cruisers you can relate to this story so far. After the cruisers take off, have a few small problems getting settled in, weather a couple storms of every kind, they settle in for the remainder however much there may be. Some have cruised for decades, and others have gave it all up, moved on to their boat, and possibly sailed away before they may have realized that living in small quarters is not necessarily for everyone, and the same effect of palm trees and sandy beaches could be had through other means. Sailing and cruising on boats is something that enjoyment was invented for, but to some that may not be the case. My proposal is to move to a climate that has the palm trees and sandy beaches, and take the boat out for trips. Keep your house, keep your car, and even keep your job if you want to. If that doesn’t suit then do the latter! 11* Toby and I took off from the dock a few days ago to go fishing. He had never sailed before, so it was a new experience for him. We picked out a few spots to mark on the GPS to give us an idea where we might decide to go. As we motored out of Tera Cia Bay I could tell it would not be a good sailing day because of the lack of wind. So, to accommodate us I asked the Lord to give us a 10-15 knot wind to help us. The forecast was for light winds topping 8 knots. This would not do, so hence the call for help. Very shortly, after I asked the wind came up and we were off. I try to be specific when I ask, so as not to get more wind than I ask for. This has happened before, so I am careful to be specific. As we were sailing and tacking out of Tampa Bay into the Gulf, I spotted along with Toby a large shark coming our way. It seems my boat attracts these critters. As we converged Toby and I saw that, it was a Bull shark about ten feet of so long. The urge to jump on his back and try to hold on was barely overcome by my desire to try to take a pic or two. I snapped away hoping to get a picture while try to steer the boat away from the boat chaser. I was also concerned about our trolling line being snagged by him, so I quickly turned away from the shark while I shouted to the shark to stay away. We finally saw him turn and cruise back to the shallows off to port. I don’t know what it is about this boat and sharks. We stopped at a reef made from a barge, but only caught a couple of bait stealers; as Toby calls them. So, we chose to just allow the boat to sail itself to where ever it wanted. It started to head west to southwest. We got into water no more than 40+ feet. Toby had a trolling lure out on Ben’s pole and one of his. As we sailed off into the wide blue yonder Toby began to get hits and pulled in a nice king about 15 lbs. He took it up on the front of the boat and filleted it. Because of the bouncing he said he was not, able to do a good job, and that he would have to clean it up when we got back. Meanwhile, Ben’s pole began to scream out again. This time he brought in a king that was every bit of 20 lbs. He didn’t want to fillet this one, so he cut off the head, and gutted it before folding it up and putting it in the cooler. We had a nice sail back toward Longboat pass, but decided to anchor out just south of the pass. We watched a sunset and turned in. Toby slept out back on the port side, and I curled up in the V-birth. A 20-30 knot wind kept the boat cool while we slept. Toby’s phone alarm woke me up around 6:45 AM. I waited for a while before going back to shut it off. It was right next to his ear, but didn’t even make him flinch. I figured since it was getting light we might as well get in to get breakfast. We sailed in and dredged a few spots around Jewfish key before docking up at the city pier at Rotten Ralph’s in Bradenton Beach. We had a nice breakfast at the Crepe house down the street, and hopped on the boat and headed back to my dock. The sail back was relaxing and enjoyable with no adverse encounters. Shark Attack or Attack Shark? My name is Bud Elkin, and I live in Palmetto, Florida. I dock my boat at Tropic Isles marina. I often take trips up and down the west coast, but this day I just wanted to go out for a spin with a couple of my friends. I decided we should take a trip up and back in Tera Cia bay. The bay is no more than a couple of miles long and probably no more than a mile or so wide. We were out for a lazy afternoon sail in my Aloha 28. Austin is in the navy, and gets leave every now and then, so we decided to get together with Bradley, my neighbor, and go out for a spin. After clearing the shallows around marker 4 we set the Genoa. The Genoa pulls us along in a moderate wind about 4 to 4.5 knots, so we didn’t see the need to mess with the main. After all we were just out to enjoy the sun and water. On our way back down the bay, heading back in, Bradley was sitting in the cockpit on the port side, I was sitting on the starboard cockpit side with the tiller in hand, and Austin was standing by the starboard winch holding on to the boom. Two other boats were sailing past us, we waved, they waved, we smiled, they smiled, and then just as the last smile left our faces we hit something hard enough to stop us in our tracks. Austin was nearly thrown off the boat. He was hanging on to a rope I had tied off to the boom and a cleat to keep the boom on the starboard side of the boat. Bradley slid and hit the front cockpit wall, and I was thrown toward the open hatch. The hold on the tiller is the only thing that kept me from going down below. Using proper sailor terminology I said, “What the hell was that?” Austin was dragging himself back onto the boat as best he could, Bradley jumped down below expecting to see water flushing madly through what must have been a keel removing moment, and I continued to steer over something that first sent the bow straight up into the air followed with the bow heeled to starboard 45 degrees diving into the drink. Next the whole boat rolled to starboard touching the rail while Austin was holding on to the boom rope for dear life. After we righted and Bradley crawled up from below to say we had no leaks, we looked behind us to see a whirlpool right aft of the rudder with what looked like a flipper or some kind of gray looking fin just under the water spinning in a rather large circle. It reminded me of the whirlpools we used to see in the Colorado River when I was younger except this one had something large spinning around in it. We sat there for a moment or two before the Genoa took up the wind and darted onward. All three of us looked in amazement behind us as the roiling whirlpool got smaller and smaller while “Free Willy” sailed away. I jumped on my cell phone to call Ray. Ray scrubs all the boat bottoms in our area. I thought he could get hold of Mote Marine or the marine patrol to come over to see what I ran over. He has seen almost everything possible while diving on our boats. He has been rammed by manatees, bumped by sharks he didn’t care to measure, and has had to put up with red tide, and other anomalies in his tenure. I thought with all of his experience he would be able to figure out what it might have been that we ran over. I was certain it wasn’t the bottom or any obstruction because the water is 11 to 12 feet in that area, and there are no obstructions anyone knows about near that position. Mote marine came over and found two 9’+ bull sharks. They tagged both of them. “One was sporting a new white stripe on his side.” Ray said. It appeared the shark’s radar, sonar, or whatever they use was on the blink that day. I figured that shark helped me out a bit by scraping some barnacles off my keel. Two days later we went out again, and wouldn’t you know it I spotted a fin not two hundred yards away from my port side. I pointed the fin out to Bradley. I had to make sure it wasn’t just me that saw it. As we sailed very near where we hit the shark earlier I thought there must be something causing these suicide attacks. I have never heard of a shark attacking a sailboat, although I have heard and read a number of stories of sharks attacking people, rafts, surfboards, etc.; I have not heard of anyone running over a shark? It appeared like the crazy thing was coming back for a rematch. Now if you think that is strange, what happened next is beyond me to believe. As Bradley and I watched this psycho shark speed broadside toward “Free Willy,” my Aloha 28, I began to have flashbacks from the movie Jaws. What did I do to piss this animal off? We had no ill feeling toward the animal for getting in our way the first time. I saw enough shark shows to know that they have something going on that keeps them from running into stuff, so what was going wrong? We continued on our starboard tack awaiting the inevitable, and holding on tight. When the shark got no more than fifty feet to port a dolphin popped up right beside “Free Willy’s” port side spitting all over Bradley who went directly in to shock. “What the hell.” Is all he could say? His eyes were the size of silver dollars, his knuckles white as snow from the grip he had on the mainsheet and the side of the boat, and I didn’t look down, but I imagined yellow fluid running down the cockpit drains. “Are we in a Flipper movie?” He questioned. No sooner than he said that and the shark turned and swam away. Flipper stayed along side for a few hundred yards more. If I had not seen this with my own eyes I would not have believed it, and to be honest I still can hardly believe it happened. I am writing this down now before I forget all of the details, or it before becomes just another sailor’s yarn. TOOOOOO! HOT!!!!!!! Around August 1, Lynda and I decided to take a couple of days and go out sailing. We had no particular place in mind, but thought going out to Egmont Key at the end of Tampa bay would be a good start to our itinerary. We have anchored out there before last October, and had a nice time. We took three hours to get out there. We were not in no hurry, and I wanted to try out the new autopilot. The pilot worked quite well, which allowed us to go up forward on the deck to chill out in the shade of the genoa. We didn’t think it was that hot out on the way out because we had a nice breeze and shade. We anchored near the west most point of Egmont Point in 23’ of water. That end of the island is covered with birds of all sorts. I think it must have some redeeming factors to be able to collect so many birds. And, as you would think, they are quite noisy. I’m not sure what they are all wound up about, but they seem to be talking to each other in their outside voices. As evening waned, the wind slowly began to run from our location. Being out on the water on a hot day isn’t too bad as long as you have some wind, but it toast if the wind is still! Anyway, dark came around eight or nine o’clock, so we settled in with cushions out in the cockpit to sleep. After awhile I decided to go up into the V-birth and try to see if it was possible to sleep without suffocating. I was up there for a while before Lynda came up to try it out too. It wasn’t long before we decided it was getting too hot to stay there. We set up the air conditioner and turned it on. When the inverter began to scream because of to low of voltage, I started the Yanmar up to give the batteries a boost. This seemed like the perfect solution except that I had not been able to improvise a better belt setup on the Yanmar to keep the belt from squealing. When they designed the motor with the 55 AMP alternators, they did a piss poor job of it. It is important to have at least ½ of the pulley covered with the belt to get the maximum horsepower out of it. Well, consequently the belt continues to squeak when the alternator puts a load on the belt. To make a long story longer, I also forgot to bring our new generator, which could have taken care of powering the air conditioner. We tired quickly of the noise and shut the air conditioner down, and went back up top to see if we could bear the heat that kept increasing with the lack of wind. Lynda decided that we needed to go back in. We were both dripping wet from sweat with no relief in sight. I started the diesel back up and went forward to pull the Delta and all 150 feet of rode. I had also forgot to bring my handheld GPS with us, which would have been nice on a moonless overcast night such as we had. We headed in using my built-in guesstimator. I have a good sense of direction on the water. After some time we came up on the first marker to the Tera Cia channel. After that, we only missed one red marker. We got all the way into the channel leading to our dock before hitting the bottom because of lack of a good tide. I backed and turned my rudder from side to side until I broke loose. Then I gave it all the Yanmar had and went through the squeeze a little more to starboard. After we tied up to the dock, we were extremely thankful and anxious to get off the boat and in to an air-conditioned car for the trip home. It was around 2:30am when we finally had our showers and got into bed. No more coming in at night without the GPS! Tropical storm NICOLE September 27-28 2009 Toby and I were clear about our fishing trip. I pulled up PolarView to see what the weather would be like. Since I do not have a TV, and don’t watch it, I have to rely on truthful media to give me a weather forecast. Well polar view showed that there were going to be big waves and high winds. What more could a sailor ask for? It is a sailboat. Anyway we took off from the dock a little early before high tide at about 2:30, and was caught in one of many thunderstorms within a mile of Egmont Key. We only had the main up because it was obvious to me that we were not going to outrun that first shower. After the thunder shower passed the water became like glass. All around us, you could see one storm after another developing, but we were on a surreal millpond with no more than 15 knots of wind. It was kind of eerie. Toby commented that this was just the calm before the storm. He had been in enough of them with his pontoon boat to understand the excitement that comes with them. We pulled out about 30% of the genoa to pick up a little speed. It was now about 5:30, and we wanted to get on with it. Toby put out his trolling lure to get ready to catch some fish. As we passed the last marker out of the south pass, a wind gust knocked us over to the gunwale. It hit so fast it took me a second or three to pop the mainsheet loose to spill the wind. As soon as we came upright I let loose the genoa sheet enough to slow us down, and give myself a chance to turn in to the wind. As soon as I got turned close to the wind Toby scuffled forward to douse the main. He wrestled it down, and tied it off in a New York minute. Not bad for his first time doing it. I always figure it is best to learn on the job. And, learning how to drop a main sail in a storm is a good start. There is little milling about with questions and small talk when you are learning in this kind of environment. I just said “Toby, go pull that main sail down.” And, that’s all it took. He is a fast learner. Next, we tightened up the genoa sheet to get back into the action. As I was adjusting, the genoa Toby was pulling in a nice Gag Grouper. We would have liked to keep him, but it was not grouper season. He was not injured, so we took his picture and let him go. We sailed along watching the increasing seas flow past. On the horizon were three different thunderstorms. We contemplated how to maneuver to evade each of them with little resolve. We were in the mess. We were surrounded by storms with high winds and big waves. Now just because it was called a tropical storm with wind, waves, rain, thunder, and lots of lightning, it doesn’t mean one cannot enjoy it. Yeah, we had big waves that came from every direction, and came up over the bow to splash us in the cockpit, but it is nothing compared to the seas you get into out in the deep ocean. Mind you that these gulf of Mexico waves can get real rough because of the water depth, but they can also be nasty. We let Auto the autohelm do what he does best while we sat in the cockpit watching the show and ducking the waves that swept the deck. I looked over at Toby and told him I hear his pole clicking like he got a hit on his line. He grabbed hold of the line and gave it a pull, but there was nothing on it. Just as he sat back, the real started to scream. He snatched it up and pulled in a nice amberjack. It was only about 18” long, but it put up a nice fight. I told him to hold the fish up so I could get a good picture. As he was doing that, the amberjack flopped around and popped the lure out his mouth and got it stuck in his eye. One more flop and his eye popped out completely, and he fell into the cockpit splattering blood everywhere. When that happened Toby looked down at the one eyed flopping fish and said, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets their eye poked out!” I nearly pissed myself laughing! Well, it wasn’t long after that when we decided we caught enough fish, and had enough fun sailing in the storm, to go back in near one of the islands to anchor for the night. We finally anchored just after the white flashing marker before Tera Cia bay at about 11:30. We were fast asleep in no time. The wind was spinning the wind generator so fast you couldn’t see the blades. In the morning, we went in to have breakfast at the local Thai restaurant. Overall, it was a nice sailing trip. Sand Bar Magnet! Arturo bailed on me at the last minute, so I sailed down to Bradenton Beach by myself. It was a nice sail with 10-15 knot winds. I was planning on going down to Venice, but remembered I had to vote the next Tuesday. So, I hung out down at the public dock with the boat people. Boat people have an interesting viewpoint on life. Some of them are retired, some of them are on unemployment, and some are just getting by on odd jobs they can pick up, but all are living on boats. Some of the boats are questionable, and some are equipped with all of the latest technology. They form a small community that seems to co-exist with the wealthy patrons who live in the houses on the ICW. I sometimes sail down to visit the gang, and to hear any of the latest gossip they are spreading. I hung out for a couple of days until Lynda picked up a ride down to the pier. We stayed at the pier anchored that night, and began to sail back home the following day. The weather was fantastic as usual. We got the Cortez bridge opening just in time, and sailed around in circles for about ten minutes waiting for the Anna Maria Bridge to open. We set the beach umbrella up aft of our bimini to stave off the brilliance of the morning sun. All was well. We were lazily sailing up the ICW into Tampa Bay. I can’t remember what I was doing besides not paying attention at the time, but as soon as I awoke from my daydream, I realized that I had gotten off the port side of the markers. The autopilot was on the blink, so I had to hand steer. On the way down to Bradenton Beach, I used the autopilot all but five minutes of the time. Nonetheless, I tried to turn us around as quick as possible before we were to go aground. We had the main and genoa up when we hit. I looked over the side to see sand glaring up at me. We were stuck in three feet of water! “This damn boat is a sand bar magnet!” I exclaimed. Even though I shouldn’t get off the boat because of my heart condition, I jumped over with the Delta on my shoulder, and began wading out into deeper water to starboard. As I slowly walked out until the water was near my shoulder height a shark about six feet long swam by close enough to say hi, and give me a wink. I didn’t feel it necessary to go any further out into the deeper water, so I set the Delta, and slowly walked back to the boat. I stayed in the water while I reached up the anchor rope to Lynda, so she could fasten it on the starboard winch. After she cranked it tight, we were able to relax and chill. The boat was not going anywhere. I crawled up the rope ladder into the boat for a rest. Next I took down the main since the genoa was already furled. That took some strain off the anchor. We winched the boat over close enough to the anchor to nearly have the chain out of the water. I only have ten feet on chain on my anchor. In this situation, I didn’t want the anchor to pull out, which would have sent us back to where we were. So, I went over the side again to reset the anchor in a different area. I took one of my big fenders and put the anchor on it. Then I walked out until it was over my head before I swam it out further. After I dropped the anchor, I realized that the current was pulling me away from the boat. My heart is not too strong anymore, which makes it near impossible for me to swim. After noticing a sever lack of energy I rolled over on my back and carefully kicked my feet in the direction of the boat. I was going to call for Lynda to come get me, but I looked behind to see that I was making progress toward the boat. Lynda winched in on the anchor again while I went to the bow to see if I could push it around. To my surprise, I was able to push it easily with my back against the hull. With Lynda winching and me wiggling the bow back and forth, we were able to free “Free Willy” from the clutches of that dastardly sand bar! After all, of that drama we kicked back for the rest of the trip. It took us awhile to get over the drama, but we managed. We anchored in Tera Cia for the night, and came in to our dock in the morning. Except for that cursed sand bar being in the way, we had a nice cruise! December 5-7 2010 The day was going to be a sunny day with 20-knot winds and 30-knot gusts. A great day to go sailing! Up the ICW to Tampa bay was not that bad. I was heading right into the wind, so I had to depend on my little Yanmar to push us against the wind and current. I was happy when we would hit over 2 knots. I can see how a full keel would come in handy in storm conditions that present strong winds and 4-8’ seas. As I was coming back from a three-day outing, I was caught across the flats of Tampa Bay. My Aloha 28 is a beastly character with lots of guts. I rolled out a couple Tee shirts of my genoa in these 20-knot winds and 30-knot gusts to see if it would help my little Yanmar. Needless to say, any sailor knows what that will do to the boat when those gusts come along. But, with my heart condition I was not able to safely raise a reefed main. When these gusts hit I had to push up my RPMS to keep my course; otherwise, the gusts would nearly run away with the bow of the boat. With the steady winds, I noticed I was heeling nearly to the rail. I was confused to why this was happening. Aloha sailboats have plenty of freeboard, which can cause windage in itself. To compound my efforts my point of sail caused somewhat of a hindrance with a beam wind and seas that roll over the top of the windward side when the boat is on the rail. It also didn’t help that we were having Canadian weather that was around 53 degrees in the middle of the day. I wore my waterproof winter jacket, which helped protect me from a couple of those boarding seas. I was also irritated that I wasn’t getting more than 5.4 knots out of her in those conditions. I realized much later that part of the reason for the wind keeping heeled over was my Bimini. When presented with a decent wind and some heeling action the Bimini takes on an extra use as a mizzen. Every now and then three seas would march right up behind my back, which was perched on the port side cockpit, and pounce on me. I suppose that I escaped some of the drenching because of my nearly standing position. The boat was heeled to the rail, so when these three malevolents would sneak up on me they would push us over enough so that I was nearly standing straight up with my feet firmly grasping the edge of the starboard cockpit locker. Nonetheless, once I got myself back in Tera Cia Bay the winds kept up but the island protected me from the pounding waves. Overall, I had a good time. When those malevolent seas pounded me, I laughed like a madman. I was having a good time. I knew my boat could take that and more. As for me, I was surprised my heart held out with the beating I was taking. It waited until the next day after I was tied up at the dock to act up and eventually give me another heart attack. The only regret is that no one was out there on my boat enjoying the fun with me! I have heard said that I am crazy; maybe they are right! Tampa Bay sailing trip with Karen and Steve 1-18-2011 Karen and Steve have never camped out on a sailboat before. They hail from Ohio, and come to Florida once in awhile to visit my sister-in-law. Our plan was to leave at high tide, which was going to be around 2:30 pm. We went down to load the boat at around 2:00 to find that the storm we had the day before must have kept the river filled enough for us to leave earlier. We had no trouble getting out of Cut’s Edge into Tera Cia bay. After getting past marker 4 we set the main and power sailed out to Tampa Bay. The plan was to sail down to Bradenton beach public dock to anchor overnight, and go out Longboat Pass in the morning for a day of fishing. Dwight, a friend was supposed to sail with me down to Bradenton, but he could not make it at the last moment. Karen and Steve decided they would tag along instead. The wind was around 5-10 knots after we got out into the bay. We pulled out the Genoa and headed toward marker 68 before we all decided to forego the Longboat Pass option, and instead headed out to Egmont Key to anchor. Karen turned out to have sailing blood in her woodpile somewhere. One quick lesson on sail luff, compass, and GPS reading, and she was set. No better helmsman could you find! Auto is having temper tantrums, so it was necessary for us to hand steer. Not really a problem for a day sail, but much more problematic when I go out by myself. I find when sailing alone that using the autopilot makes my sailing much easier. Steve was trolling with a large blue plug on the way out. He went down below for something when Karen and I saw the pole bend and release. When Steve got back up, he pulled in an empty line. Whatever hit it bit through the braided steel leader, and removed his new lure. We anchored in 15 feet of water with 200 feet of rode out. I generally do not like keeping extra anchor line on deck when I can just as easily toss it over to increase my scope. And, if I have someone else pulling in the line, it doesn’t give me any more effort than if I only let out 50 feet! Karen got tired and went down below to go to sleep around 7:05 pm. She was surprised that it was that early, but after the sun went down there was nothing more that could be done. Steve stayed up in the cockpit until about 9 pm before retiring to his ¼ birth. After the sun went down the seas kicked up a bit, but nothing much to write home about. But, the wind made a bit of a commotion. Before I went down below to chill in the V-birth, I asked the Lord to give me enough wind to keep the wind generator charging. We were running the refrigerator, computer, phone charger, and salon lights most of the night. And, for a few days before, the solar panel were of little use in the cloudy skies. So, my request was not unreasonable. The battery pack was obviously down because we were set with a 20-30 knot wind for most of the night. Needless to say, the batteries got charged. We got bounced around some, but my company seemed to be sleeping well from the sounds I heard over the slapping halyards, waves against the hull, and howling wind. I woke every hour or so to check on things, and once or twice woke the company, but over all we survived. The next morning Steve thought it best to forego sailing out to go fishing, and to just go back in. We figured since they were going to be here for a few weeks we could go out fishing some other time. We were not heavily stocked on food, at least the kind that would satisfy the ships crew, so the thought of eating on shore became an enticement for returning to the dock. Steve did a fine job as anchor windlass. Karen manned the tiller to make easy work of the anchor hauling. I feel it is easier to just lift the rode aboard instead of lift and pull. I am too old and feeble to do the manly pulling anymore. After the anchor was safely stored, Karen turned us toward the barn. We set the Genoa only, and had a nice quite sail at 3.5 knots all the way to the white flashing marker at the beginning of the Tera Cia bay channel. I took over the helm while Steve and Karen took cushions and sat forward against the mast for a reflective sail in. After I got us to the white marker I saw that it looked like we might have enough water to get back to the dock, so I doused the Genoa and fired up the iron genny. I was surprised to see that I was tracking 5.2 knots at 2500 RPM’s. With the small reef, that is hanging off the bottom of the boat, I would have expected to not get over 3 knots! I pulled a number 4.5 on the Captain Ron scale for docking. I could use the excuse that the wind was to blame, but I have been doing this too long to use excuses anymore. As a rule, I can hit a 9 or 10 almost every time. So, the adventure closed with Sue picking us up for the trip back to the house. Steve and Karen are pumped for the next trip, so it must have not been bad for their first time. Single-handing my Aloha 28 As a rule I do not keep logs on the boat, I mean paper logs. Although I have a nice looking one, it seems archaic to me to use it instead of my computer. My handwriting has become illegible. I try to have all the niceties of home aboard, so my life can easily transition from my recliner at home to the cockpit on the boat. I have a complete arsenal of electrical devices from a simple chart plotter to a waffle iron. My electric refrigerator works just like mine at the house, but on a smaller scale, as does the microwave. I have been considering switching to an electric skillet or a hot plate to replace the need to use my never been used two burner gas stove. I enjoy sitting on the boom leaning back against the mainsail chilling out as Auto drives the boat across the water. It is quite enjoyable and relaxing. The view is great, the wind on your face in soothing, and you can let your thoughts float away with the wind. The disadvantage of single-handing is that there is no one to get you another beverage when you run out. If my wife chooses not to go with me because of work, or because she doesn’t want to go with me I enjoy sailing by myself. Single-handing gives time for testing your survival skills; sailing techniques necessary to maintain the boat, and the gratification of a successful cruise. Although I am a people person, I do understand why some choose willingly to continue to be single-handed sailors. With my health issues, I tend to need company more often. It is hard to get used to others on the boat, but my desire to go sailing with other has met with compromise. As a writer one might think I would enjoy detailing every sailing experience like so many others that I read about, but I find it hard to do. I implore you’all to keep doing so because I like to read other people’s sailing blogs. Jan 31, 2011 Sailing South Pic is of a friendly old snook looking for a handout by the dock. Well, Dwight and I along with Lynda have been getting Free Willy ready for another trip south. I have been trying to sail to the keys for 20 years, but due to the No-Name hurricane, a host of tropical storms, and poor health, it appears that I will have another opportunity Monday afternoon to try it. Dwight and I have been friends for a long time, and have had many boating ventures. Considerable sums of these adventures were memorable. Hoping to avoid any memory making parts of this trip, I would like to have an uneventful sail to Marathon and back. We plan to leave this Sunday after Dwight gets back from the airport. My tide calculations make 1:40pm high tide at my marina. If we make good time, we should be able to get to the Longboat Key Bridge by 5pm. My hopes are to have a nice sail all night that should render our waypoint south of Boca Grand and hopefully just west of Marco Island near 2-3 o'clock PM on the 1st. A 15 knot wind is projected to kick up around then, so if the seas get to rough we can hang out in the Ten Thousand Islands for a couple of days. I'll try to keep a log going, and post the events of the trip. To that one of two people that may have read this blog, and for some reason may again read my ramblings, I'll try to keep it interesting. As a writer, one would think this would be no chore, but it is to me. If I am writing fiction, poetry, or any other kind of prose, I seem to get along just fine. Trying to keep up with my personal ramblings of everyday life is a private thing to me. I read blogs on FaceBook that give a daily blow by blow of each segment of that persons interactions with everyone they either know, think they know, hope to know, or never want to know. I cannot see value in revealing that much information into a society that has been overburden with an absolute barrage of too much information on an hourly basis. But, I will make an effort to post regardless. I read many sailing blogs. Some that are as boring as mine, but nonetheless I read on. So, not to be selfish about my sailing experiences, I will log on. PIRATE MICE ON BOARD FREE WILLY I realized after spotting some chewed up candle and paper right after the discovery of a two-inch hole neatly eaten out of one of my Clementine oranges that I had company on my boat. I thought I was a solo sailor, and was not a person who brings pets on boats, so my conclusion was that I had a scurvy little pirate that wanted to go sailing. As I cleaned up after him, I formulated a plan. In my younger years, I was a trapper. I trapped muskrats, mink, and anything else with a fur that was worth something. I prided myself on being a very good trapper and hunter. So, what does a small pirate mouse have over me? Well, after setting one trap, and finding it the next day set off, I began to ponder the skills this little creature had that made the escape, with the cheese, so easy. My Aloha 28 has quite a bit of storage space. This is a good thing when taking long cruises or wanting to stock up supplies for an extended period of time, but these spacious compartments make good hideouts for little mouse pirates! I became angry at first at the audacity of this foe to out maneuver me in such a way as to humiliate me as a skilled trapper. I have had muskrats chew their leg off to get away, I have had Jack Rabbits get up and run off after shooting them broadside, but this little pirate is an escape artist. The skill in which he keeps getting out of traps makes me think he is an escapee from a traveling magician show. It all began one day a week or so ago when I got back from a seven day cruise. The boat needed airing out, so I left open the portholes. It was not going to rain, so the airing out was safe from precipitation. This new dock and marina does not have the best docks, but the people are cordial. At my last dock, it was not unusual to let my portholes open for days at a time. I never even got a fly in the boat, but at this new dock, I was not so lucky. After I realized that the little pirate no doubt climbed across one of my dock lines with his cousins, which I could visualize them doing; little patches on one of their eyes, a head band or pirate hat perched on their heads, and a cutlass or dagger in their teeth. I closed all of my portholes, and stopped up all of my Dorado vents with rags in order to keep anymore of his cousins from coming aboard and pillaging my stores. My daughter Lindsey said that I should use the glue traps because they are much more humane. So, I put two of these glue traps next to where the little pirate chewed a hole through a patched hole near my countertop. I figured I would come down to the boat the next day to see this little swashbuckler stuck in the glue. I had it all planned out. I would pick up the trap with him stuck to it and make him walk the plank to show all his cousins that my boat is off limits to the boatyard pirates around there. Not only did he step into the glue on one of the glue traps, but he also stepped into the second one too. When I got to the boat, both traps were flipped upside down on the counter. Arrrgh! As I was arranging some stuff about in one of my cockpit lockers, I saw the little pirate running down into the cabin. At least I knew what I was up against. He was nearly two inches long! A ferocious look in his eyes told me that he has been down this plank before. As he turned the corner to slip away, I thought for sure I saw him wink! Next, I had my wife pick up a set of four mousetraps. I figured this was all out war. I set two of them, with peanut butter, on the counter where I previously set the glue traps. I figured if he set off one, and got away, I had another close by for backup. And, since I had the glue traps already, I figured I would place them strategically so that if by some chance he walks on them again, he will stick. How could I loose. I went home confident that tomorrow I would be victorious. You are now thinking I am making too much of this, and that I am obsessing over this little pirate. Well, you might be right. I went confidently down to the boat once again. As I unlocked the companionway and removed the boards, I was sure I would find a body. As I peered anxiously down into the boat I saw neither one of the traps, and one of the glue traps upside down again! Arrrgh! What is going on! How is it possible for both of my traps to not only be set off but also carried off? What kind of Bluebeard am I dealing with? I searched all over the boat for those traps. Finally, I found one in a drawer, set off, and licked clean of any peanut butter residue. Where the other trap is I do not know. I looked in the engine compartment and every drawer and space in the boat. The only place I could not look into easily was the two-inch space we call the bilge on these Aloha 28’s. I came home completely defeated. My wife suggested that I now need a professional pirate hunter. It is apparent that I have been taken over by that little mouse pirate, and maybe his entire crew. I intend to have the professional set the other two new traps that came with the set, and the one left by the little swashbuckler. I can see Captain Greymouse chilling out and laughing at me for thinking that I can capture him. His day on the plank is coming. I expected a quick capture, but it seems he has another day to contemplate his decision to board Captain Bud’s boat! I double tied the dock lines to make it tough for him to steal my boat. Hey, if he can do what he has already done I see no reason why he cannot steal the boat too! I have to be crazy for sure, or maybe I’m taking too many heart drugs? I am defeated! I went down to the boat this morning to check to see if I have a body. NO!! I now have four traps missing!!! This is not possible. I am now thinking that this pirate mouse and possibly his crew are stealing all of the lumber and steel in these traps to sell them on the black market. I also think that any regular boatyard pirate mouse is not capable of formulating that much thought. Captain Greymouse is definitely an escapee from a lab somewhere. He learned all his skills from his days spent testing drugs and running mazes. This is not possible. I continue to see little mouse droppings everywhere. Maybe I will have to give in and walk the plank myself. The battle is surely not in my favor. My next attack will consist of more traps, but this time I am going to screw them down to a one by four. Will the pirate be smart enough take the screws out in order to steal the traps? I will hide the tools too. I will get this pesky pirate one-way or the other! Tomorrow will tell the story! Arrrgh! Today came in with excitement. No way was that pesky pirate going to get out of this alive. He had stolen four traps, and caused quite a bit of mayhem on my little ship. I guess it’s in the pirate code to ransack and pillage. FREE WILLY was just an innocent ship awaiting orders when it was boarded. Pirate’s Arrrgh! Well, when I got to the boat and opened the companionway I anticipated seeing a body. I had a total of eight traps set, and even left a little fresh water in one of the glue traps to entice him. No way was he getting out of this alive! As I peered down into the boat, I saw everything just as I left it. Arrrgh! Now what? FREE WILLY was ransacked and in complete disarray because of this little pirate, and now when I think I have the perfect setup, he is nowhere to be found. I gave it another two days. I went to all of this trouble to set up the perfect trap I might as well give it a little time. I needed to repack my stuffing box, so I got Ray to dive on the shaft and put some plumbers putty around the shaft to keep out the ocean while I change the packing. Ray had me hand him some tools out of his Carolina skiff so he could also add another zinc to the shaft. While I was sitting in his skiff, which was attached to FREE WILLY, I noticed that the Dorado vent that had the solar panel wires passed through it had been tampered with. The rag I stuffed in it was not stuffed in like I originally put it, but it had what looked like a small hole in it. As I looked closer it looked as though that little pirate crawled up the bilge vent pipe and pushed aside the rag just enough to escape! Arrrgh! All that extra planning for an execution was laid to waste. Now that the event is over, I suppose in retrospect I have to say that this pirate attack was not as bad as being attacked by a bunch of Somali pirates, but the drama was still there. I do wonder if I will find all four traps that the little pirate stole from me. Did he steal them to make a point that he was above being caught! Did he steal the traps to build a safe house in the bilge somewhere that was inaccessible to me? I suppose time will only tell. I am glad that he escaped. I did secure the Dorado vents in a way that another boarding would not be so easy although an all out frontal boarding while I am on the boat may not be above him! Arrrgh!! SOME SONGS GIMME SOME OF THAT © Bud elkin 2011 [CHORUS] Gimme some of that, I want some of that. Everyone is crowdin in to get some of that. Bees have the honey, and bacon has the fat. Move aside I’m commin through, cause I want some of that. [VERSE] Ginger made some cookies, and Angel made a cake. April brought the flowers, and May was running late. June was hot and sweaty from working on the grill. Fabiana brought the beans and rice; so we could have our fill. [CHORUS] Gimme some of that, I want some of that. Everyone is crowdin in to get some of that. Bees have the honey, and bacon has the fat. Move aside I’m commin through, cause I want some of that. [VERSE] Peniniya smoked some chickens. Alameda brought the wood. Taya brought the sweet-tea. Mya did what she could. Alani made a salad, with oranges, nuts, and greens. And Sara set the table quick so we could have our beans. [BRIDGE] Picnics are the thing we do for family and our friends. Everyone’s invited, so no one misses out. Don’t miss out. Everyone’s invited, so no one misses out. [CHORUS] Gimme some of that, I want some of that. Everyone is crowdin in to get some of that. Bees have the honey, and bacon has the fat. Move aside I’m commin through, cause I want some of that. [CHORUS] Gimme some of that, I want some of that. Everyone is crowdin in to get some of that. Bees have the honey, and bacon has the fat. Move aside I’m commin through, cause I want some of that. Pour me a shot of tequila Bud elkin © 2006 bud.elkin@allsheets.com [Chorus] C G Pour me a glass of tequila; because a shot or two won’t do. G C I need to forget my thinking, bout all the things that she could do. F C F C I know it’s not the answer, but I guess it will have to do. F C G C So, pour me a glass of tequila, because a shot or two won’t do. [Verse] She was beauty queen, from New Orleans; she did a center for a magazine. When she walked by, she would catch the eye, of every sailor in this town. I don’t think, it bothered me, bout all the attention she would get, Till every young sailor, wanted to nail her, pinup on his bedroom wall. [Bridge] But when I thought, that I wasn’t enough, to keep her occupied, I lost my nerve, and went running scared, cause I thought I was losing the fight. [Chorus] So, pour me a glass of tequila; because a shot or two won’t do. I need to forget my thinking, bout all the things that she could do. I know it’s not the answer, but I guess it will have to do. So, pour me a glass of tequila, because a shot or two won’t do. [Verse] As time went by, she began to fly, all over to do her shows. She did Oprah, where she sat on a sofa, to tell her story to the world. But she never said, that we were wed, or talked about us at all, Or that we were together, happy as ever, laughing and having good times. [Bridge] But when I thought, that I wasn’t enough, to keep her occupied, I lost my nerve, and went running scared, cause I thought I was losing the fight. [Chorus] So, pour me a glass of tequila; because a shot or two won’t do. I need to forget my thinking, bout all the things that she could do. I know it’s not the answer, but I guess it will have to do. So, pour me a glass of tequila, because a shot or two won’t do. [Verse] At home one night, looking for a fight, thinking of the things she had done. Always suspecting, that she was rejecting, the love that I had for her. But I would find, that it was in my mind, and that her love was still all for me. What was I thinking, or maybe the drinking, clouded the love in my mind. [Bridge] But when I thought, that I wasn’t enough, to keep her occupied, I lost my nerve, and went running scared, cause I thought I was losing the fight. [Chorus out] So, pour me a glass of tequila; because a shot or two won’t do. I need to forget my thinking, bout all the things that she could do. I know it’s not the answer, but I guess it will have to do. So, pour me a glass of tequila, because a shot or two won’t do. Don’t kick my Dog Bud elkin © 2006 bud.elkin@allsheets.com Verse: There were times, when my love for you, came close to heavenly bliss, But then you started, comin home late, so I wondered what I had missed. You sleep in late, you postulate, about my fishin and my dog. What’s going on, and where do you go, when I’m sleepin like a log. Bridge: I hope my love, for my dog and truck doesn’t come between you and me. cause if it does you know who wins, and who is outta luck. Sooooo; Chorus: Don’t kick my dog; he ain’t never done nothing to you. He lays around, goes fishin with me, but he ain’t done nothing to you. So why, kick my dog, for something I may have done. I’ll cut on out, but not without, my pole, my dog, and gun. Verse: I can see, that your jealous heart, has a problem with my ways. My truck and dog, and my fishin pole, and anything I say. It’s an ideal life, which has all the things, a man could ever want. What’s going on, and where do you go, when I go out to hunt. Bridge: I hope my love, for my dog and truck doesn’t come between you and me. cause if it does you know who wins, and who is outta luck. Sooooo; Chorus: Don’t kick my dog; he ain’t never done nothing to you. He lays around, goes fishin with me, but he ain’t done nothing to you. So why, kick my dog, for something I may have done. I’ll cut on out, but not without, my pole, my dog, and gun. [Verse] There were times, when we got along, and you even liked to hunt. But then you started, comin home late, and quit after a month. You stay up late; you sleep in late, and never pet the dog. What’s going on, and what can I do, to get you outta that fog?

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