Troop 386 from Edmond, Oklahoma

July 28, 2011 by · 1 Comment
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Pre-dinner posing!

Pre-dinner posing!

Water bottles on life line.

Water bottles on life line.

View of lobster divers from deck of boat.

View of lobster divers from deck of boat.

Sailing.

Sailing.

Tailing the lobster.

Tailing the lobster.

Spencer with the treasure chest of edible booty!

Spencer with the treasure chest of edible booty!

Spencer and the gang!

Spencer and the gang!

Raising the sails.

Raising the sails.

Ready to rumble!

Ready to rumble!

Lobstering in mini-season.

Lobstering in mini-season.

Lobster slayers!

Lobster slayers!

At work!

At work!

Lobster fear me!

Lobster fear me!

Stick a fork in her, she's done!

Stick a fork in her, she's done!

Megan in action!

Megan in action!

The lengths we go to--hiding from the sun!

The lengths we go to--hiding from the sun!

Motley crew of lobster slayers!

Motley crew of lobster slayers!

Matt on deck.

Matt on deck.

Inspecting the catch.

Inspecting the catch.

Lunch time.

Lunch time.

Lobster on my mind!

Lobster on my mind!

Do you think he'll have a kink in his neck when he wakes up?

Do you think he'll have a kink in his neck when he wakes up?

Heave ho!

Heave ho!

Handing off the catch.

Handing off the catch.

Raising sails.

Raising sails.

Ole Hamp!

Ole Hamp!

Going to fetch some lobster!

Going to fetch some lobster!

The welt is from fire coral.

The welt is from fire coral.

Readying to raise the foremain.

Readying to raise the foremain.

Humble Captain.....

Humble Captain.....

The victorious freedivers!

The victorious freedivers!

Why do they call it the boom?

Why do they call it the boom?

Count'em out!  33!  Yeah, that's right!  No scuba cylinders involved!

Count'em out! 33! Yeah, that's right! No scuba cylinders involved!

At dock after a hardday of lobstering!

At dock after a hardday of lobstering!

Big bag-o-lobster!

Big bag-o-lobster!

Avery on the ready!

Avery on the ready!

Folding foremain.

Folding foremain.

Troop 386 from Okalhoma

July 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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After the dive...

After the dive...

The morgue revisited.

The morgue revisited.

Just another sunset.

Just another sunset.

Out of the companionway.

Out of the companionway.

Eeeeewwwwww!  Seaweed at the tagline!

Eeeeewwwwww! Seaweed at the tagline!

New generator, for now.

New generator, for now.

I love this lady.  And not just because she's a good organizer!

I love this lady. And not just because she's a good organizer!

Matt made it thru the seaweed!

Matt made it thru the seaweed!

Happy to help.

Happy to help.

Hamp is intent!

Hamp is intent!

His focus paid off!  Hamp fillets like a champ!

His focus paid off! Hamp fillets like a champ!

Background fishing action for Matt.....

Background fishing action for Matt.....

His Royal Dogness!

His Royal Dogness!

Yes, Captain Holley, we live to do dishes!

Yes, Captain Holley, we live to do dishes!

Chowline at dinner!

Chowline at dinner!

Denny filling tanks.

Denny filling tanks.

Connor can gear up in his sleep!

Connor can gear up in his sleep!

Connor baitfishes.

Connor baitfishes.

Alex nets the catch.

Alex nets the catch.

The cannon.

The cannon.

Spencer assist Alex after a dive.

Spencer assist Alex after a dive.

Loading gear on first day.

Loading gear on first day.

Back from a dive.

Back from a dive.

Time to tie the gear back up on the lifeline.

Time to tie the gear back up on the lifeline.

Cheesing for the camera!

Cheesing for the camera!

Post dive, Megan.

Post dive, Megan.

How's all this going to fit on the boat??!?!?!?

How's all this going to fit on the boat??!?!?!?

Under the lash!  The boys have a lot to do!

Under the lash! The boys have a lot to do!

Coming up!

Coming up!

More of the guys from Snohomish, WA

July 23, 2011 by · 1 Comment
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Megan in her zen state.....

Megan in her zen state.....

Happy fisherman!

Happy fisherman!

Measuring the catch.

Measuring the catch.

At Sand Key Lighthouse

At Sand Key Lighthouse

The glancing blow!

The glancing blow!

Hermes and his boogie board.

Hermes and his boogie board.

Evan with the swimmers assist.

Evan with the swimmers assist.

Just before the cuda hits the deck!  Then the people scatter!

Just before the cuda hits the deck! Then the people scatter!

Three Amigos!

Three Amigos!

At the helm.

At the helm.

Scotty contemplates......

Scotty contemplates......

Preparing to raise the anchor.

Preparing to raise the anchor.

No points for style!

No points for style!

Out of the companionway.

Out of the companionway.

Megan communing with the slobbering animal!

Megan communing with the slobbering animal!

What other tricks can you do, Evan?  Walk on water?.....

What other tricks can you do, Evan? Walk on water?.....

Keving and James gearing up.

Keving and James gearing up.

Is this going to end badly?....

Is this going to end badly?....

Jimmy Jamm Jay-Lightening!

Jimmy Jamm Jay-Lightening!

"Stop it with the bloody camera and dip my mask!  Pretty Please!"

"Stop it with the bloody camera and dip my mask! If you would, please!"

James and Bob at the reel.

James and Bob at the reel.

Evan returns from a dive.

Evan returns from a dive.

Changing tanks in the blazing sun.  Notice Jim is not concerned about hiding from the UV rays......

Changing tanks in the blazing sun. Notice Jim is not concerned about hiding from the UV rays......

Hermes is still a foot warmer, even in the ninety degree heat!

Hermes is still a foot warmer, even in the ninety degree heat!

Giant stride.

Giant stride.

Funky fins, comfy and compact for travel!

Funky fins, comfy and compact for travel!

Instructions on how to work the reel.  Or "J-Lightening on deck, gonna drop a little knowledge!"

Instructions on how to work the reel. Or "J-Lightening on deck, gonna drop a little knowledge!"

Like buttah!

Like buttah!

Evan works the blade.

Evan works the blade.

Yes, Evan, the fish looks bigger if you hold it in front of you!

Yes, Evan, the fish looks bigger if you hold it in front of you!

Spotted dolphin on bow.

Spotted dolphin on bow.

Holley assisting divers at .

Holley assisting divers at .

Bob shows us his photogenic nature!

Bob shows us his photogenic nature!

Reeling in the big one!

Reeling in the big one!

Free Form!

Free Form!

Smooth......

Smooth......

Swan dive or belly flop?

Swan dive or belly flop?

The guys from Snohomish, WA

July 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Sunset over bow on Tuesday

Sunset over bow on Tuesday

Divers swimming back after night dive on Tuesday.

Divers swimming back after night dive on Tuesday.

Getting ready to night dive.

Getting ready to night dive.

Deck watch over night dive.

Deck watch over night dive.

Changing tanks to prepare for Wednesday's dawn dive.

Changing tanks to prepare for Wednesday's dawn dive.

Big baracuda caught on Monday.

Big baracuda caught on Monday.

Basket star from night dive on Sombrero, Monday night.

Basket star from night dive on Sombrero, Monday night.

Sunset over bow on Tuesday

Sunset over bow on Tuesday

Austin with baracuda

Austin with baracuda

Troop 373 Wheaton, IL Tuesday July 12, 2011

July 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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The lovely Sombrero Reef Lighthouse.

The lovely Sombrero Reef Lighthouse.

Trevor shows us what the tuna spit out!

Trevor shows us what the tuna spit out!

Today started off slow.  I was right about mosquitoes last night, so everyone was a little dragging this morning.  Probably from the blood loss, yes, there were that many mosquitoes!!!  But that is the way it goes sometimes, it is HIGH ADVENTURE, after all.  :)

The day went along reasonably.  First thing we stopped off at the fuel dock in Marathon called Pancho’s.  There is a convenience store there as well, so some guys had ice cream post breakfast.  But it was good to cool off early because the day was hot! We were all sweltering,  all day long.  After fueling, we made our way to Sombrero Reef, which has a lighthouse on it that was built in 1858 by General George Meade.

We ended up doing all our three dives today there, both ends of the reef during the day.  Then it was back to the west end for a night dive after a few hour toodle out into the deeper water south of the reef line to fish.  It was a mission accomplished, because we at least caught a few fish, finally!  No keepers, though, as they were Little Tuny, not a pleasant tasting fish.

The night dive was lovely.  Good visibility and calm conditions made for a good intro to night diving for these guys.  I actually got into the water, too.  I led half the group, and Jim the other half.  Megan has been battling a head cold for the duration of this trip, and doesn’t want to risk making matters (reverse blockage or severe ear infection) worse by diving.  We saw some interesting things, a small turtle, some lobsters and baracuda (standard fare), a large group of tiny juvenile fish that were swimming around us like a living cloud.  The phosphorescence was highly visible, and the moonlight was bright.  I love night dives!

Tomorrow we must work on buoyancy for some folks.  And see if we can help young John slow down a little more to equalize the pressure in his ears.  He is not having much luck, and has yet to spend a full dive in the water.  Too bad!

Patrick and his grass bass!

Patrick and his grass bass!

So we end our night doing something we usually never do–we are on a mooring ball on sombrero reef.  The mosquitoes were so bad close to shore last night, primarily because of the lack of breeze.  Conditions are the same tonight.  No one wants another night like last night (though we have had worse boughts with the skeeters).  Usually when folks ask if we can spend the night on the reef, the answer is no.  “Only thing preventing me from staying here is fear and common sense,” that’s Denny’s usual reply.  But here we are, nonetheless.  The winds are predicted to be light (bad for bugs close to shore) and chance of rain 10 %.  So we’ll risk it!  It’s better to run into shore from a freak thundershower, rather than be drained by the little bloodsucking bugs!  So with that, I’ll end this day’s entry.  And now to the pictures!

Serious reeling....

Serious reeling....

Lunch time

Lunch time

Kristina gears up.

Kristina gears up.

Mother/daughter exchange.

Mother/daughter exchange.

John returns from a brief dive.

John returns from a brief dive.

Three amigos

Three amigos

James on ladder

James on ladder

Holley melting in the sun!

Holley melting in the sun!

Mid afternoon the ship often looks like a floating morgue!

Mid afternoon the ship often looks like a floating morgue!

Just before the giant stride---Ciaran!

Just before the giant stride---Ciaran!

All hail the fisherman!

All hail the fisherman!

Uh, sunscreen for my sleeping beauties?!?!?!?!.......

Uh, sunscreen for my sleeping beauties?!?!?!?!.......

Another rare moment, son assisting mother!   Renews my faith in the coming generation!

Another rare moment, son assisting mother! Renews my faith in the coming generation!

Who called this meeting?

Who called this meeting?

This is what happens when you don't wear your sunscreen!  Ouch!

This is what happens when you don't wear your sunscreen! Ouch!

Packing up

Packing up

Who called this meeting?

Who called this meeting?

Future ninja relaxing.  She's 4'11.  I am serious about both statements.

Future ninja relaxing. She's 4'11. I am serious about both statements.

Captain, diver ready!

Captain, diver ready!

Photo at the end of the adventure!

Photo at the end of the adventure!

Yellowtail snapper

Yellowtail snapper

Yellowtail snapper under boat

Yellowtail snapper under boat

Here, take this!

Here, take this!

The great tank transfer.  The compressor motor crapped out, but has since been replaced!

The great tank transfer. The compressor motor crapped out, but has since been replaced!

When you don't wear your sunscreen, part I.  Note:  ears.

When you don't wear your sunscreen, part I. Note: ears.

Safety brief.

Safety brief.

Peanut gallery

Peanut gallery

After the dive.....

After the dive.....

Megan underwater---her happy place!

Megan underwater---her happy place!

Pancakes:  recording the recording!

Pancakes: recording the recording!

Jim has this thing about lionfish......must kill, must die!!!!!!  Maybe we need to do an intervention.......

Jim has this thing about lionfish......must kill, must die!!!!!! Maybe we need to do an intervention.......

Lionfish

Lionfish

The baracuda is bigger than our future ninja!

The baracuda is bigger than our future ninja!

Handing up the lionfish (in bottom of crate)....Simple catching technique.  Thanks Jim!

Handing up the lionfish (in bottom of crate)....Simple catching technique. Thanks Jim!

Keeping watch for divers.

Keeping watch for divers.

Holley takes a dip.

Holley takes a dip.

Denny too!  (takes a dip)

Denny too! (takes a dip)

Duct tape works another wonder--chafe guard!

Duct tape works another wonder--chafe guard!

Brian tends the breakfast sausages.

Brian tends the breakfast sausages.

Underwater waves.

Underwater waves.

Cheesing for the camera!

Cheesing for the camera!

Sleeping beauties--just after dawn.

Sleeping beauties--just after dawn.

Sargasso Seaweed is actually an algae.

Sargasso Seaweed is actually an algae.

Jim nets baracuda.

Jim nets baracuda.

Hermes tells Megan all about it!

Hermes tells Megan all about it!

Deploying divers on Looe Key next to other scout boat, Yankee.

Deploying divers on Looe Key next to other scout boat, Yankee.

Troop 373 from Wheaton IL

July 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Firing the cannon at the other scout boat, the Jolly 2 Rover!

Firing the cannon at the other scout boat, the Jolly 2 Rover!

Gearing up the crewleader.

Gearing up the crewleader.

Ciaran's baracuda

Ciaran's baracuda

Currently aboard we have Troop 373 from Wheaton, IL.  They boarded yesterday midday.  We got a couple dives in at Toppino’s Buoy just off Key West.  These guys are mainly new divers, but things went pretty well.  Today we got a couple of dives in at Looe Key.  And tonight we’ll be anchored off Boot Key just outside of the town of Marathon.  It’s calm conditions, so I hope the mosquitoes don’t make it out to the boat.  Anyway, that’s it for today’s verbage.  Here’s more photographs!

Bait fishing.

Bait fishing.

More gearing up.

More gearing up.

What you can't see is Brian puckering up to kiss his baracuda.  This guy "loves" fishing!

What you can't see is Brian puckering up to kiss his baracuda. This guy "loves" fishing!

The Blogger’s Back!

July 11, 2011 by · 1 Comment
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So, this blogging routinely is far more difficult than I realized!  Sorry, Mrs. Funnell!  So I will try to make up for it with many pictures and less monotonous ramble!  Though I will reserve the right to rant on occasion, like when the head gets savaged, and such.  But I must give a quick recap of our last crew, form St Helena, California.  What great guys they were, as the photos will show.  I won’t go into daily detail, but fun was had by all.

Changing tanks

Changing tanks

Duct tape, the blister preventer!

Duct tape, the blister preventer!

After a good dive....

After a good dive....

Cleaning the frisbees, which are also our plates.

Cleaning the frisbees, which are also our plates.

Dropping the headsail

Dropping the headsail

Craig

Craig

Great backsplash!

Great backsplash!

Hermes by the compressor

Hermes by the compressor

Jim and his love affair with his hair.

Jim and his love affair with his hair.

Something else got the tuna before we got it reeled in!  Note the seahorse from it's belly.....

Something else got the tuna before we got it reeled in! Note the seahorse from it's belly.....

We're still working on Jim's table manners.....

We're still working on Jim's table manners.....

Jim assisting Tucker into the water.

Jim assisting Tucker into the water.

Hermes, I am beginning to grow suspicious of your loyalties!

Hermes, I am beginning to grow suspicious of your loyalties!

Before the night dive.....do I sense cold feet?..

Before the night dive.....do I sense cold feet?..

Demonstrating signals before the night dive.

Demonstrating signals before the night dive.

Thomas constantly cheeses before the camera.  Here is his most suave look.

Thomas constantly cheeses before the camera. Here is his most suave look.

But I tell him this is how his "suave-ness" translates in a photograph.  He is not pleased but still continues to cheese.

But I tell him this is how his "suave-ness" translates in a photograph. He is not pleased but still continues to cheese.

Perpetual cheese!

Perpetual cheese!

Will, on the other hand, responds differently to the camera.  This photo is called "The one that got away!"

Will, on the other hand, responds differently to the camera. This photo is called "The one that got away!"

Humble author in pilot house with the two cheese bombs!

Humble author in pilot house with the two cheese bombs!

Downtime entertainment.

Downtime entertainment.

So pleased to see Tucker eats something other than bread and cookies.

So pleased to see Tucker eats something other than bread and cookies.

Would you trust your pancakes from this crowd?

Would you trust your pancakes from this crowd?

Peter defies gravity.

Peter defies gravity.

Will is a young man of many talents!

Will is a young man of many talents!

Pure poetry.......

Pure poetry.......