Dolphin Dock Deep Sea Fishing

When we motored up to Dolphin Dock Deep Sea Fishing in Port Aransas a couple of the workers came outside to greet us.  They recognized the sound of the bike and knew it had to be that motorcycle couple from New Mexico again lol.  Out of how many tourists they must see every day it’s neat that they would remember us.  I guess we did sit and talk with everyone for hours last year waiting to see if we could go out before they called it and we ended up going bay fishing later in the day.

This year the weather was better and at least the first day we got to go out for Cece’s first deep sea fishing adventure!

Bait almost looks too good to throw to the fishes, that looks like some real good sashimi right there!

First catch of the day was a 93 pound Wahoo!   This should’ve been my fish, the deck hand threw out a line as we were slowing down and hooked it then looked for me to hand me the pole to reel it in.   I had just stepped away to get a picture of Cece so they handed the pole to the next closest guy, darn it!     Oh well, the fish is a beauty! and a good omen for the day.

Cece’s first catch of the day, a very nice red snapper!   Too bad they were out of season for a few more weeks and it had to be thrown back.

We had a bit of excitement when we all had out lines in waiting for someone to get a bite when BOOM something hit my line and the reel started spinning out out so fast it was smoking. The reel stopped and the thick deep sea pole about doubled over in half, it was all I could do to hang onto it and POP! the line snapped!  We have no idea what the hell it was only that it was huge!  After that my reel was seized it wouldn’t crank in or let out anymore, whatever it was had broken my pole!

New fishing pole.  By now people were catching good sized dog snapper all around the boat but I put my line back at the same depth that I had last time.  After a bit of a wait something hit my line just as hard as before, this time it stayed on longer than 20 seconds.  My pole looked like it was going to snap, whatever I’d hooked was pulling a hell of a lot harder than that 93 pound wahoo!  After fighting it for 20 minutes I was getting freaking winded.  I needed to adjust my grip and just barely touched the bottom of the pole to the railing so I could adjust my grip and snap the line went again.

Just then a deck hand finally ran up to give me a hand and said yep don’t touch it to the railing!  sorry we should have gotten you a belt.   Oh well, good to know the railing tip for next time.

Shortly after my second broken line another guy hooked a monster fish and this time had help from the crew and managed to pull in this shark that was let go.

All in all we had a good time and Cece had a lot of fun and now wants to come back and go again!

Our haul for the day.

Cece holding up our pair of atlantic sharpnose sharks.  These are full grown and good eating!

Dolphin Docks does a great job cleaning the fish afterwards if you’d like here is what that wahoo looked like afterwards.

Since we were on the bike we bought a box of ziplock bags and you put a few pieces of fish in with a little bit of water and burp out all of the air.  Then it can be blast frozen with Dolphin Docks freezer and shipped back home.

I didn’t have time to call my neighbor who took delivery of the fish.  He said he got home one day to find a giant box and couldn’t remember what he’d bought then opened it up, wow fish!


95 pound fiance posing with 93 pound fish LOL

Good haul for the boat that day.


We did find quite a few guys fishing off the beach and the rock jetty. Some of them were actually catching something besides stick fish.

I didn’t realize that they had trout in the ocean.

Of course there are always plenty of different kinds of sea birds in this area.

Continue reading Shorebirds

Feeling Crabby

Went to the beach today after getting fishing tickets for tomorrow and going through some swimwear and t-shirt shops in town.

Crabs were everywhere!  Many different kinds too, only got decent pictures of 4 species.  Never seen so many different kinds in one place.

Ghost crabs live on land, there are burrows for these everywhere in the sand near the water.   Cece had never seen one before so I tried to dig one of the smaller ones up, the bigger burrows are wayyy too deep.   That burrow was empty but we got lucky and found a few walking around on the way back to the bike.

The blue crabs were rather feisty.  If a shadow went over the water while they were.. ahem, busy.. the males would snap their claws out of the water and splash.   The first one surprised and scared Cece so badly she screamed and fell backwards, almost completely off the rocks into the water, then I almost fell in the water from laughing so hard.

Cece holding a baby hermit crab we found.  When it came back out of its shell it started trying to graze on her hand and trying to pinch and pull algae off her palm.  “Ow ow ow! Hurry up and take the picture!”

Lots of hermit crabs in the rock jetties.

Stone crab?


What are these called!?

We headed down to I10 to get to the coast and all along the shoulders and medians were fields of these flowers.  Any idea what these are called?    A forest ranger later told us they were bee balm but a quick look on Google images showed most of the pictures of bee balm did not look like this so we aren’t sure.

Eventually we got tired of the Interstate and went down some back roads towards the coast.  We were going down small farm roads hoping not to get lost when we found a fruit stand miles from anything.  We got a few cantaloupes fresh picked just yards away from where we bought them!  NICE!

With the late start the day had been a bit of a slog trying to get from Midland, TX to stay at Goose Island State Park again and we were too exhausted to make it.  We were beat and when we saw a motel with a pool we pulled over. Nothing feels like jumping in a pool after 500 miles of gusty dry winds and 100 degree temperatures.

In the motel room we found some literature on Coastal Bend College.    Wow!  What a small world.   My company had just been doing work for Coastal Bend and I had no idea they were in Texas. Funny coincidence that we happened to stay here.  Had to get a few pictures for the people back at the office.

You know you are in a college town when the binder in your motel with all the local cable channel and take out info also has sheets of literature on the area’s geology and oil characteristics.

On the road again

With the bike all back together and running smoothly it was time to head off to try another go at some deep sea fishing!

I had ended up needing to replace the stator and pickup coil for the second time and while all the guts were ripped out I went ahead and put in my HID headlight kit that had been sitting on my shelf for over a year and installed another HID aux light on my fork with a new and improved mount.  Look for writeups on the lighting to show up here at some point.

As we’ve been this way many times before and theres not exactly a lot to see in eastern New Mexico and west Texas we weren’t planning on stopping and taking any pictures along the way.  When we saw this green alien chainsawed out of a cottonwood tree in Roswell, however, we couldn’t resist the opportunity for a cool photo op and whipped a U turn.    I guess Roswell is trying to get in on some of the chainsaw art action like Ruidoso up the mountain with all of it’s chainsaw bears.

Almost ran out of gas in Texas again… We saw a sign that listed the next town at 30 or so miles and decided to keep going and that next town did not have a gas station and wasn’t a town at all, it was the ruins of an old court house and a plaque on the side of the road.  Next real town was another 45 miles further, uh oh!   We cruised at 50mph to conserve fuel and just made it on fumes.

We were getting pretty low in altitude and the bike was running rough and backfiring through the carbs again so we took this stop to relax in the AC while letting the bike cool down and switch out carb jets.  While laying on my back trying to screw float bowl screws back in without burning my knuckles the 10th person walked over to see if I needed any help and then started asking about the bike and where we were headed.  He liked the bike and when I saw what he was driving I offered a trade, my color and everything.

Family reunion!    I hadn’t seen my cousins Christy and Cindy in years, while passing through the area the next day we had to meet up and introduce Cece to everyone.  Good to meet up and catch up some but we had a long ways to go and couldn’t stay long and I forgot to get a picture of everyone.  Thanks for the breakfast!

Oh yeah, we did see this huge texas sage bush in full bloom at a gas station, we’ve never seen anything like it before.  There were thick hedges of the stuff along peoples fences and driveways very pretty.  Cece’s Mom has a small puny bush of it but it never has many flowers and never as full as this.


Texas Trip 2012

Has it been a year already?

We are leaving to the gulf coast again for a week through Memorial day.  The plan is to go deep sea fishing and then meet up with some Texas online friends at another meet and greet at Koyote Ranch.   Last year we got blown out by rough sees and had to go bay fishing instead to salvage the day.

For a while it has seemed like this trip might not happen.   First the Yamaha was down with its charging woes and shorts in the rain, then the BMW with its excessively loud valve train noise that needs adjustment and mucked up tank that needs cleaning took that bike out of the equation also.  Problems with gear that hasn’t been used in a year, parts needed that won’t get here in time, Cece having knee issues that needs an orthopedic surgeon, an excessive amount of things at work coming up all at once..   Or in other words, the usual.

I really do not like doing major bike work right before leaving on a long trip without having time to test it out but the V Star has had much of her wiring guts ripped out and replaced and a brand new stator put in and every wiring connection and ground that I could find cleaned and liberally waterproofed with dielectric grease.  She is running good now and I’ve clocked 140 miles on it in the last few days since the open-heart surgery in my driveway and I’m feeling more confident that she’ll make it the 2000 or so miles next week without incident.

not a good way to start a bike trip

Now just have to find all our camping gear and touring equipment and hit the road!    I’m really bad about posting updates from the road but will try putting a pic on Facebook every day or two.     See ya soon!

Now where did I put all this stuff....?


Fall Ride

We went for a nice ride today to get a picture for a scavenger hunt from the CC&D forum which ended up taking us into new territory that I didn’t know existed.  The fall colors of all the cotton woods and aspens were spectacular, quite a surprise.  The colors visible from Santa Fe up on the ski hill had already faded, they usually peak the week of Columbus day and we’d had an early snow which knocked all the leaves off.

We went from Glorieta to Pecos along the old Route 66 winding through the amazing colors and from there we came to a crossroads where I had no idea where we were or where any of the roads went.  We decided to head north and see where the road took us where we found a cool monastery and down a dirt road a lake surrounded by orange and yellow.

There were fishermen everywhere!  All along the road cars were parked on the shoulders and any little pullout and down in the river were fly fishers in waders and even more along the shore.   This guy had one nice catch and 4 smaller ones, he said someone had pulled a big one out just a week earlier.  Further up the road from the monastery lake was a fish hatchery, I bet they keep the waters around here very well stocked.


We saw several tiny tiny towns and some cool old buildings along the way.

Be sure to fill up ahead of time, highway 63 dead ends up the mountain and you have to back track to get down.  This old Conoco pump looks like its been dry a very long time.

Up at the very top was Jack’s Creek Campground.   Very cool!  Can’t believe I had no idea any of this was back here, this would make a good place to go camping close by.

Eventually we made our way to Las Vegas where we met up with my former boss and got some of his home grown squash!   Pretty awesome day for a ride.

San Antonio

Went through Goliad on the way back again and now we’re back in San Antonio!

Time for some killer food and entertainment down at the River Walk!

Trip is almost over so we might as well splurge with the money we have left and go all out on some fancy dining overlooking the water to watch the boats and listen to the live bands playing on stage down below.

Yum!  This chicken pasta was so filling I could hardly eat it all.  Absolutely delicious and big portions to boot.   It always annoyed me at other fine dining establishments that the more money you paid typically the less food you got and were still hungry afterwards, not so in Texas!

We noticed that there was a new Pirates of the Caribbean playing at the IMAX theatre in the Riverwalk Center.  IMAXs rule!  I’ve never actually seen a regular movie in one. There’s only one in New Mexico as part of a museum and they only play educational films on that and the next closest one is in Denver, not exactly optimal for a nice Sunday night dinner and movie.      Watching a regular movie in one was a new experience, I’ve never been to a movie theatre with assigned seating before, nice not having to fight for a seat.

With an hour and half to kill till the next movie started we had some time to kill.  Nothing like goofing off and making a fool of yourself to pass the time.   I wish I’d had another camera to take a picture of Cece and 5 other girls who were laughing their heads off while I had my picture taken with Kim.

Hey! I should buy this hat and wear it into the movie theatre!  What do you think?

Movie was good, we had another awesome night in San Antonio.


OFF Clip-On

Trying to look nice for going down to the River Walk again now that we are back in San Antonio.   We had to find a new use for Cece’s riding scarf that she uses to keep her neck from being rubbed raw by the collar of her motorcycle jacket in the wind.  Looks pretty good!

Here’s Why:

These are mosquito bites through Cece’s tshirt!  They seemed to be concentrated on her back.  When we went hiking through the woods at Goose Island St Park I was in front with the clip on and was still getting bothered by the swarms of skeeters but not getting bit.  Cece behind me had no bites anywhere but on her back where they were munching on her through her shirt.  I think the protective range of the clip on did not extend past the second person while we were moving and they really chowed down on her.

Remember at the beginning they did not touch her at all and were going after me like crazy.  We had tried every kind of repellent we could find and nothing really kept them off of me.  I’ve always been skeptical of the Off Clip-on’s claims on tv but decided, Well at this point we have nothing to loose and got one the next time in town. Cece did not want one because they were not bothering her much (yet).    Once I turned on the clip on they stopped biting me except around my ankles, maybe it doesn’t reach that far, and instead went for her.

I’m convinced they work now!  Seeing is believing.    Poor Cece!!

The Off Clip-on also worked great clipped inside the top of our tent to keep the pesky things out while going in and out and on the table while we were eating. I don’t know what chemical is in these things but after this it seems to be pretty potent stuff, maybe I wouldn’t use it around food again if just contact with the wrapper can kill large bugs like that.


Unintended Consequences – Mantid Casualty

Whoops!  Our bad!

Back at the camp site I was trying to get pictures of this cool preying mantis that was hanging around on our table when it fell off on the ground.   Cece tried scooping him up with the trash refill packet left from our OFF battery powered fan mosquito repellent thing.

She plops it back on the table and it starts flailing around and ran off the table a few more times till the poor guy just fell over and croaked.   Wow what the heck happened? Then I saw she was using the OFF refill rapper and thought wow that’s some strong stuff!

Cece felt bad,  I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to hurt it!

So if anyone thinks those fan powered mosquito repellents don’t work, just walking on the outside of one of the wrappers the refills come in was enough to kill this not small mantis.   Sorry little guy..