The Nautical Blog

Ladies – Let’s Go Fishing

I’m not one to go out of the way to go fishing however, every gal/lady should learn what it’s all about.  Biggest reason is guys LOVE fishing.  Second reason is men complain we, gals, don’t like it.  Third and most important reason – women get jealous if their man goes fishing and other women are on the boat paying attention to their man.  Work around?  Take a class with/through Ladies Let’s Go Fishing (LLGF)!  It’s the best of both worlds.  Most classes are ladies only; except one or two male instructors.  There’s no yelling and no name calling.  No one tells you you’re stupid.  There is no stupid question.  Just ask my friend Rebecca who took this class with me.

Captain George Mittler taught us about bait and trolling speeds. He commented that you want the bait to be constantly swimming with a natural presentation. Trolling speed is important when it comes to sea weather conditions.  On a flat day you’ll troll about eight knots to keep that bait swimming or just skimming along on the surface. In a 2 – 3 foot sea you’ll possibly drop down to six knots.  If you go any faster than that your bait is going to be flying.  If it’s 4 – 6 foot seas, you’re going to be low and may be going only 3-4 knots.   With that, Rebecca asked if that live bait is dead. Everybody erupted into laughter and she not only made our day but she helped soften the learning.

The week before class begins, Betty Baum (owner of LLGF) sends you a wealth of information for review. This includes: agenda, fishing terminology, knots, information regarding the Friday Party Master Chef Potluck Appetizer Contest, directions for the event and recommended lodging, silent auction, optional fishing for Sunday, and cancellation policy. Basically everything you’ll need to know before class starts.

TheLLGF2015_7117 event kicLLGF2015_7113ked off on Thursday night with an appetizer contest and silent auction.  Appetizers included: mini meatza pies, mock oyster dip, chicken, salsas, stuffed cucumber, and a watermelon boat with little gummy fishes; at the Stuart FL event. Buckets filled with fishing gear, fishing trips, clothing, rods, and jewelry were just a few items in the silent auction.  It’s a great way to network with classmates.

Friday morning at 8:00am class begins with an introduction to fishing. Captain George clariLLGF2015_7127fies a fishing pole is really called a fishing rod.  Companies make fishing lures for fisherman.  If they catch fish with them, that’s a bonus.  The best place to buy your rod and bait is from a local tackle store.  You get knowledge of what’s biting and the right type of bait to use. A great way to learn what works best with fish for bait is to open the guts of fish you catch and look into their stomach.  For example, if you see squid or shrimp, then you know they’re going deep at night. Cobia loves crab and shrimp.

“You have to learn what to fish with as well as the how-to,” says Jodi Girourd. “There’s three different kinds of reels: bait caster, conventional and spinner.  The waters are tantamount to the way you catch a fish because you need to know the waters and how to read them.”

A bait caster reel is a conventional type of reel for casting lures or bait in both salt and fresh water.  On the conventional reel, the biggest mistake we make is to tighten the drag.  To control the drag on a conventional reel use your thumb.  For a spinner, use your hand.  For example, if the fish wants to take off, release your thumb off the conventional reel or your hand off the bale on the spinner.  According to Captain Melinda Buckley, the moment you drop your tip you’re dropping the tension on the line. That’s why you lose fish. Without tension the hook keeps rocking in the fish’s mouth and falls out. So keep your tip up and wind down.

ALLGF2015_7158LLGF2015_7154LLGF2015_7153dditionally you’ll learn how to: back up a trailer, gaff, and fish in-shore, conserve habitation, and de-hook fish. Plus, how-to put a line on a reel, put the reel on your rod, and how-to dress for fishing success.

On day two, you get to take what you learned and use your new skills on a boat.  So if you’re still undecided if this class is right for you, Jodie would tell you to start small at the beginning and give it a chance. One bite at a time. LLGF takes the stress out offishing and puts the fun back into it. Plus, the girls are supportive of each other. They’re all trying to do the same thing.

At the Stuart class, everyone who went out on the party boat all caught a fish. They caught red snapper, king fish, mutton snappers and Toro (orange) snappers.  Here’s what some of the ladies had to say.  “Don’t get a bird’s nest,” says Denise. “All these years I’ve been fishing I thought you didn’t want the fish to see the hook so I’d been covering it over all these years. This trip I didn’t cover it and caught two snappers.”  Dorothy learned how to throw a net, catch bait and met a lot of nice people. Gail said she loved the casting of the nets and fly fishing skills she learned in the class. Mary commented that though LLGF didn’t catch the kingfish or 18lb mutton snapper, everybody in the ladies group on the party boat did catch a fish.  They used the top dorsal fin of a humbled 8 – 9 ft. squid sliced real thin and cut into strips as bait that was a new experience. Then they used the grunts they caught as live bait and started to really catch fish.  All in all, everyone had a blast.

LLGF2015_7321  LLGF2015_7190  LLGF2015_7385  LLGF2015_7374  LLGF2015_7383  LLGF2015_7382  LLGF2015_7358  LLGF2015_7197

Suddenly in Command: Man Overboard

This article was published in Fall 2015 Nor’Easter for TONE (Tartan Owners Northeast). Inc.

for previous articles go here:


by Robin G. Coles

Let me first start out by thanking everyone for taking my survey.  The results were overwhelming.  So much so that I feel I need to do more research to accommodate you.  Therefore, this article is about Man Overboard (MOB). I’ll end the series by taking you home with your engines running.

With that said, MOB is a situation where someone has fallen overboard (off the boat) and now needs help getting back onto the boat. First thing someone needs to immediately yell “Man Overboard”.  If there is someone else on the boat besides you have them locate the person who fell over and keep pointing at him/her until rescued. Also throw a flotation device to the person to help them either grab it or as a second marker.  Also if there is a MOB button on your GPS push that and if your radio has DSC hit that one.

Next, there’s two schools of thought as to whether you should do a rescue under sail or power.  The only concern with being under power is getting to close.  The propeller could do some serious damage if it comes in contact with the MOB.  The lines could also wrap around the propeller.

If strictly under sail the best approach for someone with less sailing skills is to immediately tack the bow of the boat through the wind.  Don’t touch the sails; you don’t want too much speed causing you to pass the MOB.

Check the boat for life sling, MOB buttons on GPS, red DSC on radio, and square flotation device.  Whether you have a life sling on your boat or not, it’s a good idea to take a workshop and learn/practice how to use it.  As for MOB drills, if you plan on sailing often go out and practice MOB drills with a flotation device in the water.  Then practice some type of rescue, under sail and with the engine on.

In either case, using the engine – take the engine out of gear as you approach the MOB then shut it off during the actual recovery.  This helps reduce fumes, noise and allows people to concentrate on the rescue.

A fairly new maneuver is to put the boat onto a deep beam reach (approximately 110 degrees off bow) immediately after the accident.  Sail a few boat lengths downwind and to one side.  This turns the boat around and helps you approach the MOB with better maneuverability.

Robin is a published author, passionate marine enthusiast and sailor who has interviewed countless industry experts as well as visited, interviewed personnel at, written about, and photographed hundreds of marine ports in the US and abroad. Robin also works with businesses to help them tell their stories. Articles, customer success stories, and videos are just a few ways she helps her clients. Her current projects include videos about Boat Safety. If you’d like to get involved in these, contact Robin at robin @

Seafarers and The International Seafarer Center (ISC), GA

Did you know the ocean and sea covers 7/10 of the earth’s surface?  Post World War II immense changes took place in the way businesses shipped products; not to mention the design and construction of ships. Passenger ships fell and bulk carriers rose. This was due partly because of the Suez Canal closing in 1956. Ships now go around Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.

Bulk carriers were purposely designed for rapid unloading and loading of their specific cargo; ore, grain, cars, etc. Another type of “bulk” carrier is the container ship. These ships use metal containers to pack the cargo to load and unload at dockside.  Usually, the metal containers are the same size. This helps transporting cargo from shifting in bad storms and heavy weather.   This method helped decrease the possibility of ships sinking at sea; which was a known problem.

War experience in landing tanks also paid off; especially landing on enemy coasts. They used a new method called roll-on, roll-off ferries (RORO).  Prior to using RORO method, cranes lifted off cars at the docks with a 4-point chain bridle. Then they lowered the cars into the holding section of the ferry.  The first RORO ferries drove cars onboard via a ramp then through the stern doors.

Did you also know without the use of ships our standards of living would be radically different?   Read the rest of this entry »

Boating and Cancer

I recently ran across an article titled:

Hope Remains Afloat through Dragon Boating where Janice McAuley talks about what it’s like to lose a year of her life due to cancer.  After finishing her treatment she had to find a way to transition back to life. But life post-cancer isn’t what it used to be, so many [people] turn to boating.

This was true in my case as well. There’s something about the whole experience of being on a boat that is calming. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the ocean or a lake. For me, the pace of sailing was the answer. A far cry from the hectic life I led before cancer. For Janice, it’s dragon boating.

To read more about Janice’s story click here:

If you know any organizations that offer boating days/specials for cancer patients let us know.

Suddenly in Commmand: First Aid

This article was published in Spring 2015 Nor’Easter for TONE (Tartan Owners Northeast). Inc.

for previous article go here:

Suddenly in Command: First Aid

by Robin G. Coles

In my last article I mentioned Luke had a heart attack. Dani got stuck at the helm; “Suddenly in
Command”. Fortunately for her, Luke was able to give her directions while he was lying down in the
cockpit. But, what if some other medical emergency happened?

Emergencies come in different shapes and sizes. Some are man-made. Others are acts of nature. If
they happen at sea, they will need quick action taken. In addition to getting hit by the boom, falling
overboard, slipping on the deck, and carbon monoxide poisoning can become a major trauma; unless someone on board knows exactly what to do.

Education and planning can help you feel more confident. The best way to get this confidence is to
take the American Red Cross or US Sailing courses; CPR, First Aid and AED (Automated External

Before you leave the dock, here are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for an emergency.

1. Check your VHF Radio to make sure it’s working. It should have a red DSC (Digital Selective
Calling) button on it. And its MMSI number is registered. (Maritime Mobile Service Identity
Number) If not, you can register it here: (United States Power Squadron)

2. Check your first aid kit and make sure you have supplies in it such as: band-aids, ace bandages,
aspirin, hot and cold packs, alcohol, antacids. An up-to-date first aid book also.

3. Have your passengers fill out a form with their medical history on it. This will tell you who their
physicians are. Any medications they’re taking. Types of allergies they have. And who is their
emergency contact. Then take everyone’s forms and put them all together in one spot where everyone
on board can find them. A good place might be the chart table.

You might also ask everyone to enter a name in their cell phone under “ICOE” (in case of emergency).
This will come in handy when you pass this information onto either the USCG or whoever rescues you.

At sea if you encounter a medical emergency you’ll need to: Assess the Scene and Alert others on board.
You’ll also need to quickly check your surroundings to see if you can get back to shore. Complete a
secondary survey for injuries. Ask about symptoms and observe signs for something wrong or out of the
ordinary. As soon as you can, start a log of what happened, symptoms and treatments you provided.
This should go with the person once help arrives.

The Good Samaritan law protects you if you don’t go beyond the scope of your training. To prevent a
lawsuit, make sure you only advise and act upon what you’ve learned. If a person is unconscious and
not breathing, you’ll have to assume permission is implied. Make sure you explain everything you’re
doing each step of the way and ask for confirmation. You’ll also want to state that you’re going to call the next level of care.

About Robin:
Robin is a published author, passionate marine enthusiast and sailor who has interviewed countless
industry experts as well as visited, interviewed personnel at, written about, and photographed
hundreds of marine ports in the US and abroad.

Robin also works with businesses to help them tell their stories. Articles, customer success stories, and
videos are just a few ways she helps her clients. Her current projects include videos about Boat Safety. If you’d like to get involved in these, let Robin know.

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