Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Coast Guard and fishing the Gulfstream...

Key West

An interesting thing happened when I was working on a Sportfishing charter boat in the Florida Keys a few years back. We were fishing east of Summerland Key and were about 10 miles offshore when we saw a Coast Guard helicopter fly over and headed East. After a short period we saw a Coast Guard cutter headed out from the direction of Key West Coast Guard station and running hard.

A short time later Captain Jim Sharpe of the charter boat SeaBoots,, that I worked on received a radio communication from a private boat who we knew fished regularly in the area. This private boat advised us that he had become entangled in a Large crab trap buoy line and was unable to get free. The cable had become entangled around a propeller and was in effect anchoring the boat in about 2,000 feet of water. The problem was with the gulf stream moving along at 4 to 4-½ knotts this was pulling the boat down and almost sinking. Upon arrival of the Coast Guard cutter several people were removed from the private boat thus leaving the captain and mate on the small boat…

It is common for fishing boats to run offshore to known crab pot locations for there are usually 3 to 4 large buoys tied together to the trap line to mark its position and used in retrieving the large crab pot. This pot is about the size of the ones you see on the Discovery Channel special about commercial crab fishing in the Northeast. They are rather large, heavy, and about 2,000 feet down and left for 5 to 7 days to catch crab. The buoys of these traps on the surface tends to attract many fish and fishing boats like to troll baits near these buoys.

This private boat unfortunately got too close to the trap line and got entangled. In the photo it looks as if the private boat is backing up but is actually being pulled down by the current which is running left to right in these photos.

The Coast Guard inflatable hard bottom boat was to small to help with towing the private boat against the current and the Cutter was way to big. The SeaBoots boat that I was on tied off to the front of the private boat and pulled it’s bow around and into the current. This allowed tension to be taken off the trap line and the private boat being cut free…

Monday, February 13, 2006

"By the Numbers"...

By the numbers

I remember seeing this back after the first Presidential election when George W. Bush was elected, by the people, over then Vice-President Al Gore. I believe this was done again for the Bush \ Kerry 2004 election and I will see if I can find the data to post it…

The data gives a whole new meaning to the Red \ Blue County map above…

Election data per candidate:

  • Population of counties won:
    Gore: 127 million
    Bush: 143 million

  • Sq. miles of land won:
    Gore: 580,000
    Bush: 2,427,000

  • States won:
    Gore: 19
    Bush: 29

  • Murder rate per 100,000 residents:
    Gore: 13.2
    Bush: 2.1

Professor Joseph Olson of Hamlin University School of Law, St. Paul Minnesota.

“In aggregate, the map of the territory Bush won was (mostly) the land owned by
the tax-paying citizens of this great country. Gore’s territory encompassed
those citizens living in government owned tenements and living off government

"The Full Quote"...

The rest of the quote
by Rhonda Winfield
February 6, 2006

This is in response to a column that ran in your Feb. 3 edition written by Hunter Mabry of Waynesboro.

I was quoted in Mr. Mabry's article but, unfortunately, only partially so.

I am the mother of Lancer Cpl. Jason C. Redifer, of Stuarts Draft, who was killed by an IED explosion just south of Baghdad on Jan. 31, 2005. Jason was a nineteen-year-old Marine who was proudly and bravely serving in the "triangle of death" to insure that all Americans will continue to be blessed with the many freedoms we so easily take for granted.

It is just one such freedom that Mr. Mabry exercises while failing to understand just how that freedom is sustained.

I attended the Jan. 16 town hall meeting that Mr. Mabry wrote of, and I addressed those in attendance. While I did remark that no one wants their sons and daughters dying in combat, that was only the beginning of the statement.

Mr. Mabry , speaking on behalf of the Augusta Coalition for Peace and Justice, has apparently decided that he speaks for me and that the Coalition represents the thoughts and feelings of my family.

Mr. Mabry, my son would be shattered to think that you and your group have used his death to attempt to further a cause that doesn't even understand the ideals for which he gave his life.
I have stood by and witnessed your anti-war displays that include photographs of my son. I agree that facts and statistics are exactly that and we all will certainly have our own opinions with regard to them. However, your group takes advantage of those facts by insinuating through the photographs you display that you represent these felled service men and women. You try to give the impression that you speak on behalf of their now silent voices.

Mr. Mabry, you do NOT speak for my family and certainly not for my son.

Jason, at only 19 years of age, knew what a precious gift our liberty is and valued it enough to lay his young life down for it. He volunteered for his duty knowing that there is always a human cost of war. He was also wise enough to understand that there would be a far greater human cost to avoiding this war.

Let me remind you that innocent Americans were attacked on American soil. Citizens, whose only crimes were going about their daily lives, were murdered that September morning and the evil forces that orchestrated and supported those horrific events, as well as the others that yet await us, could not be allowed to prevail. Jason believed that these terrorists must be engaged on their soil before we would all be forced to defend ourselves on our own.

While I defend a democratic process that allows our citizens to freely speak their minds and openly question our leaders when we are concerned with their representation of us, as well as to hold those same individuals accountable for the decisions they make on our behalf, I would ask that everyone please remember who ultimately pays for those luxuries for us.

Yes, no one wants American lives lost for any reason and we all want our troops home. The fact is, our service men and women have a job to complete to continue the liberties and ideals that this country was founded on and that we exercise daily. "No one wants their sons or daughters dying over there."

So, while we may not agree on many issues, I ask that we all pray for their mission to end as quickly as possible. I believe that we should all pray for their accelerated advance to victory, NOT their rapid withdraw to defeat.

Make no mistake, Mr. Mabry, just because you see yourself as "anti-war," that does not place me as "pro-war" by default. I am not pro-war. I am Pro-America.

Might I suggest you try it?

America is the land of the free because of the brave and freedom isn't free. Let THAT be the rest of the quote.

Rhonda Winfield is a Stuarts Draft resident