Tag: moment

In search of a St. Martin Miracle

It started out a bit gray, choppy and dreary…. It ended with Caribbean water, good times and a beautiful island sunset. So, it appears we gave away the ending. Read on, though, for more details and photos of a must do adventure with Billy Bones Boat Charters.

A little back story – When we booked our charter we were offered a couple of days to choose from, each with its own weather forecast. Unfortunately we could not book on the same day which is the day that offered the best chance of calm waters and warm sun; so we booked for 2 days out. This day was scheduled to be a bit windier but didn’t necessarily forecast rain. Since we’re giving you this back story, I’m sure you can jump to the logical conclusion…it was raining, and it rained hard!

Our windshield on the morning we drove to Billy Bones Charters

We considered canceling entirely as we still had to drive half way around the island and weren’t guaranteed good weather once we arrived.  Since life is now; we were only visiting for a week, and we had other plans; we mounted up and made our way to the other side of the island in search of a St Martin Miracle.

The trip was on!  There was no going back.  The weather wasn’t bad enough to cancel and they too, were hoping for a St. Martin Miracle. 

We were introduced to the dynamic duo of Al & AJ appropriately called the “A-team”.

The “A-Team” – Al & AJ – All smiles!

The A-team, despite the overcast and rainy skies, were upbeat and engaging as we wound our way from the harbor in Simpson Bay on our way to Creole Rock for some snorkeling.  We slithered around untouched, half-sunken boat wrecks (from the hurricanes) while the sun would peak through every now and again.

Crushed “Dreams”

Then the rain reared its head one more time and the wind kicked up as we made our way out of the harbor into open ocean on the west side of the island.

in the harbor

The seas were running high and choppy but Al was skillful while behind the wheel and took the waves with experience making the ride as pleasant as possible.  Despite Al’s skillful driving a member of the LiFE is NOW…team provided the boat with ongoing entertainment while holding on for dear life for fear of bouncing out of the boat.  When not holding on, we were able to take in the beautiful coastal scenery.

We arrived at Creole Rock and the air and water were surprisingly warm even with the overcast skies and rain.  The snorkeling was uneventful partially due to the choppy water and overcast skies but still plenty enjoyable.  We packed up and headed further around the west coast to Tintamarre.

We turned the corner.  We say this because we both literally and figuratively turned the corner.  Things changed!  Swells were bigger and we were heading directly into the teeth of the wind (no photos here folks). We had a decision to make.  Head to Tintamarre or forego this stop and head directly for Pinel Island.  All heads turned to our team member holding on to the bimini framing!  Do we head for Tintamarre or change course and visit Pinel?  Life is now, right?  We weren’t going to be the anchor on this boat.  It was off to Tintamarre (for hopefully some sea turtle sightings).  As we made our way to anchor along the beach, it happened!  The St. Martin Miracle.  The winds died, the sea calmed, skies cleared and sun came out; brutally hot and awesome!  We relaxed while walking and exploring the beach and catching gorgeous views of St. Martin from afar.  The rum punch was flowing and certainly helped in creating a relaxing Caribbean atmosphere.  From here it was short, straight shot to Pinel Island for some swimming, conversing and shopping.  Again, gorgeous beach, crystal clear water and views of Orient Beach in the distant. Both, definitely a not-miss.

View from Pinel Island to Orient Bay

Now that the sun was shining, the seas calming, our next stop was
back the same way we came but now down wind, and of course…more rum punch. It was Grand Case for lunch at the Rainbow Cafe on the beach. The photo merely scratches the surface as to what it felt and looked like being there. Grand Case is a definite stop on your itinerary! Food, drink, atmosphere and gorgeous sunsets.

Rainbow Cafe, Grand Case, Saint Martin
Sunset, Grand Case, Saint Martin

With calm seas, lunch in the books (o.k. a bit more rum punch) it was time to make our way home. But before that we made a couple of stops to enjoy the weather, take a swim and get a sea going version of the Maho Beach experience. First stop, though, was Mullet Bay for some swimming and snorkeling. Absolutely stunning beach! Al & AJ informed us we might get lucky and catch a plane landing at the airport. For those of you unfamiliar with the Maho Beach experience, go on the web and search videos. Simply amazing. We were lucky enough to be able to experience this on both land (at Sunset Beach SXM) and sea. Al positioned the boat right in the path of the plane as we watched the aircraft make its way to the airport. Pretty Cool.

Maho Beach Experience from the water
Maho Beach Experience from land

We then had to drop off some cruise ship friends and made our way into Philipsburg harbor. We can say it is beautiful from the beach but absolutely breathtaking from water!! It was then back to Simpson Bay and home to Orient Beach with a St. Martin Miracle under our belt and beautiful sunset views all the way.

Philipsburg Harbor, Sint Maarten

Inside Tip: when you arrive for your Billy Bones charter, go grab a coffee and french bread for the ride at La Sucriere. You’ll make someone happy.

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College Graduate Fishes Her Way Across the USA in a Kayak

James of Travels with James (IG & FB) and YakFish TV

So, where do we start?  Should we start from the beginning, with our complete surprise and disbelief?  Or, maybe we should start NOW where it has traveled from those rocky beginnings.  The fact is it doesn’t matter where we start; the story remains the same and trust us, the story is fantastic.  A true american dream; self and world exploration, mixed with emotions of terror, excitement and passion.  You couldn’t write a better story.

The photo seen here is taken from Instagram Travels with James; be sure to visit her where she logs her thoughts and photos from her travels throughout the United States.  From there you can link to her other social media accounts.  Or you can click on the links here on our site.  

Let’s get to it!  We’re sure you’re anxious to hear how it all began, where it’s going and how this photo came about. 

Summer 2018 – James is working as a 1st Mate for her dad on a fishing charter boat called the Columbia out of Rock Harbor in Orleans, MA.  She has been doing this for the past several summers.  Working inside, 9-5, behind a computer and tied to a phone just didn’t cut it for James (sound familiar?)  She loved the sun, sea and open sky.  Over the course of the past summers she met many different people and made some connections.  This summer was different.  This summer she met someone that would change her life forever.  It would also have a small impact on ours as well.  You see, James is our daughter (one of us is the step-dad).  So this post is based on our pride in James and our amazement of the lifestyle she chose and how it aligns directly with LiFE is NOW.

Early one morning, during the summer of 2018, James was called to mate on a charter trip; she was not scheduled for that day and wouldn’t be paid. Reluctantly, she arrives for the early morning trip (see how it all began in Striped Bass Fishing off Cape Cod video).  It would turn out that the individual chartering the boat was Robert Field of Field Trips of Yakfish TV fame on YouTube. It also turns out he was in need of some assistance as up until then he was a one man show; fishing and filming, narrating, editing and maintaining all of Field Trips social presence while at the same time negotiating with vendor partners.  It was time for some well deserved help.  Cue the First Mate. 

James recently graduated college with a double major in Journalism and Spanish; she has spent the last 4 years honing her skills in filming, photography and editing; in addition to maintaining her own social presence with her blog Travels with James.  Her writing, from a very early age, has always captivated us and the content and delivery is well beyond her years.  Did we forget to mention her other experiences of mating on a charter boat and knowledge she’s gained in the fishing industry? 

James has always had the travel bug, in fact during college she visited Chile, Italy and Domincan Republic/Haiti.  So as the conversations between Robert and Jamie continued a picture began to paint itself.  Robert knew he had the perfect solution? He offered James a trial position to join him and travel the country fishing from a kayak, filming and editing. 

The offer was something out of a storybook; how could she pass it up? When we were told about the position, we too, were excited!  She would be working, traveling and out of the house.  Sounds great, right?  Well, there was one small caveat that eventually crept in to the conversation as we discussed the amazing possibilities the offer presented.  You see, as the premise of Field Trips is to travel the planet, meeting people, and fishing the local waters from a kayak, she would be required to travel (and live) in a trailer with a 30 something man! (cue the brakes). 

Field Trips transportation and living quarters

Time now for real conversation; and this took place in the form of meeting several times with Rob, checking into his social footprint and speaking with many references.  Rob appeared professional and motivated, which was a check in the plus column.  The references sang his praises citing professionalism, videography, creativity and an incredible work ethic. More checks in the plus column.  Long story short, after much ado, we were all on board with the proposal and James joined the team at Field Trips.  The photo above is both from James’ Instagram account as well as a video episode on YouTube.

Currently she is traveling the country with Field Trips and enjoying every moment.  Take a look at her blog to get the behind the scenes takes and insights into living on the road pursuing your dreams.  

From the start, James had a passion for her crafts and was determined to have a career doing what she loved.  We are proud of her accomplishments and wish her only future happiness as she moves through life. 

LiFE is NOW…Fish on

 

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Ironically…LiFE got in the way

Esther Island Nantucket

We’ve preached to live every moment to the fullest.  Some people will take that to mean you must travel the world; see unique and isolated places, take selfies and post your travels on every possible social media outlet; and try to generate as much social media envy as possible.  But…. what if you do not have the financial means or the vacation time to accomplish this? What if you have family responsibilities?  What if, ironically, LiFE gets in the way?

We’d say your firmly entrenched with the majority of the world population.  Not all of us can drop it all (work, family, friends…not to mention money) and disappear for months at a time.  So, for those of us who have full time jobs, kids in college, kids at home, and a lack of untethered financial freedom, here are 5 simple ways you can live in the moment, enjoy the day and maybe take your mind on the trip you can’t afford. 

  1. Enjoy your morning coffee.   Sure, the morning coffee is something most of us crave and it definitely gets you moving with its caffeinated jolt.  It might even get you moving toward your bucket list, family or financial goals.  But, sometimes this jumpstart leapfrogs us right over all the moments that make up an unforgettable morning with family and friends.  Definitely, keep looking forward to that morning jolt but during the process take time to listen to the coffee maker; smell the aroma in the air.  Take your cup of joe and watch the sun rise, feel the warmth of the rising sun on your face. Pause; enjoy the moments…then, go out and take on the world. 
  2. Turn on some music.  Don’t listen to the words; and simply rock on.  Or, listen to the words and let them take you on a journey Listen to the music
  3. Walk through a city and get lost.  Boston’s North EndVenice, Italy
  4. Activate your sense of smell.  Find your favorite bakery or coffee shop and stand outside and simply smell.  The intoxicating aromas will take you away. Perhaps to a Parisian cafe you once visited. If only for a moment.  Travel tip:  If you ever find yourself on Nantucket there is a place we like to call the best spot on the island.  No, its not a beach, restaurant or shop. It’s a small 1 foot x 1 foot section of a sidewalk located at 12 Broad Street set just below an exhaust fan vent outside of The Juice Bar.  When The Juice Bar is open during season and you are lucky enough to be able to pause under the vent fan; there is an unbelievable aroma that we can only say will make you smile.  Bad moods melt away.  
  5. Take a walk on a beach  and feel the sand in your toes, leave a message in the sand and feel the salt spray on your skin. There’s something healing about being near the ocean. Don’t take it from us; try it yourself. Bring a friend.  We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful location that comes alive in the spring, fall and summer months.  Families flock for the beaches during the summer.  Here’s a helpful list to some of the most recommended beaches.

An incredibly small sample of things to do when LiFE gets in the way.  But, enough to understand there’s really no need to travel the world to feel connected and validated.  The simple pleasures of daily living are enough if we pay attention to them. 

How do you stay in the moment when LiFE gets in the way? 

 

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