fishing

Ono Island

For spring break this year, we went to Ono Island with 5 of our neighbors.  Ono Island is a 5.5-mile long barrier island in southern Alabama, at the mouth of Perdido Bay on the northern Gulf of Mexico. It is bordered by Bayou St. John to the north and Old River to the south.  It’s a stunning place, away from the craziness of most spring break destinations, and perfect for family and fishing.

Since we wanted all of the families to stay together, we decided to rent a pretty big house in the middle of the island.  Here’s a picture of it from Old River.

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Here’s a picture looking back from the porch.

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It was perfect for our large crew–5 families, 10 adults, and 16 kids.  There were a ton of cools things about the place, but in particular I liked the private beach and boat pier (because we brought our Rangers).  Brady has a Ranger 2250 SS and I have Ranger Reata 1850.  The way the place was setup was awesome too.  Basically, a lot of the guys would get up and go fishing at 6:00 or 6:30 until 9:00 or 10:00 and come back to this! (Yep, that’s Erin all the way to the right and she is obviously pregnant and due the first week in May)

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Here’s a picture of the boats, beach area, and the kids playing in the sand.  If you look closely, you can see Brady in the background cast net fishing for bait.

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Here’s a picture of Law and me motoring up to the pier after dropping in.

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Right around the pier there was a ton of small sea life–crabs, minnows, etc…  The kids had a great time with their little cast nets and dippers catching these little critters and making little aquariums in their buckets.  Some of them would have done this all day long every day.  This is a picture of Casey and Reese exploring the shore area around the house.

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We also saw a bunch of dolphins right off the beach area patrolling for lunch.

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Here’s a picture of Law and Carrie watching the kids jump off the end of the pier.  Pretty far drop for these brave little souls.

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Here’s a picture of Caleb showing some panache.

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Here’s another picture of most of the kiddies goofing off…

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Here is Reese, Natalie, Hadley, and Casey sharing some time away from all of the boys.

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The fishing was awesome.  We caught enough Sheephead to feed 26 people for dinner–very difficult to clean, but worth it for the tastiness.  Other days we caught about 10 sharks up to 4 ft, a bunch of Mangrove Snapper (very small), and Vermillion Snapper (also very small).  With tons of watering holes and eateries right along the bay and interconnected through the various waterways, I suggest renting or taking a boat if you ever choose to come here.  It’s much more accessible and fun that way.

Anyway, it was an awesome trip with friends and family–we will definitely do it again!

Categories: Boating, Camping, Family, fishing, Hiking, Vacations | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Saying nice things to people

So I usually blog about kids, family, camping, hiking, and boating.  As you may have noticed, sometimes the posts are several weeks apart (or even longer).  It’s because my work requires me to travel quite a bit.  It’s nice to know that the time I’ve invested away from my family has made an impact upon other folks.  And, it’s even nicer when they take the time to tell you about it…

These are some of the notes I received yesterday from folks that I work with because I have decided to take on a position with a hot new technology business.

1) “Hi Marc,

I just heard the news. First let me say, congratulations! on your new opportunity. I am really happy for you.

Selfishly and for HireRight’s sake I am very sad to see you leave. For me, you have been the face of HireRight and you have set the tone for the entire organization for years. Personally, you have treated me so well over the years, that I often had to pinch myself to believe that landed in such a great place. It is a certainty that HireRight would not be where it is today, if it wasn’t for your leadership. You are definitely the man to take your new company to the next level.

Thanks for your commitment to excellence and truly being the best sales leader that I have ever been associated with. I have learned much from you.

Best of Luck, XXXX”

2) “Marc, oh my goodness where do I begin……

I am so, so very happy for you that you are able to move on and advance your career for yourself and your family.  That is really great!   I guess I never thought you would leave and it made me feel good to have you as our leader in Sales.

You have taught us all so much in our short time together and I could never thank you enough.  I still think back to the first time we met when we went on that call to Blue Cross of MN….IN THE WINTER!!! WOW!!   And I got to see the expert (you) in action.  It was a career defining moment for me and I’ll never forget it.  You continue to WOW me all the time in your demeanor and your true professionalism.  Thanks for being that role model for me.

My heart is heavy as I think about HireRight without you…but it is so full of happiness for you and your family and your new adventures.

Please stay in touch.  I will miss you greatly.

Love ya, XXX ”

3) “Marc,

I wanted to let you know that it has been a privilege getting to know you over the past 2 years.  You are the heart and soul of this sales organization.  I know this must have been a tough decision.  I hope all goes as planned and that you are very blessed.  You are a wonderful person and such an amazing leader.  This is going to sound odd since you are younger than me, but you have always reminded me so much of my father.  That is a HUGE compliment to you!  He was my hero!

Many blessings and the best of luck to you!  XXX”

4) “Dear Marc,

I was very surprised to receive a phone call from XXX late last night with the news about your departure.   You will certainly be missed and I have learned quite a bit from you over the short time we have worked together.   You are truly a unique person with talents that most of us wish we had!  I have no doubt that you will be successful in all of your endeavors through life.  I hope that I can reach out to you in the future if I am ever in need of “work” advice or your expertise.  I really do wish you much success!

Best of Luck, XXX”

So in addition to trying to raise our kids with a love of the great outdoors, Erin and I are trying to teach them to be genuinely good, honest, hard-working people.

Categories: Camping, Family, fishing, Hiking, leadership, saying nice things | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Crystal Cove State Park – Corona Del Mar, CA

Feeling a bit nostalgic today, I thought I would share a little about Crystal Cove State Park in Corona Del Mar, CA.  We lived in CDM a couple of years ago before work took us to Nashville.  Crystal Cove is approximately 3.2 miles of beach and 2400 acres of undeveloped beach scrub right on the Pacific ocean between CDM and Laguna Beach.  The waters just offshore are designated as an underwater park and  it has towering kelp beds.  These beds break off from time to time and create kelp patties that float towards Catalina depending upon the wind and tides.  The fishing off of these patties is crazy good.

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One of the cool things about fishing in this area is that you never know what you’re going to catch.  We’ve had many 8-9 specie days.  Our buddy David Foster caught a Moray Eel above.

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The tidal pools in the park are also super cool at low tide.  Erin, the kids, and I used to spend hours exploring the small worlds of the tidal pools.  Matthew is is running down the beach towards 3rd break above.

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I snapped this picture of a bird down there one time, but I have no idea what it is.  I just thought it would make an okay picture.

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This is Erin and Meredith checking out a sandcastle.  Mer Mer absolutely loves the beach and had we lived there longer I am sure she would have developed a great love of surfing–we’ll have to get back to that at some point.

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My mom and Casey are sharing a moment on the bluff above the park above.

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Matthew and Casey are playing on the sandstone cliffs at China Cove.

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We had a pretty good view looking north a couple of blocks from our house.  This is Newport Harbor at sunset.

Categories: Camping, Family, fishing, Hiking, nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fearless

This girl is fearless.  She is kind.  She is smart. She is STRONG. She is my daughter Casey, and she is 8.

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She knows how to play in puddles (evidence above).  She knows how to ice fish, rock climb, set up our tent, camp, hike, regular fish, snow ski, and now water ski (see below).

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She is part of our family with this guy–who is also a stud.  He too knows how to fish, hike, camp, and I have personally seen him hike 1500 vertical feet over 9 miles (there and back) when he was 5 (he is now 7) in the high sierra.  He too is learning to fish and is becoming a good man.  He is an athlete.

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And, finally, my little nugget Meredith who is as carefree as they come.  She is truly a breath of fresh air, a free spirit, and she gets a little tired keeping up with her brother and sister.  She is 4.

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This is our family and we have another one on the way (just found out that he’s a boy)

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We’re trying to raise our kids with exposure to the great outdoors and want to use this as a forum to keep ’em interested.

Categories: Equipment, Family, fishing, Hiking, nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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