The Voyager’s Blog

Posted in Dreams, family, life, Love, Personal, Videos

#Vacations | Big Game #Fishing | #BreastCancer Research

There I go. Off living life again and this time, it was a two for one trip. Another Fantastic Voyage in the books!

It’s no secret I love the beach…the ocean…my family…my friends…margaritas and about a billion other things but checking off a bucket list item is always on the table. I don’t necessarily go hunting down bucket list items but when they become available, with the added cherry on top to do it for charity, hell yeah I’m in!

Poor Girls Open

About a year ago, my sister in law, Kim, came to me with an opportunity to take a fishing charter out of Ocean City, MD to fish for big game…like, BIG fish way out in the Atlantic ocean. Every year there is a tournament called The Poor Girls Open that has been going on for 25 years.

From the web site:

The Poor Girls Open is a ladies only billfish release tournament benefiting breast cancer research. There are also added entry levels for tuna and dolphin. This tournament was started by Capt. Steve Harman as a way for local waitresses and bartenders to have an affordable and fun competition while raising money for a very important cause. The tournament continues to grow with over 100 boats entering. Participation is not limited only to anglers as there are silent auctions, 50/50 tickets, T-shirts for sale, and other fun events helping to raise money for breast cancer research. In the past 3 years alone, the Poor Girls Open has raised over $100,000 that was donated to the American Cancer Society.

Unfortunately last year, we had no way to raise enough money to do this (it’s not cheap) and can be upwards of $5,000.00 including entry fees and charter, but we knew in a year, we could definitely figure out a way to get sponsors and raise enough to make it happen.

Thanks to Kim’s cousin Val, we had a boat with a captain, (you have to find your own) enough money and sponsors to enter, a team name and a crew of five hearty women and even had our own T-Shirts made up for our team. We were ready to go!

Then, just last weekend we found out from a reliable source who also happened to work part time as a first mate on a few boats, that our “captain” had bailed on us because we didn’t have enough money to enter every calcutta across the board, giving his boat the chance of winning the tourney, BUT would have ended up costing us an additional $2,350! We’re actual poor girls here dude! WTF?!

The boat charter was $1,800

The entry fee was $550 for 5 anglers

Hotel for the weekend $1200/5

Etc. Etc. Etc. We were grateful just to be able to afford all that so when the news came in that he had dumped us 5 days before the tournament, Val sprang into action and found us a BETTER boat, BIGGER boat, and a better captain and first mate almost overnight. “Everything happens for a reason” isn’t just a cliche.

We ended up pulling enough money together to enter one calcutta and we were just happy to be able to participate.

We arrived Wednesday night August 15, 2018 and registered. Our condo was right on the bay so we had a lovely view.

From there, we took a few pics, had some delicious finger food and then hit the grocery store for some sandwiches and snacks for our trip. Then it was shower and Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. 3:30am wake up call.

Here we are! Bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to take on the high seas! Okay well we’re awake and we have beer for later so…

The Sunset Marina before sunrise. This was at 4:45am.

Those are the lights of Ocean City, MD way off in the distance behind us.

Pre-dawn and let me tell you, this boat was making tracks! We were going so fast that if you weren’t used to it and had experienced sea legs, you better hold on or you’re gonna hit the deck. That’s our first mate, Bobby on the right. He worked his butt off getting everything ready for us.

Michele (L) and Kim, keeping stationary as we blasted through the waves and waited for the sunrise. It was incredible out there. Once you’re out about 10 miles from shore, the water changes to a deep blue. We were constantly in awe.

Way out there with the tankers!

Okay…sun’s up ladies! It took us about 3 hours from shore to the fishing area, which was approximately 60+ miles from the dock. We couldn’t drop our lines until 8:30am so we picked our order of fishing. How it works is, we each were given 30 minutes on the rods. Every 30 minutes, another girl stepped up for her turn for three complete rotations. There were six rods in the water with bait and three teasers. Teasers are these cool lures without hooks that basically flutter and splash on the surface of the water to attract the fish.

NO LAND IN SIGHT FOLKS! Here’s Bobby setting up the rods. Once the baited lines are ready, the poles are mounted and at 8:30, the lines go into the water and the captain moves the boat slow and steady, dragging the lines behind us. Here fishy fishy!!!

If it were only that easy…they’d call it Catching instead of Fishing

30 minutes per woman. So basically, every 2 1/2 hours, it was my turn. You sit or stand in the back of the boat and if you get a bite, you grab the rod, hop in the fighting chair and reel your ass off. Unfortunately for me, I spent my three turns watching the teasers flutter in the water. Nothing. Nada. Ziltch. Zippo. Not one nibble. Also unfortunately, neither did any of our crew…except for one.

I’ll post the link to the video at the bottom of the blog so you can see what happened.

For a brief two minutes or so, what we’d waited all day for actually happened…then it didn’t happen, all thanks to what the captain suspected to be a defective hook. As you can see, the pointy end…the part that matters…GONE with the fish…a 250lb Blue Marlin.

hook

I want to add that any billfish aka white or blue marlins are catch and release. Tuna and Mahi Mahi (aka dolphin fish) are keepers.

Here we are. There’s our captain, Mike, in the blue shirt and we are from left to right: Val, me, Kim, Debbie, Michele and Bobby. Proud as can be. We survived the waves, the sun, the waiting, the long hours, biting flies and sore rear ends siting and waiting for a fish, and yet we never felt better because it was all for a wonderful charity; breast cancer research. All of us have been touched by this dreaded disease via family members. Some lost their battles while others more recently stricken have beat it, all thanks to research and the American Cancer Society.

We were tired but as Kim said later that evening, it was a GOOD tired. The tired where you know you earned it!

We left the dock at 5:00am and returned at around 5:30PM. Yeah we slept well that night.

We slept well after a bit of girl sillies.

The next day was all fun and games. We earned it. We started the day with a great breakfast at the 45th Street Tap House on Coastal Highway. I highly recommend their Bloody Mary’s and their sunsets on the bay…actual sunsets, not a drink.

Then we did a little pool crashing (shhhh) and swam and chatted the afternoon away at said unmentioned pool location. Then off to the Clarion Hotel and Lenny’s Beach Bar for dinner and drinks to hear an awesome band play. Plus, we made a new friend! Our wonderful waiter Relja from Serbia. He’s in college in Serbia studying finance. We adopted him and low and behold, his mother is a breast cancer survivor! Every summer, hundreds of young adults from Europe are sponsored to work in Ocean City (and other cities) for the summer. Most if not all of them work two jobs and live in deplorable housing, yet they were all the nicest kids. We adopted this one. 🙂

Now for the video. Michele is in the chair reeling. Val is behind her reeling in one of the teasers to get it out of her way since the fish will come up the middle, which of course, it unfortunately didn’t. Captain Mike told us had that hook not snapped, Michele would have been in that chair for up to and possibly beyond FOUR HOURS. No one could have helped her because rules are rules. You have to bring it in yourself.

We told her we had every confidence she could have done it but I guess…we’ll never know.

BUT…

THERE’S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR!

If you or your company would like to sponsor our team for next year’s Poor Girl Open, please contact me at pegfabulous214@gmail.com. I will add you to a my personal mailing list (NO SPAM) and update you when we begin actively fundraising. Thank you so much!!!

Posted in family, History, life, Personal

My #Ancestry Journey Continues – #Shocked and Amazed!

My Ancestry journey continues. When I have more time, I’m going to perhaps make a video to walk you through the tree and see how the process works, and how to find the information you are searching for – providing it is available.

Today I’m sharing some really cool stuff. These are all my ancestors and I have the tree to show those connections but I’m heading out on vacation this afternoon so I promise to break it all down as soon as I can when I get home.

Below are screen shots from my ancestry.com tree of my great grandparents, dating to all the way back to BC. I have found that unless your family had some historical significance, the records are sketchy at best. However, with the World View on Ancestry, and the Netherlands records, you can do pretty well.

Times “REMOVED” means a generational separation. 4X removed for example would mean we are 4 generations apart.

So, here they are…some of my family:

Charles Darwin

Prince William

Oliver Wendle Holmes

Britney Jean Spears

Sir Winston Churchill

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Norma Jean Mortenson

Princess Diana Spencer
Njord Nortun King of Seden

 

 

Cleopatra VII

Posted in Uncategorized

#Ancestry, #DNA and Wait What? I’m a #Descendant of WHO???

DNA is innocent. DNA has no objective, no motive, no choice and definitely no other reason to exist but to be our building blocks. Last year I found out about all of the building blocks that made me who I am…well, at least physically…as a human being.

First and foremost I’m a history buff. I mean, I write historical fiction and do a ridiculous amount of research so I figured, why not research myself? I knew there were some questions about my lineage (see this post) but due to my DNA test I now know certain aspects of my pedigree were 100% TRUE and I’m good with it. However, what I didn’t know was, was tracing my ancestry would be so much FUN!

Let’s start at the beginning shall we? Below is my DNA Story, aka where all of my DNA came from geographically. Scientifically speaking, I’m kind of a mutt.

With that being said, I wanted more.

I started a tree. Guess what I found out? It does not grow on its own. You have to build it and then, no sleep. All you want to do is keep finding people and not to give away my age here but remember those old Breck commercials?

This thing grows more like weeds than a tree!!!
It goes off in all different directions and then these leaves pop up everywhere and you dont know which one to click on first!
Phew!!! More and more leaves and more and more people and let me tell you one thing, before the pill and other birth control…people had a LOT and I mean a lot of kids. I somehow imagine these families as the first models for baseball teams.

I was exhausted. Its expensive and its terribly time consuming but no, I don’t expect them to compile all of this information for free and once I got the hang of it, it wasn’t so bad. The problem is as a writer, I am constantly trying not to be distracted. Believe me when I tell you, this isn’t only a distraction it becomes an obsession.

A year ago I quit. I set it aside and walked away. I cancelled my subscription and gave up.

2 weeks ago, I decided to see it through. I promised myself no more than an hour or so a night (3-4 hours realistically) and to just try to enjoy it, along with the little surprises along the way.

Here are a few of my favorite surprises:

Poor Sir Richard Epson, my 16th Great-Grandfather.

Apparently he wasn’t a very nice guy. He was in charge of collecting taxes for King Henry VII. This little article here kind of explains what happened to him but the short attention span version is, Henry VII died and his lovely, darling son, Henry VIII was crowned king.

He didn’t like my grandfather very much.

He chopped his head off…not in the Ned Stark way you know, the one who passes the sentence should swing the sword but the end result was the same.

But…as if that wasn’t interesting enough, then I found this guy…

Yep. My 17th Great-Grandfather was a Sheriff of Nottingham and he wasn’t the only one. His son was too.

Despite this, I’m impressed with the fact that I expected to find bank robbers and peasants and instead, my English ancestry is chock full of Lords, Ladies, Knights and royalty. I found this little ditty on the interwebs as well. Its a bit difficult to follow but I’m related to all of these people. I may never sleep again.

Yes, those names at the top are my distant cousins, aunts, uncles etc.
And here I sit in my modest albeit comfortable home in the good old USA, dreaming of my ancestors in their castles and finery.
Damn you DNA. Damn you. 🙂

That Lady Diana connection though? I’ll be burning the midnight oil until I find her in the weeds.

 

More to come…I’m only in the 13th century.

Sir Richard EmpsonSo here’s an update:  Someone on Ancestry used a photo of Sir Thomas More for my 16 times great grandfather, Sir Richard Empson! I’ve since fixed it on my tree but I’m fixing it here as well. Below is my actual 16X great grandfather, with King Henry VII of England their other cohort, Sir Edmund Dudley.  

Posted in Books, Commentary, Demons & Pearls, Reviews, Writing

#Video Book Review of Demons & Pearls by Katherine Hemmer

Several months ago, I saw Katherine was starting a channel for video book reviews. Being the daring soul that I am, risk taker to the max, I decided to send her Demons & Pearls and ask if she wanted to review it. She messaged me back and said she was interested. I sent her a copy via mail and the deal was set.

I didn’t hear from her for a while so of course as we authors often do, I worried she didn’t like it and decided against doing the video. Then I thought, hey, it happens and even if she didn’t like it and did the review, it was at least worth a shot. Any publicity is good publicity as they say.

Suddenly, a couple weeks ago she messaged me and told me she had read it and that the video review would be up soon. Tonight, she posted it and here is the video. If you enjoy her review, please like the video and subscribe for more reviews.

Check out this great pirate adventure book from P. S. Bartlett! Spoiler alert: I gave it 4.5 stars!

P. S. Bartlett’s Instagram
@author_p.s.bartlett

Link to her Amazon Page:
https://www.amazon.com/P.S.-Bartlett/…

My Instagram (PS: You might see photos of my adorable pets!):
@itshemmertime2016

My Facebook Page:
@itshemmertime2016

Hope you like this video and subscribe to my channel.

Check out the first book review I did:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WlnP…

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Review: Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling

Book Review: Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling by P.S. Bartlett – Lomeraniel Audiobook Reviews http://ow.ly/92oZ30kyFbQ

I was lucky enough to discover this book due to his narrator, Jake Urry, which has a distinctive style and velvety voice that I could listen to for hours on end. He really became Gabriel in this book, or rather Rasmus. Bartlett’s beautiful language found the perfect voice and style in Urry’s narration, and both text and voice complemented each other reaching perfection. This is one of those audiobooks that will stay with me for a very long time and that I absolutely recommend to everyone.

Posted in Advertising, Book Sale, Fireflies

A Big Thank You and An Added #Bonus! #FREE #Audiobooks!

First I’m sending out a HUGE thank you to everyone who participated in my free ebook promo last week!

Secondly, if you haven’t tried Audible before, you can try it free for 30 days and get FIREFLIES free in the process!

That’s right! Follow my special link for your free 30 day trial and get FIREFLIES for free too! 

The offer is risk free and you can cancel it at any time!

Here’s what some readers and listeners are saying:

 Amazing couldn’t stop listening 

Great story with a surprise ending, like nothing you have ever read before. Definitely will be reading more from this author.

 Great listen and well worth the credit 

I received this book to listen to while on a road trip with my Mom. We both thoroughly enjoyed the book and the miles just passed by quickly. We were disappointed to reach our first destination 8.5 hours in because we wanted to continue to listen. This book keeps you entertained and captivated. Heather Jane Hogan is becoming one of my favorite narrators on audible. I would and have recommended this book to others. I look forward to the next book in this series.

Completely Absorbing

This story has a piece of the past, of several generations, as well as the ever consuming present, all put into the story line that carries you along with the characters through a growing spiritual and emotional time into a future life.

A Mystery Wrapped in much love

Well-written, good strong, distinct characters. Great storyline. This family of eight’s love & tolerance (which is the bedrock of level-headedness) allow it to deal with an extraordinary development through to resolution. The main story occurs over the course of a week or two. The six children range in age from 5/6 to 18. You don’t realize until three quarters through the book that the main thread running through all may be a mystery. If I say anything else that would be a spoiler.

Thank you all so much again! 

Posted in Advertising, Amber Wake, Author, Book Sale, Books, Demons & Pearls, Fiction, Fireflies, FREE, Historical Fiction, Hope From the Ocean, IVORY DAWN, Jaded Tides

Happy Valentine’s Day! Can You #Help Me Out?

As you know,  I’ve been bombarding you with the news that ALL of my #Kindle books are free this week.

Today, I ran a Freebooksy promotion for Fireflies and it’s going like hot cakes!

As of this writing, the book is sitting at #100 on the Kindle top 100 Free list!

Did I mention today is also my birthday? 🙂

If Fireflies could make it to the #1 free Kindle book on Amazon, that would be the best birthday present I could get!

Please share with your friends and let me know you shared it, so I can enter you to win a free audiobook of either Fireflies, Hope From the Ocean or Ivory Dawn.

Here’s the link to go and download Fireflies right now!FREE BOOKSDon’t forget! ALL of my books are free this week!

Thank you so much for reading and sharing!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!