Some type of way…

Posted in CovertFishing, Doin' Work, Makin' moves, TSLiving! with tags , , , , , , , on February 7, 2015 by robdc

Today we were introduced to the world of fishing in this universe that is Tropic Star Lodge. It was almost too much, almost… This place has dialed in the art of fishing to a precision that is bordering on magic. We begin the day with bait fishing which was already a reality check for how far away this place was from what I knew to previously be fishing. In many other past experiences if you wanted to catch a Bonito Tuna (which in these past cases is the thing you want to ultimately catch) you set your spoon and have your fight and reel it in, serve with some ponzu and you’re good. When I went to pull up my first hit in our Bonito Tuna run, I felt like these might be some new super strand of hulk Bonitos. When I got the catch to the surface I realized what was going on… This place fishes with such hyper efficiency that one fish per line is not good enough, the lines are baited with 2 spoons and hooks placed about 3 feet apart and tossed into a school almost guaranteeing that 2 fish are caught (providing twice the fight) with every cast. I landed twice in about 5 minutes netting 4 Bonitos which is pretty much mind blowing considering the usual pace of fishing. 4 fish in 5 minutes, this was already looking like a banner day. 15 min, tops in the bait grounds then we were off. I got over excited and lost the first Black marlin we hooked (an 450+lbs according to our crew), but that’s ok because a second hit the same bate before I could reel it in to check it. That was all within 10 minutes of leaving the bait grounds. So, to recap the pace set for the day, 25 minutes into the trip and I’ve pulled 4 tuna and a marlin out of the water. The time scale has just been blown apart.

Not to bore with more details about every battle or catch today, here’s the final count for our boat and some pictures.

2 – Black Marlin (200-300lb)

1 – Pacific Sailfish (150lb)

5 – Dorado (30-45lb)

Not bad for the first day out.

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Here are a couple from when Sergio and Eric landed Dorados at the same time.

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And here’s from when Sergio tackled our captain (his new best friend) off the side of the boat.

BFFs Day one in the books, time to rest up and do it all again tomorrow.

Coje lo,

Rob

Talk into the microphone, squidbrain!

Posted in CovertFishing, Doin' Work, Makin' moves with tags , , , , on February 7, 2015 by robdc

2015 is here and it is time for more epic adventure time. This time, by an incredible set of coincidences and over 2 years of planning we managed to get 4 bartenders to Tropic Star Lodge in Panama right as we launch Covert Fishing LLC. The overlap is more than just a coincidence as it makes for a beyond perfect platform to showcase our new brand and plug us in with the absolute top of the fishing food chain.

Shirts1After arriving in Panama city and trying to get some sleep, we start stirring to catch our flights but as soon as we get to the (teeny tiny) airport we quickly realize that something is wrong… “there was a backup on earlier flights, it will be just 45 min longer” Then an hour after that that… “great news, you guys are getting a free bus tour” This actually worked out for us since we had bypassed the actual canal the day before and were pretty mad at ourselves over it. This “bus tour” was just us getting put in a van and driven around till the plane was ready, lucky for us the driver was a nice guy about taking us wherever we wanted and was incredibly knowledgeable about the canal. We also visited a national park for a short hike which was also quite pleasant.

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Once the planes were ready the trip was off to an extremely exciting start, the puddle jumper to the lodge was an exhilarating way of getting anywhere but flying so close to land and seeing the lodge and the 200 yard landing strip really put things in perspective, we were easily 100 miles from the nearest paved road and the sole purpose of this place was fishing.

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Of course we needed some in flight entertainment…

WP_20150131_070Here’s a shot of Tropic Star Lodge and Piñas bay as we swoop over to land.

PinasBayFromAbove  A shot of the landing strip from the ground, I never found the admiral’s club.

LandingStripTomorrow we begin the fishing and I can’t wait to get started. This place has already proven to be something completely new to me and we haven’t even gotten to the meat and potatoes yet. I’ll have to stop now as the dinner situation here is kind of strict and the bell just rang.

Coje lo,

Rob

Little lessons make big differences

Posted in Makin' moves, Tiempo en el sur, Waxing Idiotic with tags , , on October 15, 2014 by robdc

How to blend in in a South American airport:

1. Erase any idea of urgency or the fact that anyone on earth has to be any place at any specific time. If you’ve ever had to be anywhere, forget what that felt like.

2. Make sudden erratic vector changes as you walk, constantly. Sometimes you may even want to stop and walk in the direction you just came from, almost like you forgot why you got out of bed that day.

3. Do you have kids? awesome, bring them, ALL OF THEM. Do you have nieces and nephews? Bring them along too! Hell, just pick some kids up off the street, it looks like that’s what everyone here does. Apparently they make great travel accessories.

4. Carry obscenely large luggage and plenty of it. Everyone here is carrying bags so large that they border on the ridiculous, 2 or three bodies could easily fit in each bag. It looks like the same effect as when a really large person picks up one of those tiny beers and it makes them look like even bigger giants but in this case the people are the tiny beers.

5. Let the larger your party and the more luggage you have both effect the speed at which you do anything inversely, so if you have 11 kids and 25 human sized bags, a snails pace is the accurate speed to shoot for.

OK, now that I got that out… We have landed in Rio! The beach is beautiful and the beach town feel is very much lingering in the air.

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We spent the first morning talking about different stuff we had read or heard about how to move through this city without problems. Places not to go, what not to wear and how not to get gotten.

Much to Dave’s delight, immediately after this long and drawn out conversation as we are walking down the beach something hits my foot, it’s a cartoony green goo. It looked like ectoplasm. Knowing that no earthly bird secretes anything like this and the perfectly clear and bird-less sky immediately above me, I kept walking but asked Dave “did you happen to see where that came from?” to which he replies “I did, just keep walking.” So I did and then through a combination of hand signals and quick looks we were both very much aware of the man who was tracking us. He had expertly squirted this gunk on my show then waited for me to flip out about it, at which point he would conveniently come out of the crowd, brush and gunk antidote in hand. Unfortunately for him, no flip out came. We just kept walking and he kept tracking. Then, thinking that I hadn’t seen it yet, he comes out of the crow and points at my foot saying “aw, look at what the birds did, need some help?” Brush and paper towels in hand. The idea is that I stop, he helps me get the crap off my shoe then the demands for money start. I kept going and he got nothing but anyone coming to Rio should be aware that this type of thing is lurking around every corner here.

While at a bar I left Dave alone for 2 minutes and in very Dave way, when I returned there was a new member to our party. The guy was nice enough and soon his wife joined us. Drinks were had and before too long we ended up making plans with them for the next day. Dinner and drinks with the Patels was a damn good time and we ran around Rio for the evening.

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The next day Dave and I headed up into the mountains to see Christ the redeemer overlooking the city. It had been pretty foggy but we took a chance anyway. After getting to the national park we paid for our tickets up to the top we were put on a bus, a girl in the back gets scolded for eating Doritos on the bus so she puts them away. half way up to the top, she has a mini rebellion about the food and chooses expulsion as her form of protest… She barfs all over the bus, not missing Dave or I’s legs… of course. Luckily everyone else manages to keep it together.

Finally we reach the top and it’s stunning… for a few seconds out of every minute when the clouds clear. We still managed to take in the whole scene and it was pretty breathtaking.

GOPR6059_tonemappedAll in all it has been an astonishing stay here in Rio and I can’t wait to run around here for the next few days.

Ceje lo,

Rob

Oh you fancy… Brando Calrissian’s Bachelor Bash

Posted in 'MURCA!, Makin' moves, Waxing Idiotic on October 9, 2014 by robdc

Brando and Natalia are finally getting hitched! Of course, that means that we must have the obligatory bachelor/bachelorette parties. So small groups of good friends migrate to DC with the expressed intent of celebrating two of the best people we know and having a damn good time.  I’d say this sums up the start of the trip pretty well:

IMG_5035Since Brando is my gastronomical consigliore I knew the focus of the trip was going to be good food and drink but I had no idea what we were in for. We did the stuff we knew was good like Toki which I don’t mean to down play, because it’s blow your pants off good, but we had been there already. We went back to the pug and shenanigans but the real treat was on Saturday. We started off at Founding Farmers where the candied bacon was the star. 

IMG_5030Sorry for the blur but I hate being the person taking pictures of their food, it weighs heavier on my soul with every passing day so food pictures may become more rare in my photo library. The idea of sugary bacon is the stuff of dreams though, and if you ever find yourself in DC, do yourself a favor and try it. 

The main event was, of course, the Saturday party event night. Christian, as best man, had a pretty high bar set for him but I have to say that he pulled it off in spades. We were told to dress “pretty nice” so when we got to the first spot of the night and it was just a normal bar, I was containing my initial feeling of “what the hell?!” Christian walked us to what I thought was the bathroom and a small waiting nook where we were greeted with champagne and told that our seats would be ready in just a minute. After our short wait we were escorted into the Columbia room which only had 10 seats and required reservations for quite some time. We had apparently been set up for a 3 drink menu which consisted of some delectable concoctions, the elements of which we were encouraged to try on their own. So each drink was accompanied by a shot or two of it’s main elements, this was heaven.

We stuck around for a round after our tasting menu, I asked for something rum based that didn’t have the citrus-lime flavor that is so popular with present day mixologists, I was greeted with a delightful concoction and a shot of it’s main ingredient.

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Also Brando really loved his Fru-Fru drink…

IMG_5052Then we went to the Russia House. This place had a real authentic feel to it. The door guys had all stabbed at least 2 people with ice picks and all the servers probably had some idea of what the inside of a shipping container looked like. I’m pretty sure Viggo Mortensen was sitting at the bar by the entrance. Either way, the food was damn good and their Moscow mule is unrivaled in my memory. Brando got a little roudy and smashed a triangle drink all over himself but I’m sure that has nothing to do with what the Columbia room did to us.

IMG_5048Then we met up with the girls at the Mambo room and the dancers danced while the rest of us enjoyed our drinks and made fun of them.

IMG_5058The weekend was full of laughing to snorts and good times but we even managed to get some culture in. I didn’t know the Smithsonian had a second air and space museum outside of town by Dulles airport, it houses some of the larger aircraft that would have, undoubtedly, been more than difficult to get into the heart of DC. This is also where I was able to get some of the better pictures of the trip.

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F-22 Raptor, the Enola Gay, Boeing 307 Stratoliner, the god damned Concord Fox-Alpha!!!

The two things in this giant hangar that I really never thought I would get to see with mine own eyes and the absolute standouts were, hands down:

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SR-71 Blackbird and the space shuttle Discovery!!! What an awesome way to end such a great weekend. Thanks to everyone who made it out and contributed to such a good time. See you all next month at the “wedding.”

Robbo

No Pinot for me thanks….

Posted in 'MURCA!, Makin' moves, NYC State of mind I be with tags , on July 28, 2014 by robdc

Have I mentioned that I love New York? If not, then, I’m sure that I’ll get around to it eventually.  I’ve been back in the Big Apple for a number of reasons but as always, cultural progression appears to be the most pressing matter. As the mood has continued, we have managed to get a great deal accomplished while never being in a hurry. Beyond hitting absolutely every eatery we had set out for ourselves this trip had 2 particular highlights. Other than the fantastic company…

M worked her magic and we managed to get our hands on tickets to Shakespeare in the park without spending a single second in line. This years show had John Lithgow and Annette Bening in the production and they did a truly awe inspiring job. As a second super luck out moment we got to see The Book of Mormon which, until now, was prohibitively priced.

IMG_4843[1]The show caught us almost completely off guard. Not that I know what the hell we were really expecting, but it wasn’t that. The musical numbers were perfectly choreographed and the acting was spot on. All in all the show was hilarious, I laughed to tears on at least 3 occasions.  That being said, if you lack thick skin or are particularly sensitive to the concepts of the Mormon faith, African American heritage or, shit anything else, bad language also included, you really shouldn’t watch this show. It amazed us both that it has been so popular with how positively insulting the nature of the whole performance is. That being said, everyone on earth should watch this and stop taking themselves so seriously.

The MET also had some particularly alluring exhibits that we were dying to check out but, personally, the Edo period exhibit was the star for me. I got to see, with mine on eyes, the single wood block painting that had occupied more desktop backgrounds on more computers for more time in my life than any other. Here is the masterpiece:

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There were also some very interesting exhibits on calligraphy and early Asian character composition.

IMG_4829[1]Of course no trip to NY would be complete without crossing the paths of some of my favorite people and oldest friends. Over the years, for some reasons I will never quite comprehend, a handful of my best friends have independently migrated to NY and I have had the pleasure of seeing them when I run through town. 

On the first night of ruckus I was looking to hang out with Sergio (http://latintafresca.wordpress.com) but when I met up with him in Park Slope, Brooklyn I had no way of knowing that Marco (http://marcovergel.wordpress.com) and Fabien, also from Miami, would be here to get down with the get down. We wandered around the local cocktail lounges for a few hours and rode a place or two till last call then in the end had a fantastic time, as far as I can remember.

IMG_4826[1](that picture is actually from Marco’s phone so credit goes to him)

Then, round two was to meet up with Dee and Rich, some other Miami ex-pats who I can’t normally spend more than a few minutes around without expelling a drink or two through my nostrils. We did a similar set of rounds, running around Brooklyn taking shots and splitting bills until I had to leave, an action that I have little recollection of. One thing I can assure you of is that was spent %90 of the time laughing, that remaining %10 completely filled with attempts at straight faced set ups to some high impact punch lines, so basically all laughing.

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Great friends and amazing times but in the end I owe this great feeling I have while leaving NY to M, she made it all worth doing and I might owe her a bit for that.

Cojelo!

Robo

A Harlem (visiting) Globetrotter

Posted in Makin' moves, NYC State of mind I be with tags , on July 9, 2014 by robdc

This trip to NY was unlike any before it. I was able to see some things that had been eluding me in my past visits, and as always the food was a main attraction. Unfortunately this style of visit didn’t really allow for much photography but I would like to write down the places we went so that I don’t forget.

My initial spot on the lower west side was positively spacious by Manhattan standards with a nice skylight and a little yard which we did get to enjoy on one of the more pleasant evenings.

IMG_4758[1]Although the early restaurants were delicious like UVA, I have to focus on the highlights. We found a reverse gentrified steak house in Harlem where we were definitely the minority and were sat in the back but that didn’t at all hinder the quality of the food. The place is called Ricardo’s steak house and it was the stuff of dreams, try the beef stroganoff.

We managed to see (some of) the fireworks off the Brooklyn bridge where I managed to meet up with Dee and by complete coincidence Lazer was in town so we partied a bit.

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After a nice conveyor belt sushi meal at EAST, we went directly across the street to Grace where the music was on point and the lack of other patrons put smiles on our faces. Also, they had a pretty damn good cocktail menu.

IMG_4778[1]The next night was probably one of the high points of the trip for me, personally, as we discovered a new place and it immediately opened it’s arms and welcomed us in. We arrived at Bondurants and found the ambiance exactly what we were looking for. There were high seats against the wide open doors, the whole street facing side of the establishment was open which made for a very pleasant breeze flowing through the front of the house. After midnight some of the bar staff from surrounding establishments started to roll in (a good sign) and we all struck up conversations about all sorts of garbage. As last call drew closer it became apparent that our bartender was more than just a bartender and as the shots and conversation poured on, my suspicions were confirmed, she was the owner.  After lots more jokes and laughs she introduced me to their house shot, an interesting mix of flavors, almost like Jäger but more mild and with a citrus note. I was instantly hooked.

IMG_4783[1]The mandatory stop at Go! Go! Curry! and here I sit at the Newark airport waiting for my flight to Miami. This trip certainly had its fair share of surprises and I have to say that I’m beyond happy I came. Here is a closing shot of the Empire state building from the Monarch rooftop bar taken after a few hours of karaoke.

IMG_4786[1]Thanks for everything M, I had a great time and I’ll be back soon.

Cojelo,

Robbie

Cougar machine…

Posted in 'MURCA!, Makin' moves with tags , , , on July 2, 2014 by robdc

The plan was, go to Denver to see a show. Then I figured; “Why just go to Denver? If you’re already going to be hitting the road, might as well see some of the people you love on the way.” So I took off a bit early and headed to DC. Then I found out that the band playing in Denver was of no interest to me, so I canceled that part of the trip and decided to head back to NY, but first thing’s first… DC and the awesomeness that ensued there.

Brando had organized a tubing trip in Shenandoah and this was way more thorough than anything we ever did back in the Ville. There were busses and the organizers gave you different tubes to fit your needs. You got a cooler? They have cooler tubes for you. Need some string? They got you covered. It was very well done and Brando, Natalia, Claudia and I were pumped to hit the river. 

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The float down took about 3 hours and the water temperature was perfect. When we got to the bottom there was a bus waiting to take us back to our car. The drive from Shenandoah was pleasantly American, hills and farm houses and such, and on the way home we hit some local BBQ spot where I had the most heavenly biscuits with sausage gravy.

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The next day we had a 4 or 5 hour dim sum and bottomless cocktail brunch at Zengo in Chinatown then headed to the National Portrait Gallery.

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The portraits were great and there were some very interesting pop art and modern performer sections but the crown jewels (mostly because they were totally unexpected) were the Nam June Paik installations. Paik was introduced to me as a teenager by my Father and on one of my birthdays he gave me “the worlds of Nam June Paik” a book which I treasure to this very day.

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(as always, my watermark does not imply that I created or have any rights pertaining to these works of art, just the pictures of them)

The next day Brando and I set out to try and get some things accomplished, but those plans were dashed so we wound up at a quaint Irish pub called “Shenanigans” to watch the Germany world cup game. We tried to pace ourselves at the beginning, but considering that we were 2 of the 5 patrons in the bar, we quickly built a rapport with the bartenders. After several rounds of shots and swapping bar stories, one of the bartenders asked “Have you ever been Iced?” To which I replied “no” because in several years of bartending and skillful Icing nonsense, I had actually managed to evade being a victim of the foolish act… He responded by slamming a Smirnoff Ice on the bar………

IMG_4747He got me.

The next day Brando had arranged for us to get some behind the scenes access to the US Capitol building which I was pretty excited about. His cousin is an agent with the Capitol police department and was able to get us into some spots that transients aren’t usually allowed to see. It did not disappoint and I think we owe them a pretty big debt for allowing us to move around such an important space so freely.

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These are the old Congress chambers, notice the polite placement of the spittoons.

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These are the original Chambers of the Supreme Court Judges.

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Then we went out to the balcony outside of the present Congressional meeting room, they took our phones and cameras away in the actual room where the president gives the state of the union addresses and stuff, but it was pretty insane being in there. Apparently some Puerto Rican activists shot the place up a few years back and some of the furniture still has bullet holes which was interesting. But check out the view from where our laws get made:

IMG_0196_tonemappedNot too shabby.

Our last stop on the Capitol tour was the underground train system, there are several automated trains but what really astounded me was this archaic mode of transportation that required an attendant and moved all of 200 feet. A sidewalk would have been much better suited for the task.

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We got to ride the little guy to both of it’s destinations which took all of 2.7 minutes.

We then moved on to watch America’s first world cup match of the quarter finals vs. Belgium, there was a damn serious turn out and I was feeling the patriotism here in our nations Capitol.

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Unfortunately we lost but the Segermeisters and I did manage to pull a 2nd place finish at Wonderland trivia so I leave DC with a smile on my face.

Once again, another successful visit to DC, thanks entirely to Brando and Natalia. Thanks guys, can’t wait to party with you again in a couple of months for your “wedding.”

Cojelo!

Robo

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