Monthly Archives: June 2014

Offshore Fishing with The Albatross Fleet, Hatteras, NC

We had a free week and a hankering for sun and sand, so on a wild hair, decided to drive to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. This was our first time to this part of the coast, and we had read it was known for great beaches, fishing and seafood. We ran across an ad in the local destination guide for fishing with The Albatross Fleet in Hatteras and looked up their website,

Their vintage boat fleet appealed to my love for antiques and vintage, and I figured since they had been a family business since 1937, they should know a bit about fishing. I called and asked to be put on their makeup charter list and we got lucky to go out two days later with four other fishing enthusiasts from NC, Ohio, and Virginia. It was a perfect day to be on the water with temps in the 80s and sunny.

We met at their docks at 5:45 and everyone piled on and quickly got introduced. Our captain of the Albatross III was Captain Ernie Foster, owner of the fleet, and his mate was Sumner. I downed my Dramamine before we left, and happily didn’t have to deal with seasickness this trip.

Albatross Fleet, loading the boatSunrise as we left Hatteras was glorious…

Albatross Fleet, sunrise on boat

Albatross Fleet, Albatross heading out

Albatross Fleet, sunrise on Hatteras

Albatross Fleet, sunrise on wave at cut

Albatross Fleet, sunrise on waves 2

Albatross Fleet, fighting chair, sunriseHere’s Harvey from North Carolina…

Albatross Fleet, Harvey at daybreakIlia and Paul from Virginia

Albatross Fleet, Ilia & Paul sunrise The vehicle ferry to Ocracoke Island

Albatross Fleet, Ocracoke ferry sunriseThe essentials – beer!

Albatross Fleet, Ocracoke Ferry beer run

Albatross Fleet, sunrise glow on water

Albatross Fleet, vert sunrise wake & poleAnd Wally with sunrise making him glow…

Albatross Fleet, Wally in morning

Albatross Fleet, reel & line sunrise

Albatross Fleet, Jamie selfie

It took an hour or so to get out to the fishing grounds. Our mate, Sumner, gave us some instructions and told us to figure out which order we would rotate in. The catch at the end of the day is divided between all 6 fishing, so there is no arguing over who gets what.

Albatross Fleet, Capt Ernie FosterCaptain Ernie Foster says it’s fish time…

Albatross Fleet, pole arsenal

Albatross Fleet, rod & outrigger upOutriggers out and poles baited and ready…

Albatross Fleet, outrigger outHarvey went first and the first catch of the day was not a good eating type, but good for bait.

Albatross Fleet, Harvey first fishWe were amazed at Sumner’s talent at the catch and flip of the fish into the locker. He didn’t lose one all day. Albatross Fleet, Harvey's albacoreI was up next…

Albatross Fleet, Jamie in chair…and I caught a tasty beautiful mahi mahi/dolphin fishAlbatross Fleet, mahi by boatWe had a lull for a while and then… we hit a dolphin school on a feeding frenzy! Captain Foster was spotting from the bridge and all the men had poles in the water with fish on in them in minutes. Sumner was racing around the deck trying to bring in the fish, rebait and keep everybody straight.

I was up on the bridge talking to the captain at the time and missed out on the reeling, but had fun photographing and watching the frenzy from above.

Albatross Fleet, Harvey & Ilia splash

Albatross Fleet, Harvey, Ilia, Sumner mahi

Albatross Fleet, Harvey, Sumner mahi

Albatross Fleet, Capt Foster mahi

Albatross Fleet, Paul and mahi

Albatross Fleet, Wally waiting, mahi

Albatross Fleet, Wally, Mike pulling mahi They caught about 10 or more in just 10 to 15 minutes. WOW!! That got us excited!

We had another lull and then Captain Foster pointed us towards a fishing spot reported to have blackfin tuna. We arrived and it wasn’t long before the rods started bouncing, lines zinging and adrenaline jumping. The blackfins were hitting three, four and five at a time – woo hoo!

Albatross Fleet, Ilia Sumner tuna flipThis is Mike from Ohio

Albatross Fleet, Mike reeling  Albatross Fleet, Paul and Mike reeling

Albatross Fleet, Paul reeling

Albatross Fleet, blackfin tuna gaffed

Albatross Fleet, Wally reeling

Albatross Fleet, Ilia, Sumner tuna

Albatross Fleet, Paul sitting

Albatross Fleet, Sumner flipping fishA triple…Albatross Fleet, triple catch on

Albatross Fleet, Happy HarveySumner had to pull the fish out to re-ice the storage locker so we got a peek at our haul in the early afternoon.

Albatross Fleet blackfin tuna in box Albatross Fleet blackfin tuna pile

Albatross Fleet, fish pile mahi We had a great haul of tuna and it was time to start heading back to Hatteras. Here’s a view from the fighting chair…

Albatross Fleet, view from fighting chairAnd then… BOOM! We hit another group of dolphin fish! It’s so amazing to see their neon blue and yellow flashing through the deep blue water. We caught several and these were larger than the first group – “gaffers” as they are big enough to use the gaff to pull them in. Albatross Fleet, Sumner gaffing mahi mouth open

Albatross Fleet, Sumner gaffing mahi fightingWally was the last one up with a fish on the line and WAY out. He finally got it close to the boat and we saw it was much bigger than most of the others. It was a bull and big – SOO Exciting!

Albatross Fleet, Wally in chair

Albatross Fleet, Wally reeling bull

Albatross Fleet, Wally's bull pull inYou can just see its head as it went in the box.

Albatross Fleet, Wally's bull in boxThat round filled our fish box, so it was time to reel in and head for home. Time for a drink – whiskey buddies

  Albatross Fleet, Wally & Harvey whiskyBack to the docks…

Stop off at the gas tanks and the Albatross II came in behind us.

Albatross Fleet, boat front vert

Albatross Fleet, Albatross boat side viewCaptain Bryan Mattingly and his group on the Albatross II had a good haul too.

Albatross Fleet, 3 boatsTime to unload and see our haul

Albatross Fleet, Sumner & his dadSumner is working super fast to get our haul off and the boat cleaned – surf’s up and time to hit the waves!

Albatross Fleet, Sumner throwing mahiWe were so thrilled with our catch! Wally’s biggest ever! Big bull dolphin.

Albatross Fleet, Jamie & Wally with mahiOur group shot but all our tunas in the foreground got cut out of the picture (see next picture for the whole haul)Albatross Fleet, group catch shotHarvey’s picture shows all the fish – what a day!   Albatross Fleet Harvey with catch

Albatross Fleet, Mike with catch

Albatross Fleet, office

We paid, tipped the mate for a great day of hustling for us, and then hung out and recapped the day while our fish were cleaned. They teach their children to work around here and that boy was already a master fish cleaner. It’s 50 cents per pound and you can have it flash frozen just down the dock.

Albatross Fleet, fish cleaning crew front

Albatross Fleet, fish cleaning crewSo if you’re looking to charter some fishing from Hatteras, I would highly recommend The Albatross Fleet!

I’d go back out again, but Wally said we have enough fish to keep us for a while.

Albatross Fleet Jamie & WallyWe need a day of rest after all this work reeling fish!

Stay tuned for more from the Outer Banks, North Carolina



Categories: Travel: CAROLINAS & GEORGIA | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Sabino Canyon Recreation Area & Mt. Lemmon, Tucson, AZ


Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, Tucson, Arizona

Sabino Canyon mountainsSabino Canyon Recreation Area was highly recommended to see the landscape and desert and their shuttle would make it possible for my mother to enjoy too. It was just down the road from where we stayed in Ventana Canyon in the Santa Catalina Mountains, so we went for a mid-morning visit. I would recommend taking plenty of liquids, sunscreen, wear a hat and snacks or picnic. We rode the shuttle all the way to the last stop, and on the way back, got off half way to walk the rest of the way. We met Mom back at the visitor center after a hot walk back.

Here’s the link to their website for more information.

Sabino Canyon blooming saguaros

Sabino Canyon visitor center

Sabino Canyon recreation sign

Sabino Canyon trolleys and mountain view

Sabino Canyon Jamie and mom

Sabino Canyon people trolleyBe sure and have your ticket handy to show the driver if you have gotten off and want back on the shuttle. If you have lost your ticket you will have to re-pay to get back on.

Sabino Canyon ticket holder

Sabino Canyon bird on cactus 1

Sabino Canyon bird on cactus 2 wings

Sabino Canyon bird on cactus 3

Sabino Canyon birds nest

Sabino Canyon flicker on cactus

Sabino Canyon joggers

Sabino Canyon mockingbird & bloom

Sabino Canyon mountain view blooms

Sabino Canyon mountains & cactus

Sabino Canyon mountains and cactus 1

Sabino Canyon mountains

Sabino Canyon roadrunner

Sabino Canyon rock face

Sabino Canyon saguaro & purple vert

Sabino Canyon saguaro & yellow vert

Sabino Canyon saguaro blooming, yellow

Sabino Canyon saguaro blooms clsup

Sabino Canyon Saguaro cactus

Sabino Canyon saguaro hori

Sabino Canyon snake


Sabino Canyon yellow bird & blooms

Sabino Canyon yellow spiky bloom

Sabino Canyon yellow tree blooms

Sabino Canyon Wally walkingLater that afternoon we decided to drive up Mt. Lemmon to see the views. Here are a few snapshots from our drive. It is a twisty hilly drive with amazing panoramic views. Here’s a view over Tuscon.

Mt. Lemmon view over Tucson

Mt. Lemmon hill silhouette

Mt. Lemmon hoodoo

Mt. Lemmon hoodoos

Mt. Lemmon nosy face rock

Mt. Lemmon panorama 2

Mt. Lemmon panorama view

Mt. Lemmon ridge view

Mt. Lemmon rocky hillThat’s it for this trip




Categories: Travel: ARIZONA | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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