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Blue Water Brotherhood

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  1. As much as you want to trust the weather forecasts, you never really know what the ocean is going to look like until you get out there. Occasionally, even though the weather may be calling for howling wind and building seas, captains will still make the decision to give it a try. For charter captains and professional mates, this is a difficult decision. If you don’t fish, you don’t get paid. The boat, captain and mate don’t make any money sitting at the dock. But at the same time, the safety of your crew and clients is always in the back of your mind. Sometimes, you just have to get out there and take a look to see how bad conditions really are. On the East Coast, continued east winds can build large swells that turn into breaking waves as they approach land. Combine that with a shallow bar in the inlet and an outgoing tide and you have a dangerous combination. As much as you want to fish, at times the best decision is to turn around. A change of mind, an easy ride back through the inlet and safe mooring in the slip are the right decisions for the day. Psalm 51:1-12(ESV) Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. 2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12 are the record of King David’s sinful fall as he committed adultery with Bathsheba. Not only did he sleep with another man’s wife, but after she became pregnant, King David devised an elaborate plan to hide his iniquity by killing her husband. Uriah was not only Bathsheba’s husband; he was also one of King David’s mighty men of 30 who had proven himself a great warrior and faithful follower throughout David’s history. King David brought Uriah home from the battlefield, hoping Uriah would sleep with his wife and cover up David’s sin. But Uriah was an honorable man, and knowing his fellow soldiers were on the battlefield, he chose to sleep on the ground outside rather than take up his residence. In one last attempt to cover up his sin, King David sent Uriah back to the front lines and instructed the army’s leader to pull back, ensuring Uriah’s demise. Nathan the prophet came to King David and rebuked him with the Word of the Lord. Rather than respond harshly to the prophet for being admonished, David’s response was simply “I have sinned against the Lord”. (2 Sam 12:13) David has been called a man after God’s own heart. But David’s heart is the one that is revealed as he composed Psalm 51. Through this poem, King David confesses his sinful nature and petitions the Lord for forgiveness. Psalm 51 is a model prayer of repentance. Repentance is a changing of one’s mind and heart that leads to a changing of one’s actions. Repentance is the brokenness of our heart over sin that leads us to turn from our nature and place our trust in Christ. Because of David’s sinful nature, many men lost their lives, including his son born to Bathsheba who died shortly thereafter. As well, the king’s family suffered the consequences of David’s sin for many years to come. But because of God’s faithfulness, David received forgiveness and was cleansed of his iniquities. 1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Brothers, let us also be broken over our sinful nature and praise God this day for His forgiveness. Tip: Thankfully, the offshore captain of today has a myriad of weather tools available at hand. Before leaving the dock, make sure you have a clear expectation of what you think the wind and water will be throughout your day. Today’s hour-by -hour forecasts can show you whether the wind will be turning, building or dropping as your fishing progresses. If you traverse a dangerous inlet to the fishing grounds, understand the effects of the tidal cycle with the anticipated wind. Remember, you can always delay your fishing trip or return early or later depending on when the tidal current will be flooding. (DW) View the full article
  2. A good friend of mine who is a successful business man and boat owner gave me those words prior to an interview I had many years ago. It’s nothing too profound, but it gets right to the point. When it comes to material wants; don’t be “Piggish”. In God’s economy, we are to be content with our daily bread. 1 Timothy 6:6-8 (NIV) But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Just a couple of weeks ago I received a phone call from a client asking me if I was available to run his friends brand new 39’ Sea Vee. This was taking place in Key West on a Saturday morning. The cool thing about the whole opportunity was the private jet taking me to Key West and the amount of money I could make in a 26 hour period. There was a good possibility of freelance income throughout the year as well. The only snag was that same Saturday morning I was already committed to another job for 2 hours. I decided to get “Piggish”. I called the client, who I was committed to first, to reschedule. I told him the whole story and opportunity. He agreed and said, “Go for it.” I also said that I would give him 2 hours of my time at no charge. The next day I received a phone call that the weather in Key West was going to be affected by a passing tropical storm, so the fishing part of the trip will be cancelled. So now I’ve lost out on the original commitment, the 2 day jet set to Key West, plus I owe the original commitment of 2 hours of my time. I got piggish and it cost me. Proverbs 30:7-8 (NIV) “Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Matthew 6:10-11 (NIV) your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. All the glitz and glamor of the private jet and the money and wanting to please my former client distracted me from my normal protocol when making choices. Over the years, my wife and I have become disciplined in spending time in prayer before any decisions are made. Ultimately, our goal is to please God all the time. This time I chose to please my wallet and man. Thankfully, we have a forgiving God. We are going to make mistakes, no one is perfect. How we learn from our miscues is key. God will prune us to make us stronger or He will discipline us to teach us a lesson. Our obedience to God will bring blessings and our rebellion to God, which is sin, will result in folly and hardship. Psalm 119:133 (NKJV) Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV) Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Place your needs, wants and desires at the foot of the Cross and see how God answers your prayers. Make sure you ask the Lord’s Will be done. Tip: Don’t be “Piggish” with the boss’s money. You may desire a certain lure or hook or whatever…Make sure you take a step back and evaluate the purchase. Don’t be “Piggish” with your money. Save, save, save! Debt-free is freedom. Life’s Short, Fish Hard, Pray Harder Capt. Vinnie View the full article
  3. I just recently had a freelance opportunity on a 66’ Viking cruising the Bahamas for a couple of weeks. While en-route on our second leg of the trip, the high temperature alarm for the port transmission began to sound off. Fortunately for us, the crew from the “Freebie” fishing team was docked at our temporary stop over at Boat Harbor Marina in the Abacos. I need to give a big shout out to my good friend (neighbor) and fellow BWB brother Captain George Beck and his wingman Carson Byers. George and Carson run the 64’ Viking “Freebie” and just happened to be on board when we pulled into our slip, just a few slips down from them. Carson’s playpen growing up was engine rooms from sport fishers. Carson’s dad is a certified diesel mechanic and I can tell you the apple did not fall from the tree. The issue with the transmission overheating is not uncommon to MTU powered yachts (thankfully, the “Freebie” has MTU’s). George and Carson knew exactly what to do to fix the problem. The engine room was still pretty hot from our trip from Spanish Cay to Boat Harbor Marina, but Carson jumped right in there with us to help get the repair done. As we were cleaning up I mentioned to Carson a similar story that happened to me many years ago. I was on a 13 meter Trojan International with a pair of 692 Detroit Diesels. On our approach in to Walkers Cay Marina, the port engine began billowing black smoke. Once tied up in our slip, I began the trouble shooting process. I didn’t grow up in engine rooms as a kid unfortunately, so I started asking other captains for some help. The boat that was tied up next to us was named “Clean Living” out of Melbourne, Fla. The owner’s name was Billy. I will never forget him or his boat name because of what he did for us the following 3 plus hours. He was all dressed up ready to go to dinner with his family when he asked me what was the matter. I told him and he went back on his boat, came back out wearing a t-shirt and shorts and a brand new injector under his arm. The engine room was boiling hot; Billy was just freshly showered ready for dinner and now totally drenched in sweat and covered in black soot. He didn’t even have to tell his wife and kids, they knew their dad was going in and he would meet them later. The repair allowed us to continue our trip and get home safely. I had not seen Billy or the “Clean Living” since that day in Walker’s, until……. ……We said our good bye’s to George and Carson and headed to Sea Spray Marina on Elbow Cay. Once settled in, I walked down the dock to check in at the marina office. Two slips down from us sat a boat with the name “Clean Living” out of Melbourne, Fla. Yep!!!!! Nobody was on board, but it had to be. The boat was different, but the same name and hailing port. Come on, what are the chances? As I walked back to our slip, there he was, I recognized him in an instant. It was well over 10 years since our last meeting. I approached him, reintroduced myself and reminded him of our first and only encounter at Walker’s and he remembered. We spent a few moments walking down memory lane and I shared what just happened to us with the “Freebie”. What are the odds? I can’t believe I was just talking about him and his “like a good neighbor” actions just moments ago and now he stood alongside me. You’ve heard the modern day clichés, “pay it forward” and “what goes around; comes around”. We all know The Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” And don’t forget the story of the Good Samaritan: Luke 10:25-37 New International Version The Parable of the Good Samaritan 25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Proverbs 3:27-28 New King James Version 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it,” When you have it with you I am so glad Carson and Billy did not say, “I will come back tomorrow”!!! They acted immediately without hesitation. For a complete stranger to unselfishly give of themselves to help someone in need is priceless. If you haven’t experienced a component breakdown while boating, give it time. It’s just around the corner. It’s bound to happen. It’s just part of the “Salt Life”. Just hope you have a Carson or a Billy as your neighbor. Once you’ve been exposed to a random act of kindness, you will be touched and forever want to reciprocate. You will be on the lookout for that one opportunity to give back. And when it happens, what a great feeling it is to know you too have helped someone in need. Since that day in Walkers Cay, I have always vowed to help others when I can, whether it be on water or on land. Bluewater Brotherhood has become an extension of that out reach beyond the bulkheads and cockpits. Bluewater Brotherhood shares the Good News of Jesus Christ to the hurting and the healed. Acts 20:34-36 New International Version 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”36 When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. Tips: Always carry extra parts for your vessel. If I can, I will save used parts that are still in good working condition as give-a-ways. Of course you can’t carry everything, but carry the parts that may fail more often and are also easy and convenient to stow. Helping at the dock is easy, if you are needed or can lend assistance while under way be careful and know your limitations. Do not put yourself in harm’s way. You may not have the expertise in troubleshooting a problem, but just holding a fan or a flashlight is a big help. Many times I have been the “go for” for tools and parts. It may not sound very glamorous but at least I pitched in and helped. Life’s Short, Fish Hard, Pray Harder Captain Vinnie View the full article
  4. What could possibly be in store for us today? It’s a thought that occupies the mind of early morning anglers as they head out to the fishing grounds. The possibilities are endless……… A box full of tunas, a weed line of hungry dolphin, white marlin balling bait or a big blue one crashing through the spread! Enthusiasm is easy when there’s so much to look forward to. It’s these thoughts of the day’s catch which will encourage us through tough conditions. Long hours without a bite, blistering sun, rough water and high winds are all easily managed when at any moment luck can change. But, oh how it stinks to pick up the lines after a long day without a bite. Enthusiasm that once permeated the cockpit turns into a sourness that can only be satisfied by planting your feet on solid ground. We’ve all experienced these kinds of days. Every day starts out the same-full of enthusiasm- but sometimes you just can’t wait until it’s over. 1 Peter 1:3-9 (ESV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. Have you ever wondered how Christians throughout the world are able to endure such great persecution? Let’s face it; we think we’re experiencing persecution in America because the government is removing the Lord from all aspects of public life. Because marriage has been redefined by the will of people rather than the truth of Scripture and because in the name of political correctness it’s frowned upon to stand out as a Christian, talk about religion or share Christ with a friend who might think it’s offensive. This might feel like persecution, but what would you do if someone was standing over you with a machete to your throat, planning on executing you and your family if you don’t denounce the name of Jesus? Because that’s what is taking place in the Middle East- brothers and sisters in Christ facing intense persecution for following the Lord Jesus Christ. And the question remains, how can these believers endure such persecution? The answer lies within their perspective. An eternal perspective. The Apostle Peter drafted his letter to Christians who were dispersed throughout Asia Minor. It’s unclear as to what specific persecutions and trials these believers faced; however within a few years of the letter’s circulation, the Roman Emperor Nero began his famous assault against the followers of the Way. Christians were a minority; they experienced verbal, economic, social and even physical abuse at the hands of Jews and Gentiles, alike. Even in the midst of great opposition, these believers were marked by an inexpressible joy. A living hope based upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As they experienced trials and tribulations of life, they looked ahead to their guaranteed inheritance based upon the finished work of Christ Jesus and the power of God to keep them unto salvation. Now that’s Good News! Brothers, it’s completely likely persecution will continue to increase for Christians. Jesus said to his own disciples “you will be hated by all for my name’s sake” (Matthew 10:22). While we should not be surprised by the ways of this world, let us not allow the world to affect our perspective. Jesus is victorious! May our faith in Him be proven genuine – all to His glory. Tip: Perspective. Our introduction might have sounded dramatic, but the reality is that often our “end of day” attitudes are completely based upon whether or not we had a good catch. I have to be reminded that every day in the blue water is a good day. The blessing of being able to experience the magnificence of the Lord’s creation should be more than enough to satisfy my greatest desires. Every morning as the sun rises above the horizon, I’m reminded of His great faithfulness. (DW) View the full article
  5. One of my good friends and fellow captain just submitted his resignation after just 1 plus years of employment. He gave his 30 day notice without even having another position secured. His salary was above average with benefits and there was enough fishing trips to keep him happy. What would make a hardworking, intelligent and obedient employee leave a job in this economy? His wife works and their nest is empty. If his wife didn’t work and he had kids in private school or college, I’m sure he wouldn’t have left the job without a job. Whether it’s disrespect or being taken advantage of; how much can we take? How much should we take? Do you ask your attorney to mow your lawn? Do you make your family physician clean your pool? Is your accountant responsible for walking or feeding your pets? Do you tell your family physician how to read an x-ray? Is a private pilot told how high or how fast to fly? Is the pilot ordered to fly in unsafe conditions? Now if you shake hands on a job description that includes the above extras, than shame on you for complaining, however, if the above extras are added without compensation or a handshake, then what’s wrong with this picture? There is no doubt that we wear a lot of hats under the heading of captain and mate. We all try to make ourselves available and flexible and helpful to our owners. Watching the bottom line and saving the bosses money is one of our main priorities. But when we give an inch and the boss takes a mile, after a while something’s got to give. What does God’s Word have to say about employee/employer relationships? Colossians 3:22-24 New International Version Slaves (captain and mates), obey your earthly masters (boat owners) in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 4:1 New International Version Masters (boat owners), provide your slaves (crew) with what is right and fair; because you know that you also have a Master in heaven. Ephesians 6:5-9 New International Version Slaves (captains and mates), obey your earthly masters (boat owners) with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.And masters (boat owners), treat your slaves (captains and mates) in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. Employment is not a marriage, but it is a commitment. In a marriage, you have a covenant between a man and a woman and God. The marriage commitment is “until death do us part”. The agreement between owner and crew doesn’t last forever. I don’t know what the average length of time a captain stays with one owner or what the # 1 reason why a captain leaves a job. Loyalty, integrity, respect and trust on both sides are relative to tenure. When one of those is broken then it’s just a matter of time before the parting of the ways. There are times when no matter how much you dislike your job you have to persevere until a better opportunity comes your way. The process of finding the perfect match between owner and crew may take years. What may look perfect to you on another boat may be a nightmare to the crew that’s on board now. No job is perfect. Even the dream job has its battles, when personalities are involved there will always be disagreements and misunderstandings. What we do is special; there is no other occupation like it. I received my 6 pak license in 1983, the following verses gets me through the battles over the past 31 years. Colossians 3:23-24 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Tips: When interviewing for a job, make sure you do your homework before sitting face to face with the boss. Bring a list of questions in with you so you don’t forget anything. Google the boss’s name, find out as much as you can about the boss and his family and his life style. Interviewing the boss is as equally important as the boss background checking you. Be prepared, fine tune your resume, and do not stretch the truth to make you look better. Listening is learning! Captain Vinnie Life’s short, Fish hard, Pray harder View the full article
  6. Saltwater boat owners understand the importance of having good quality zincs to protect their vessels’ thru hull fittings, shafts, props, struts and rudders. Without protection, underwater metals can turn into a corrosive mess. Galvanic corrosion takes place when dissimilar metals such as steel, stainless or bronze are physically or electrically connected and submerged in an electrolyte; for example, salt water. Essentially, the underside of your vessel becomes like a battery with the less resistant, more active metal becoming anodic (negative) and the more noble, stronger metal becoming cathodic (positive). Electrical current flows between the two metals with the electrons being supplied by the metal with the lowest anodic index. Corrosion of your underwater metals is guaranteed. Cathodic protection takes place when the metal that you want to be protected is forced to become a cathode. This takes place when another metal with a lower anodic index is introduced into the environment. This metal gives up its electrons much faster than the other metals, often causing the corrosion on the cathodic metal to be delayed or even stopped. This low anodic metal is often referred to as a sacrificial anode. Hebrews 9:11-14 (ESV) But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. As outlined in Chapter 16 of Leviticus, the Day of Atonement was the only day of the year when the High Priest was allowed to enter into the holy of holies. This was the day the High Priest was to offer a sacrifice for himself and for the people of Israel to atone for their sins. The elaborate ritual began with the High Priest bathing and then adorning himself with special garments. He then sacrificed a bull for the sins of himself and his family, sprinkling the blood on the Ark of the Covenant. Two unblemished goats were then brought before the Lord, the first was sacrificed and its blood sprinkled over the Ark to atone for the sins of the people. This shedding of blood appeased or satisfied the wrath of God. The High Priest then placed both his hands upon the second goat’s head, ceremonially transferring the sins of the people to the animal, which was then released into the wilderness. This goat effectively removed the sins from the people, carrying them as far as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:12) Then, the people had been forgiven of their sins for another year. The Day of Atonement was a foreshadowing of what was to come in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Today we celebrate – as did the writer of Hebrews 2,000 years ago – an even greater sacrifice which has taken place for all those who believe. God provided the perfect, spotless, blameless, sinless lamb to be sacrificed – He provided Himself. It was on the cross that Jesus bore the sins of many (Hebrews 9:28) and willing accepted the wrath of God, appeasing God for our transgressions. The blood of Christ met the demands of the righteousness of God, satisfying God’s justice against sin and canceling the guilt of man. Furthermore, it satisfied those demands eternally. How do we know that Christ’s sacrifice was acceptable before God? Because He has risen! Jesus chose to be our sacrificial anode. He gave up his life in order to prevent the eternal corrosion of those who believe in Him. Just as a zinc anode has to be in electrical contact with the metal it is protecting, believers experience the abundance of God’s protection when we choose to stay closely connected to Him. Brothers, we pray that you realize the grace that God has extended to you through His son Christ Jesus. Tip: Protect your boats underwater metal by replacing sacrificial anodes or zincs annually. Zincs should be replaced when half of the sacrificial anode has corroded. If zincs do not last through annual maintenance, consider an anode with a heavier weight. Make sure all thru hull metal fittings are connected to a bonding system attached to a hull mounted zinc. In order for a zinc anode to provide protection, it must be in electrical contact with the metal. A broken bonding system will not allow the zinc to protect your vessel’s metal fittings. Make certain all shafts and rudder zincs are installed to a clean bare surface, providing metal-to-metal contact. (DW) View the full article
  7. East Coast fisherman chasing after winter tuna often leave the dock well before first light because that’s what it takes to get to the fishing grounds for the early morning bite. Unfortunately, that means traversing the sound and inlet with little or no light. Running 18 or 20 knots into the pitch black of night can be an especially tense time for many captains. Thankfully, today’s sport fishers have a myriad of electronics that aid in navigation. GPS chart plotters and high definition radar units can help provide some comfort as you make the trek to open water. But even the latest and greatest electronic gear can’t deliver the same security as actually being able to see with your own eyes the way through the markers. Even if you’re following a proven track line, are certain of your GPS position within the channel or have radar assurance of the next buoy’s location, nothing can replace actually being able to see red and green. Let’s face it; it takes faith to trust the results of an electronic screen for the safety of your crew. Hebrews 11:1-6 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. What is faith? This question has been asked by many throughout history – great scholars, common peasants and even theologians struggle with a solid understanding of faith. Thankfully, the writer of Hebrews answers this question with a clear definition. Faith is simply knowing – and trusting in – something that we cannot prove. We all know something. Each of us has the capacity to think, understand, reason, obtain knowledge and decipher information. When it comes to the things of God, we either know Him or we don’t. Some may know the One True God, while others recognize the gods of Muhammad, Buddha or Mother Earth. We either know that we are created beings made in God’s image, or we believe that we are the result of cosmic goo and millions of years of time. Every single one of us has a foundation for what we claim to know. That foundation is either based upon our own assumptions or based upon what God has revealed to us through His Word. Faith is when we take what we claim to know one step further. Faith is putting our full confidence and trust in what we know. Faith is taking what we know in our minds and believing it in our hearts. Every day, we exercise faith on some level. We know that a chair is designed to hold us, so we exercise faith when we sit down with confidence. We know that automotive brake systems are designed to slow vehicles down, so we exercise faith when we slam on the brakes for a child who has run out in front of us. We know that airplanes are designed to carry passengers quickly across hundreds of miles, so we exercise faith when we board a jumbo-sized tin can that will travel across continents at 35,000 feet. There are multiple accounts in the Old Testament of those who exercised their faith in God. Hebrews 11 names just a few who believed in God and believed that what He said was true. Do you truly believe what you claim to know? Do you believe God? Do you believe that God’s Word is absolute truth? Our prayer is that you know Jesus – and that you exercise your faith in Him. Tip: You never know when you may find yourself in poor visibility conditions. You may never leave in the dark, but even daytime torrential thunderstorms can severely limit your perception. To help provide security during these events, consider using your man overboard key to establish waypoints for common routes. This is especially important for routes that go through areas that are not consistently mapped on your electronic charts. Unlike track lines, saved waypoints will always be there to ensure you stay in a safe position. (DW) View the full article
  8. Running the inlet and sound in my home waters of North Carolina can really keep a captain on edge. The combination of navigating tight channels in light low (or no light) conditions and shoal waters that are constantly on the move make the journey to open waters quite difficult. Like many inlets, the ebb and flood of the tide each day is continually moving sand into channels. Areas that were once holding plenty of water can fill in with sand quickly. For the unsuspecting navigator or the captain who loses his concentration for mere seconds, the results can be atrocious. When a 25-ton vessel hits the sandbar traveling at 20+ knots, wreckage quickly ensues. Anglers are thrown into the bulkheads, consoles and windshields. Props fold-up like paper dolls, stainless shafts bend like toy wooden sticks. Rudders shear off and struts twist into a mangled mess. At this point, the only good news is that you’re not sinking…… because you’re already sitting on the bottom! Romans 6:17-23 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. If you’ve ever grounded a boat on a sandbar, then you know how good it feels in a physical sense to be set free. But how much greater it feels to know you’ve been set free from sin. You are no longer sinking in your sin, no longer stuck at the bottom where the penalty and power of sin holds you captive. You have been set free. The penalty of sin is death. Romans 6:23 is a beautiful statement of God’s grace. The wages of our sin is death and yet the gift of God, through Christ Jesus, is eternal life. Through Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice on the cross, the wages of our sin was paid in full. He paid the penalty on our behalf. Jesus lived a perfect, righteous, sinless life and yet shouldered our sin when he accepted the wrath of God – wrath that should have been poured out on us. In return, his righteousness was accounted to you and I. We are the redeemed. The sting of death and eternal separation from God no longer has its hold on us. We’ve also been set free from the power of sin. At one time we were slaves to sin. Sin was our master; we were unable to withstand its temptation. But in Christ, we have the power to overcome sin. Through the Holy Spirit, we’ve been given the strength to resist sin and become slaves to righteousness, instead. In Christ, we have been set free from the penalty of sin and the power of sin. But we have not yet been set free from the presence of sin. There are events that will be forever etched in our minds; the Oklahoma City bomber, Aurora movie, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and the recent Charleston church shooting. How could such tragedies take place? How could someone be so consumed with evil and wickedness as to target and murder innocent people? What is the source of such anger, such hate, and such hostility toward life? Many will blame the violence on a lack of gun control laws or violent video games that are actively marketed to our youth. Some will blame education, racism, social/economic issues or the breakdown of the family. There will always be unanswered questions and even more opinions about how to reduce the possibility that such violence. But one thing is for certain, we live in a fallen world. And we will not be rescued from the presence of sin until Jesus returns to this earth to claim what is His. That is the reason for our hope today. Tip: No one begins their day by planning to end up on the ground or having a catastrophic failure. In these times, subscribing to a local tow service can be great insurance. Speaking from someone who knows, the cost to get dislodged from a sandbar is much more than 8 or 10 years’ worth of insurance. Plus, having the insurance in place is peace of mind every time you leave the dock. You just never know when a mechanical issue will keep you from getting back under your own power. (DW) View the full article
  9. The tournament season is in full swing throughout the Mid-Atlantic. Sportfishing boats are making way up and down the East Coast, finding themselves in places such as Hatteras, Cape Fear, Swansboro, Morehead, Oregon Inlet, Charleston, Ocean City and Cape May. Some will even make the crossing to the billfish rich waters of Bermuda. What is the draw for these crews? Some say it’s the money, and no doubt there are great riches to be won. Million dollar blue and white marlin are possible in multiple tournaments. For others, it’s their competitive spirit. Head to head competition against the very best anglers who are not afraid to back up their claims with their wallets. And lastly, some are just there for the comradery and parties. The captain’s party, pig pickin, nightly buffets and docks are teaming full of people enjoying one another’s company. Tournament week can be a great deal of fun for all. But there’s one thing for certain – in every tournament, there can only be one winner. Only one team or angler who will take the top prize, the big check and the premier spot on the podium. Sure, there are lots of ways to win your money back. But in the end, second place is just the first of many losers. 1 Corinthians 15:50-57 (ESV) I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Legendary Captain Omie Tillet has a famous saying that has been heard often on the VHF radio as he gives the morning prayer at The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. “Well boys,” he says, “there’s only going to be one winner of The Big Rock, but we are ALL winners in Jesus”. Those words are as true today as they were 2000 years ago when the Apostle Paul boldly proclaimed to the church of Corinth that there is victory in Christ Jesus! God is Holy. Perfect. Righteous. The Law illustrates His absolute holiness and conversely, our sinfulness. The Law is the command by which every person should live and also by which every person will be judged. The Law reveals our sinful nature. A nature found in the heart of all mankind, a nature that leads to death and eternal separation from our Holy Creator. Romans 3:23 states “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death”. But God did not leave us to our own demise. He did not forsake His creation to a lost and helpless state. He sent His Son to be our Redeemer. Christ Jesus paid the price for our sinful nature and His resurrection proves there is victory over death! In Christ, every believer is a winner, a victor over death. Death no longer has its grasp on us. Yes, short of Christ returning, we will all die – every single one of us. However, Paul’s encouraging words to the Corinthians have the same power of hope for us today. One day, our perishable bodies will be exchanged for the imperishable, our mortal bodies will become immortal. We’ll be gloriously transformed in the presence of our Savior. Are you in Christ? Do you believe with your entire being that Jesus is Savior and Lord? This is a question we must all ask ourselves – for the victory is not because of anything we’ve done, but because of what Christ has done on our behalf. Brother in Christ – you are a winner! Tip: There’s a great deal of money involved to participate in a sportfishing tournament. Entry fees, crew salaries, fuel and bait can all add up to a substantial amount. Even still, some boats head out with potential weak links. Tournament time is a good time to replace all the line on your reels, retie your double lines, make up fresh wind-on and leaders, pull out the fresh hooks and inventory your gear to ensure you have the right equipment on board. (DW) View the full article
  10. Where is your favorite fishing spot? When you get there what are you looking for? If you are fishing a new area what signs will you be observing? When you find that one sign, how confident are you that the intended target species will be there? How many times have you found that lone frigate bird, the barnacle encrusted tree trunk, the 3 foot wide weed line that meanders for miles and followed those signs without a nibble? Hopefully not very often, but it does happen. And once it does happen, you will always have that memory the next time you see the same sign. What happens to your confidence ? Doubt has now made a home. I cannot tell you with 100% assurance that every time you see a pallet that you are going to catch mahi mahi or wahoo. Nor can I say that every time you see a current edge that it will produce a billfish. However, there is one sign that does produce a 100% guaranteed result, a sign that will draw your mind to the Creator of the sign and the promise or covenant that goes with it. The rainbow! Genesis 9:8-17 (NKJV) Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying: “And as for Me, behold, I establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you: the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, of all that go out of the ark, every beast of the earth. Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.” sign 1. a token; indication. 2. any object, action, event, pattern, etc., that conveys a meaning. prom·ise 1. a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc., by one 2. an express assurance on which expectation is to be based 3. something that has the effect of an express assurance; indication of what may be expected. cov·e·nant 1. an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified. 2. Law. an incidental clause in such an agreement. 3. Ecclesiastical . a solemn agreement between the members of a church to act together in harmony with the precepts of the gospel. 4. Bible. a. the conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture. nev·er 1. not ever; at no time Dictionary.com Find Definitions For Any Word. The rainbow may be the only visible sign and promise from God to mankind other than the curse after the fall of man (Genesis 3). The flood was over 4000 years ago. God’s rainbow is as fresh today as it was for Noah and his family. God’s word is truth. God’s word is absolute authority. When you see the signs and wonders of the Bible, you can know without a doubt God was and is and always will be. So, the next time you see a rainbow, remember the promise: a blessed assurance that God will never flood the earth again. Tip: Never pass up the signs below even though you may have had the skunk the last time out following one of these signs. Frigate birds/tuna birds, weed lines, color changes, sea surface temperature changes, flotsam, rip lines/current edges, bait, radio chatter, fish reports, satellite info, multiple boats on the horizon, sea mounts, fish marks on the video depth sounder, free jumpers. Life is Short, Fish Hard, Pray Harder, Capt. Vinnie View the full article
  11. “You should have been here yesterday!” For the recreational fisherman, this is an all too common statement heard around the docks. One in which this captain has experienced many times. Over the past several weeks, there have been epic bites taking place in the Mid-Atlantic. By definition, the word epic means “extending beyond the usual or ordinary in size or scope”. Cape Hatteras was once called the Blue Marlin Capital of the World – and recently this piece of sand at the end of Rt. 12 held up to its famed name. Over a period of 2 days, +500lb blue marlin occupied a stretch of Gulf Stream water. Rods bent, drags screaming and the sight of blue marlin grey-hounding across the ocean was commonplace. From the famed Oregon Inlet, NC there has been another great bite taking place. Facebook fishing reports have been lit up with pictures of anglers standing behind elusive Big Eye tunas. If you found yourself in the right place at the right time, charter and recreational fleet alike were all hooked up on these beasts of the deep. As quick as these epic bites come, reality comes even quicker. The blue marlins have moved on and the tunas are nowhere to be found. I guess you should have been here yesterday! Psalm 18:1-3 (ESV) I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. Reflecting upon his time spent hiding in the rocks while being pursued by Saul, King David penned Psalm 18 – a praise song to the Lord for being his Sovereign Savior. It’s here in the midst of verses 1-3 that David pours out his heart in adoration to God. God had shown Himself to be faithful, protecting David from certain destruction. God is described as rock, fortress and deliverer. It’s in Him that David took refuge; the Lord became David’s shield, strength and stronghold. Rocks are solid, fortresses aren’t conquered and strongholds are not overcome. Unlike our days on the water, which can be unpredictable at best, the character of God is based upon his unchanging nature. God does not change with the currents, the time or the seasons; He is not affected by your emotions, your financial situation, your history or outlook on life. God is who He is. And you can count on Him to be Who He says He is. God is trustworthy; which means He alone is worthy of our faith. And He ultimately proved it by sending His son Christ Jesus to die on our behalf. His unchanging love, mercy and justice all perfectly executed upon the cross. He is a rock, a fortress and stronghold and because of His character, you and I can place our faith in Him to deliver us from sin and death – just as He delivered David from his enemies. Brothers, is God your rock and fortress? Or is He just a “get out of Hell” card that you keep in your back pocket? The Lord has proven his faithfulness! Now let’s join our hearts with the words of King David and worship the One who is worthy of our praise. Tip: You won’t always find yourself in the midst of an epic bite. These days should be described as a vapor – one day they are here and the next they’re gone. A good friend often says you just have to wait your turn and one day you’ll find yourself in the midst of a great bite. One thing is for certain – it won’t take place while you’re sitting at the dock. So get fishing! (DW) View the full article
  12. My wife knows it’s just around the corner. Even our pets can sense the departure. The days and nights leading up to extended trips turn me and our household a little out of sorts. I don’t know if it’s common to all captains and mates. What I do know is that the all encompassing logistics and responsibilities that goes with preparing your boss’s yacht for a trip, coupled with leaving your loved ones and personal things behind overwhelms my state of mind prior to setting sail. And as usual, God was right on queue. He brought me to a crossroads where real life events intersects with my tiny world of poor Captain Vinnie has to go to the Bahamas and take people out fishing for a couple weeks. My wife, Christina, DVR’d a movie called “We Were Soldiers”. The movie is based on true events during the Vietnam War. I was hit right between the eyes during multiple scenes where the soldiers are preparing for deployment. The parts that tugged deep into my inner most being was when the soldiers were lying in bed with their wives, each one staring at the ceiling, tears welling up and rolling down the side of their faces. Their emotions running wild, wondering what will this war do to their family? Some prayed, they all hugged and cried. Will this be the last time they see each other? How selfish of me to be stressed out over traveling to a foreign country to do a little fishing and diving or cruising for a few weeks. The men and women of our Armed Forces are putting their lives on the line every time they do a tour of duty. As believers we remember the Birth of Jesus and the Sacrifice of Jesus on a daily basis. As patriotic citizens of the United States of America, we should remember those that made it back (Veteran’s Day) and those that gave their lives (Memorial Day) on a daily basis. This world is a mess and America is not exempt from the turmoil. We need the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines, but most importantly we all need Jesus, the God of the Bible and creator of all things and Savior of the World. Mark 13:3-13 (NKJV) Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?” And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 1 John 4:7-15 (NIV) Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. Matthew 28:16-20 (NKJV) Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen “And that’s all I have to say about that”—Forrest Gump Tips: Memorial Day has come and gone but let us not forget! Continue to keep the Armed Forces in our daily prayers. Fly the US Flag proudly!! Life’s Short, Fish Hard, Pray Harder Captain Vinnie View the full article
  13. Nothing is more frustrating than attempting to anchor over your favorite fishing hole and having problems getting the hook to set. You don’t have to be a Coast Guard certified captain to know that the ideal line to depth ratio is seven to one for properly setting an anchor. However, to get your baits in the right zone, it often takes an understanding of wave height, tidal direction, current speed, water depth and bottom composition to correctly hold bottom over structure. And for sea bass, spadefish, tautog or other wreck species, it’s all about being in the right spot. Just a few feet off and you’re spending more time making sandwiches than having the rod doubled over raising bottom dwellers. But even worse than missing out on the action is the danger of becoming unhooked, especially with other boats around or in low visibility situations. Staying hooked is never a full guarantee, so fisherman need to be watchful. Hebrews 6: 16-20 Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. There is an anchor that is set firm and secure, one that will never become unhooked. It is the foundation for the hope that we have in Christ Jesus. Biblical hope is one of assurance. A confident expectation based upon the promises of God. The reason for this confidence is because our hope of salvation is not contingent upon ourselves. Salvation is not based upon the works of man, dependent upon our ability to be righteous or conditional upon our capacity to keep God’s laws. If the promise of salvation were reliant upon us, we would certainly fail. Our anchor would be skipping across the bottom, unable to ever take hold. Salvation is based upon the grace of God and the finished work of Jesus Christ alone. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” The only works that our salvation is based on was the work of Christ. It was on the cross that we were redeemed and the penalty of our sin atoned. When Christ said from the cross, “It is finished”, the work for our salvation was done and complete. Knowing that God’s character will not allow Him to lie and that there is no one greater on whom an oath can be taken; we can have total trust and confidence in both Him and His Word. There is no room for doubt in our hope because there is no evil in God and no error in His Word. Brothers, have great confidence today in your salvation because it is based on the foundation of God’s Word, the character of God and the finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That’s the solid anchor for our soul. Tip: To increase your boat’s ability to hold anchor, consider upsizing your anchor over recommendations and increase chain size & length to help hold bottom by decreasing the rode angle. Always carry enough rode to increase line to depth ratio as stronger wind, current or wave conditions will require greater line to hold properly. Be considerate when anchoring in a group of boats. Come in from the up current direction to keep from running through a chum line or disturbing another angler. (DW) View the full article
  14. As you stare at the trophy mount hanging on the wall, you can’t help but replay the exciting details of your monster catch that glorious day. Then, your thoughts quickly wander to the next fishing adventure that awaits. A 68lb wahoo hangs in my garage and each time I gaze into its eyes, I remember every detail of that August day. The medium blue tomahawk lure was coming off our “way far back” center rigger. The day had been slow for our team; not much in the way of billfish bites. As the afternoon closed in on the 2nd day of the tournament, our hopes for a good showing started to disappear……… until that center rigger came tight. This particular wahoo didn’t run off hundreds of yards of string, nor did it pull off line in a blistering pace. As we backed the boat down, we assumed that a “lazy’ white marlin had been hooked up, that is until we got her to the back of the boat and needed to find a gaff real quick. The gaff man stuck her good and quickly brought the slashing fish into the cockpit. One minute we were down and out, and then the next, we knew there was a fish in the box that would bring home 1st place in the wahoo division. I am reminded of that day every time I see that wahoo hanging on the wall and I look forward to more days on the water trolling in the deep. Deuteronomy 4:15-19 You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. But as for you, the Lord took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are. There is nothing wrong with remembering the past or looking forward to the next adventure on the water. But we must guard ourselves from becoming consumed with our fishing trips. When we find ourselves worshipping the quarry rather than the Creator of the quarry, we have a serious problem. As the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land, Moses made sure the younger generation knew their nation’s history and the Laws that God had handed down to them. It was in this context that Moses referred back to their time at the foot of Mt. Sinai where God had revealed himself through a dark cloud and gave his chosen people the Ten Commandments. Both the land in which they had come and the land in which they were headed included inhabitants that worshipped many gods including sun and moon gods. Their homes were decorated with idols to represent these gods. The Lord Almighty, the one true God, knew this would be a stumbling block for His children and therefore He expressly warned them about the corruption that would come if they attempted to make an idol to represent Him. God is much greater than anything we can feasibly depict or understand. He is transcendent, which means that He exists above and independent of His creation. He surpasses and succeeds anything that we can humanly fathom. To place the Lord Almighty in the form of an idol would simply be to form God into the shape of who “we” think He is. The Good News is that while it is impossible for the created to fully understand the Creator, He continues to reveal Himself to us and lovingly sustain us. Through His Son, Jesus Christ, God’s love for His creation eclipses His transcendence. God has chosen not only to fully reveal Himself through the written Word and Living Word, but has also established a personal relationship with each of us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Praise be to God, for He alone deserves our worship and devotion. Tip: Fish mounts and citation plaques are great reminders of exciting catches. However, accurately maintained log books are an even better tool for documenting the details of your fishing trips. Looking back through the pages of your fishing history will help you determine patterns for successful catches. Keep track of dates, locations, species, water temps, tidal flow and moon phases to help you prepare and plan for your next adventure. (DW) View the full article
  15. A clearly defined temperature break is a welcome sight for those who troll the offshore waters. The intersection between converging currents is the perfect atmosphere to find life at sea. Warm water eddies spin off the Gulf Stream currents into the cooler surrounding water, causing variations in temperature, current and water color. Along these current edges Sargassum and other ocean debris pile up and provide cover for the many forms of life that make their home in the ocean waters. This is where the voracious Mahi-Mahi feed. Schools of fish ranging in sizes from bailer, slinger and gaffer rely upon miles and miles of weed line to sustain their explosive growth. Find a clearly defined temperature break, and most likely you’ll find the dolphinfish that will have your anglers screaming for more. Who knows, you might even see a citation bull dolphin crash your baits. Genesis 2:20-24 (ESV) The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. April 28, 2015 will forever be recorded in history as the day the Supreme Court of the United States of America heard arguments for and against same sex marriage. The issue at hand is whether or not the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires a state to license marriage between two people of the same sex. Years of political wrestling, legislative declaration, judicial review and state constitutional amendments have all boiled down to a single decision; a decision in the hands of 9 appointed Supreme Court Justices. What’s at stake? The federal government’s definition of marriage. Who has the right to define marriage? That right belongs solely to the One who established it. Genesis 1 is the record of God’s work in creation. The second chapter is the story of man, his responsibility to tend the garden and the details of the woman who would complete him. It’s here in verse 24 that we find the biblical definition of marriage. One man and one woman, who leave their families and hold fast to one another in a covenant relationship before God, becoming one flesh as they are united physically and spiritually with one another. Marriage defined. God established marriage and the subsequent family as the core building blocks for all of society. Marriage existed before government; therefore government will never be able to define genuine marriage. Brothers, it’s time for us to pray for our country, our leaders and the decisions they will make about marriage in the coming months. May God exalt Himself and reveal to the hearts of our Justices His perfect truth found in the Scriptures. As for you and I, the definition of biblical marriage MUST be found in our own homes. God gave us the greatest example of how we are to love our wives, as Christ sacrificially loved the church. (Eph 5:25) If our desire is for the world around us to understand what genuine marriage looks like –it’s going to have to start with what takes place in our homes. Thankfully, God has given us a clear definition. Tip: Working the temperature breaks, current edges and weed lines can be a productive method of fishing. It’s not uncommon to discover a limit of bailers or slingers under a single piece of debris. Keep an eye out for pallets or container materials, making sure you bring you baits in close proximity. Thankfully this is not a fishery that requires you to run over top the fish. Hungry dolphin will come out of their ambush spots and attack your baits from significant distances. While the smaller dolphin like to hang out under the weeds, don’t hesitate to work off the weed lines as this is typically where the larger bulls roam the open ocean. View the full article
  16. I am in my 33rd year of preparing and organizing boats for extended travel around Florida and the Bahamas. Now that I am in my mid 50’s, it is very important to make lists for everything. Not only do I need to have a punch list for the boat, I also need one for my home and personal life. No matter how thorough and prepared I am, if you’ve been boating long enough, you know things break at the most inopportune time. Home or boat, it doesn’t matter. How is it that the lawn mower works fine when I’m home, but as soon I leave there is a breakdown? How is it that our pets are healthy for the last umpteen months and as soon as I am gone there is a health issue? Over on the boat, the water maker was working fine before we left; the bridge freezer was just serviced why is it reading 55 degrees? That is just a sample of calamities from my “I can’t believe this is happening” journal. I have great neighbors and loyal friends that make themselves available to help my wife Christina whenever she is in need. The women of her bible study are also there for emotional and spiritual support. Stuff happens every day beyond our control. No matter how prepared we are, the question is; how do you handle the circumstances? James 1:2-4 (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. I find God’s humor at times to be not so humorous. I am over flowing with perseverance. It’s difficult to find joy when a blade falls off your propeller at the beginning of a 2 month Bahamas fishing trip, or when your rudder breaks away as you are heading to Cancun. How can you prepare for that? You can’t, so don’t. Some boats carry a spare set of props, but who carries a spare rudder? But you have to keep the Faith! Hebrews 11:1-3 (NKJV) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. You can’t exhibit both Faith and worry at the same time; they are opposites in nature and by definition. When you begin to worry that is when you need to pray. Talking with God creates a sense of humility, courage and confidence. When you worry, you are not trusting God. Matthew 6:25-27 and 33-34 (NIV) “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. As I write this devotional, I am in the Bahamas waiting for the next group to fly in. My eyes are glued to a variety of weather sites on my lap top. And of course, the weather is beautiful right now, but when the guests arrive, the winds will begin to blow. I can’t do anything about it, ‘it is what it is’. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God”. I need to hold on to those words every day. Tips: Proper preparations in all categories of your vessel before you leave the dock, Knowledge is power or confidence. Know before you go! When around seasoned captains listen, don’t talk, it’s amazing what you can learn. Spend time reading God’s Word every day, that will keep worry away. Always have your BWB Bible with you when you travel. Life’s Short, Fish Hard, Pray Harder Captain Vinnie View the full article
  17. Like many boat owners, the reality is that I spend more time washing and cleaning my boat than actually fishing in my boat. Heading into the blue water for a day is the cause for plenty of clean-up work. Cutting through the waves and their residual spray will cover every inch of the boat in salt. Add the glorious sun’s heat and the salt becomes completely encrusted. The bridge curtains, deck, rails and tower will all need a complete washing. If you’ve experienced a good day on the water, the cockpit will certainly need a “deep” cleaning. Decks are quickly covered in blood after sticking a gaff into a feisty yellowfin. By the end of the day, your cockpit has endured through blood spatter, ballyhoo scales, salt residue and of course those soggy potato chips in the corner from the guys who just couldn’t get them into their mouths. The sad part is you don’t even have to go fishing for your boat to get dirty. Road grime, pollen, dust and salt air will ensure your mates job security. If only there was a way for our rigs to stay clean! Psalm 103:8-13 (ESV) The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. How far is the east from the west? Standing atop the bridge of a sport fishing boat will allow you an uninhibited view for miles. At best though, on the clearest of days, maybe your eyes can see objects up to 10 miles away before the horizon overtakes your view. A better place to view out across the east and west is by hiking to the top of a mountain. Standing upon the peak on a clear day it may be possible to see a hundred miles in either direction. And yet in the grand scheme of distances, 100 miles amounts to nothing. The psalmist declares that our sin has been removed as far as the east is from the west. For those whose life is but a vapor, this is an indescribable distance; but to the Eternal One – it’s a display of His infinite mercy and grace. Complete separation of sin from the sinner. Next week, the boat is going to need to be washed, no matter whether it’s from a day of fishing or because it sat at the dock. It’s going to be dirty again, real soon. But that’s not true for the believer! In Christ, you’ve been cleansed for good. No longer stained with sin, no longer covered in sin, no longer a slave to sin – you‘ve been set free. Not because of something you did to earn your salvation but because of God’s great work of salvation. Your transgressions have been sent so far away that God does not even remember them. “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25 Brothers, we need to be reminded of who we are in Christ. We’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb. Jesus made atonement for you through His life, death and resurrection. You are all cleaned up – once and for all time. Now that’s a reason to praise God! Tip: Washing the boat is a necessary task. But there are some ways to make it easier on you and your crew. First, ensure that all surfaces are coated in a good wax. Bridge curtains, tower rails and painted surfaces will look better and last much longer with a protective barrier. Next, make sure you’re using the right soap when washing. Harsh soaps will strip away the wax and leave your surfaces unprotected. Lastly, the water source can have a huge effect on your rig’s long-term condition. Marina water is usually poor and should be run through a water softener or deionizer before spraying off your boat. And don’t forget to shammy! Remove those water drops and your boat will be looking good for years to come. (DW) View the full article
  18. Before any fishing tournament can officially start, each team is required to attend a mandatory captains’ meeting. It’s during these meetings that important updates, rules and guidelines are presented to captains and/or their respective representative. And there are always plenty of rules to be made aware of. While many participants don’t take this time seriously, tournament rules provide a necessary framework for competition and ensure fairness between participants. Each fishing day is governed by precise rules for boundaries, starting and ending fishing times, the particular fish species that are eligible for the tournament, release points and harvest minimums. Tackle guidelines include IGFA leader lengths, specific hook styles for the bait selection and how many teasers or dredges can be deployed. Thankfully, participants don’t have to remember every single rule or guideline; tournament officials always publish them so captains can refer back as needed. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Many people think that the Bible is just a printed book of God’s rules or guidelines. If that’s how you feel, then it’s no wonder you’re not enthusiastic about committing time to read and study the Bible. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Just as you might get excited to receive a special letter or note from a dear friend; the Bible is God’s full revelation of himself specifically for you. There is everything to learn about God through His Word. Paul’s letters to Timothy encouraged the young pastor to remain confident in the doctrines that had been taught to him. His words revealed several biblical truths that can also encourage us today. First, the Holy Scriptures are God breathed; meaning that God Himself breathed or spoke them into existence. Yes, the scriptures were written by men. But those men were empowered by the Holy Spirit to communicate what God desired to be recorded. The scriptures are God’s own words, a message directly from Him with an express purpose for us. Second, because the scriptures were “breathed” out by God, they are useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. It’s through scripture that we know what to believe in and we can identify what not to believe. From the scriptures, we learn what not to do and we understand what should be done. Scripture is the guide for how we should live our lives, not from the knowledge or understanding of man, but from the wisdom of God. God’s wisdom is revealed in both love and truth throughout the scriptures. Lastly, the Apostle Paul expounds upon the purpose of the scriptures. From the Holy Scriptures, we can be made wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. It’s the Scriptures that teach us about the Holy character of God, the sinful nature of mankind and our need for a Savior. Through the scriptures, God reveals to us His son, Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God, who lived a perfect, sinless life and yet took the sin of man and accepted the wrath of God at the cross of Calvary. And it’s the testimony of the Scriptures that make known the empty tomb. Through faith in Christ Jesus, we receive the righteousness of God. The scriptures are full of Good News. The scriptures are much more than God’s rule book for life. In many ways, they are God’s love letter to mankind. Are you on the quest for answers to life’s questions? You’ll find the truth in God’s Word. Tip: All tournament participants should take full responsibility for knowing, understanding and applying the competition rules and guidelines. Hefty initial investment costs and potentially large purses are both at risk when rules are breached – whether intentional or not. Polygraph tests are not a good place to realize that your team has just been disqualified. Help your team by thoroughly knowing the rules of each competition. (DW) View the full article
  19. Cutters to the Right! Left Teaser! Fish On! These are all words that offshore fishermen love to hear, words whose meaning invokes an immediate response. They may be hollered down from the captain on the bridge or yelled across the cockpit by a mate whose keen eyes never left the spread. These words call us to immediate attention, ramp up our heart rate and become the catalyst for our very next move. Words matter. While these words are exciting, there are some other words that are even more important for those who plow the offshore waters. Responsible captains know that tragedy is possible at any moment. A sport fishing boat can sink within minutes of hitting a submerged object or having a catastrophic sea water intake or rudder port failure. Dialing the VHF to channel 16 and calling “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday” could make the difference for a timely Coast Guard response and eventual survival. Those words really matter. Luke 23:39-43 (NKJV) Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” From amongst their own crosses, the crucified thieves joined with the gathered crowd in mocking and hurling insults upon Jesus. Mathew 27:44 records, “Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.” Their words were designed to taunt, ridicule and disrespect the one who claimed to be the Son of God. Their words reflected the attitudes of their hearts. But something changed. At least it changed for one of them. How do we know something changed in the thief’s heart? His words tell us. The Gospel according to Luke records an additional account of the thieves on their crosses. While one continues to hurl insults, the other turns to Jesus and calls upon Him as “Lord”. His words, an outward expression of his heart, as he admitted, believed and confessed his faith in Jesus the Christ. The thief admitted he was a sinner who could only be saved by grace; he acknowledged his belief that Jesus is the Son of God who came to seek and save those who are lost and he confessed his faith in Savior Jesus who was paying the price for his condemnation before a Holy God. Words matter – especially when they are used to call upon Jesus as Lord. Brothers, it is truth that a condemned thief can receive salvation. But if that’s all this Scripture teaches us, then we are missing the point. Jesus saved the thief not so that we might wonder what he did to receive salvation. Jesus saved the thief so that we could marvel today in Christ’ glory and His power to save the soul! For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” Romans 10:13 Tip: The excitement of seeing a blue marlin or watching all the rods go down because of a pack of tunas is enough to get your heart racing. Add to the excitement all the yelling that usually takes place and you have the makings for chaos in the cockpit. Loud, excitable people are not the most articulate; and people don’t respond quicker just because the command is louder. Captains that are calm, clear and direct will likely have anglers with better hook-up ratios. (DW) View the full article
  20. Flip through the pages of your favorite sport fishing magazine and you’re sure to find well written articles designed to educate, excite and fuel our passion for the blue water. Articles profiling tactics, remote locations, explosive fisheries and current trends keep readers “hooked” and ready for their own salt water adventures. In a recent issue of one such magazine, an excellent article was written about the different methods used when lure fishing for blue marlin. Excited about the upcoming tournament season off North Carolina, I dove into the article ready to learn the secrets from acclaimed professionals. My questions abounded…..what colors do they pull and what’s their favorite shaped head? How did they build their spread – 4 plugs and dredges or a full spread of lures? Drag settings? Leader length? Hook sets? I thought surely all my questions would be answered after gleaning the knowledge of the expert panel. But what I learned was something completely different. I learned that everyone has their own opinion. Mark 16:1-6 (ESV) When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. The cross is the international symbol for Christianity. You’ll see it perched atop the steeple on a local church, highlighted in stained glass windows, adorned in jewelry, plastered on car bumpers and even tattooed on arms. For many, displaying the cross is how they identify themselves as being a follower of Christ Jesus. This Easter week, our attention turns to the cross. For it was on the cross that Jesus was crucified. Suspended between heaven and earth, Jesus took our sin upon His shoulders, endured the righteous wrath of Holy God and willingly gave up His life in return for ours. Jesus paid the price – you’ve been redeemed. But there are other theological symbols which represent other religions in which people today have placed their faith. Many in our world are of the opinion that the cross is just one way by which man is allowed into an eternal loving relationship with God. The prophets of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam have all pointed to various means by which man is reconciled to God. What separates Christianity from all other world religions? Christ Jesus is not buried in the ground with the likes of Buddha or Muhammad. Jesus has risen! And He is now seated at the right hand of God interceding on behalf of the saints. Some might say that’s a matter of opinion. But we’re not talking about opinions here. We’re talking about facts that corroborate with eyewitness accounts. We’re talking about the proof provided by an empty tomb! It’s a fact that over 500 people witnessed Jesus after His death. It’s a fact that the lives of His disciples were dramatically changed from scared fisherman to bold proclaimers. It’s a fact that James, Jesus’ own brother, was transformed from skeptic to leader of the 1st century church. It’s a fact that for nearly 2000 years, lives have been radically transformed because of one single event in history – the resurrection of Jesus. That single event validates all Jesus said, all He did and all that the scriptures proclaim. The resurrection displays his victory over death; vindicates Him as righteous and demonstrates His divine authority. It’s the resurrection that guarantees our forgiveness and assures each of us of eternal life with our Creator. No other religion can claim a resurrected savior. Christianity not only claims it – history proves it! Brothers, I pray that you are eternally blessed this Easter Sunday morning as you worship the God who is responsible for the EMPTY space behind the stone. Tip: There are many tips and tricks to consider when lure fishing for blue marlin. Most captains and mates have developed their own spread and approach that ensures their greatest chance of success. But there’s one sure way to increase your spread’s hook-up ratios – drive over the fish. Lots of time and effort may go into your spread, but if your fishing in an area void of life, it may be time to look for something different rather than switching out your plugs. (DW) View the full article
  21. For- hire captains have one of the most difficult jobs in the workforce. Not only are they required to be trained experts at running million dollar rigs with the latest in technology and systems through the most difficult conditions imaginable, but they’re also responsible for the insight and tactics to bring home a rigger full of flags or a kill box full of tunas. Captains that can’t perform to these high standards are easily replaced. To make the job even more difficult, for- hire captains are often asked to perform tasks that have nothing to do with their life’s credentials. For example, making sure the liquor cabinet is fully stocked, keeping watch over the son’s bachelor party as they participate on an extended booze cruise or changing the oil in the boss’ car before he flies in from out of town. The captain who doesn’t say “how high?” when the boss says “jump” may also be found looking for employment. It’s a sobering thought that one day you’re standing on the podium of a million dollar Calcutta tournament holding the “big” check – and the next you’re cleaning up a flooded toilet after the evening celebration. That’s humbling. John 13:3-5, 12-16 (ESV) Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. As you can imagine, first century roads were not lined with pavement, nor did weary travelers walk upon brick pavers or concrete sidewalks. And of course, Sperry dock shoes were still thousands of years from invention. The roads were dirt and their shoes consisted mostly of open toe sandals which caused their feet to become particularly dirty. It was quite ordinary for the host to provide a servant to wash the feet of guests upon their arrival. This was the task of the lowest ranking servant of the house. A menial task, one in which is done in the most humbling of stances as they knelt before their guest and removed the day’s grime. Gathered together to celebrate the Passover meal, Jesus taught the disciples a great lesson about cleanliness and servanthood. The Apostle John witnessed first-hand their master and teacher remove His outer garment, wrap a towel around his waist and begin to wash the feet of His disciples. The scriptures only record one response to the washing of the feet. Peter was known for telling others what was on his mind; it’s no wonder the Apostle would proclaim “You shall never wash my feet!” You can bet that the other disciples were thinking the same. After all, Jesus was their teacher, the one whom stilled the waters with His mere voice, healed the lame with His touch, gave sight to the blind and even raised the dead to life. If anyone deserved to have their feet washed, it was Jesus. So, what does it say that the Lord Jesus would kneel down before His disciples, take the lowly position of a servant and wash their feet? Greatness in the Lord’s Kingdom does not come by rule or authority; it comes through humbly serving others. Brothers, this Sunday marks the beginning of Easter week. As we draw near to celebrating the life and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, may we be reminded of His great example of humility and servitude. Jesus set the mark for perfection and obedience while demonstrating his great love for mankind as He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil 2:8). Let’s follow in His footsteps of humility and serve one another in love. Tip: Certainly there are many well-mannered, wonderful boat owners who have treated there for-hire captains well over the years. For that, we say thank you. But for those captains who find themselves looking for work or entertaining the idea of leaving their current employment – make sure there is a clear, documented set of expectations that will help guide the relationship between boat owner and captain. (DW) View the full article
  22. <h2><a href="http://www.bluewaterbrotherhood.com/wp-content/uploads/Surrendered.jpg"data-pp="lightbox[1637]" class="autolink lightbox " ><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-535 imgborder" alt="Surrendered" src="http://www.bluewaterbrotherhood.com/wp-content/uploads/Surrendered-300x168.jpg" /></a></h2> <p>Even the most seasoned fishermen know that more often than not, a day on the water could finish with an empty box rather than a full catch. Good anglers cannot hone their skills without putting in time on the water….and that will include many days with a skunk in the box. Although we all understand that disappointing days are inevitable, it doesn’t make it any easier when you have to say “Well guys, let’s bring the lines in. Sorry we didn’t have a good day today, maybe next time”.</p> <p>That admission of defeat is especially hard if you’re tournament fishing or making your living as a charter captain. You feel as if you should just say “Maybe you should consider fishing with some of my competition, because obviously I can’t put you on any fish”. But the simple fact is, some days a good catch is not in the cards, the fish have moved on, sundown is drawing near and its time to surrender and head for the barn.</p> <p> </p> <p><em><strong>Genesis 32:22-31</strong></em></p> <p><em>That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. </em></p> <p><em>Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.</em></p> <p> </p> <p>After many years away, Jacob was heading back to his homeland. Just before crossing the Jordan on his journey home, the Scriptures describe a wrestling match between Jacob and God – an actual, physical wresting match. For Jacob, this encounter was the defining moment in his life.</p> <p>Up to that point, Jacob’s life had been marked by deception. His birth name meant “deceiver” or “supplanter”. Years before, Jacob’s scheming nature had cost his older brother, Esau, his birthright. Then, Jacob stole his father Isaac’s blessing rightfully due to the firstborn son – an almost unbearable loss for Easu. Afterwards, Jacob fled. His life was marred with ungodly actions, temptation, greed and selfishness.</p> <p>But something changed for Jacob on the banks of the Jordan River as he wrestled with God.</p> <p>God had proven His faithfulness to Jacob during his 20-year exile from his family. Even as his father-in -law, Laban, would attempt to deceive, steal from and control him, Jacob received favor from God. He became exceedingly prosperous with large flocks, servants and animals (Genesis 30:43). And it was God who determined that it was time for Jacob to return to the land of his fathers and family, even making the promise that He would be with Jacob.</p> <p>There is a point in time when each one of us is challenged to trust God. For Jacob, that point came as he stood between his flawed history and the future uncertainty of reuniting with his brother Esau. Jacob’s defining moment came after a night of wrestling with God as he humbly surrendered, placed his faith in the Lord and trusted God for the outcome. It was then that God changed his name to Israel. Jacob had become a new creation.</p> <p>You can also become a new creation by surrendering your past and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ.</p> <p><strong>Tip:</strong></p> <p>On those tough fishing days when the bites are few and far between, one of the guys that I fish with will always say “Well, that’s one more of those days behind us”. While it doesn’t make the day any easier for the captain, it sure is a good lesson about putting the past in the past. If you’re going to get good at anything, you have to put your time in. The great days when the rigger is full of release flags will come –and they’ll be all the more sweet because you’ve persevered through those rotten days on the water. (DW)</p> View the full article
  23. If there’s ever a place where a man can feel insignificant, it’s on the open water. The large sport fishing boat that you left the docks upon is easily dwarfed by the magnitude of blue water around you. After running 40+ miles to the edge of the continental shelf, you start to sense the enormous scale of the world. The Atlantic Ocean itself measures more than 30 million square miles with its deepest point at 28,000 feet. That’s more than 4600 fathoms deep for fishermen who enjoy trolling on the 100 fathom line. For those that make long distance crossings, the idea of running literally hundreds of miles without seeing another boat is a real possibility. On flat calm days, the ride can be enjoyable and serene. But when your sport fishing boat is bobbing around at the mercy of every single wave – and there’s still hours upon hours of traveling ahead of you – the realization of just how insignificant you are can really hit home. Psalm 8:3-9 (ESV) When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Just like a boat that is being tossed by relentless seas, it’s easy for us to feel insignificant in light of the overwhelming nature of day-to-day life. The busyness of long workdays, hectic family schedules and the pressures of providing for your lifestyle all have the ability to beat you down. Add in the stress of illness or financial uncertainties and you can quickly come to a place where you feel the world is spinning out of control and you are getting smaller and smaller. Even those who walk closely with the Lord can sometimes feel distant, lonely or inconsequential in comparison to the world around us. How could it be that the God of the universe – the one who spoke the heavens into existence and set the moon and the stars in the sky – be concerned with a mere man? Why would God care about me? But thankfully, we don’t have to rely on our feelings to shape our understanding. King David, who drafted Psalm 8, asked the question “what is man that You are mindful of him?” In the midst of our insecurities, it’s easy to wonder the same thing. Through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, David answered his own rhetorical question. Scripture teaches that it was God who created us. He created us in His own image unlike anything found in creation. God chose to crown mankind with a special dignity and honor. So why is it that we often don’t “feel” like God’s crowning achievement? Brothers, this is why we cannot rely on our feelings to shape our mindset! Instead, we must stand on the truth of Scripture! God has known each one of you from before the creation of the world. It was His hands that knit you together in your mother’s womb; you are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:13-16) So just how special and significant are you in the eyes Lord? Special enough that He was willing to send His Son to die on your behalf, paying the price for your sin in order that He may commune with you for all of eternity. That’s significance. Tip: When running offshore or making a long crossing, it’s always a good practice to have a buddy boat. Typically, you are not the only one headed in a particular direction. Whether you’re traveling to a productive fishing area or traversing to another country, partnering up with an additional boat can ensure that if an unforeseen situation occurs, help is just a quick call away. If a buddy boat is not an option, considering filing a float plan with the marina or a friend as a safeguard in case you are unable to make your destination. View the full article
  24. Fishing, in general, brings with it many traditions and rituals. Jimmy Houston goes mouth-to-mouth with his fish just before he releases it. Several of our talented Isla Mujeres mates enjoy performing sailfish dances in the cockpit to jump start a bite. There is one rite of passage, usually unknown to the angler that follows the celebration of their first billfish catch: the “billfish baptism”. Nothing is more rewarding for a crew than catching their guest’s first billfish. The excitement leading up to the bite; the battle between angler and beast; the pictures and smiles to go with the achievement are forever etched in everyone’s memory bank. The friendly folks from the Outer Banks call it “Creekin’”. I don’t know what the universal name of this tradition is, but what I do know is that no matter what language or what body of water; the unsuspecting angler is getting wet. The planning begins immediately. The hunter (angler) now becomes the hunted! Get’em when they least expect it. It takes perfect timing and quite often the strongest and largest crew member to pull it off. Once the ceremonial event is complete, the now proud water-soaked angler has officially become a member of a distinguished worldwide society of billfishers. Sprinkled or Immersed? When I was baptized as an infant, I was sprinkled. Obviously, I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t involved in the planning of the ceremony. I had no say in the decision that was being made for me that day. Fast forward 29 years; I was baptized again. This time a “born again” Baptism. The difference being; how I was getting wet and my willingness to get wet. I was aware of what I was doing. I understood the symbolism of this water ritual along with establishing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. My second Baptism was a new beginning spiritually. A fresh start with no religious baggage. The word baptize is from the Greek word baptizo, and the word Baptism is from the Greek word batisma or baptismos. Vine’s Greek New Testament Dictionary Baptism, Baptist, Baptize in Greek: [Noun] baptisma “baptism,” consisting of the processes of immersion, submersion and emergence (from bapto, “to dip”), is used Jesus sets the example. Matthew 3: 11-17 (NKJV) Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Jesus was obedient to God’s commands. The Ethiopian eunuch was taught the Word; he understood the Word and then submitted to the Word. Acts 8:26-39 (NKJV) Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. Baptism by immersion symbolizes the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Going under the water represents the burial and death to your old self. Rising or coming up out of the water represents new life. Romans 6:4 (NKJV) Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Baptism is a widely contested hot button issue for many denominations. Sprinkled or immersed? Are you saved before, during or after the Baptism? Is it a work? I’m not here to debate these questions. I’ll leave that to the Pastors and Theologians. Brothers and sisters, if you’ve accepted Jesus but have not been baptized, I pray that you sincerely search the Scriptures and stay humble through your study. Pride can creep into this decision-making process so easily. Trust and obey God’s Word. Catching your first billfish is a great accomplishment, but hardly a life changing moment. Identifying yourself as a believer in Jesus Christ and entering into the watery grave of Baptism will change your life forever. Tips: Know your target before you shove, push or tackle. Can your target swim? How old is your target? Make sure all electronic devices are not on the target. How deep is the water you are planning to push the target into? You may want to use an alternative body of water…a pool maybe? Or an alternative method: how about a saltwater bucket bath? Get the GoPro ready or photograph the plunge! This is a fun celebration; do not let it end up with sour grapes, expense or injury! Capt. Vinnie Donato Life’s Short, Fish Hard, Pray Harder View the full article
  25. <h2><a href="http://www.bluewaterbrotherhood.com/wp-content/uploads/Skeptic.jpg"data-pp="lightbox[1625]" class="autolink lightbox " ><img class="alignleft size-medium wp-image-1626 imgborder" alt="Skeptic" src="http://www.bluewaterbrotherhood.com/wp-content/uploads/Skeptic-300x173.jpg" /></a></h2> <p>It’s no wonder fishermen are skeptics; cautious about buying into every story we hear from the blue water. Why? Because we all know how quickly a good fishing story can be stretched into a tall tale. Somehow every time the story is told, the fish manage to get larger, the battle drags on longer and the once calm seas turn into an angry mess of white water.</p> <p>It’s easy to become sensitive to what’s really true or not. That’s when either a picture of the fish hanging or an eye witness account is needed to corroborate the tale. It’s called being proof positive. To believe this fish story is going to take some proof!</p> <p>Of course, this is all in good fun. No one has ever been intentionally hurt because of a tall tale from the salt water. If for nothing else, these fishing stories become great entertainment. But resting in the back of your mind will always be that question….. What do I really believe?</p> <p> </p> <p><strong><em>John 4:46-53 (ESV)</em></strong></p> <p><em>So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless yousee signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hourthe fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household.</em></p> <p> </p> <p>“Seeing is believing” is a common idiom that suggests if you see some form of concrete evidence, you will be likely to believe it to exist or be true, even though it’s most unlikely. For example, you might never believe that someone could catch a blue marlin on 2lb test monofilament. Watch the feat first hand and you’ll have no trouble believing. In the same context, many people have said, “I would believe that God exists if He made Himself known to me, if I heard His voice or saw some physical evidence”. Seeing is believing, right?</p> <p>But just because you don’t see Him directly doesn’t mean that He doesn’t exist.</p> <p>Not much has changed in two thousand years. The people of Jesus’ day were looking for the extraordinary to believe in as well.</p> <p>Jesus had already performed a miracle in the town of Cana, turning water into wine in the midst of a wedding feast. Throughout Jesus’ ministry, the demonstration of signs and miracles confirmed Jesus’ identity as the Christ, the Messiah and Son of God. Jesus’ miracles displayed His sovereignty over creation and His power to heal, restore and even conquer death.</p> <p>It’s no wonder people were captivated by the miracles. You can bet Jesus was the talk of Galilee. But did the people want a miracle worker or were they looking forward to a Savior?</p> <p>Jesus’ words were quite pointed, the crowds were enamored with the miracles but failed to believe in the One whom they pointed too. Excited to enjoy the best wine, joyful to see a young boy well, astounded that the lame could walk, the blind could see, and the dead could be raised to life – and yet they missed the treasure in which these miracles testified.</p> <p>Brothers, are you looking for a sign? Are you looking for proof positive that Jesus is the Christ?</p> <p>Two thousand years ago, Jesus hung on a cross, suspended between Heaven and Earth. He took your sin and he took my sin, and offered up His perfect obedience to each of us. His death redeemed us and the proof was the empty tomb. That’s the greatest miracle of all.</p> <p>Brothers, may our faith be like that of the official whose son was healed. He believed not because his eyes witnessed the miracle first hand, no, he placed his faith in the One who spoke the words. It’s Jesus in whom we place our faith. It’s Christ whom we believe in.</p> <p>Tip:</p> <p>It’s cold outside. Here in the Mid-Atlantic we’re seeing more snow than we are Bluefin tunas. Time to make sure our gear is ready. The offseason is perfect time to make sure all the leaders get switched out on our sea witch and Iland lure rigs. While they are apart it’s a good idea to soak them in warm water with a few drops of fabric softener. This will make the synthetic hair supple and eliminate tangles. Simply comb them out and let them dry and they’ll be like new again. (DW)</p> View the full article
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