Dear All [I]gCaptain[/I] Members-
I wanted to say hello and that I am truly excited that I found [I]gCaptain[/I]. Without question, this site, or something similar to it, has been needed in the maritime arena for a while. I guess with technology advancing so much that even I can figure it out, it was inevitable that something like [I]gCaptain[/I] would get off the ground. But John and Mark have really gone way beyond the normal Forum type of site. You can get lost for a couple days in some of the sections in [I]gCaptain[/I]…in fact I did! I did not “grow-up” with computers so I had to force myself to learn to use them. I can’t begin to tell you how computers have affected my work including things like legal research (I don’t think I could even find my way to a law library now!), sharing of information amongst lawyers, deposition transcript vaults of experts throughout the nation, the ability to collaborate against companies that are bad actors, the ability to communicate with clients that live on the other side of the world from me, the ability to research and find things one would never be able to find in preparing to depose a witness and on and on.
In 1993, I bought a 1965 41’ foot all wood, Juniper Hull, twin screw (8v53s) Ray Davis built in Marshallberg, North Carolina. She was the love of my life. However, she had no electronics. So, I remember buying the Garmin Map 220 with interchangeable Map/Navigation cartridges. With that sucker, even I could go any where any time day or night. It was like Nintendo! And I did, I went from Cape Hatteras to Kema, Texas and fished the western GoM for two years until there were no more fish; then I moved her to what seemed the end of the world…Venice, Louisiana and kept her there for two years. A brief note, there used to be a floater about 47 miles due south of South Pass named the George Richardson and they had a NW bouy and a SE bouy. Because I unfortunately had to work to pay for my fishing, at about 5:00pm every Friday I could, I would hop the SWA Bus from Houston Hobby direct to New Orleans International and my fishing buddies would pick me up and we go straight to Venice Marina (on the road to nowhere!); since she would only do about a steady 15kts, we would head out at night and make it to the George Richardson about midnight; they only had one supply boat working that platform and she usually tied to the SE Bouy which left the NW Bouy for us (this was all pre-911 when you could tie up to something in the GoM…I hate those terrorists!); the George Richardson would actually welcome us every night when we came and we named that bouy “the Apartment”; well about 0530HRS, we would eat breakfast (depending on what kind of seas there were that night dictated whether we were hungry or not as she would always find the trough if you get my drift); then we would let loose and fish for a good 10 hours and then do it all over again until Sunday about 1500HRS when we HAD to come back so I could catch the last SWA Bus back to Houston to be in Court Monday morning on hearings. Those were some fine days save and except about three different times when we were boarded and shook down by the rotating “new” cadets in the USCG out of the Venice USCG Station…I guess they were just doing their “job” but they sure knew how to ruin a good fishing trip!; anyway I moved her from Venice to Walker’s Cay, Bahamas with the intent to take her down the Lesser Antilles but the A/C went out and, after about four months, I had had all I could stand of “no problem man …she’ll be fixed this week”, I aborted the Lesser Antilles’ plans and we went to South Miami Beach! Well, Gianni Versaci got shot and all hell broke loose so, the mate and I decided to go to Cuba! Well, I have to tell you (please note I was single then), when we got to Marina Hemmingway, I thought for sure we had sunk, I had died, and actually landed in Man HEAVEN! Well needless to say, she didn’t leave the dock much for those two years but I would fly from Havana to Cancun and back to Houston and back for a total of 16 times! Don’t ask me why but I decided to bring her back to the states and about six yars later I sold her. Yes…the day I sold her was the happiest day of my life but only for about a year because when I think about all the incredible fun, adventurous times I had on her, I have to say I truly miss “The Virginian”…not so much that I want to buy her back mind you, but I do very much miss those times.
I apologize for the rambling and I promise not to do it again, but I thought if I was going to introduce myself, I should at least let you know that I am not a[I][B] total[/B][/I] landlubber lawyer. I love the sea and that love and the experience that I have gained actually make me be a better maritime lawyer than I would be without those two things.
Finally, I also joined [I]gCaptain[/I] because I hope I have something to offer. I will answer any legal question I can any time for any Member or Guest. If I do not know the answer, I will either research it and get the answer, refer you to someone that would know or “punt”. Obviously, if it involves something that is personal and confidential to you, I would please ask that you do it in a manner that is confidential rather than letting the “world” see it. My email is email@example.com and my cell is 713-569-7144. You may write or call anytime.
I want to thank John and Mike, and probably others I have not spoken with, for making [I]gCaptain[/I] a reality. So, with the promise I will never ramble again…Nice to Meet You All.