Cory Visser

Cory Visser, of Long Beach, has been fishing for over 50 years. He has never had a boat of his own but is always there for captains who need a good crew. He is proud that he was once part of a crew that caught a Grand Slam of tuna on a one-day trip.

Search This Blog

May 30, 2014

Tunaslam Corner-05-30-14

by Cory Visser

Thursday Recap Report-Weekend Possibilities:
A Summary of local fishing from Santa Monica to Oceanside, including Catalina and San Clemente Islands, with fishing trips out of San Diego down to Baja, Mexico.

The Holiday weekend fishing did not disappoint and more and more exotics are showing up on ½ day boats, ¾ day boats, full day Island fishing boats and best of all the 1.5 and longer trips out of San Diego.

Yellowtail and White Seabass are being caught at the Islands, and all along the coast in strategic areas from south of the border to the Channel Islands. Barracuda have now arrived almost everywhere and as far north as Santa Barbara. Bass fishing is improving all the time, with some outstanding Twilight trip fishing. Great quality on the Halibut being caught all over. With Barracuda moving in we are now enjoying a fabulous early season extravaganza of fishing opportunities! I am so drooling to get out, yet remain land locked for another few weeks on crutches, so get out and make me jealous of your catch!

As I said in my last report and now confirmed by numerous Captain's, catching Yellowfin Tuna within 1.5 day range of San Diego is virtually unheard of in May! Mix in early arriving huge schools of Bluefin Tuna to over 125 pounds and lots in the 60 to 70 pound range and the excitement runs high. Since everyone is anxious to get their lines wet and pull on these hard fighting fish, remember the sheer brute strength of fighting a 70 to 100 pound Bluefin Tuna tests all your angling skills! Many find out they are not up to the task, nor is their tackle. Be sure that your line you use is fresh, at least 40 to 50 pound in test, the drags on your reels are new or recently serviced, use strong circle hooks and a Flouro carbon leader when possible to gain better resistance in line fraying. Tuna do have teeth!

Unfortunately the quality of the Yellowtail found recently on kelp paddies down near the Tuna grounds have been babies in the 3 to 5 pound. I urge everyone to please release as many as possible and allow them to grow.

I got my first taste of fresh Yellowfin Tuna this week as my good friend Lal caught a couple, he also lost a few big Bluefin Tuna to chewed line and pulled hooks. Fresh Tuna is so rewarding at the dinner table or as sashimi!

If you have the time and the money your best bet on getting into a good Tuna bite is a 2.5 day trip. This allows the Captain to target areas beyond 150 miles, which is the outer limit to a 1.5 day trip. Just think, most sport boats travel at 10 knots, so that is roughly 15 hours out and then 15 hours back, 30 hours of just traveling, which does not leave much time for fishing on a 1.5 day trip, you more than double your fishing time on a 2.5 day trip and can go as far as 190 miles if needed.

Here are some happy anglers with 60 to70 pound Bluefin Tuna caught off the Pacific Voyager which returned Monday from their 2.5 day trip:

The ¾ day boats are still catching lots of Reds, Lingcod and other assorted bottom critters. Local Bass fishing is also improving, especially on Twilight runs. Barracuda down south and at the Islands should soon turn into some great local opportunities on the flats and at the Horseshoe Kelp areas.

This 8+ pound Sand Bass was caught by angler Puria, off the Twilight trip on the Monte Carlo, Sunday, 05-25-14:

Angler John fished on the Eclipse and there was carnage all around on their 2 day offshore adventure out of San Diego over the weekend:

The Condor out of San Diego ran offshore returning Mon. 05-26-14 and committed carnage on some big Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna for a total of 265 mixed fish, outstanding:

The San Diego managed to catch 27 Yellowtail on their Wednesday, 04-09-14 trip to the Coronado Islands. The Malahini contributed 14 Yellowtail on their Tuesday trip.

The San Diego caught 1 Yellowtail, plus a bunch of Barracuda on their Tuesday trip, 05-27-14:

Jackpot Lingcod off the Pacific Islander at San Miguel Island Sunday, 04-06-14 by angler Mike:

Private boater Matt fishing with his dad Charter Master Benny caught this 9 pound Calico Bass along the Palos Verde coast on Memorial Day:

Pretty ladies who fish or maybe not:

Some exciting fishing happening out of Oceanside this week on the ½ day boats no less, here is a Tanker White Seabass caught on the Helena, Tuesday, 05-27-14:

How about a 41 pound Yellowtail caught off the ½ day boat Sea Trek out of Oceanside Sportfishing, Sunday, 05-25-14:

A second big Oceanside Tail:

Private boater Alex with a 31 pound Yellowtail:

Another private boater named Alex with a 30 pound Yellowtail caught off San Onofre:

Private boater Tim with son find the Yellowtail, Lingcod and a White Seabass on the chew:

Some Barracuda caught out of Dana Wharf:

The Huck Finn finds the Halibut to 28 pounds and Calico Bass to 12 pounds on Wednesday, 05-28-14:

The Aloha Spirit got in a wide open bite on the Barracuda on Tue.-05-27-14:

Nice Lingcod off the Stardust:

The Islands

Catalina/Santa Barbara Island!

The Sport King gets the job done on the Yellowtail:

Yellowtail caught off the Sport King Tuesday, 05-27-14:

The Pacific Star whacking the White Seabass:

Private boater Tyrone, Father Norman and friend catch limits of White Seabass for the third trip in a row over the Holiday weekend:

Private boater Greg and friend with big White Seabass:

White Seabass off the Seeker:

San Clemente Island!

Huge Calico Bass off the Thunderbird, plus White Seabass and Yellowtail, 05-29-14:

Nice Halibut on the El Dorado:

Down South-San Diego and good ole Mexico!

Private boaters Rick and Doug of Let's Talk Hook up, get in on the Yellowtail action at the Coronado's and then go to work on the Halibut on Wednesday, 05-28-14:

Captain Duane of Seasons Sportfishing took the Holiday weekend off and got back on the water on Wed.-05-28-14 and found the big Yellowtail still on the chew:

Private boaters Brandon and friends continue to score on the Coronado Island Yellowtail:

Captain Kelly of K&M Sportfishing Charters said the Yellowtail went on the chew over the Holiday weekend and they caught a Tanker White Seabass too:


Big brother Jacob holding my new grandson Landon, born Friday, 05-23-14, which is on my birthday:


All comments and suggestions welcomed!


The weather forecast for Saturday is for breezy conditions offshore, not too bad close to shore, with Sunday looking to be about the same. Always check the latest forecast before leaving the dock.

Hook Up,Cory

May 23, 2014

Tunaslam Corner-05-23-14

by Cory Visser

Thursday Recap Report-Weekend Possibilities:
A Summary of local fishing from Santa Monica to Oceanside, including Catalina and San Clemente Islands, with fishing trips out of San Diego down to Baja, Mexico.

Just my luck the fishing goes on a virtual explosion almost everywhere, while I rest on my re-built knee and walk with crutches for another couple of weeks. Well as least the rest of you can take advantage of this exciting arrival of great fishing for Yellowtail at the Islands and offshore on kelp paddies. White Seabass at Catalina, San Clemente and the Channel Islands, which are putting on a good show. And whoever heard of Yellowfin Tuna in May this close to shore, wow? Mix in early arriving Bluefin Tuna and the Holiday weekend is loaded with opportunities to catch a bunch of Exotics, so go get em, as I sit on the sidelines, a wishing I was fishing.

I understand most boats are already sold out down in San Diego for 1.5 to 3 day trips this weekend. The weather is shaping up nicely, so get out and make me jealous by catching some big'ns! Send me your pictures so I can include them in the Corner next week!

The Yellowtail bite at the Coronado Islands has been the most consistent in recent memory, as these fish started to bite way back in January and are still on a tear!

The ¾ day boats are still catching lots of Reds, Lingcod and other assorted bottom critters that is, those that don't make the run to Catalina for Yellowtail and other exotics. Local Bass fishing is also improving, especially on Twilight runs. Barracuda down south and at the Islands should soon turn into some great local opportunities on the flats and at the Horseshoe Kelp areas. However, offshore is the big story! There has also been some excellent Halibut fishing in a variety of areas, especially at the Channel Islands for the big boys!

Angler Alex took the jackpot on the Eclipse with a 35 pound Bluefin Tuna, he also caught Yellowtail and a Yellowfin Tuna on their 2 day offshore adventure out of San Diego over the weekend:

The Condor out of San Diego ran offshore returning Wed. 05-21-14 and found Yellowtail on the Kelp Paddies, and caught some Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna boil:

The 3/4 day boat San Diego out of Seaforth Landing managed to catch 43 Yellowtail on their Thursday, 05-22-14 trip to the Coronado Islands. The Malahini contributed 64 Yellowtail on their Thursday trip.

Here are some pictures of the 31 Yellowtail, plus some Barracuda caught on the Malahini Wednesday, 05-21-14:

Another good score on Thursday, 05-22-14:

The Mission Belle caught 26 Yellowtail, plus some Barracuda on their Thursday trip, 05-21-14, here is angler John with his limit of Tails:

Nice Reds for angler Ricardo, Wednesday, 05-21-14:

Pretty ladies who fish or maybe not:

Angler Rick catches a nice White Seabass at Santa Cruz Island on Tuesday, 05-20-14:

Blue Horizon finds the White Seabass and Yellowtail on the chew, Tuesday, 05-20-14:

Cobra finds the Halibut and White Seabass on Tuesday, 05-20-14:

Another big Cobra Halibut caught 05-22-14:

Good fishing off the Aloha Spirit on Wed.-05-21-14, Halibut and White Seabass with Anacapa Island in the background:

The Islands

Catalina/Santa Barbara Island!

A nice Catalina Squid float:

Yellowtail and Barracuda off the Sport King, Tue. 05-20-14:

More Tails on Thursday, 05-22-14:

Lots of Rockfish on Sunday's trip aboard the Sport King:

Private boater Tyrone with White Seabass caught at the island on several recent trips:

Private boater Norman with a toad White Seabass:

The ¾ day boat Pursuit got into the hot Yellowtail bite catching 41 on their Thursday, 05-22-14 trip. They have also caught 34 Barracuda to go with Rockfish, Bass, Sheephead and Whitefish at the Island.

San Clemente Island!

Yellowtail caught off the Thunderbird at San Clemente Tuesday, 05-20-14:

After three cancellations the El Dorado finally got out on a charter that was originally scheduled for March 1st, on Sat. 05-17-14 which I was supposed to be on:

Down South-San Diego and good ole Mexico!

Angler Buddy with a nice Calico Bass on the Dolphin, Wednesday, 05-21-14:

Angler Larry with a large Yellowtail caught at the Coronado Islands on Monday, 05-20-14:

Angler Aaron and friend with Halibut and Yellowtail:

Big Yellowtail off the Pacific Queen offshore:

Captain Duane of Seasons Sportfishing continues on a hot streak catching lots of Yellowtail over the weekend and Monday:

Private boaters Brandon and Darren score on the Coronado Island Yellowtail:


All comments and suggestions welcomed!


The weather forecast for the Holiday weekend looks to be awesome. Always check the latest forecast before leaving the dock.

Hook Up,

May 09, 2014

Tunaslam Corner-05-09-14

by Cory Visser

Thursday Recap Report-Weekend Possibilities:
A Summary of local fishing from Santa Monica to Oceanside, including Catalina and San Clemente Islands, with fishing trips out of San Diego down to Baja, Mexico.

Mother wind sure knows how to kill a good bite! The Ghosts (White Seabass) were finally making a good appearance at Catalina, the Yellowtail too! Also Yellowtail at San Clemente Island as well as a more consistent bite down south at the Coronado Islands, Rockpile, Ensenada and San Quintin was affected. This weekend calls for more wind, at least in the afternoon and it looks nasty offshore.

The beat continues, when they can get out, for local Reds, Lingcod and other assorted bottom critters. Local Bass fishing, especially on Twilight runs was showing steady improvement, until water temps fell to 55 degrees. The Barracuda bite never got going this week, soon we hope.

The Dominator out of San Diego ran offshore for an exploratory trip on Sat. 05-03-14 and found a few Yellowtail on the Kelp Paddies, and caught some 15 to 18 pound Bonito while watching 50 pound Bluefin Tuna boil around the boat, yet would not eat anything with a hook in it?

The San Diego managed to catch 18 Yellowtail on their Thursday, 05-07-14 trip to the Coronado Islands.

Charter master Benny put the group on some nice local Calico Bass caught on Saturday, 05-03-14:

Charter master Dave puts this private boater on a 55 pound Yellowtail out of Dana Point:

Pretty ladies who fish or maybe not:

Nice Lingcod off the Stardust caught on Sunday's trip, 05-04-13:

The Stardust has another great trip on Thursday, 05-08-14:

Nice Halibut and Reds off the Aloha Spirit Thursday, 05-08-14:

End of a good day, Monday 05-05-14 with a White Seabass on the Spirit:

The Islands

Catalina/Santa Barbara Island!

The Mardiosa caught 3 White Seabass and 3 Yellowtail Sat. 05-03-14, with good Calico Bass fishing later

Private boater Jonathan made it trip to the island on Saturday, 05-03-14 and found the right kind with lots of Calico Bass:


San Clemente Island!

Yellowtail caught off the Seeker at San Clemente Saturday, 05-03-14:

Yellowtail caught off the Thunderbird at San Clemente Saturday, 05-03-14:

A nice Halibut and some good Calico Bass caught off the Thunderbird on Thursday, 05-08-14:

Angler Sergio with a big Calico Bass:

Angler Pam fished on the Fortune on Sat. 05-03-14 and caught several Yellowtail out of the 14 landed on the trip:

The El Dorado gets in on the Yellowtail bite, Sat. 05-03-14:

Down South-San Diego and good ole Mexico!

A big Lingcod and some Reds on the Dolphin, Thursday, 05-08-14:

Point Loma Yellowtail caught by angler John, Mon. 05-05-14:

Private boater Darren with some nice Tails caught over the weekend:

Captain Duane of Seasons Sportfishing puts the wood to the Tails over the weekend and Monday:

Captain Kelly of K&M Sportfishing Charters again found some Yellowtail biting on the iron fishing out of San Quintin, here is angler John with some dandy Tails:


[img] border=0>[/embed]

All comments and suggestions welcomed!


The weather forecast for Saturday is not bad in the morning near shore, but breezy conditions in the afternoon, nasty offshore, not too bad close to shore, with Sunday looking to be a little worse. Always check the latest forecast before leaving the dock.

[img] border=0>[/embed]

I am not sure when I will be fishing again as I am scheduled for surgery today to re-attach my quad muscle to my knee cap?

Hook Up,Cory

May 02, 2014

Tunaslam Corner-05-02-14

by Cory Visser

Thursday Recap Report-Weekend Possibilities:
A Summary of local fishing from Santa Monica to Oceanside, including Catalina and San Clemente Islands, with fishing trips out of San Diego down to Baja, Mexico.

Gale force winds over the weekend and into the early part of the week left many a boater at home. Consequently the fish reports are scarce for the weekend; however, despite high wind forecasts during the week, many boats made it out and caught a lot of exotics, Yellowtail and White Seabass combined down south and at Catalina and San Clemente!

Both the Pursuit and Thunderbird picked up White Seabass and Barracuda on their Thursday trip to Catalina Island. Let the games begin! We should see Barracuda show up locally as soon as water temps get back into the low to mid 60's!

The Yellowtail continue to go off at the Coronado Islands.

They caught 21 Yellowtail on the Malahini Monday, 04-28-14:

Another 42 Yellowtail caught on the Malahini Thursday, 05-01-14:

The San Diego caught 25 Yellowtail on their Tuesday trip, 04-29-14, here is angler John with a nice Tail:

Then the San Diego caught 94 Yellowtail on Wednesday, 04-30-14, here is angler Scott and friends with a few:

How about some local White Seabass to 60 pounds by private boater Brian and brother Nate:

Reds, Lingcod and other assorted bottom critters are on the agenda for most boats. Local Bass fishing, especially on Twilight runs is showing steady improvement, despite water temps that fell to 55 degrees, yikes! This week's occurrence of 90 degree days definitely will help this scenario?

Angler James with a monster Halibut caught on the California Dawn:

Private boater Vince with friend Jason find the Sand Bass and Calicos on the chew in Santa Monica Bay Sunday, 04-27-14:

Private boater Lal with a 7 pound Calico Bass caught at Izor's Reef Thursday, 05-01-14:

Pretty ladies who fish or maybe not:

The Stardust fishing Tuesday, 04-29-14:

Speed Twin Lingcod and Sheephead:

The Islands

Catalina/Santa Barbara Island!

White Seabass off the Dreamer, Sat. 04-26-14:

Charter master Dave Hansen found limits of White Seabass for three on Wednesday, 04-30-14:

Angler John with more White Seabass caught at the island:

Charter master Jimmy Decker puts Julia and Tracey on the big Calico Bass:

Charter master Benny with an 8.4 pound Calico Bass caught on Wednesday, 04-30-14:

The ¾ day boat Pursuit has been doing well on Rockfish, Bass, Sheephead and Whitefish at the Island when they can get out. Here is a nice Calico Bass caught recently:

The Thunderbird found a White Seabass on the chew at Catalina Island, along with some Barracuda, Halibut and Rockfish on their Monday 04-28-14 run.

Everyone is getting in on the action:

San Clemente Island!

Great fishing off the El Dorado Monday, 04-28-14:

Nice Calico Bass at the Island:

Down South-San Diego and good ole Mexico!

Some nice Sculpin on the Dolphin, Tuesday, 04-29-14:

Captain Jamie of Seasons Sportfishing finds the big Yellowtail on the chew:

Then Captain Duane of Seasons Sportfishing did the same thing on Wednesday, 04-30-14, full limits:

Captain Kelly of K&M Sportfishing Charters found some Yellowtail biting on the iron fishing out of San Quintin:



What we have to look forward too?

All comments and suggestions welcomed!


The weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday looking to be a bit calmer. Always check the latest forecast before leaving the dock.

Hook Up,

May 01, 2014

Tunaslam Corner-Part II Hawaii

by Cory Visser

Regular Tunaslam Corner tomorrow, and yes the fish are biting, despite the wind!

Part II Tahiti and Hawaii 12 day cruise!

For those of you you don't like to read much, skip Day 4 through 8 and start at Day 9, otherwise those that have never been on a cruise, read on!

Day 4 out to sea heading to Hawaii!

I preferred the elegant dining experience of the dining room, as opposed to the breakfast buffet. The service was always superb, although the selections were limited. It also kept me from eating too much and they had Lox and Bagel on the menu daily, not so in the buffet! The wife liked the freedom of choice in the buffet and instant serving.

In addition the Pizza Parlor doubled as an Omelet bar during the breakfast hour. They did make a fabulous Ham, Cheese, Mushroom and Jalapeno Omelet! The amount of different foods offered was extraordinary.

Unlike many buffets you go too, even for breakfast, they always added different items to choose from and the quality was exceptional, similar to a great Las Vegas buffet, with perhaps less seafood? The same could be said for lunch, great variety! We never did the dinner buffet, as the dining room experience was just too good to miss!

With five full days at sea ahead of us, we were now in total relax and unwind mode! Since we had virtually no schedules to worry about, we planned our first day at sea. At 9am there was a tour presentation of the big island of Hawaii, and our first port of call was Hilo.

Sharon was the narrator, a 28 year resident of Hawaii and she was sensational. Sharon did not promote any particular tour. Which we liked, she simply explained all the special places to visit, with some super visual slides. Her in depth knowledge of all Islands allowed for many a question to be answered. The size and age of each island was discussed, the recent volcano activity that had occurred, and any particular area to avoid as a tourist, mostly those areas that required four wheel vehicles and had poor roads or could be dangerous for hiking?

At 10am I signed up for the Hold em Poker tournament at 2pm and it was cancelled due to lack of interest? The wife visited the on board gift shop. Believe it or not the ship's gift shop had some great deals on souvenir items up to 75% off on clearance items, such as shirts and dresses, some costume jewelry and watches.

For example: high quality T-shirts at two for $20.00 or $13.99 each. The cheapest T-shirt I could find in Bora Bora was $31.00! We also both bought some Hawaiian items, a shirt for me, and a blouse and dress for my honey! Funny thing we never worn them, expecting a Hawaiian night that never came? They did have a late night Hawaiian pool party one night, which we chose not to attend. We are not night owls.

At 11am we spent our first time for an opportunity enjoying the ship's pool. So far the weather has been sensational, 78 degrees, little humidity, with scattered clouds, some early morning and late afternoon showers. It did rain hard several nights. Today the seas were calm, and just enough breeze to keep you comfortable while sun bathing.

If you ordered a bucket of beer you got five for the price of four! They had several international flavors, our favorite beer is Dos Equis Amber, unfortunately they had only light, and so we enjoyed their other selection, Becks Beer. Coors, Bud and Miller were all available at $5.00 each, same price as the two offered foreign beers.

We signed up for the wine tasting event at 3pm, so it was time to shower and dress for this enjoyable experience. It was pricey for wine tasting at $25 each, yet we were not disappointed when they displayed four wines and Champagne listed at $89.00. Both white wines, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc were in the mid-$40 range, while the two reds, a Luce Malbec and a Caymus Cabernet were $110 and $150 respectively.

The Luce was beyond spectacular and so was the Cabernet! Later in the trip they offered another wine tasting for less expensive wines at $9.50 each, which we also attended. I believe all the wines were well chosen and priced fairly for elegant dining? The pours were generous compared to some tasting's we have attended, at least four to five sips as opposed to two?

During the wine tasting event which was hosted by the ship's head waiter Flavio, from Romania and head Mater Dei restaurant manager, Pepe from Italy. Flavio became a joy to interact with in the dining room, and assisted me in ordering several excellent wines I was unfamiliar with for our fine dining enjoyment.

We skipped cocktail hour today, given the wine event and watched Saving Mr. Banks in our room. During the trip they offered about five great movies from recent showings and a bunch more from prior years, although we generally only watched TV when dressing for dinner or taking a short break. Both of us preferred to read books the majority of the time, rather than watch TV.

Wine for tonight's dinner was a delightful red Bollo from Spain, as suggested by Flavio, absolutely superb! I had to pay a little bit extra as it was over $50. Featured Appetizer was a duck pate, outstanding with Cream of Asparagus soup. The wife ordered Fettuccine Alfredo, and I ordered Blackened Cod and Scallops. Desert was a Pecan Tart.

There were always five choices for desert not including any flavor of ice cream and sauces, which were always available.

Tonight's entertainment was a Violinist who played with an Irish flair, very upbeat and nicely done!

Day 5, 2nd day out to sea heading to Hawaii!

I was up at 6am, while the wife slept in until 8am. I finished my third book today. We chose the buffet for breakfast. I combined Eggs Florentine with Canadian bacon and Corned Beef Hash. Sheryl loved the large spread of various croissants to choose from, adding one slice of bacon and a small scoop of scrambled eggs.

Today's tour summary was on Kona. Some five years ago we spent a week on the big Island and visited most of the major areas to see. Unfortunately the prime event of watching the volcano flow into the ocean in a fiery explosion of steam was recently diverted by an earth quake and no longer allowed any viewing from shore, only the ocean. Having spent lots of time in the area, we did not plan to do much except ride the trolley, which costs only $2 each and travels as far as 10 miles down the coast to all the beaches and major hotels.

After the tour we met Eric and Jenny, who were avid travelers, and were fortunate enough to having retired in their 50's after selling their Taiwan export/import business. With their children mostly raised, they spent as much time traveling abroad as possible. They discussed their frugal traveling methods with us and we found them quite fascinating. Learning how to stretch a dollar allowed them to do things and go places that much more. Eric and Jenny live in Vancouver where they emigrated from Taiwan in the mid 90's. Our cruise ship continues on to Vancouver for its 2nd leg, an additional 10 days which includes another visit to the four islands we would visit on this leg.

They are already scheduled for a 30 day river cruise in June in Europe, I'm jealous? We left them with promises to meet again and share some activities in Hawaii as well as join them in the Italian dining room; Sabatini's which requires a $25 cover charge each. The other specialty restaurant was a steak house which they had already attended and stated it was quite special.

At 10:30 am I signed up for the Hold em Poker tournament at 2pm and this time the game was on. We returned to our room and read books on our balcony, as it was 80 degrees and balmy out.

We had an excellent lunch in the dining room and I continued on to the poker tournament. There were seven signed up, which is the max for the only table available? Did I mention the ship is small and so is the Casino. We began the game with six players, as number 7 was a no show! It was a $60 buy in and the house would keep $60 leaving $300 for the pot.

On my first hand I almost lost all my chips, as I had two pair and four clubs on the flop! Did not improve my hand and managed to stay in the game with only a third of my beginning chips left. Not a good start! However, I recovered quickly and won the next two hands with three of a kind and a straight. The person who won the first hand and 2/3's of my chips continued to win and knock out other players. I had one more head on head with him and this time I won.

After about an hour the blinds were raised to a level that any conservative player not playing their cards fell by the wayside. It was down to the two of us when number three and four both fell in the same hand.

He had a bit more chips than I and if he prevailed would have ended up winning $210 and I would win $90 as second place. I asked him if he wished to split the pot, $150 each. He hesitated and said I really want to play it out. I told him no worries, however $150 was guaranteed if we split instead of $90 if he lost. He decided $150 was good enough, so we split it.

Joined the wife in the room, took a shower and got ready for cocktails at 5pm. Today it was 24 carat Gold Margarita's made with Tequila, Amaretto and Grand Marnier, wow that was good and became our drink of choice, the rest of the cruise.

For dinner the wine of choice was a fabulous California Zinfandel. Appetizers were Escargot or a tasty ceviche made with Calamari, Shrimp and Crab, then I ordered Cream of Sweet Potato Soup. The main entree was Surf and Turf, Filet and Prawns. Fort desert I had Cheesecake. There were always many other items to order off the menu each night!

Tonight's show was a magic show, quite well done.

Day 6, 3rd day out to sea, heading to Hawaii!

I slept in until 7am today and we both woke up to rough seas. As the day progressed the seas built from 25 knot winds and 6 to 8 foot waves in the morning, to 40 knot winds and 10 to 12 foot seas by late afternoon. Earlier this morning we had crossed the Equator. We had now graduated from being Poly Wogs to Shell Clams, this being our first time crossing the equator by sea!

After a nice sit down breakfast we attended the tour discussion at 9am about Maui. This would be our third visit to this Island and I wanted to rent a car and go to all the places we had not yet visited. I was going to discuss this with Eric and Jenny; however, they did not attend the discussion. It turns out Jenny was seasick? Sharon again made the presentation quite fascinating. My plan included a visit to a pineapple winery for wine tasting and views up high of the other side of the Island, then on to the Iao Needle and then on to the many beaches we had not yet visited.

The poker tournament was again cancelled due to lack of interest. At 11am there was a ceremony welcoming all the Poly Wogs to the group of Clam Shells. The crew dressed up as Islanders and put some volunteers on trial as a hoax and then punished them with floggings, etc.

An example of one person on trial was for being accused as a glutton. The evidence accumulated was for a given day's consumption of meals! The accused was determined to have ordered a continental breakfast in their room, then attending the sit down breakfast, then on to the buffet breakfast.

Later in the morning it was a visit to the Pizza Parlor, a sit down lunch, and on to the buffet lunch. Hamburgers and fries in the late afternoon on the pool deck. Then the attendance to both the sit down dinner early seating, while changing clothes and adding a disguise and false room# to also attend the late seating! And finally an attendance to the midnight buffet! Yikes, guilty as charged and flogged 25 times!

The pool was closed today as the rocking of the boat was splashing water everywhere. So we decided to attend Bingo today. Grand prize for blackout was up to $1050! No winning for us, not even close to one number in the four games played. No one won blackout at 52 numbers, so it rolled over to the next day.

For lunch I ordered spaghetti and meatballs and a slice of meatloaf. Read and watched movies (The Hunger Games) in the room before having more 24K Margaritas at 5pm.

The dining room tonight was half empty as a good many were seasick!
For dinner I had Roast Pork and BBQ Chicken. We both enjoyed Cream Brule for desert. The singing and dancing show planned for the evening was cancelled due to the rough seas, too dangerous! We instead got a repeat performance of the Violinist accompanied by a great Piano Player.

Day 7, 4th day out to sea, heading to Hawaii!

Again I slept in until 7am and woke up to rain, wind and big swells! By this time the sit down Breakfast was all too much the same, so we elected the buffet which continues to provide variety and today had my favorite Lox and Bagel and Eggs Benedict, while Sheryl had a fantastic Belgium French Toast.

We attended the tour discussion at 9am about Kauai. We were really looking forward to this presentation as we have only been there once before some 40 years ago! Eric joined us this time, however Jenny was still seasick, unfortunately. We loved the presentation and the decision was again made to rent a car for the day. Eric agreed to join us on both Maui and Kauai, thereby sharing the cost of the rental car which turned out to average $110 each day, or only $30per day per person compared to most tours costing well over $100 each per day.

Although the pool was still closed and sunbathing in the wind left a lot to be desired we enjoyed another bucket of Beck's beer. Sit down lunch was Fish and Chips with 4 flavor soup including Duck and mushrooms.

Today's wine tasting at 3pm was quite nice, with narrator Flavio and Pepe doing a grand job of explaining which wines grew in what climates best and some details on wine making in their respective countries of Italy and Spain. The wines were refreshing and on the lighter side, but still tasty!

We passed on cocktail hour, given we had beers and wine tasting earlier. We attended a 7pm Magic show before dinner tonight, as there was no late show. Tonight's featured meal was Roast Duckling, an appetizer of Scallops ceviche with avocado, then Oyster soup, a Caesar's salad and for desert a Grand Marnier Souffle!

Day 8, 5th and last day out to sea, heading to Hawaii!

A very rough evening, as the boat rocked and rolled all night, with some darn good slams into the big seas. Still my honey did not get sick, I am so proud of her. Woke up to pouring down rain at 5am and could not go back to sleep, so upstairs for coffee and more reading, now on book number four! Good thing there was always time for naps? The wife joined me at 8am for the breakfast buffet.

We attended the tour discussion at 9am about Oahu, despite the fact we would be able to tour the island, given we had to be at the airport by 10:30 am. The boat was scheduled to leave at 11pm, so there was plenty of time for those staying on the boat and many others stayed an extra night or two on the Island. Once again we had pretty much seen everything on Oahu, having been there six previous times, although we would both want to return as soon as possible, you never get tired of Hawaii?

Nevertheless the presentation was very interesting about the development of the island and its many places to see.

Let me tell, you have missed out, If you have not been to the Polynesian Cultural Center and attended the Luau with a cast of over 100 college students grand performance featuring all the Polynesian cultures in the Pacific Ocean, such as Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Tahiti and of course Hawaii. They all have unique dance styles and costumes. An unforgettable evening!

As the day progressed the seas and wind subsided somewhat, but were still around 20 knots, with 6 to 7 feet swells most of the day. The bingo blackout was up to $1350 and since it was the last day, a winner was guaranteed! So we played some extra sheets, but no luck for us! Sheryl was one number away, oh so close?

The sit down lunch featured Red Snapper Filets, BBQ Chicken, or Meatloaf, a deep fried Calamari Appetizer, white Cabbage, scalloped potatoes, and fresh broccoli.

Did some more reading and took advantage of nap time. Tonight we were invited to the Captain's Cocktail party at 5pm. The wife was offered some champagne to start, and then chose a Cosmopolitan, as I enjoyed a Vodka Giblet and then a glass of Red wine.

The weather was good enough to allow the show to go on before dinner at 7pm. This was a fun show featuring oldies but goodies! They sang and danced to Beatles songs, Elvis, The Four Tops, Monkeys and more. I can't believe how many costumes they changed into and all were colorful! It was a very fun show!

Dinner tonight included Pheasant or Beef Wellington, I had both. The appetizers and soups were always special and tasty. The special desert tonight was a Chocolate Soufflé. All their Soufflés were sensational!

Day 9, Hilo, Hawaii!

Woke up to pouring down rain, yikes! I slept in until 6:30 am. The boat anchored up at 8am and the Tenders transferred the booked tour passengers to the island first. We were scheduled to depart at 9am; however we waited until the rain stopped at 10am. Being one of the last to depart, we encountered a local tour guide anxious for customers. They were called the Hawaii Adventure Tour. So far they had no takers or we were either their second or last tour opportunity.

We explained that our prime interest was the Botanical Gardens. They stated that was not part of their package, however if no other group appeared in the next 10 minutes we could not only visit the Botanical Gardens but most of their other tour destinations and attractions! That was cool, so we agreed to go!

No one else joined us and our first stop was the Japanese Gardens nearby! Wow this was very nicely landscaped, quite beautiful! Check out these pictures:

The drive out to the Botanical Gardens was loaded with great tropical views and coastline shots:

This is twin Rocks:

We arrived at the Botanical Gardens and Grace our tour guide said she would return for us in an hour. As we purchased tickets for the visit, we also bought some Mosquito repellant cloth, which was highly recommended. A good choice as the area was loaded with the little rascals! We also grabbed a couple Umbrellas, courtesy of the tour, how cool? Walking into the gardens the rain began. Talk about spoiling our pictures?

We began the descent into the gardens; yikes I have a torn Meniscus and Quad Muscle. This downward approach meant a serious uphill climb on our return, not to my liking, yet I was a good sport? The total walk around was 1.25 miles, a gigantic effort on my part, yet I made it!

The garden was spectacular, and would be even more beautiful with sunlight! Still I got some very sweet looking views:

A waterfall inside the gardens:

The Guardian of the garden?

At the bottom we reach the ocean, what a beautiful place:

Grace was waiting when we returned from the Gardens. She took us to a number of local sites and tourist attractions, then on to a local beach which was one of the few with White Sands on this side of the island:

We stopped at Long Drugs to buy our allotted one wine bottle per person on the boat. A nice California Chardonnay and Cabernet was purchased. We were now covered for Cocktail hour. Grace was a special guide giving us all we could ask for in a 3.5 hour tour at a price that a simple cab ride to the botanical gardens would of cost us, so cool!

A picture from our room of Hilo Harbor, oh where did the sunshine go?

We returned in time to hit the buffet for lunch at 2pm. Then we simply chilled out for the rest of the afternoon. As I continued to read, the wife watched some more first run movies in the room.
The theme for dinner was Italian. First time I actually recognized a theme, although they were always wearing different uniforms on any given night? We enjoyed Seafood appetizers, Minestrone Soup, all the great kinds of pasta, Lasagna, Spaghetti, Fettuccine Alfredo, etc. Desert was an Italian six layered cake with Ice Cream.

Day 10, Kona, Hawaii.

The ship was able to dock in the harbor at 8am, thereby allowing all passengers to leave at their leisure. No tenders today! We slept in and made our way off the boat at around 9am. We caught the free shuttle to Hilo Hattie's about a mile away from the pier. We were given each a key to open a surprise box. Sheryl's key worked and she had the choice of a silver necklace and pendant or several other nice gift's.

She chose the necklace. We browsed around and bought several other souvenirs and during our hour in the store, numerous people tried their keys and no one else won, as a big bell goes off when someone wins!

From the store we jumped on a Trolley that does a round trip down the coast to all the beaches and major hotels and to all the major department stores. However, since today was Easter almost all stores were closed, except Walmart, and we spent some time there on our return. The trip along the coast was pleasant and there was some good sightseeing except picture taking in the rain does not do well, so no pictures on this journey. For $2.00 each we got quite the grand tour, with some great beaches and surf spots along the way, including Magic Sands Beach which during storms loses all its sand until the next storm when it magically reappears!

We re-boarded the ship at around 2pm just in time for the last call on the luncheon buffet. We then retired to our room for reading and relaxing and some short naps! At 5pm we enjoyed some wine in the room for cocktail hour.

Nice Easter decorations, would love to bite into one of those Chocolate Eggs:

Dinner at 8 was again Prime Rib night and had to have that once more. Skipped the Magic show tonight.

Day 11, Maui, Hawaii

The ship anchored up in the harbor at 7:30 am, and the tenders began to run shortly after the port authorities cleared everyone for departure. Our rental car shuttle would meet us at the dock at 8:30 am. We met Eric and Jenny in the Casino at 8am where we would get our tender tickets to run to the dock. All booked tours received preference for tenders.

Near the dock, this is one of the largest known Banyan trees in the world:

The pier area with lots of charter boat operations:

I asked what was biting and they told me Blue Marlin in the 150 to 300 pound range, 15 to 25 pound Yellowfin Tuna, and similar sized Mahi Mahi!

The shuttle showed up at 8:15 am and took us to the car rental agency. We chose a Chevy Cruze and proceeded to head to the Pineapple Wine Plantation.

The entrance to the tasting room:

Our partners for the day Eric and Jenny:

The wine tasting was very nice and we each purchased a bottle of Pineapple Blanc de Blanc wine, similar to a sweet Chardonnay with a definite pineapple flavor.

It was on to the IAO Needle some 22 miles away. Stopped in town at McDonald's to have lunch, a nice change of pace, although we had to pay?

We spent another hour or more after we left the park to observe the other side of the island before returning the rental car at 4pm. It was a long, yet enjoyable day, and we all had a great time.
Another great dinner and off to bed!

Day 12, Kauai, Hawaii.

We docked at Kauai at 7:30 am and exited the ship at 8:10 am to meet our shuttle to the rental car agency. Since there were six shuttles waiting for passengers from every car rental agency, we were not alone choosing a rental car for the day. We were told the round trip to the canyon was probably going to take 4+ hours given the time to sight see at various points of interest.

It was about an hour drive to the entrance to Waimea Canyon, however the road was nice, yet there was little scenery along the way. We started to climb for about 5 miles before coming across our first view point of the Canyon.

Moving on we next came to this beautiful spot:

And closer:

And on to the next viewpoint:

It was really blowing up there, could not keep my hat on:

Going down from the canyon on the opposite side:

The river flows into the sea:

Obviously this side is more beautiful than the other side?

Waialua Falls:

Returned to the ship around 5pm, left at 5:30 pm.

Leaving Kauai:

Our final dinner with our gracious hosts head waiter Flavio and Waitress Danielle:

Day 13, Honolulu, Oahu Hawaii.

Land Ho:

Entering the harbor with Diamond Head in the background:

That all folks, end of the pictures! Abandoned ship at O 9:30 am and caught a cab to the airport. Flight at 12:30 pm, arrive LAX at 9:30pm, caught a Super Shuttle home in Diamond Bar by 11pm.

The End!