I was recently asked by April Vokey to craft a few words for an article on her platform; Anchored Outdoors.
Being a sticker nerd with a bad fly fishing habit, I chose to opine a bit about them:
Surely you have seen stickers for sale at a fly shop, picked up a few at a show or have been given one or two by a friend. While mostly viewed as a promotional item (even though most times you pay for them), there is a secondary market that exists for these colorful, uniquely identifiable pieces of vinyl.
Beyond their intended purpose of building a brand, promoting products or memorializing an event; stickers are themselves a form of currency in the fly-fishing community. A few years back I flew out West and joined a friend for a few days’ worth of adventure and the concept of their value really gelled in my mind.
Yesterday, as Tropical Storm Hermine brought wind and rain to the Space Coast; very few, if any, skiffs were on the water enjoying the mostly pristine beauty of Mosquito Lagoon.
The serenity of the quiet moment was interrupted when a thunderous series of booms shook the house again and again.
I immediately went outside to investigate, knowing it wasn’t thunder from a storm band rain shower approaching.
Moments later, social media began to break the story of an “anomaly ” that had just occurred when SpaceX was testing a rocket motor in preparation for an early morning launch on Saturday.
I went to a nearby dock and immediately saw the smoke plume rising to the south, nearly 17 miles away.
Thanks to safety protocols, no human life was lost, nor were there any injuries. The question that remains is: how much environmental damage might be done by the remnants of rocket fuel that were surely washed into the surrounding marshland when a deluge of water was applied to extinguish the massive fire.
Currently, Space Florida is awaiting an environmental impact study’s completion in an effort to bring just such a launch site to the MINWR, just 5-7 miles south of my home along the shores of Mosquito Lagoon. I hope that a fully transparent and objective study includes the aftermath of this incident in the study. The area being considered is home to many endangered and threatened species and is opposed by US Fish & Wildlife staff that run the Refuge.
Yesterday was a wake-up call. Space flight remains a risky business and with that in mind, I remain opposed to the Commercial Launch Facility that is proposed.
Shiloh Commercial Spaceport
In 2012, the State of Florida requested 150 acres of NASA land located at the north end of the Kennedy Space Center, near Daytona. The site – known as “Shiloh,” which is largely unpopulated at this time, would be developed into a dedicated commercial spaceport. Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana communicated his support to the Federal Aviation Administration in April 2013 for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Study of the site. Today, the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation is working with the State of Florida to complete the Environmental Impact Study, which is anticipated to be complete by late 2015. Following the successful completion of that study, Space Florida will submit a formal application to the FAA for consideration of a Spaceport Operators License at the site.
I support the creation of a new launch facility on the current NASA campus where infrastructure already exists to respond to and manage the next inevitable “anomaly” when it occurs.
Continue to stay engaged on this issue and have your voice heard saying No Shiloh Launch Complex. The MINWR needs to remain pristine and clean.
We’ve had the benefit of pure joy gracing our lives for over a year and a half now in the form of an English Labrador Retriever we affectionately call, Cabo.
His namesake is none other than the infamous coastal town in Baja California Sur.
He’s a swag hound and as such, he took a shot at winning an awesome collar & leash combo from Wingo Belts on Instagram. He just found out he’ll be cashing in and getting his very own redfish pattern leash and collar by being selected from their monthly give-away that just wrapped up in July.
If your best friend is half as cute as mine, get over to Instagram and check out Wingo Belts to get squared away on how to enter their monthly give away.
The past weeks have been busy ones. Aside from the usual things that make up a normal day, I’ve found myself working hard advocating for a skatepark to be built in the town where I live. My son skates & loves it. The lessons it teaches him, I love.
You would think that by 2015, elected officials would be more receptive to providing a fair shake to all sports. Despite being globally popular and skateboarding being the second fastest growing sport in the US, the idea of a skatepark still scares a lot of politicians.
At any rate, I’ve still found a few minutes here and there to fish and by and large its been great. The bass and redfish along the Space Coast of Florida have been obliged to tussle, and for that, I’m thankful.
Though the writing here on Salt Bum had slowed, I was still putting thoughts on paper. Check out my latest ramblings in the Spring editions of The Drake Magazine and Southern Culture On The Fly.
The new year is now a little over a month old yet it seems like a lifetime has past since I’ve been on the water. Truth be told, I’ve slipped out a couple of times in the past couple of weeks, but it just doesn’t seem like it.
Cold fronts continue their march south on a regular basis, bringing with them a howling wind that has forced me to realign priorities. Days spent with a chainsaw running or shovel in hand will pay dividends once the weather begins to settle.
Life marches on, but at least the chore list is getting shorter.
One bright spot that has me looking beyond the horizon is a new fly rod that is on its way shortly. A 12 wt. prototype will land shortly and it will bring purpose with it. It has to be bent in real world conditions.
Until that happens, its back to trimming and straightening up the yard…