Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Cleaning and Getting Ready to Travel

The next few days are busy ones as I prepare to travel 2700 miles back to S. California...I am anxious to go, I love my life on the road, but will miss my family and good friends here in my hometown. The first long visit with family and friends in 40 years.

Tomorrow I will be heading to BTown to deliver some calendars and then meeting up with LMNM to see more friends...Looking forward to the fun times and something I will truly miss, even time spent with Democraps...

Today was cleaning day - last deep clean was back in California, so it was over due.

A summer worth of cooking!


Deep clean under the dinette, who knew the hidden shelf would collect so much!

Swiffer mop with a rag to scrub the floor!

Floors clean!

My trip is almost fully planned - will leave here on Wednesday the 12th and head to friends in S. Ohio - then on to Great Smokey Moutain National Park to meet my good friends Sherry and Bill Levines for three nights of good food catching up and fall colors. Then leave there on the 19th and head a little west to see my old friends in Erin, TN on their farm, Larry and Michelle Burney, then on towards Memphis for a couple nights to see Roy Groover, then time to head west to California with stops at some scenic places along the way for some picture taking. Plan to take my time and arrive in Twentynine Palms around the 10th of November or so, depends on weather and what I find to explore.

Concern about the Hurricane!

I have concern for all my good friends in Florida as they prepare for the hurricane - I hope they all remain safe. I spent a long time in Florida and weathered my share of Hurricanes several times on sailboats.

I have to tell one particular story from back in my yacht delivery days. I flew to New York to deliver a beautiful 47 foot Gulfstar motorsaler from New York to Miami - hurricane Gloria was well down in the Caribbean and figured we would be well out of its way so left New York - after passing the Statue of Liberty and heading out into open water, turned the boat South and handed the helm over to a crew member and I headed down to catch a nap to get ready for a long night. After about 3 hours I wake to the boat really rocking and rolling and my crew at the door to my cabin - said you might want to come up and look around it is getting very rough, as I passed the radio I turned on the weather and it clearly stated that Tropical Storm "Henri" had developed off the coast of New Jersey...shit - so pulled out the local chart and looked for a safe haven. Nearest port was Mannesquan Inlet which was clearly marked local knowledge plotted a course and hoped I could gather the local knowledge on the way. Couple hours later I see the breakwater and rough white water at the shoal...another sailboat was heading in, so dropped sails and motored in behind them. Found a place to ride out the storm and spent the night. Bad wind but actually could have sailed through it. Headed out early the next morning to calm seas. Headed south along the coast to only discover that Hurricane Gloria was heading right for Norfolk - so hurried up and managed to beat it there by about 8 hours - headed down the Intercoastal and found a place to tie up and weather the storm - winds in excess of 100 mph and most of the marina was destroyed but I managed to keep the boat safe with no damage, the owner could not believe it. The remainder of the trip to Miami was uneventful but it was amazing to have two Tropical Storms on one trip. It was an adventure and the owner was very happy and I delivered his boat South for several years after that.

Stay tuned and will see everyone at LMNM and distribute calendars.

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A time to Share - Fishing and Photography!

Now that my guiding days as a Captain are over, it is time to re-focus my adventures to include my love for fishing and my love and knowledge of photography. Plus there are a few "Bucket List" trips that I still need to make.

I have spent the past week working with a wonderful tour operator to design a custom African Photo Safari. I have always wanted to take a trip to Africa and now is the time to get it planned and make it a reality. I searched far and wide for what I was looking for. Years ago I was in the travel business and owned a wholesale tour company. I know the business and know how to make the plans for a once in a lifetime experience. There are many places to go in Africa and it took some serious research to find the area that would provide what I was looking for and more important find an in Africa operator who would work with me to design the ultimate trip with the flexibility of vehicles and guides and remote lodges to achieve the results I was looking for.

I was lucky to find "proud African Safaris operating in Tanzania!

Why Tanzania?

Photo Credit - Sivani Babu, Suntrail Images

Basically, Proud African Safaris has chosen to specialize in Tanzania because it is simply the best game viewing in all of Africa including the highest concentrations of big game animals. We strategically design our itineraries to follow the migratory patterns of the animals in order to maximize game viewing for the time of year you are there. Plus we offer unlimited game drives which sets us apart.

With you being there in the green season the back drop will be lush and green (ideal for photographers), animals will be grazing by the thousands in the south, young are being born, predator-prey action will be very high and intense.

The Serengeti is vast (roughly the size of Connecticut) with various ecosystems... Open grassy plains, riverlands, mountain and valleys, marshlands, woodlands, etc. which helps offer a diverse and well -rounded safari experience. It truly feels "wild" and like you are stepping back in history. There are no fenced-in boundaries so the animals roam freely and the roads are dirt.

The Vehicles!

Proud African Safaris offers fairly new custom built Toyota land Cruisers - with seating for a total of 8 people including the driver guide. There are 3 rows of two seats in the back for a maximum of 6 guests. Proud African Safaris was willing to work with me and provide 2 vehicles and guides for a trip total of 9 people - 8 guests plus me. This allows for 4 guests occupying 4 of the 6 available seating which allows for plenty of room for cameras and the ability to shoot out the top from either side. This gives the maximum amount of visibility and comfort for an exclusive custom Safari! For any non-photographers this still offers the opportunity to view the animals in an uncrowded vehicle.

Another key and unique feature, is we will have the same drivers and vehicles throughout our entire trip. Many other tour operators use the local vehicles and drivers at the various safari camps. Our drivers and guides will remain with us the entire time offering their experience and input for planning the next days activities and assuring us the most personal service at the various Lodges we will use during our time in Africa.

Photo Credit - Zevy Yanovich

Imagine this could be you lining up a shot of a herd of Zebras!

Of course I will be along to offer my experience in photography to help you achieve the results you are looking for. We will create some very memorable images and a once in a lifetime Safari. I am looking forward to this trip.

I have updated my website with full details and a complete itinerary. Our departure date from Los Angeles is Tuesday February 13th, 2018. So we have over a year to make all our plans.

 A full itinerary and flyer is HERE!

The trip is not inexpensive but I have managed to put together a wonderful trip for a good value. The all inclusive price including Round trip air fare from Los Angeles LAX will be $6000.00 per person dbl occupancy.


In Africa our accommodations will be deluxe remote camps within the area of the safari. Most will be tents with with ensuite baths and dining facilities many have pools and are permanent. Very safe with great views of the surrounding area.

Take a few minutes and go to the page listed below and look at where we will be staying!

I have also created a page on my website which offers links to each of our accomodations! HERE!

If you are interested in traveling with me on this unique adventure send me an email or PM on Facebook. I expect this trip to sell out fairly quickly due to the limited space and the high quality and overall value of the trip.

This is a picture I want to get - similar to this one!

Photo Credit - Sivani Babu, Suntrail Images

Let me know if you would like to join me on this adventure!

Local News and Schedule!

For my Barberton friends I have received the calendars and will begin mailing next week - for those of you who regularly attend the LMNM Meetings I will deliver them to you personally at the next meeting.

I have pretty much finalized my plans for my trip west. I will be leaving camp here in Hartville around the 12th or 13th of October and traveling to Southern Ohio to visit my good friends, Chuck and Betty Bechter, then on down to Elkmont Campground in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park and camping with my good friends Sherry and Bill Levines for three nights leaving there on the 19th of October, for a short trip west to Erin Tennessee to visit some more friends on their farm Michelle and Larry Burney, I will camp a few nights there then head to the Memphis area for a couple nights to visit my old friend Roy Groover, then head west toward California with stops in the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, going to try and make it a leisurely trip with numerous scenic stops for fall colors. I hope to arrive back in Twentynine Palms around the 10th of November. And home for the winter.

In Twentynine Palms I have contacted a local guide and plan to offer day Photography trips into Joshua Tree NP and the surrounding areas and also offer some post processing Photoshop seminars at the RV Park.

I am also in contact with one of my all time favorite places in the Bahamas to offer a 5 day Bonefishing Trip for my angler friends, stay tuned details will be up soon.

Stay Tune More Adventures to come!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Blog Update - Time for Changes!

As my time in Ohio winds down, I find it time to focus on some changes in my life. I am not getting any younger and it seems my bucket list still has a few missing items.

In April of this year, my United States Coast Guard Captains License expired, so I can no longer operate a boat as a fishing guide. This does not mean I won't continue to fish and maybe even guide, it just means that I won't be operating a boat that requires a Captains License to carry paying customers. Since I love to travel and take pictures, maybe it is time to utilize my photography skills, fishing skills and travel experience to have some fun, generate some revenue and pass along my knowledge. There are still a few places I want to fish and photograph so why not make it a business and check off a few things I still want to do?

Years ago I owned a Tour Company and enjoyed the business and led some wonderful trips - time to do it again and focus on fishing and photography.

Over the next few weeks I will be making some changes to my website and my blog to focus on some photography tours and fishing tours to knock a few items from my bucket list and travel and have some fun.

Today I have a phone call scheduled with a tour company that specializes in photo tours to Africa and they are interested in me leading a trip there, hopefully next year or the following year. More will be decided after the phone call. I will be promoting the trip along with other photo safari's and fishing safari's. This sounds like something I could do for the next couple years along with my own RV travels.

I want to get some photos like these...

I may also plan another Bonefishing Trip...maybe to Andros Island or back to Acklins?

In the meantime here are a few from around the park as the season winds down...(see my reflection in Yogi's nose?)

The new playground at the park!

I am also looking forward to my winter back in Twentynine Palms and will be holding a few day photography trips into Joshua Tree NP - I have contacted a tour company and hopefully will be helping them this winter.

I am also excited about my upcoming trip across country and have stops planned in the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest and also Smokey Mountain National Park for fall colors...

Stay Tuned - the calendars should be here before the end of the month...see everyone at the next LMNM.

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Blog Update - Change of Plans

Sometimes things happen for a reason....

My plan was to finish the summer in Ohio and then head South to Florida for the winter. I had a workamper job scheduled for Florida to get a free site and maybe make a few bucks...well sadly that has fallen through and now I think the best plan is to head back out west and get back to the dry climate and what I do best.

So I will leave Ohio around the 9th or 10th of October and head down to Smokey Mountain National Park and meet some friends for a few days of camping, then head over to a friends farm in Tennessee and stay a few more days then stop at another friends in Tennessee and do some more visiting. Then head west on Rt 40 all the way back to S. California to Twentynine Palms and enjoy another winter with my friends there. This trip back I hope to not be dodging bad weather and able to stop at some places along the way and make it a more leisurely trip. Still need to get my A/C fixed before I leave and my Sat Dish needs repaired so a bunch to do before I leave as well as getting the truck checked out - oil change etc.

Want to make stops in the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest and several other places of interest and get back to some serious photography...I have been remiss this summer in my photographic endeavors. Although here are a few from this summer in Ohio!

Don't forget to make sure you order your calendar so I can deliver or mail before I leave!

You can order online HERE!

Stay tuned everyone still be here until October...

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Barberton Memories - 2017 Calendar

I have been remiss in posting to my blog - having too much fun here in my old home town of Barberton, Ohio.

I have spent the past couple months working on my next calendar project, most know that every year I create a calendar, generally featuring some of my travel adventures...this year being back home, I decided to relive some old memories around town, some favorite places from my youth.

Here are some of the pics from the calendar and a LINK to purchase a copy!


My old church!

My old High School Stadium!

World Famous "Barberton Chicken"!

A few Special Memories!

I have also been to two family gatherings and got to see some distant family members, many who I have not seen in years, so that was fun. I have also gotten together with some of my High School friends at a couple gatherings, which is always fun.

Some more info on the calendar - They will be available before I leave to head South in early October. I will have them at our next Ladies Men and Magics gathering with a little luck. Use the link above or HERE to order and I will either hand it to you personally or mail it to you.

If you would like to see the entire calendar you can click on any of the above pictures and it will take you to the gallery of images on my photo website.

Thanks for following along!!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Happy Times a Gathering of Family!

One of the highlights of my trip home for the summer was being able to see family members who I have not seen in years...and meet a few new members to the family. Yesterday we had a wonderful gathering and I was so happy we had a huge crowd, fun conversations and great food!

Of course I took a few pictures...and some from the past few days. This flower is at my campsite!

My favorite Niece and her family are up from Louisiana and they stopped by the RV Park for Outback Ray's Animal Show, the kids had a grand time and fell right into my job of picture taking....

Later in the afternoon all my cousins and families gathered at my sisters house for some family fun!

This wonderful flower was in my sisters yard and begged to be photographed!

Been a great summer so for and will see a ton of other relatives at another gathering in August, looking forward to it!

Stay Tuned!

Capt. Jim - "The Wanderer"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Ohio!