Welcome to the Rhum Brave Chronicle. A collection of posts, pictures and videos from our adventures aboard the Rhum Brave.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Goodbye Papi

On October 18th my father-in-law Dr. Ruben Arango passed away.  He was a husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, son, professor, author, friend and a world traveler.  I say all these things so that we might understand how many people he touched during his 75 years of life.   I know this sounds cliché but the honest truth was that Mags, the Girls, Maria and I were all profoundly touched by everyone's love and support during these tough times.  It certainly reminded me of how important family and friends are.  I prepared and read the following at his funeral.  For those who knew him I hope some part helps to remind you of Ruben.  Later I'll post a poem that his friend wrote.  Thank you.    
Doctor, Papi, Gordi, Vroom, Tio, Rubencito, Professor, and Ruben.  These are just some of the names Dr. Ruben Arango went by.
On behalf of the Arango Family I want to thank everyone for coming out today.  I know Ruben would have been pleased to see so many of his current and former students finally showing up on time. 
There’s such a mix of faces hear today from Ruben’s life that I’m reminded of a conversation I had with him years ago after being introduced to yet another person who knew him in some form or fashion.  In exhaustion I commented to him, “You know Ruben… if you aren’t related to half of Miami you’re certainly best friends with the other half.”  He loved that fact and he certainly would have appreciated you all coming here today.
I know that each and every one of you was touched by Ruben in some positive way.  Students seeking knowledge of the past, family members requiring some sage advice or a daughter just trying to figure out how “Fulanity” was somehow related to the “Arango’s” or “Duquesne’s”.  I knew Ruben as a doting father, a faithful husband, a loving grandfather, a highly respected colleague, a beloved professor, a new best friend to all strangers and a second father to me. 
On Sunday I was in his home office helping to locate some papers.   As I sat down in his chair I realized that describing for you the contents of his office might help us all learn a little more about Ruben before we say our final good bye.  What I’m going to list is either on his desk, hanging on his wall or in a cabinet or closet.
·       Papers, papers and more papers.
·       Dog earned yellow legal pads with the hand written names of every Holy Roman Emperor, Romanov or the battle of “de no se quein”
·       A coffee cup with the Arango crest and a framed Arango family tree.
·       A portrait of Ruben and his mother, father and brother.
·       A Christmas picture of Victoria at 4 months sitting on his knee.
·       A bright eyed close up of Katherine at her baptism
·       A collection of Teddy bears for Natalie
·       An eclectic array of neckties dating back to the 1960’s
·       A Miami Book Fair entry pass entitled “Ruben Arango – Author”
·       The grandest collection of tiny pill boxes
·       An antique bottle of Anis from the Santaballa family
·       An American flag and a gold cross
·       A wedding invitation dated August 7, 1998
·       A embroidered handkerchief from a Cuban patriot
·       A book entitled “La Sacarocracia”
·       A plaque from St. Thomas University dated December 10, 2011 commemorating “31 year of outstanding service and dedication”.  Now 33 years.
·       A membership certificate for Maria Christina’s admittance into the Daughters of the American Revolution and a copy of the Order of Cincinnati.
·       A portrait taken of Ruben and Mary Christina while aboard the Queen Mary II
·       Two laptops, two printers, a typewriter and a flat screen tv complete with a set of antenna rabbit ears just in case I assume.
·       A two wheeled collapsible “carito” used to haul everything from groceries to text books.
·       A rocking chair with plenty of pillows for his back
·       A sleeper sofa because he never believed in buying a sofa without a bed.
·       Trinkets from every place he ever visited.
·       A stuffed quail lamp and a painting of a race horse named “Never Say Die”
·       The annual zodiac guide for Virgo’s
·       A miniature Rosetta Stone
·       A martini glass
·       A letter from the King of Spain
·       Handfuls of blue Papermate pens
·       Books, books and more books.  Books by Plato, St. Thomas Aquinas, Raul Shelton, Shakespeare, Cicero, Chaucer, Livy, Cervantes, Ruben Dario, Jose Marti.  The Anuario de Familias Cubanas, Emily Post’s Etiquette, The Giant Book of Insults and the History of… well you fill in the blank.       He read them all.
·       And lastly… the heavy scent of Guerlain men’s cologne          
Know that when you walk out of here today and return to your work, studies and families Ruben is already walking, talking, lecturing, entertaining and writing in heaven.  No worries.  He’ll be waiting for us, ready to touch our lives again in the special way he touched us all down here.
Thank you.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Busting the Curse

Ok.  I'll be the first to admit that either i'm just a lousy fisherman or somebody put the bad mojo on the Rhum Brave.  It's been way too long since I caught anything worth eating or bragging about on this blog.  In fact it's gotten to the point where Mags pre-order's the dolphin filets from Key Largo Fisheries whenever I hit the high seas.  Well folks... two weeks ago the fishing love returned!  Vic and I took the Rhum Brave out of her new home port (Kawama) for a morning of fishing.  The plan was to blind slow troll since the seas were not good for drift fishing (and I have to find the live bait spots).   We trolled three lines; two rigged ballyhoo with light colored skirts and a red/black bullet headed lure.   The morning started slowly until we hit the 450 foot depth mark then whizzzz went the starboard line.  The fish dove down and the drag sang her sweet song.  I asked Vic to clear the other lines and she jumped on the task like an old pro.  Mind you up to this point we've only fished together while anchored in the bay.  All those Florida Sportsman fishing shows I've made the kids watch really paid off.  She cleared the lines and manned the GoPro while I worked the fish back.  After a several minutes the fish was close enough to haul in.  At first it looked like either a barracuda (bad) or a kingfish (better).  As the fish broke the surface I realized that it was a wahoo (best) and a career first for me and the Rhum Brave.  At first Vic was sure it was a sailfish but when she saw the wahoo she yelled "What the heck is that?"  I was praying to the All Mighty that I could land this 17 pound bad boy into the boat.  It's been a while since I've had a win and this was sweet.  Vic and I were high fiving each other while hooping and hollering like a couple of fishing fools.  Later on we hauled in a nice 25 inch mahi mahi.  This was a good day and Mags did not have to take that walk of shame to the old fishmonger. I've made a video of the trip. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

GoPro at Christ of the Abyss

We got a new toy last week.  A GoPro Hero 3.  The snorkeling conditions were less than perfect but everyone had a good time.  There will be more (and better shot) videos as we get out more on the water.  Kawama is rented for the next several weeks but we'll be out there again towards the second half of May.  Congrats to Jose on his new boat.  May you have many fun hours boating, fishing and cleaning.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yd5x0WIFnc

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Update and a new Kawama video

No recent posts?  What gives!  This winter we've only gone out several times on the boat.  As it happens eventually to most boaters, we needed to call for a tow back to the dock.  It seems that my two-stroke oil pump kicked the bucket.  My mechanic called it a "solid piece of rust".  These things happen after 10 years and he was also able to replace the tachometer (that died last summer) and perform the 100 hour service.  Mags and I made it out to No Name Harbor in Key Biscayne two weeks ago and everything ran great. 
Our place in Key Largo has exceeded our expectations.  We've had the place rented for a majority of the Winter and even started taking bookings for November of this year and February of next year.  We blocked out July and most of August so we can really enjoy the place uninterrupted.  I don't know if we've been lucky but things with the tenants have been smooth and people seem to be happy (and not wanting to leave the Keys).  Of course the wife deserves all the credit for coming up with this grand idea.
Now for some cool news.  I just ordered the GoPro Hero3 Black Edition and started using the Adobe Premiere 11 video editing program.  Why cool?  Get ready for some killer underwater action and videos of our time on the water.  The GoPro is not here yet but I've already completed my first video of our place in Kawama.    I'm going to try and post it on the blog but if it does not work then go to YouTube.  http://youtu.be/MviZuQqaxD0

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Hasta La Vista 2012

2012 was a busy year for us in many respects but not for adventures aboard the Rhum Brave. We made some excursions early in the year but once June rolled around and we closed on our place in Kawama the old girl just sat. Sad but we were making a significant investment in future adventures. As the year closed we stayed close to home with only one quick business trip to Tampa where the girls got to see a one-legged whale (Winter from Dolphin Tale) and another day trip for stone crabs in Everglades City. The Rhum Brave is back in Miami where she got a total cleaning and waxing. Weather permitting we'll be out over the next several weekends. The Kawama unit is rented until the end of March so we're back to launching from Matheson Hammock. I've already promised the girls a boat camping trip to Elliot Key in early February. I still need to add some posts about our August trip to Alaska. The reality is there's so many great pictures that I'll take some time to post. Looking forward to 2013 I've come up with only one resolution… "Get out and do Moore" Catchy right?   Mags is puking right now.  Ok. Enough for now.