Home   |   The Boat   |   First Mate   |   Admiral   |   Guestbook

Thanks for visiting my site. I have had 5,193,909 hits since 29 August 2013. Wow, and thank you!!!

23' mini-trawler
by Schucker

Janice aboard Seaweed,
living the good life afloat...

Trawler life on a nickel budget is possible.
I'm doing it and you can too.

Janice Marois, nautical journalist.
Accredited member of Boat Writers International.

Here, I share my views on living aboard a small boat with very limited resources. Hopefully my successes will help others achieve the life. And yes, I'll share the things I did wrong too -- though not everything 'cause a girl's got to have her secrets!

My mailing address is:
Post Office Box 8284, Madeira Beach, FL 33738 (preferred)
15019 Madeira Way, #8284, Madeira Beach, FL  33708

Date: 19 May 2021. Barracudas and Ciguatera Toxin.


The mangroves near Seaweed are brimming with wildlife. One of my favorite things to do is observe nature. Over the years I have had the opportunity to view a lot of fish. I told you about some of my finned friends in the Snook Surface (cold weather consequence) article. Today I will share information about barracudas. They are among my most favorite fish.

Barracuda (bare-a-coo-duh) are a predator
fish. They have a mouthful of sharp teeth.

Barracuda are also delicious. I have caught
them numerous times with a silver spoon lure.

That said, experts say to avoid eating barracuda because of ciguatera. According to MedicineNet.com "Ciguatera toxin is harmless to fish but poisonous to humans. The toxin is odorless and tasteless, and it is heat-resistant, so cooking does not destroy the toxin."

The full article on MedicineNet.com can be found at:



Here is a barracuda I spotted under the dock.


Details about barracuda can also be found
in my Golden Guide book entitled

Fishes is the book I use to identify fish.
The illustrations are realistic.


The Fishes Golden Guide book is one of my favorites. If you chose to honor me by purchasing through the link provided pick the least expensive regardless of year published. The contents are the same in all of these. The cover changes, but everything else is identical.


The only problem I have experienced with the Golden Guides is that after 50-plus years the glue in the binding starts to fail. Silicone fixes that.


Affiliate link: Fishes (A Golden Guide from St. Martin's Press)


Regarding Barracuda: The quantity of poison increases in the body of the predator fish over time. As barracuda eat smaller fish with the
ciguatera toxin, more of said poison accumulates inside the barracuda. It is harmless to the fish however in people ciguatera causes a rash of symptoms, some deadly.


I will say that I have eaten numerous barracuda up to about 2' (60cm) long. I would never eat one of the monster barracuda some fishermen catch. You should read about the DANGERS OF CIGUATERA TOXIN before deciding for yourself if barracuda is something you'd like to try.

Link to article: https://www.medicinenet.com/

I have noticed that barracuda tend to remain in place versus swimming around. While staying in one spot they are always facing into the current.

The barracuda under the dock is pointed due west.

The current is coming from the west. Here on the beach that is a rising tide. The barracuda is resting in the shade of the dock.


Memory Lane: Although I am the world's worst fisherman, I have caught a lot of 'cudas over the years. When times were tough and the budget was tight barracuda would be on the table. The secret is to cast a silver spoon in front of the fish and reel it in. They like shiny things.

Barracuda are a white fleshed fish, flaky when cooked. They are relatively easy to clean and tasty when fried or baked aboard. Cooking over an open flame on the beach is another option. If you like fish chowder, add the leftovers and you'll be all set.

On the beach you will want to utilize a double sided metal grate or cast iron pan so that you can flip the fish over without it falling apart (or into) the fire.


I did NOT tell
you to eat barracuda.


Read about ciguatera toxin warnings issued by the experts before you make your decision. Thank you.

Link to article: https://www.medicinenet.com/


That's it from the riverfront. Seaweed and I are doing well. Thank you for reading.

Comments welcome and encouraged on the
Barracudas and Ciguatera Toxin page.

Categories:  Books, Fishing, Locations, Memory Lane, Recommendations, Wild Things,


Announcement: Folks who want to be notified when I post are welcome to become subscribers. I email readers every time a new article goes up. That's usually once or twice per week. If you'd like to be included via BCC* simply drop me a line to janice@janice142.com and I'll add you. It's free.

*BCC - Blind Carbon Copy. Basically no one but me will have your email address and the list of subscribers is not available.

Now this is not fancy. Basically I copy off the top three items in my Archive file. That way you can catch up if life gets in the way of your reading fun.

Secret: If you want to know what's what, start in the Archive. It offers you the title, first paragraph and topics (Categories) covered in each article published on my website.

Something a new reader might not realize: Almost every picture on this website can be clicked. The photo will get larger when clicked. Do that a second time and the picture should be full size. Enjoy...

My Cruising Kitty earns money each time you buy on Amazon through my links found in the upper left corner of every page. This is a tangible way to support me and is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your support, and heck, just for being here. I appreciate that more than you can imagine.

Paypal Tablet link:  *CRUISING KITTY
*for those who wish to donate via paypal.

Pet of the Week: Sid
on M/V Impulse

Submit your pet's photo.
Please email pictures of your crew!

More canine, feline and feathered crew members can be found on the The First Mate Gallery page.


The Archive holds a chronological list of every item published on my website. It includes a brief synopsis (not just the title) along with the topics covered in each article.

Click on the title and voila: you're there. Enjoy!

Skipper, First Mate extraordinaire

Of course every boat needs a Deck Swabbie. Mine, born in 2008, is a papillon mix. She weighs in at five pounds.

Coming soon ...


Topics of Interest:
You can achieve a simple satisfying life

Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his belican.
He can take in his beak enough food for a week.
But I'm darned if I know how the helican.
(Poem by Dixon Lanier Merritt, 1879-1972.)


For years I've been collecting short pithy statements otherwise known as aphorisms. If you're like me and enjoy the weird, go ahead and CLICK!

These are previously posted at the bottom of each article -- for new, you'll have to come visit again.

Seaweed is in St. Pete right now.

The above chart (#411) can be a wish book of sorts as you look over your domain and wonder where to go next. And yes, I do have the originals (sans red arrow) as jpeg's for download should you desire your own for closer perusal. Enjoy!

The Writer's Block

It's my belief that other folks who boat are some of the most interesting in the world. Inside every boater is a story. Let yours out! I'd love to post short stories, vignettes, or even longer articles that focus on some aspect of our life on or near the water. Suggested topics include:

1. I Remember When...
2. My First Boat
3. Who inspired you to be a boater?
4. Fishing Trips or Tricks
5. Or another subject of your choosing

For the novice, here's how to write: Simply pretend you're sending a letter to a friend. Tell about an event or a memory from years ago that you still recall.

Life has changed so much on the water since I was born aboard. Personally I'd love to hear your memories of life when you were younger. Boats were smaller, narrower, and much slower. Kids were kids and our families often shaped the adult we have become. Here are my two aboard the tow boat my dad ran for a time:

Your pictures would be wonderful too. I posted one of Boot Key Harbor taken in 2001 that has gotten quite a few downloads and really, that's not so terribly long ago... Do you have any photos to share? Email me.

Do you want to help out?

Often an article for the website will be completely written yet lack photographs. I like pictures and am looking for some for up-coming pieces:

  • Pets afloat (include pet and boat name please)

  • Any picture of boats underway or at anchor

  • Photos of people enjoying life in or on the water

Size: a minimum of 1000 pixels across please. If that doesn't make sense think bigger versus resized for emailing. I prefer the full-size version. Also, the name you'd like me to use when I add the copyright stuff to your picture. And thanks bunches!

My email address is janice@janice142.com

23' Schucker mini-trawler, circa 1983.

Thanks for visiting. If you happen to see my boat along the
waterways, give a call on Channel 16. I'm always listening.

click picture to enlarge

My home is not fancy by any means, however you cannot imagine how wonderful it is to come back to her after an expedition on shore.

If I can live this life, why not you too?

Skipper, First Mate

Aphorism Alert: Begin doing what you want to now. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake. Marie Beyon Ray.

Contributions to my Cruising Kitty
are always appreciated.

Every gift helps.

The Cruising Kitty is what boaters refer to as spending money. There's never enough aboard Seaweed!

I am also an Amazon Affiliate.


Copyright Janice Marois  |  Home  |  Archive  |  Topics  |  Boat List  |  Site Map  |  Email Me  |