top of page

March 2020 Newsletter - How I got from there to here - Part 2

Here's a photo of a Navy Destroyer - Photo courtesy of

 As we headed home, the waves were calm and the sunset was particularly beautiful. I can remember the warm air with the salt fragrance and the feeling of gratitude for being alive. We were so ready to be off the boat, get a shower, and be in dry clothes. I might have done just about anything for a cheeseburger! Once we docked, and all the passengers had disembarked, we thanked the captain for bringing us home. I can remember stepping off the boat onto the wooden dock and realizing it was stable, as in not moving beneath me. That was always something I noticed in the past, but this time it helped me realize something. I had for the first time in my life, wanted something stable, something solid, just wasn't sure of what exactly.

About the time we arrived home, and were making plans to get another boat to head back out and get our captain and his boat, when the phone rang. It was our captain, and he had been towed in by the U.S. Coast Guard. The good news was, we didn't have to head back out to sea so soon. The bad news, we had alot of repairs to do on the boat to get it back out to the fishing grounds. Over the next few days, we worked 15+ hours to get the boat repaired. We got it done, and as tired as we were, we were back on the water heading out to the deep blue for another adventure! 

Our captain was restless, as to be expected. After all, we had many costly repairs, and downtime. We headed out at 2 AM in the morning, and would start fishing at 7 AM. You might think we could just rest or even sleep on the way out, NOPE. We had to chop bait and rig up the tackle. We had to organize the boat, get things in order on the back deck under the lights as we were underway. Once fishing started, there was no stopping. We had to catch as many fish as possible, and fill the fish bay. When we had enough of the type of fish we were after, we would move on to the next area to catch another type. While underway to the next area might be 30 minutes, or 4 hours, you might think we could rest, or sleep, NOPE. We would have to clean fish, pack with ice, chop more bait, repair and rig more tackle, clean the boat deck, and organize for the next fish. Our days went on like this over the next 4-5 days. We'd get around 4 hours of sleep at night, and work long days.

While many of our fishing trips went well, some didn't. Like one time we were cruising through some 3-5 foot seas at about 3 AM and hit a floating log. The saw mills would lose logs in the rivers and spill them into the gulf, and at night they are impossible to see. Our boat hull was made of a fiberglass, and the log had punctured the hull. We were taking on water, and it was coming on fast. We had been trained to repair a puncture as it was bound to happen with floating debris. I was the guy voted to do the repair, and over the side I went. I had a two part epoxy that the Navy uses to do underwater repair. The way it works is, take equal amounts of two putty like substances and mix them together in your hands. The two colors mix to make a different color. Now, I had to do this quickly, in the dark, just before jumping overboard, in the DARK!

So imagine this, 50 miles offshore, 3 AM dark, under a boat bouncing in the waves, and you have to put what feels like play-dough in a hole so your boat doesn't sink and you drown. No pressure! Well, I did it, and we pumped the water out to salvage our fishing trip and get home.

 On another trip, we were again cruising early in the morning around 2 AM through 4-6 foot seas. The waves were very close together, and it was rough. Our boat was pitching, yawing, and the bow was dipping into the waves and throwing water onboard. None of that was an issue, until the props started cavitation from coming out of the water. The props are like a gear, pushing against the water, and the air bubbles close to the surface interrupt the props ability to push against the water. As this happened, it caused a hub to spin on one of the props rendering it useless to push us through the water. The prop needed to be changed and guess who had to jump over and do it! Yep, yours truly. I climbed onto the engine itself, like a spider monkey. I had to remove the prop as the waves would dunk me and the engine repeatedly. I made it happen, and we were up running again toward the fishing grounds.Needless to say, after many trips offshore, and the breakdowns, it was not as appealing as it once was. The value in the experiences are priceless though. I learned that overcoming what might seem impossible odds, is actually possible. I just had to find a way, and make it happen. These experiences have helped me overcome many things that others describe as impossible. I'm here to tell you, if you put your mind and energy toward what you want, its possible.

That very next day, we were trolling a grass line, where fish like to hide under and bigger fish come to feed on the little fish. This was a beautiful day, and one that I'll never forget. We caught a lot of fish, and had a great time doing it. This particular day, was the day I saw a U.S.Navy ship go by us. The Navy ship was so close, that I could see the guys, and we yelled back and forth with joyful gestures and comments. I thought that it was so cool to see the Navy out there with us.I thought to myself, I'm going to join the Navy when I get back. It was kind of like the movie Forest Gump, I saw the Navy, so I joined it.

At this time, I was 17 years old, and needed to finish high school. After my senior year of high school, I did join the Navy.

I can't wait to tell you what happens in next month's issue.......


Last Month's Roundup

Our February 29 clinic was so much fun.  Participants learned and practiced Justin's Five Part Series, his philosophies for success, and much more.  AMS's next clinic will be in April so stay tuned for the date.

Moments of Peace and Healing

Allow us to continue saving the lives of Veterans, Active Duty Military and First Responders. Donate Here

AMS Adventures - Here's What's Coming Up

March 14, 2020 10 am - 2 pm

Mustang Meet and Greet at Ford Dealership of Southern Pine

All are welcome to come out and meet Cinnamon and me as we race a Ford Mustang car.  We'll be spreading the word about American Mustang School and our Veteran and First Responder's Therapy sessions.

March 28, 2020 10 am - 2 pm

Mustang Meet and Greet at Tractor Supply in Vass, NC

All are welcome!  This will be an American Mustang Showcase. Come out to meet Sunshine, see a demo, and check out my Bitless Bridle.  Other Weaver products will be available as well.

AMS is happy to welcome another new sponsor!  Cactus Creek Coffee

Head over soon for their fresh ground coffee beans!

120 O’Connor Place Aberdeen, NC 28315

Just a friendly reminder...

Group members have access to discount and offers from my sponsors.  Right now members get 10% off of all Big Dee's purchases and 20% of Synergy by Weaver products.

Not a member of our private Facebook group -Adventures of the Enlightened Horseman yet?

Please consider joining because every dollar goes toward providing Veterans and First Responders (and their families) Equine Assisted Therapy - at no charge to them. 

In return, Justin shares his knowledge of Bitless, Spurless, No pain, No fear Horsemanship with you.

A win-win that will save someone's live and enrich your horsemanship!

American Mustang School Horse Spotlight

Photo - Leila Strickland

Name -Cinnamon (mustang) from Calico Mountains Nevada

Age - 9

Favorite activity -Trail riding and exploring, and she loves getting groomed. Don't forget the hooves, she loves her hooves trimmed.

Best adventure with Justin -Our best adventure would have to be when we would take children with cancer on cattle drives. She did so well with the children.

Cinnamon is special because -She is very affectionate. She mothers over the younger horses that we have, and the ones we get in training. She really shines with children, especially my daughters. Check out Emma and Cinnamon on YOUTUBE.

I've never met a more affectionate horse.

Horse Fun Facts

  • Mustangs can run up to 35 miles an hour

  • They have one of the longest life spans of horse breeds - sometimes 40 years!

Words to Ride By

"You’re not SPENDING time with your horse, your INVESTING time."  Justin Dunn

Mindfulness is so very important in Horsemanship. Remember to think thoughts you want. If you think of investing in your Horsemanship, it changes your mindset, from spending and losing, to investing and gaining, try it.

11 views0 comments


bottom of page