Archive for April, 2023

My first kayak

It lacks a cup holder -:)

I ordered my 380x Explorer from Sea Eagle directly, instead from Amazon. My friend told me to take photos when I unfold – it’s useful when you fold it back.

A few specs: it weights 40 lbs, carries 3 persons or 750lb. The measurements are 12’6″ x 3’3″ (31″ x 20″ x 9″ deflated for storage) – Captain Nathaniel Palmer of Stonington, CT, whose sloop Hero that went to Antarctia in 1820 was only 47′ long!

9 months after we purchased it, I could NOT believe that I waited for so long …

I’m pretty satisfied: The inflatable Sea Eagle 380x is very solid, spacious, and easy to maneuver. The seats we purchased (not inflatable) are comfortable. It’s relatively easy to pump and clean. The only speck I’d say, is lacking a cup holder.


… I couldn’t believe the launching ceremony 下水典礼 would be 9 months later…

Here are some sites I checked before buying – not so much to get more info but to validate my selection – I like the look of this one, practically didn’t really consider others. What Agassi’s 1989 motto? Image is everything -:)

  1. SI’s top 6
  2. Forbes
  3. NY Mag
  4. Top 10 
  5. top 6 

Here is the Hobie hardshell kayak my friend uses (reportedly, it holds its value – general can sell at the purchase price). They also have the foot pedal that frees up your hand for fishing or drinking -:) or knitting. And it has a cup holder.

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Maple Leafs vs Lightning @ Amalie

The third game of Atlantic Division of NHL playoff at Amalie Arena.

~ 2-2 after 1st period
~ 2-3 after 2nd period
~ 3-3 after 3rd period
~ 4-3 at OT

Last month, Leafs beat Wild soundly at FLA Live arena, and we were rooting for the Canadians. Today we’re all for the home team.

A view of the Garrison Channel.

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Manatees: kayak w/ Capt. Yak

Captain Yak
2902 Miriam St S
Gulfport, FL

A nice day out there on the Boca Ciega Bay, which is connected to the Gulf of Mexico on the west-central coast of Florida. We paddled through rough water, calm water, mangroves, osprey and manatees.

According to dolphin research center, manatees are about 4-4.5 feet (1.2-1.4 m) long when they are born and average 60-70 pounds (27-32 kg). Full-grown manatees weigh between 800 to 1,200 pounds (360-545 kg) and reach 10 feet (3.0 m) in length.

… some photos


We got to the base at 10 and left at 10:30, have the only bathroom break at 11:30 at Clam Bayou and done by 12:51. It’s $30 pp for 4 hours. We didn’t till 2pm.

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Sarasota Open 2023

This is the second Sarasota Open, a part of ATP Challengers Tour held at Payne Park, April 9-16, 2023; with $128,000 prize money.

The box office, bathroom – definitely better than porta potty, and the center court: the poles are eyesore. 

The Open itself, goes back to 2008, had been held at various locations:

  • Longboat Key Club 2009-14 
  • Lakewood Ranch 2015-6 
  • United Tennis Center 2008, 2017
  • Laurel Oak Country Club 2018-9 
  • not held in 2020-1

This year, the title sponsor is Elizabeth Moore, a prominent local philanthropist with passion for tennis. The ticket prices increase as the tourney gets deeper, and are groups into a few categories. Re-entry is allowed.

  • $237 Fifth Third Bank Row
  • $159 5/3 Bank Champagne Table
  • $159 VIP Champagne Table
  • $169 Club Reserved
  • $64 Reserved
  • $54 general admission

Because of rain delay from previous day – Wednesday, we watched more matches than we anticipated. Court 5 is their center court, named after Nick Bollettieri (1931-2022). One side is general admission and the other side is the lounge with tables and chairs. Both sides have tent. The poles that support the tent are unsightly, unnecessary evil I guess. Court 7 and 8 are used as well, and we sit right there with the line person – perks of the small and intimate tournaments.

The center court has an announcer or commentator


The matches

  1. Zhang Zhizhen (🇨🇳 1996-) def Alex Rybakov (🇺🇸 1997-) delay; to Q
  2. Tristan Boyer (🇺🇸 1997-) def Jack Sock (🇺🇸 1992-) delay;
  3. Enzo Couacaud (🇫🇷 1995-) def Zhang
  4. Daniel Elahi Galán/Galan (1996-) won T Boyer retired
  5. Genaro Alberto Olivieri def Bjorn Fratangelo (🇺🇸 1993-)
  6. Gullermo Duran & Guido Andreozzi def Robert Galloway (🇺🇸 1992-) & Miguel Angel Reyes-Vareia

Zhang Zhizhen def Alex Rybakov 6-4, 7-6, delay match from Wednesday. Zhang advanced to the quarter final

Tristan Boyer  def Jack Sock, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, also a delay match from yesterday.

Enzo Couacaud (🇫🇷 1995-) def Zhang, 6-3, 6-3 on Thursday, April 13

Daniel Elahi Galán/Galan won Tristan Boyer 6-4, 3-0. Galán/Galan is the defending champ. Boyer beat out Jack Sock from previous day’s match and this is his second match of the day.

Genaro Alberto Olivieri def Bjorn Fratangelo 6-3, 3-6, 6-7. Fratangelo behaved pretty badly at the end, smashing his racket to the ground many times … oh well.

Gullermo Duran & Guido Andreozzi def Robert Galloway & Miguel Angel Reyes-Vareia 7-6, 5-7, 1-6. The last few points Galloway played, played badly and at the conclusion of the match, he throw his racket. A female fan or staff retrieved it from the next court.

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Duckies in the pool

Lately, a pair of ducks have been making out in our swimming pool.

“Honey, let’s go for a swim in a resort.” ha ha ha

Not sure the chemicals are good for them. They poop a lot on the deck, which is terrible.

After I finished my 30 laps, they’re still there, enjoying their sun bathing time.

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Point, bid & response

Bidding opens a bridge game, and points determine how you bid, or not.

There are total 40 points in a deck: A K Q J, the high card point HCP.

  • Ace = 4 points
  • King = 3
  • Queen = 2
  • Jack = 1
  • long suit:
    1.  = 5-card suit
    2. = 6-card suit
    3. = 7-card suit
  • short suit:
    1. = doubleton
    2. = singleton
    3. = void

Just so you know, the maximum points a hand can have – mathematically proven ha ha ha, is 37 HCP bec each hand has only 13 cards.

♠️ A K Q J
♥️ A K Q
♦️ A K Q
♣️ A K Q

The very basic rule for bidding in each level:

  1. 12-13 HCP to open bid in ♠️♥️♦️♣️, 16-17 to 1NT
    • ♦️/♣️ = 3 in the suit
    • ♠️/♥️ = 5 in the suit
  2. see ⇓ conventions; 21 HCP NT; 22 in ♠️♥️♦️♣️
  3. ♠️♥️♦️♣️: weak (5-9 HCP) 7-card suit
  4. ♠️♥️♦️♣️: weak (6-10 HCP) 8-card suit

 Some conventions

  • 2♣️ bid is artificial = 22 HCP or 9+ tricks
  • 2♦️♠️♥️ bid is weak 2 bid: 5-10 HCP and 6-card suit


Responses to partner’s 1NT opening bid: (Responses to a 2NT opening bid are the same, except 2NT 3C is Stayman)

  • Pass: Normal if game is out of reach, unless 2D 2H or 2S is a safer contract.
  • 2C is Stayman, promising some 4+ card major and asking partner to bid her 4-card major (2H or 2S) if she has one, otherwise to bid 2D. You can subsequently shift to a major to show a 5-card suit and invite game.
  • 2D, 2H, or 2S is a sign-off; partner must pass.
  • 2NT is invitational to 3NT; partner will raise if at the high end of her 16-18.
  • 3-of-a-suit is forcing. Partner will raise with 3+ card support, and otherwise bid 3NT.
  • 3NT or 4H or 4S is a sign-off in game.
  • 4C is Gerber, asking for aces. Partner responds 4D with 0 or 4 aces, 4H with 1, 4S with 2, 4NT with 3.
  • 4NT is invitational to 6NT (This is quantitative, not Blackwood.)

Responses to partner’s 1-of-a-suit bid

  • Pass with 0-5 points.
  • 1H → 2H = 6-10 points and support in the suit (8+ cards between you)
  • 1H → 3H = force a game, 13 points and support.
  • 1H →  4H = is a sign-off, indicating a weak hand but with many trumps.
  • 1H →  1S = 6-18 points, and 4+ cards in the suit. Forcing, i.e. don’t let the bidding stop there.
  • 1H →  2C = 10-18 points, and 4+ cards in the suit. Forcing (except by passed hand).
  • 1H → 2S = 19+ points. Forcing to game, and slam is likely.
  • 1H → 1NT =: 6-9 points, no fit in partner’s suit, no other suit that can be bid at one level. Not necessarily balanced.
  • 1H → 2NT = 13-15 points and a balanced hand, and usually no 4+ card major suits.
  • 1H → 3NT = 16-18 points and a balanced hand.

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My first grand slam

Played my first grand slam, mostly on my partner’s strength – forgot to take a pic of her hand – unfortunately we didn’t bid for it [大哭]: result of my not wanting to learn the bidding conversions. 
For this hand, my partner opened with 1N; I responded 2H; she jumped to 4H.

~ played my 2nd grand slam 2N  

… my first slams, and the second  

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