Saturday, November 22, 2014

Holiday News

Gather the Crew,

          There is much to be discussed. First as we roll into another holiday season, I would like to say thank you to all of those who have helped me make the world a better place. People do not always understand how much it takes to keep a Girly Pirate on the move or how many people have taken time to help me pull off the Sunshine Paddle- this charity has been blessed. I could not do this alone.

          The Sunshine Paddle Holiday Challenge is in full swing and we are almost at our goal of having enough for all 3 families. This is very exciting. It has been really neat to see the generosity coming forth from all over the world. These are families that would not have otherwise, it makes me happy to see so many help me make this happen. I have to admit, I want to play with all the toys. They make some really neat stuff for kids now.

          Please take time this year to let those around you know how much you love them. Take time with your children and let them know- even if you do not always approve of their actions, you love them. Focus conversations on reality and positive progression instead of belittling and berating- this is sometimes easier said than done. This is a double edge blessing, the family will expect you to do the same- move forward in a positive way. Not the easy road, but the most rewarding one.

          I got out on Yum Yum and paddled the 26 miles between Hudson and Anclote. It is an enjoyable paddle. Two notch usually makes about half the distance, then she is pooped and swims over to the seagrass beds. When doing distance paddling, one should have a shore buddy- this is someone to call each time you get on or off water until you are home. Going fast is not a big deal, but getting there is.


May you all have a wonderful holiday,

D. Cooper-Rooney

The Girly Pirate

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Menu

Hail and Good Day to you,

          I went into town today and could see people check me out and start talking…one girl finally had the nerve to ask if I was okay…lol…yes, I am losing weight and no, it is not because I am trying…let me explain what is going on…

It was 4 years ago I started have blood and weight issues…2 years ago we found out I have a brain stem injury and started treating it but, that has not stopped the sugar issues…I have never been diabetic but I have been on the high side of normal and can go from there to hypoglycemic in a heartbeat…this coupled with the BSI has left me in a very dangerous position…this is the reason for the last 2 years the Sunshine Paddle has been held off the coast of Pasco and will be until it is safe for me to distance again…
          3 weeks ago I fractured my ankle…it took a week by the time the X-ray report got to the doctor at Lunasol…I went to see him and found out my blood report had just got to him…he shot my ankle with an anti-inflammatory…then he muttered as he was going through my file…he pulled all the blood work from the last 4 years…then he and I went back and forth- I do not take any pill unless you can prove to me it is necessary…the only way to reset the situation was to strip it down nutritionally…for the last 2 weeks I have been on a high protein menu…a true protein fast is not nutritionally smart…I get 4 ounces of orange juice, a banana and meat (red, chicken, pork, fish, eggs) daily with supplements…I get spinach or green beans every other day…a milkshake made with an egg happens every other day…one piece of wheat bread is allowed a day…other than that the only thing I can have is water…this will go on for 6 weeks…2 down and 4 to go…

          With my high velocity lifestyle, this has been a pain in the butt…the first week, I had 3 big sugar crashes…this week I have only had 2 so far…I stopped weighing myself when I no longer had to do it to keep my job (many years ago) so, I had not really noticed the weight loss until the girl asked…my clothes are much looser- I guess I just did not notice…I miss real food…dad smuggled me some McDonalds Fries today
          I have been in the pool most every day and the rain has left it quite cold…it is still a good work out and the hydrotherapy helps my ankle…The ankle is sore but doing much better…I hope to be in the gulf this weekend

          Why would I share something so personal…if you live through the beatings, it will have a lasting effect…it can be treated and you can go on…for those around us who have been beaten, you can help by being honest, patient and understanding…I am blessed to have loving people…

Carry On,

Captain D

The Girly Pirate

Friday, August 29, 2014

Endless Summer

Avast Me Hearty,

          It has been a long summer…I got to go across the state my doctoral residency in Fort Lauderdale…It was long hours and lots of work…it was so groovy, I got to meet many new people, share lots of information and introduced to many new concepts…I had my first real brain hangover…it was here I was first introduced to my dissertation topic…I also got to meet Kim DelValle, who like me is trying to show women there is a better, more positive way to get past the abuse…

          As the water heated up, so did the problems…flesh eating bacteria (necrotizing fasciitis) and red tide have been heavy hitters for the last month…I have been part of 2 different beach clean ups- most of the reason for this is dead fish…if you should find the dead fish and dig about a 3 foot hole in the yard and bury it with any banana peels or egg shells…this will help feed the yard…if you run into either of these problems, please make sure you have no open cuts and soak your head before you get in the water…this will reduce harmful effects- it will not stop them, but it will reduce them…

          Someone said to me that the spring fed rivers do not have that situation going on…no but, it is gator mating season…one person has been bit on the Hillsboro River…Jelly fish are mating on the coast…sharks are trying to avoid the red tide…it is amazing to watch nature…with so much going on, one must keep aware of their surroundings more acutely at the moment…

          Here at The Sunshine Paddle we have started thinking about Christmas…it is our hope to provide Holiday Needs for 3 Pasco County families this Christmas Holiday…We will be collecting toys for children, presents for mom and/or dad and a holiday meal…anything collected above and beyond will be given to the Pasco County Sheriff in order to help other members of the community:)

          Practice, Practice, Practice…at the moment, with so many problems on the coast, I have been working out in the pool…I am swimming over an hour every day and doing paddle workouts on the table and in the pool every other day…this is a must in order to keep my muscles from hurting…I am a woman who needs the water…my happiness level will go up by 10 when I can paddle in the gulf again…it would be cool if I could work my way down to the keys for a weekend to paddle for a few days…

          Fall approaches and my happy dance begins…I will soon be in the gulf playing with my friends…please make sure if you are going out to wear a PFD…it may just save your life…for my Northern friends, as you go to pack your gear for the winter- wash it off and coat it with turtle wax, then pack it away…I have a friend who has a 25 year old yak and it looks brand new, this is what she does…she has sown a jacket for it and the yak is barn kept…just an idea…

Carry On...
Your Girly Pirate,

Captain D

Monday, June 23, 2014

Ahoy Matey

Avast Me Hearty,

It is hard to believe it is June already…we have been so busy…practice in open water leaves one feeling refreshed…using Hudson Beach as a launch point is really nice during the week…it is quiet and clean…the boaters in the area are quite respectful and friendly…it is one of my favorite places- the beach is not too big, so there are not too many humans and a good deal of wildlife to observe…binoculars are a good thing to bring on a paddle here…

After seeing what is happening on the east coast and in the south, several people called and messaged me about doing a beach clean-up…divers in the water, kayaks on the water and beach combers in the sand…because some of these people are battered women in hiding, these actions were done quietly- it was still really cool to be a part of it…not just because we cleaned the beach…as a battered woman, one feels as though they are useless with nothing to be proud of…during that time of cleaning up the beach these women felt important, useful and at the end of the day they were proud of what they were able to accomplish…the dolphins came out to play with us…just such a blessing

In the next month we will be ramping up the training schedule…it was nice to eat for a few months, now back to the training menu…if you want to improve the coast please use trash cans, avoid straws when possible and even if you are not going to recycle give your cans and paper products to someone who does…being a good community citizen starts with each and every one of us…if not me than who, if not now than when?????

Carry on,

The Girly Pirate



Monday, April 28, 2014

Oh so many thoughts…Gather the crew


Avast Me Hearties,

So much has happened this month…some is really weighing heavy on my heart and would really like your help with…we also have great news about the recently completed 25 Mile 2014 Paddle…

First this month was Gumbo Limbo the Sea Turtle Hospital…this is a really amazing place…it disturbs me greatly that US is #7 in the world for finning- this is so horrid, I will ask you to google the meaning…I also noted a number of turtles were being hurt due to be sucked into energy intakes…please tell me if we know this, why are there no grates over these intakes…our water tables are being hurt by the phosphate in the water being released from those same plants…again, why do we not put up forested pipes to clean the water before putting it back in system…lastly, if you live on the coast and have a porch light- PLEASE use yellow, green, amber or blue bulbs…it makes a difference to all of the costal creatures…please ask your representatives for help, these very small things will make a BIG difference…

My next stop was the Dolphin Research Center…did you know Dolphins and Orca are cousins…many animals for a holy host of reasons cannot be released and much like a handi-capable child, they need special homes…they are treated like family and loved- this is HIGHLY visible…this is a place that works with special needs children- OMG touches you heart to see the trainers just hanging out with the dolphins was so cool…the babies chatted with me swam around for me…there is one who enjoys ‘people watching’ so much that the trainers have to keep SPF on him…if you get to Grassy Key it is well worth the stop...did you know one adult dolphin eat 60 pounds of restaurant quality fish per day

Because I am the Girly Pirate, I get to go behind the scenes…I am not a major celebrity so people act naturally around me…currently there is a horrid move about orca running about…let me speak on a few things of what I observe…all of these places I have been are VERY clean…animals are well fed with top quality food…the are usually with every animal, a nose may get bent out of shape from time to time…when this does happen BAD things can happen as these are big animals (like a cow or horse or elephant)…the people who work there keep safety a priority…did you know cows kill 6 times the amount of humans as sharks do…that being said why does Discovery not have a ‘cow week’…because of money and ratings…the movie was made to provoke people and make money- not to help the animals…Dawn is looking down from heaven crying- these people used her death to hurt the animals she loved…her poor family has to see all this crapp in the news…I plead with you to ‘Blacklist Blackfish’...

The best for last…I MADE IT ALL 25 MILES!!!!! I left from Hudson Beach at 6 am and arrived at Anclote River Park at 2pm…Sunshine Paddle 2014 is complete…The Helping Hands Food Bank and Sunrise of Pasco Shelter will each get a check for $150…Applebees of Wesley Chapel gave a few gift certificates for workers…we also had an anonymous donor give a brand new piece of baby furniture for the shelter…when I launched it was really crappy weather so I had the water to myself…it is hard to explain how beautiful and amazing the trip was…I got to play with dolphins and 2 notch met up with me along the route…they were all quite encouraging…as I saw Walter waiting onshore…the feeling that was left in my heart is ‘peace be with you’…

Carry On,

Captain D

The Girly Pirate

Thursday, April 10, 2014

10 Days and Counting

Ahoy Matey,

I have so much to fill you in on…though I am doing much, I need help…with very little effort we have a chance to make a big difference…in the last 7 days, my world has been crazy…the next 14 will require a great deal of work from me and a little effort from you- we CAN make a change…let me explain:

In Boca Raton on the morning of April 5th, I walked for graduation of my Masters Degree from Everglades University…Lawanda cheerfully became a member of the crew and made the trip with me…several years ago I was told this could not happen for me due to the Battered Syndrome…from this please learn: you can do anything as long as you do not let anyone steal your dream…currently I am enrolled at Keiser University going after my PhD in Global Business…my goals are in sight and attainable…

That afternoon Lawanda and I went to Gumbo Limbo; the sea turtle sanctuary...I was grateful Diane made time to show this Girly Pirate around…Gumbo Limbo gets its name from a tree of the same name…this facility has classrooms for children and lecture rooms for adults…it is a well cared for and very clean environment…the animals under the care of this staff are very blessed…it is also a research center for local colleges…it bothered me that several of the turtles that were there had to be rescued from the intake of the power plant…*this could be fixed by putting a grating over the intake…also the turtle herpes/cancer…this is mostly due to phosphates being so high…*this could be fixed with a forested pipe…all donations are for the care of the facility and animals…

What can you do to make things better…change your outside bulbs…amber, yellow, red, blue and green are acceptable animal colors anywhere near water…no white, incandescent or flood type…if you want to take pics, be cool and do not use flash…clean up behind yourself…observe the animals, but do not interfere with them…pay attention to the area you are in

On the 6th we drove down to Grassy Key to the Dolphin Research Center…as the Girly Pirate, I was welcomed as a family…this is an amazing home to several animals…these animals each have their own story and each has its own why it cannot be released…here they have amazing care and love…the dolphins see themselves and the humans, as beings- one is treated with as much reverence as the other…they are a healthy and active part of the center…it is VERY easy to see the animals are happy…to see the bond between Dolphins and staff is really notable and heartwarming…this center also has the ability to handle special needs (both children and adult) and the animals seem to enjoy the ability to be therapeutic…
Lawanda and I had several special moments- really do not think we will ever be the same…all donations here are used on the animals and facility

 Cathy heard me and will be allowing me to us Yum Yum for the Sunshine Paddle…I will be going to pick her up on Saturday the 12th…sounds like a beach day or 2…I have been out and about getting pledge papers signed…starting to put together all my gear

On the 20th of April, I will paddle the 25 mile Coast of Pasco County, Florida...This is the Sunshine Paddle of 2014…we are treating this as a paddle a thon…half of all money donated will go to Sunrise of Pasco Battered Shelter and the other half will go to Helping Hands Food Pantry of Wesley Chapel…we will leave Hudson Beach at 6am and paddle through to Anclote Park…fingers are crossed for an amazing day:)
If you wish to pledge or paddle with us, please give me a call (813)907-6279.

Dismissed- Carry On,

Captain D

*Please stand up for a creature too small to help itself…send an e-mail to someone in your local or state government and ask for help…let them know you care


Monday, March 17, 2014



Avast Me Hearties,

Glad for you to see the busy start of the Year…let me fill you in…taxes and state paperwork are filed- have I said how I dislike paperwork…training has now become a way of life…I find on the day I do not get to paddle- I must stretch my body out…

On the morning of April 5th, 2014…At Everglades University, I will walk for graduation of my Masters Degree in Business…I am excited!!! Not so long ago, I was told this would never be possible for someone with Battered Woman's Syndrome…

On the Afternoon of April 5th, 2014…The Girly Pirate will make an appearance at the coolest Sea Turtle sanctuary…we are scheduled to be there at 3p.m…Gumbo Limbo is so cool…the money raised here goes directly to the care and maintenance of the animals…I will be excited to see this will be interesting to see the work being done and how many turtles are being cared for:)
On the 6th of 2014…The ship will lay a course for Marathon Key to see The Dolphin Research Center…since so many of you have asked and since I will be so close, I will stop to see meet their crew…I spoke with Amy today and confirmed our time with them…it will be exciting to see the unity and love shared here…what an awesome graduation present- Thank you for pushing me into it :)

I will then get a quiet week of training…though 25 miles is not much in a speedboat, it will be more than a healthy paddle…I am really thinking about going to Weeki Wachee, Honeymoon Island and then maybe a practice blast down the coast…if you want to paddle, I would love company on any part of the journey…if you want to go for a bit give me a call (813) 907- 6279

April 20, 2014…Our official Sunshine Paddle...The money raised will be split 50/50 between…Helping Hands Food Bank in Wesley Chapel and Sunrise of Pasco Battered and Raped Shelter in Dade City…This will be a 25 mile paddle down the coast of Pasco…If you want to pledge any amount (per mile Paddled) or join ma on the paddle- it will start on Hudson Beach at 6 a.m. Call (813) 907- 6279

Carry On,

Captain D

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Welcome 2014

Ahoy Mate,
Our new year has been very active… We continue to train…today is the day we start to gain pledges to go the 25 miles down coast of Pasco in April…this year the money will be split between Sunrise of Pasco in Dade City and Helping Hands Food Pantry in Wesley Chapel
We are looking for a Sit On Top Kayak as the Horizon is proving to be quite painful on my hip…if you know of one or have one to donate- it would be awesome…we have turned in our taxes for 2013…
Donations/ Expenses Report for The Sunshine Paddle 2013
This year was all about safety and training…we received donations from friends
of the paddle to help with gas and kayak rentals. With my hip being out SOT rentals were necessary as we do not own one. To save money we got rid of the truck, the money from this helped to pay some on the website. We also shut down the spot tracking service in an attempt to save money. The phones were shut off after the 2013 paddle as they would not be needed for another year. New gear included a new PDF and re-roping the Horizon. Bank fees totaled over $140. The year of 2013 started out with $25 in the account. We had income or trade of $3500. At year end we had $12 in the account.
List of Benefactors:
Judy Gavinski of Norwood (MA),

Siesta Key Bike and Kayak of Siesta Key,
Crystal River Kayaks of Crystal River,

Tory Cooper of Norton (MA),
Tim O’Hara of Crystal Beach,

Julie Perez of Wesley Chapel,
Cathy Cooper of Wesley Chapel,
Walter Rooney of Wesley Chapel
That is All…Carry On
Captain D