Friday, September 2, 2011

How to waste a lot of money and blow a lot of time

I was trying to come up with some witty title.  I decided against it. So, here goes.

It was Thursday and softball season was finally over. I loved playing, I really did! We made it to the finals and lost by 2 runs on shotty umpiring (sp?). But, Josh and I both were excited to start fishing again.

Initially, the plans were that Josh's friend (and first string back boater) would fish with him and Bertus would fish with me, so that we could take their money. But, Anthony had something going on and my dad took the boat to Double Head for the long weekend. So, we paired up in the Bullet. We decided to run to the dam...which would be a first for me, seeing that the old stratus would take an hour to get there and two tanks of gas. All we had to do was outrun MOST of the boats headed to the same 3 spots by the dam.

Just to be able to go, I had to juggle a lot of things. My wife is on a cruise, so I have both the kids. I had to arrange child care, get my stuff from home, etc. But I made it to the ramp in time to tell lies with a few of the fishermen. Come blast off time, we battened down the hatches, tossed any unneeded ballast and I assumed the aerodynamic position.

Out of the hole, this new Bass Cat blew us away. Granted, it has 25 more HP on us....but it must be set up really well. It ran off and left us. We were left running a few other boats, including a Nitro that just wouldn't go away. One of the downfalls of the Bullet hull is that it doesn't handle waves. At all. Every time we came across a wake, Josh had to chop throttle, letting that Nitro whom we had made oh so little ground on catch up.

For 15 miles we played this game. We passed paintrock and Josh let the throttle out. Thinking it was a spot we were going to fish, I started to unhook all my rods. But, he just sat there with this look on his face. Then I figured it out. He hadn't selectively shut the motor off. It had stopped on it's own.

Sensing something was wrong with us, this Skeeter stopped. A guy named Pork Chop was riding shotgun. He knew the problem even before the two of us did.

See, a few weeks ago, Pork Chop was running up to the dam...ironically in a Bullet. He was doing 90+, but noticed it dip to 85. Then 80. The last thing he remembered was 78...when he found himself in the water. The lower unit locked up on his boat, forcing the boat to do a hard 90 degree dive. It tossed he and his partner out of the boat. So, he could identify the problem easily.

We put the motor in gear and the prop would spin oh so slightly, but given any throttle...nothing. The lower unit was dead.

He politely offered his help. He told us to troll down river and he would tow us after the tournament.

So, after running 70+ for 15 miles, we now were doing a blistering 2.8mph downriver. We made it to Flint river by 830, when Pork Chop and his buddy towed us home.

Fun stuff.

But, special thanks to Pork Chop and his buddy. They never asked for money or any thanks. There are good people out there, and there is a God that watches over fools like us.