Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cobia Fishing And A Rescue

It's Cobia season and my husband and BIL have been bitten by the fishing bug so Tuesday night they planned a trip for Wednesday.

The boys heard them talking about it and wanted to go too.

They've been in and around boats their entire lives but have never been old enough to go "fishing in the Gulf with the men" and were beyond excited when the Island King told them they could go.

Then, he sat them down for The Talk.

"There are two things you need to know" he told them.

"Number one - we are not coming back until we're ready to come back. If you get bored, sea sick or scared you have to suck it up and deal with it because we are NOT bringing you back to the dock until the mission is over."

"Number two - if you cry, whine or complain you will not be invited to go again."

It was so funny listening to him tell them that because I remember the first time I got to go with my dad on a "men fishing in the Gulf" trip and I swear he gave me the EXACT same speech LOL

Both boys agreed to the terms and could barely sleep they were so excited.

Wednesday morning they loaded the boat and set out, determined to bring home the biggest Cobia in the Gulf.



A few hours later the phone rang and when I heard the Island King's voice I just knew he was calling so the boys could tell me they'd just caught the 'big one'.

Wrong.

"We're broke down and need your help" he says. "Put the kayak in the van, go to the parts place and pick up a part for us, then bring the kayak to June Decker park and paddle the part out to us because we're anchored off the 2nd sandbar. And the anchor is dragging so you need to hurry."

What?

I told him that it was rude of him to call and mess with me on my day off and started to hang up. "Don't hang up!" he yelled and then repeated his story, telling me that he wasn't kidding.

Why don't they just call Sea Tow or the Coast Guard? Good grief.

I guess I'm going kayaking.

So I went out to load the kayak into the van. The kayak that we haven't used in 2 years. The kayak that doesn't really fit in my van and that we strap to the rack on the Island King's truck.

As soon as I tried to pick the kayak up I knew there was a problem. I could hear water inside the hull and it was so heavy I couldn't pick it up. This is not good. I'm going to have to park in a parking lot and then drag this thing all the way down to the beach?

And since it's obviously full of water will it even float?

I drag the kayak to the van and decide that I'll figure out how to get it to the beach when I get there.

I drove to the parts place to pick up the part they had waiting for me and as I started back to my van I saw my FIL. He works for my BIL and was in the truck they use to empty the trash cans on the beach. The truck with the permit to drive on the beach. Perfect!

He was with another guy, Brian, who also works for my BIL and when I told them the story Brian jumped all over the chance to kayak the part out.

Things were looking better by the minute.

They put the kayak in the back of the truck and then we all climbed in the front and headed for the beach.

It's spring break time and the beach was packed. People were shoulder to shoulder from the dune line to the water and I realized there was no way I'd have been able to get that kayak from the parking lot to the water without help. Thank goodness we were in the truck and were able to drive right to the edge of the water.

I'd double bagged the part in ziplock bags and once the kayak was in the water, Brian took the part and got in.

And promptly rolled over like a barrel. Which caused my FIL and I, along with several people on the beach to snicker a little.

Brian stood up and tried again. And again, rolled completely over.

More snickering.

He tried again - and again - and again, rolling over every single time.

By now everyone on the beach is laughing pretty hard but Brian just kept trying over and over again. I stopped counting the 12th time he rolled. I would have paid good money for a video camera at that moment because it was hysterical.

Two guys standing nearby felt sorry for him and held each side of the kayak while Brian got in but as soon as they let go he rolled again.

At one point I heard a woman behind me say "If he rolls again I'm going to wet my pants!" LOL

While this is going on, the Island King is anchored just off the 2nd sandbar and has been watching the whole thing with his binoculars. He called my FIL's phone and said that they were laughing too hard and just couldn't take it anymore and would I please get in the kayak and bring them the part.

They want me to do it? Now that every single person on the beach is watching?

And by now I've figured out that the water trapped in the hull is probably what's making the kayak roll and I know that I won't have any more luck than Brian is having.

Which means that the laughing on the beach will turn to full on howling when I try it and have the same problem.

Just as I resigned myself to the emabarrassment that I knew was going to follow I saw another boat approach my BIL's boat. And the phone rang.

The other boat turned out to be a neighbor of ours and he agreed to come right up to the sandbar to get the part.

Yes! Swimming the part out to him would be no trouble and I'b be spared the humiliation of having to get in the rolling kayak.

We told Brian the plan and he said "I'll swim it out to them, I'm already wet and I swim like a fish"

Great.

We beached the kayak and Brian waded into the surf - which was just small, gentle swells.

There were lots of people in the water and they were all standing up with no problem but Brian started flailing a little and I realized that man can't swim!

My FIL realized the same thing and said "He says he can swim like a fish but I want to know what kind of fish that is!" LOL

I waded into the water and as I got close to him I realized that he should be able to stand up. "Put your feet down - stand up!" I yell to him.

And he did. And then he wasn't drowning anymore. And even though I know I shouldn't have, I laughed so hard I cried.

I guess Brian sorta snapped after that because he threw the part as far as he could in the direction of the waiting boat, waded back to the beach, kicked the kayak, climbed in the truck and slammed the door.

Poor guy. His day was going fine until I showed up LOL

Meanwhile, the part is floating halfway between me and the boat but the current is carrying it down the beach, not out towards the boat.

The guy in the waiting boat took his fishing rod and started casting out towards the bag until he snagged it. He reeled it in and finally, after ALL of that, the part made it out to the my BIL.

On the drive back to my van we stopped at the store and I bought Brian a beer. I felt like it was the least I could do LOL

Although, when he said "Man it was rough out there, it wasn't like basic training at all because in basic training I could hold onto the edge of the pool"
I laughed so hard that I snorted a mouthful of Pepsi through my nose.
Rude but unavoidable.

They got the boat fixed and fished the rest of the day but didn't catch anything.

And the boys were so good they've been invited to go again next time.
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