Saturday, June 6, 2009


Home in Port Charlotte
Heavy downpours with thunder & lightening

Billy and I launched the boat at 7:20 and headed out. The low tide was scheduled for 7:36AM at 1.1 feet above mean tide. I can normally clear the short bride up to 1.2 feet and anything below. As we navigated the canal I could tell by looking around at the neighbors docks, this was an abnormally high tide. It was higher than predicted already. My GPS indicated the current height was at 1.1 but that's just a forecast. My depth finder showed 4-5 feet in the center of my canal, where I am used to seeing 3-4 feet. I told Billy to be prepared to scrub the launch.

We got to the short bridge and I slowed the boat to a stop. Not only wouldn't my GPS antenna clear to bridge, my entire hardtop was 2" too high today. For the second time since owning the boat, we had to abort a scheduled departure. The last time was last summer following Hurricane Gustav, which hit Texas hard but brought tons of additional water into the entire Gulf region. On that day I recall the tide was at 1.0 and I still couldn't get out.

Last night we had VERY high winds and rain that may have brought enough extra water into the canal to create a tidal anomaly.

Kathy has been telling me that since the day we met in 1999. I also am a firm believe that sometimes God tries to intervene in different ways to help us get a strong hint. I had woke up at 2AM this morning, thinking about this off shore adventure and had some normal nerves. I told myself then, the tide is going to be really close and if we don't get out I will accept that we are not meant to go out at this time. As we pulled away from the short bridge to go back home, I shared my thoughts with my son. I told him of a well known prayer that my mother taught me decades ago; I think it goes, "Lord grant me the strength to change the things I can, the patience to accept the things I can't and the wisdom to know the difference." I could have disassembled the GPS antenna and tried to muscle the hardtop beneath the bridge but it didn't feel right. Billy understood and we headed for home.

We had 2 dozen live shrimp in the bait well and those will keep. We will fish them on the canal today, when these heavy thunderstorms pass us by. I put the 30 pounds of ice and the frozen rigged ballyhoo bait in Rolando's garage freezer and it will keep. Everything else will be good to go if we decide to launch tonight and try again. I know the tide will be falling from 2.3 to -0.2 during the evening tonight. We can launch at about 7:00PM, if the weather looks favorable, and spend the night on the harbor. Then we can still fish all day Sunday and come home to a falling tide Sunday evening at about 6:30PM.

This all may sound like a pain in the butt to some of you but here in South Florida, it's all a part of MESSING ABOUT!

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