Home in Port Charlotte
High of 86
I've done more boating in the past few days than I have all year. That's not saying much, as I'd only been out three days during the entire 2010 year. The boat was in the shop for two weeks while I travelled to California one week and Puerto Rico another week. I finally got it picked up on Saturday morning after "breaking out another" you know what (B.O.A.T.).
The tides allowed me to fish all day. So, how'd I do? Have you ever seen a baseball game where the lead off batter hits a single run homer and nine innings later the game ends 1-0? I dropped two lines into the water, trolling at about 6 knots. One had a Xrap 8 and the other an Xrap 10 (numbers indicate how deep the lure dives before swimming back to the top). Within a minute the X10 goes off and I pulled in a very nice 24" Spanish Mackeral. That was the only fish I would catch all day. I did have one VERY strong hit that nearly spooled my reel but it got away. The good news is that the weather, wind and water were all perfect. So much so that I trolled about two miles off shore of the beaches in the Gulf. The waves were almost none existent. The water temperature is still 84 degrees. I arrived home after dark without incident. I flushed the motor, did a light rinse down and called it a night.
Sunday morning I went back outside to do a thorough wash job and was shocked to find some damage obviously done by the marine repair shop. There was a nasty dent in the swim deck from them hitting a dock or piling. Worse, they put a hole in the toe rail by drilling a wood screw way to from inside the cabin bulkhead. That screw was sticking a half inch up through the toe rail on the starboard side. Had I stepped on that, barefoot like I always boat, I may have fallen overboard. (Another reason why I always wear my vest and personal locator beacon).
The shop was closed all day Sunday so I had to wait until Monday morning to drive up there and show them photos. They didn't kiss my ass with apologies but they accepted immediate responsibility and said to bring it up and they'd fix it today. The tides were again on my side and I was able to run the boat up to them right away. Their visiting fiberglass guy was there today and he dropped everything he was doing to make my boat right. A few hours later they called to say the job was done. I ran back up there between office paperwork and brought the old girl home again. The seas were smooth like glass. I hit 40 MPH on the way home. Got to stretch her legs, right? They did a good job repairing the damage. There was only 3' of water in the canal when I got home but I managed to not run agound. My draft is 30". No harm, no foul. Between the two trips I logged 121 nautical miles and 10 hours on the boat.
We are definately selling this boat and will look to replace it with a 17 or 18 foot Boston Whaler with an outboard motor. With that, I will never have to worry about the tides or bridges. I can fish the flats, the harbor or even the Gulf on nice days. I have done lots of research on the Whalers and on comparing 2 stroke motors with 4 stroke motors. The modern 2 strokes are not the loud, smoky demons of even ten years ago. The Evinrude Etec looks like a very good product.
My latest Puerto Rico trip was good. My Cardinals football team is bad.
There have been 19 named storms in the Atlantic hurricane season. The latest, Tomas, was briefly a Cat 2 hurricane but is currently a Tropical Storm. There are only 2 names left on the list this year; Virginie and Walter. After that, NOAA would start using the Greek alphabet like Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc. Luckily no storms have come close to us. We could use some rain though because SW Florida just finished it's driest October ever.
Tomorrow I head for Chicago and next week is Boston. In between, Kathy and I have a nice weekend planned with a few thousand of our closest Parrot Head friends in Key West. Stay tuned.