Thursday, July 30, 2020

Camping In the Age Of The Virus: Part 7

It turned out that the boatload of tourists from the mainland only wanted to put their toes in the sand for a quick minute before heading on to the next stop on the tour. Soon, I was left to fish in peace while Pam was busy collecting shells. I heard her muttering at some point that "this is no Sanibel", but she was content to shop for shells at her own pace, while I was busy figuring out precisely where the big fish must be. After a while, I decided this must be the Isle of No Fish and was ready to collect Pam and her shells, when something quite encouraging happened. As most people in sports will tell you, there are things you can do where you'd better be really good at the sport if you do this thing. For example, if you wear bright orange running shoes, you'd better be able to run, or own a really flashy better had know how to ride it. In this case, a really big open fishing boat was pulling up into the channel right in front of me. It was a high-sided deepwater boat, over 24 feet long, sporting a tuna tower, twin 250 hp Yamaha engines on back that looked like they hadn't seen a day of saltwater, and 2 middle-aged guys that looked like they knew what they were doing. One was at the helm and the other was up on the bow, pole in hand, and checking the depth while they slowly crept forward into the lagoon. The driver killed the engines and the first mate carefully dropped the anchor without a sound. They let things sit for a bit and then started rigging up their baits. I was too far away to see what they were using, but if these guys showed up here and now, I knew I was going to be in serious fish very soon.
You are probably wondering why I was so sure that these guys had any clue what they were doing. As it turned out I was wrong, because they fished for about 20 minutes and gave up. They started up the motors and putted away in hopes that the fish to be caught were somewhere else nearby.
It's not that two guys in a new boat is that big of a deal, or that they even knew how to operate it, navigating the narrow channel without banging the hull, or dropping the anchor without making every bird in 50 yards take flight, it was something that was immediately obvious, and something almost nobody but a pro fisherman would dare do: The whole outside of the hull was wrapped with a fish scene depicting a snook and a bottle of Jack Daniels with the boat name prominently displayed: "Wasted Seamen"'d better be able to catch fish with a name like that!

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