Wicked Water Musings

Life On The Back Page - March 2016

Daryl Gay | March 10, 2016

Ever heard a 1930s radio news broadcast? Or watched a black-and-white news reel from that era?

Announcer sounds like the microphone is crammed into one nostril, and he’s trying to squawk through the other. Believe it or not, at approximately 157 years of age, that same announcer is still around.

Yeah, he does marine weather broadcasts down on the coast. Drones on and on about what the wind, the water and the waves are doing, and what they will be doing hours from now. Maybe.

Drones. When, if my opinion counts, what he should be doing is screeching. While hopping.

Take last week, for example…

If you’ve made it this far in the magazine, there’s a couple of likely happenstances:

1. You know I was on a very large pond called Atlantic, despite the fact that it’s nowhere near our state’s capital, and

2. You improperly peruse this publication.

We’re going to focus on number one, but just so you’ll know how to mend your reading methods, we will in all modesty start with two.

The very best way to deliciously delve into your monthly GON is to first drop it front cover down; secondly flip open the back cover; thirdly throw some kind of cover over the photo of that goober at top right of the left-hand page; and fourthly read his column anyway.

Now you know.

So let us jump back to number one. I’ll not repeat all the details from the earlier pages, but there are a few tidbits meant only for my faithful Back Page followers.

Besides, it’s more fun back here!

Well before the appointed day of departure, I’d been listening to that nasally weatherman. And not at all appreciating what he had to say.

But here’s how this works: we at GON want to get you the latest possible results; what’s going on NOW! Sure, I could have fished those balmy days a month or two ago, but the pattern and bite are apt to be completely different when the story finds its way to your reading room.

So the powers-that-be here decide to wait for a February hurricane and send Gay out into it.

I should have taken the hint upon arriving at the marina. You know, all the fishermen hustling and bustling, boats zipping in and out…

Or not. At all. In any direction. Just us. Felt a little queasy and ain’t even on the sea yet…

And I could NOT rid myself of those stupid lyrics: “A three-hour tour, three-hour tour…”

At least there was one calming element in that the surrounding water—that I could see—was like glass.

“So how far we going?” I asked the captain upon boarding the boat—thankfully not named Minnow.

“Oh, between 15 and 38 miles,” came the nonchalant reply, as if she did this every day. (And I can’t tell you how glad I am that such is exactly the case.)

The thought presented itself: Don’t mind going OUT 38 miles as long as it’s not DOWN 38 miles. Boys, there’s some deep holes in this big ol’ pond!

So we go putt-putting out through the sound, saltwater swishing gently by, and pass the headland—where the bronco begins to buck.

During a dockside safety briefing, my attention was directed to the boat’s three-tiered railing. But it’s not what you’re thinking.

Pointing to the rails, the captain intoned, “If you need to use the boat’s head, there it is: over the rail, through the rail or under the rail. If you happen to splash the rail, there’s a saltwater hose to rinse…”

There actually is a fully functional head—think potty if you’re wondering what we’re discussing here—below decks, but it seems fishermen kept locking themselves in and freaking out, so the procedure is to leave the door open while the captain holds heavy-test fishing line tied to the knob.

Right. Just think rail.

Later, while watusiing across the bouncing deck, jigging a fishing rod in one hand and vice-grippng a support pole in the other, Flipper showed up to enjoy the show—likely hoping I’d flip over those rails and join him. With my luck, I could just see him submerging to inspect circle-hooked squid cubes and warn all his buddies, “Don’t bite it! Don’t bite it!”

But, as you will discover in the other piece, a couple didn’t listen. And we eventually did make it back. But if not for the courage of the fearless crew…

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