Sunday, July 16, 2017

Breakdowns and Blessings




 I'm well aware of the fact that I haven't posted anything for awhile. It weighs on me like a lead coat, or if I were Hillary Clinton, a lead pants suit. I don't know why, it's just something else that needs done when I feel like I don't have enough time to do all the other things that need attended to. As I've mentioned here before, in the summer, my primary interest is in fishing. Blog posts, trivia, visiting and all manner of other things don't hold the same high priority. However, that being said, I'm posting now, for better of for worse. In case you don't realize it, the thing you're looking at in the upper picture is a radar stand, which is mounted on the mast. What you don't see, and what should be on that stand, is the radar. And now for my sad tale of woe.... The beginning of the salmon season this year has been painfully slow. I don't think I even caught a king salmon until June, and then I only had a total of six, versus twenty nine last year. With that in mind, I was anxious to try and catch my share of kings on the outside coast when the summer season opened on July first. As it turns out, the first was a dreadful day out on the ocean, with high winds and high seas, neither of which I will venture out in. As it happened though, I was blessed when  a friend of mine asked if I could catch him some dogs and humpies for halibut bait. Since I wasn't planning on being on the outside coast on the first I said sure. In about 5 1/2 hours I picked up about 150 humpies and six dogs. I received a good payment for them and was happy as a clam at high tide for the success. That happiness however didn't extend beyond the first of July. I spent the night in Flynn cove and started out for the coast, glad that the forecast was more reasonable for fishing. When I rounded Point Adolphus, I was met with a bank of thick fog. No problem, I had a radar which I turned on, and a GPS to guide me out through South Inian Pass and on to the ocean. Wonderful. What wasn't so wonderful was that as I was passing Lemesuire  Island, the radar decided it no longer wanted to work. As my friend Buffalo Bob would put it- it crapped the bed.  I waited until the fog lifted and went through the pass and hung a left into Elfin Cove. I borrowed a ladder from a friend at the Elfin General Store and checked to see if the problem was just a slipped belt. HA HA HA HA- of course it wasn't anything that simple! How foolish of me to think it could be! I went ahead and ran out to Cross Sound in hopes that there would be some fish biting there, but the place looked like a desert on the video sounder. No sign of fish or feed, or even birds. I spent the night at Ewe Ledge and went back through the pass on the third. I had to send the radar down to Sitka for repair. Since it was MY equipment that needed repaired, it came as no surprise when the technician called me and said he had no idea what the problem was, which always means you better have a wad of cash that will choke a horse, because this is gonna cost you.  So, here it is, two weeks after my initial attempt to get to the coast, and I guess my radar is repaired  for a mere $666.00 and  change, plus of course the cost of the freight to get it here. 666- hmmm, not a very good number according to the bible. To add salt to the wound, the boats fishing outside, which is almost everyone with a boat, are having a record year fishing for cohos. The weather has been good and everyone is making money. Actually, I should be happy about that. I've prayed that the fleet would have success. It's  not that I haven't caught any fish, it's just that I haven't caught as much as I could have that bothers me. Oh well. But that's not the end of my story, oh no, no, no.Yesterday I decided to go try Eagle Point for a few hours. It took me two hours to get there. I slowed down the boat to trolling speed and turned on the hydraulics only to hear the most ear splitting screeching emanating from my hydraulic pump. I'm not mechanically inclined, so of course all I can see is more money flying out the window. I shut off the pump and turned around to make the two hour trek back home. Fortunately my friend, Kevin Friday, who has been a real blessing to me on more than one occasion, came over and looked at the pump, determined that it was fine and made a suggestion to correct the problem. So now, even though I don't have the radar yet, it's on its way, and the hydraulic problem is fixed. I may get a chance to salvage the day and go fishing, although I have to tell you, I'm always a little on edge wondering what next. The bottom line is though, no matter what problem comes up, I'm not left without a way to correct it. God in all His mercy has sent me friends who are willing to help, and even though I'm not catching the numbers of fish that my fellow trollers on the coast are, I'm still making ends meet and then some, and I don't doubt that by the end of the season I'll be in the black and re-living the experiences I've had this season-for better of for worse.