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Author Topic: Fun on the water  (Read 1568 times)

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Offline Howdy

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Fun on the water
« on: October 22, 2013, 03:15:04 AM »

Last weekend was to be a beautiful October day on the Oregon Coast and it was time for another crabbing expedition.  A couple of friends and I left early Saturday morning for the 90 minute drive to Nehalem  Bay where we had enjoyed several other outings before.

We expected the current of water coming into the bay to be fast and strong due to the very full moon producing a 9 foot high tide timed to change around lunch time.  We wanted to put the traps in near the end of the incoming tide around 10 AM. and to be off the water 1 PM or so about the time the outgoing current was to be flowing strong.   Everything was going great, the weather was clear and sunny as predicted, up to around shirt sleeve temps, and there was no wind. We expected to catch a lot of crab and have a great time, All in all a great day to be on the water with good friends.  Our wives were clear that we could not bring anyone else with us even if we knew of any babes that would join us.
 
I am changing the names of my friends to protect them from the kind of abuse we deserve so Michael the boat owner I will call Skipper and Kirk I will name Gilligan.  You all know me so changing my name won't work here and no one will believe me anyway if I use the name Clueless.  Our friend Jim hated to miss the fun but he may change his mind when he finds out what happened.

We put the boat into the water using our favorite marina's boat ramp and set sail on a three hour cruise. 

The water looked calm, up until the marking buoys attached to the crab traps were pulled underwater due to the incoming current.  It was fast and strong - much more than we expected and even with a 50 foot rope between the trap and the buoys they should have been easily seen as the depth of the bay is around 30 feet deep.  "Okay" we thought, we will just move to shallower water for the rest. 

Now here we might have noticed that most of the other crabbers had set their traps in shallower water but we are just guys out looking for a good time so don't blame us yet, you'll get your chance soon.

With our traps all set we cruised around for a while in the Skippers 18 foot. It's a nice boat, large and stable with comfortable seating and high sidewalls. A safe boat for everyone to enjoy.  And besides we all had life preservers on board somewhere...

Soon enough it was time to visit out traps and see what we had.  Now for those of you who haven't done this, it is only legal to keep large male crabs and all others must be returned to the water.  This means lots of sorting and few keepers however we did manage to retain a few.  The idea of limiting out (12 keepers each) was disappearing as fast as the current. 

Things were going well until our outboard motor developed overheating problems and quit. This was unexpected as the Skipper keeps his boat in good running order but we were soon able to get a tow back to the marina from another crabber. 

Once tied up at the dock we discussed what would be the best course of action: to wait until the motor cooled off and see if we could start it again or find another way to retrieve our crab traps?  Knowing the tide had already changed an hour earlier and it was time to be pulling our the traps or loose them, we decided to rent a boat from the marina and just pick them up fast.  Then we could attend to our boat once the traps were safely on the dock.

The marina rented small fishing boats and entire family's were on the water so how hard could it be for us guys?

We rented us a boat for only $50 and the owner of the marina gave us the parting advice of "Don't do anything stupid".  Now how stupid would three grown adult men be when they are just retrieving their gear?  Also, don't judge my friends just because they know me. 

Off we went to find our traps.  Any time now it would have been a good idea to put on life preservers but being real men it never entered our heads.

Skipper was at the stern of the boat tending the motor and tiller, Gilligan was amidships pulling in the traps, and I was in the bow storing the rope and floats in the traps for transport.  We were able to get three traps aboard and Gillian was trying to pull up the forth but it was stuck in the sandy bottom.  He was really pulling with all his strength. The Skipper looked over the side and that is when disaster struck.  The pulling on the rope combined with two men leaning over the side caused a shift in balance flipping the boat over and tossing us into the sea. 

By the way, ocean water really is salty!  And this would have been another good time to put on life preservers...but no - them's for sissies and we were real men.

While clinging to the side of the overturned boat we confirmed we were okay and were amazed how quickly help arrived.  I saw Gilligan was pulled from the icy sea by marina personnel in another boat like ours, and Gilligan had seen the Skipper being rescued by a fishing boat.  I was brought aboard by a large sport fisherman boat and Gilligan and I were taken to the closest marina.  We learned later that the Skipper was able to right the capsized boat and towed it back to the marina where we got it from. 

While sitting on the dock we were thinking the Skipper would arrive and we tried to blend into the woodwork as many people were watching due to all the excitement.  Then the police arrived...and the EMT's.  They got our stories and personal information while seeing that we were uninjured.  Here I was with blood flowing down my arm from a good scrape and I'm explaining to them I was just fine!  As the Skipper wasn't there the police offered us a ride to the marina where our boat and truck was located.  That was the first time I had ever ridden in the back of a squad car and I was not even handcuffed!  Upon arriving at our marina, we were surprised to find four different EMT trucks and ambulances looking for the Skipper.  While he had already checked in with the marina after towing in the capsized boat, he had not yet talked with the emergency personnel so they didn't know he was fine and everyone had to wait for him to return. 

I tried to explain that "If he was dead it's okay because the only person who would miss him was his wife, and she didn't like us anyway so they should just take off".  The emergency personnel stayed anyway saying something about it being such a beautiful day and enjoying being away from the squad house.  After an hour or so the Skipper finally arrived saying he had been looking for our crab traps.  Ya sure, we could be dead or worse and he is worried about the gear. 

Soon everyone had gone and we were leaning on a rail trying to figure out what to do.  It's late afternoon and we still had traps in the water.  Most people had left, only a very few crab traps were visible but now our boat engine was cooled off and running again.  Should we cut our losses and just go home?  Naw, we still wanted to get our gear!  So off we go once again in the Skipper's boat. 

Something like the "Idiots Guide to Boating" would have been good reading right about now.

We soon discovered that once again our crab floats were underwater and we were unable to locate any of them.  That was okay though because the engine quit once again when we were at the most distant point away from any marina and just before mouth of the bay.  For anyone who doesn't know, the mouth of this bay has a sand bar and very heavy surf even at the calmest times, and with the 10 foot tide pulling so much water from the bay the waves looked like something a surfer dreams about. 

If this wasn't enough, there was also a substantial stone jetty of large sharp, and very solid rocks at the mouth of the bay where waves were redirected to protect the bay from heavy surf.  Think about hundreds of crushed cars piled one on another for more than a mile waiting for something soft and squishy to smash. 

The Skipper quickly readied an anchor and he tossed it overboard.  As the line tore through his fingers we learned how important it was to always first tie one end of the line to the boat before tossing the anchor overboard.  Something to remember...

As he could worked to dig out the reserve anchor, we were able to flag down the only remaining boat between us and the rocks. 

Arriving back to the dock again undertow, we slunk off and loaded the boat onto the trailer,  With the power of the Skipper's credit card, the marina owner was less grumpy about us sinking his boat and motor.  How much this will ultimately cost us is yet to be determined and we will most likely need to find a new crabbing location for the future. 

On the way home with water squirting from our shoes and cold clammy clothes, Skipper bypassed not only the Beef Jerky Factory but also the Tillamook Cheese Factory, both places we enjoy whenever we are in the area.  Such is the misery we felt.  Conversation centered around what and how much we would tell our wives about the day.  The range was from saying we enjoyed the day but had some problems with the boat, to full confession complete with enhancements.  I will leave it to your imagination as to which I would go with. 

In the unlikely event we ever get to go out on the water again I foresee we might need the Coast Guard to stand by.

After all, how many people need to be rescued three times in the same day!  We might have just set a new record, gotta call the Guinness book people and find out.  Need to rethink the life preserver thing.  Just might be a good idea to actually wear one while on the water. 

Offline LeeB

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2013, 03:43:11 AM »
It really ain't funny, but you got tears running down my face from laughing. I'm glad you have a sense of humor about it all. Also glad none of you drowned. Ya'll might want to take up a new hobby. Store bought crab can't be that expensive.  :D
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2013, 07:16:44 AM »
 :D Fun on the high seas !

Maybe need bigger floats for the trap lines ???
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Offline doctorb

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2013, 07:28:05 AM »
Better to be lucky than smart!!  There's a lesson in that story for me, but I was laughing to hard to register it.
My father once said, "This is my son who wanted to grow up and become a doctor.  So far, he's only become a doctor."

Offline submarinesailor

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2013, 07:47:22 AM »
Howdy this is one I can truly understand having been washed over the side, into the Cooper River, on a winters day many years ago.  I know that it wasnt any fun being in the water.  Thank you for telling your story in such a light hearted manner.

Glad you are save, sound and DRY.

Bruce

Offline isawlogs

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2013, 08:26:27 AM »
  Man, what a day... Here hold my beer and watch this...  comes to mind  :D :D

 Now I understand why those TV crabbers have a crane and pully to bring up the gear.  :P

Glad you put this down for us to enjoye, I need get something to wipe the tears flowwing down my face and also get something for the pain my ribs are making me endure.  :)
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2013, 12:02:29 PM »
Another great story and time. I kept reading and reading and reading.  ;D I was saying it can't get worse.  ;D
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Offline sandhills

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2013, 02:41:33 PM »
I'm sure you didn't find as much humor in your day as the rest of us have, but thanks for sharing your story with us  :).  It actually sounds like a pretty typical day for me, but then again I don't have to worry much about the drowning part of it (just trying to keep my head above.....well something or other)!  Glad everyone is safe!

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2013, 08:20:30 PM »
Quite a day on the water, but like a "cat with 9 lives". ;)
~Ron

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 08:48:58 PM »
with thinking like that you should stay on land  :D
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Offline ND rancher

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 10:09:02 PM »
Howdy, thanks for the story I need a good laugh tonight! Glad everyone is OK.To bad their wasn't photos cause then I might have needed a trip to the ER,but my imagination is doing good, maybe over doing it. :)
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Offline giant splinter

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2013, 11:59:24 PM »
Great story and all is well in the end for the crew.
roll with it

Offline Howdy

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2013, 11:50:12 AM »
The day ended with everyone still talking to one another, and we even brought home six dungeness crab to split between the three of us.  I kinda figure I got the best deal 'cause I traded my two crab to Jim (the buddy that missed the trip) for a rack of barbecued ribs. 

I really don't like crab all that much and just go for the adventure - just hope the next time we can keep a little dryer.

Trying to estimate the cost of the crab gives me the feeling that I if I get the best steaks available at the most expensive restaruant and tip extremly well I will still have money in my pocket at the end of the evening.

Break down of expenses:
 
  21.00  Three crabbing licences @ 7.00 each
  10.00  Frozen chicken for bait
    5.00  Ice for coolers
   15.00 McDonalds breakfast for three
   20.00 Gas for the truck and trailer
   30.00 Gas for the boat
   10.00 Marina boat launching fee
     5.00 Tip for the young fella who towed us back to marina the first time
    50.00 Boat rental to recover traps
  150.00 Two cell phones ruined when boat capsized
    60.00 Three Danielson crab traps @ 20.00 each, lost
    90.00 Buoys and line @ 30.00 each for the traps, lost
  400.00 Two professional crab traps browered from brother-in-law, lost
    20.00 Tip for the guy who rescued us and got chewed out by his boss
      5.00 Oil for boat's outboard engine
    50.00 Lost anchor, chain, and line
    20.00 Tip for the guys who towed us the second time instead of fishing
   190.00 Estimated cost of engine repairs for capsized boat
   ???.??  Cost of overheated outboard engine repairs
________
  1141.00 Total without unknown costs   

   190.00 Cost of each crab brought home

Hate to think what the brother-in-law is gonna say when he learns I lost his traps, but the sound the Skipper made when he lost the anchor was priceless!

Offline moosehunter

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 12:58:10 PM »
 :D
Thanks for sharing this story!
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2013, 02:02:52 PM »
Something about a boat being a hole in the water that you pour money into?  :D

We thought we had blown $160 each on a boat ride and a sandwich on our last fishing trip in the Islands. But we did end up catching one fish, a 40 lb wahoo, so it wasn't a complete washout. The 1/4 of the fish we bough home fed about a dozen people   :D

But there was something to be said for going out with a professional local crew (that weren't Skipper and Gilligan)

Ian
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2013, 10:20:18 PM »
Thank you Howdy.  I have no idea for what, but thank you.   :D  :D
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Offline sawguy21

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2013, 10:45:56 PM »
 :D :D :D Oh man, that is quite the tale. I'm still laughing. Glad you are o.k.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline isawlogs

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2013, 11:54:57 PM »
 I went back and read it again .... My ribs hurt now , again ....   :D :D :D
A man does not always grow wise as he grows old , but he always grows old as he grows wise .

   Marcel

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2015, 08:44:54 PM »
Howdy,

So, everyone's wondering, have you been out crabbing since??

Reminds me of the "free" firewood a buddy and I would harvest with a $15 permit.  Between the two of us on 3 trips - Lots of gas as it was WAY out in the middle of nowhere, a blown out tire, one windshield and one expensive wrist watch.  There was probably other stuff but that was 25 years ago and you tend to forget the bad...  Our motto was, "It sure was a nice day for a drive!"
John Sawicky

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Fun on the water
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2015, 08:32:55 AM »
Howdy,

   I thought I was the only one who had days like that.

   It is funny when I hear one of my buddies talk about how cheap it is to eat wild game or fish or such. Killed a nice deer with a $.50 bullet. He doesn't add in the price of the rifle, couple boxes of shells he shot up in practice (or till he finally hit a deer he was shooting at - he will never admit that), his truck, the cuber, bandsaw, vacuum sealer, tree stands, specialty clothes, boots, and sausage stuffer he bought to process the meat, etc. Same with fishing and the boat, gas, licenses, life vest and other required equipment.

   Still in all if you write it off as stress relief and entertainment it is priceless. I am sure is comparable to golfing, tennis, etc. that we use for relaxation.

   Add in the time with your children (or even better when the grandchildren are in the boat with you) and it is certainly a bargain. I have always said some of the best days I had in the woods I never shot at anything (and some of the worst were days when I did kill something). Thx for posting.
Howard Green
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