Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's official- I'm the Downeast Dumbass

Tide in my neck of the woods is amazing... It goes in, it goes out, it changes in size, and you will never ever be at the same longitude, latitude, and elevation ever when you are on a boat in the Gulf of Maine... Today I challenged the tide and I lost- big time and here's how it happened...

I had intended to sleep in this morning and head out to the boat around one hour flood tide as the large tides were dropping from eleven footers to eight footers as the week progressed. For those who may need some clarification, a trap buoy will be higher and lower in water level on an 11 footer than an 8 footer at the same location. Apply some comparative math in terms of percentages, and that means a stronger ebb and flood with the larger tide as the smaller one has less "umph" to it.  Figuring that I had only shallow water gear to haul, I'd be smart and let the tide get up a tad to make for easier work...

No, I couldn't stick to the stupid game plan.  My eyes opened at 5:00 a.m. and I got out of my sleepnumber bed with sore hips and back only to decide I wouldn't go back to bed, but rather go out on the ebb tide and haul deep water gear on two nights soak.  Then I could attack the shallow water gear with a steady flood tide...

Everything was going great, deep water traps fared well and the tide turned.  As I worked the flood, the string of traps led me to one of my favorite nooks that has this submerged rock with tons of kelp.  For those who don't know, that makes great structure and will hold lobsters.  I treat this business as I would bass fishing, and there exists this uncanny similarity between the two. By constantly study charts and practice with presentation, bait, and time, I can improve my success and produce results in both arenas. Back to my act of greatness...

I haul up a trap, take out a nice lobster, bait it, circle and set. Watching my chart plotter I know that my rock is coming and I ready for the next trap buoy.  All of a sudden, my bow moves upward with a thwart like nothing I've ever experienced on the water.  As I hang on to the steering wheel and plunge for neutral on the throttle only to hit the gas.  This propels me along the rock as I felt that I was in the Atlantic in April of 1912.  Then it was done, boat running and everything intact.  What amazes me the most is that I might have been going about 5 knots upon impact, but the horsepower of the Caterpillar Diesel pushed me up over the rock...
I circled around the rock I intended to find and it looked bigger than ever.  Knowing that I had blundered, I immediately called my uncle who owns everything dealing with the marine and diesel industry for an emergency haul out.  I limped back to port, got hauled out, and this is the fruit of my stupidity...








So far I've taken the cage off to be repaired, the propeller was delivered by me to a repair shop 1.5 hours away, and I've scheduled some cosmetic fiberglass repairing for the end of the week. This act of greatness will cost far more than what that stupid rock will ever produce in lobsters in my lifetime. But it could have been worse and I'm grateful that my shaft was not bent and no structural damage was found. I'll post more when I find out more...

The Downeast Dumbass

6 comments:

The Rabid Outdoorsman said...

It could have been so much worse. Wonder the impact didn't throw you overboard!

The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

It was interesting and a little shocking, but I didn't at any point feel that I was flipping. The boat rose up about one to two feet then slid back down over the rock. So far I'm up to around $750 in estimates and won't have the boat back into the water until next Wednesday or so...

tugboatdude said...

Wow you are lucky!Now I know the majority of your financial loss will be not being able to fish.However just be glad it's only around $750,to rebuild 1 main engine on this tug it's costing around $60,000.Ouch glad I'm not paying that bill.

The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

Fortunately, I have been able to contact the Marine Patrol Office and was granted a two week waiver to haul my gear from my father's boat... I won't be able to tend my traps at the same pace for this week but they will be baited and I will earn a high percentage of what I would have normally made...

tugboatdude said...

well at least in your neck of the woods things seem to run normal.That isn't the case down south where they won't allow transfers.

mizlan said...

wow...nice blog dude...