More Pictures Here!
I believe there are boating people in the world; people who have an innate knowledge of the wind, tides, the steering of a boat and don’t seem to mind the lack of control. We are not two of them. But since that didn’t stop us from renting a boat in Switzerland and boating across Lake Lugano into Italy (by the way, there is a universal language and you don’t need to hear it to understand—but that’s another story) why should it stop us from taking out a flat-bottomed outboard for a little fishing in Corpus Christi Bay? We were hesitant at first but after two days of fishing from kayaks we did what any self-respecting almost-fisher-people would do and blamed the lack of fish on our vehicle. So off we went in the boat.
The first day went well enough, we even managed to dock at what we thought was the bait shack and pull up onto a small island for the dogs to stretch out a bit. We enjoyed a picnic lunch, lots of fishing but no catching.
The second day, however, became one of those times that, although I am thrilled to have Bloggie to record our Day in the Life videos, I am grateful we are not being filmed all day long.
It started out nicely enough, floating around Ingleside Cove casting out and drifting our lines along. I even saw a fish follow my line once, so that gave us hope. Then a stand-up paddler came by and said he had seen all kinds of fish just outside the bay in the Corpus Christi Channel and suggested we head that way. Off we went, stopping briefly on the island for a quick dog run.
We got out into the channel and enjoyed watching a giant freighter cruising out of Corpus Christi—not close at all, but I did admire the giant white-capped wake it was leaving far behind itself. He blew his horn a few times as he headed up the channel but, just like in Switzerland, we did not recognize the sound as something that mattered to us. So we continued fishing.
Soon, however, it became apparent that the freighter’s giant wake was about to overtake us. So Alan turned us back toward the cove and we tried to outrun it. No such luck, the waves were approaching too fast. So we slowed down, turned around, and faced the on-coming waves as bravely as possible. I had a dog in each hand as we went over and down the first wave. Not too bad. Unfortunately, the nose of the boat didn’t quite make it back up before the next wave hit us, so it came right over the top. Oh. Yes. It. Did.
Our backpacks (including our fancy Nikon HD camera) and the lunch cooler got washed to the floor of the boat where they were floating (and sinking) into 12” of water. The dogs and I got drenched. River, who was becoming quite a good boat dog before The Incident, retreated underneath Alan’s legs. Rosco hung tough with me in the front as we rode out the next few waves. (Sometimes I imagine Rosco on a talk show where they are showing Stupid Human Tricks – he would certainly trot out this as an example.)
Eventually the waves lessened to the point where we could turn and high-tail it out of the channel. I made my way to the back of the boat where I unplugged two holes so the water could drain out. (For the life of me, I cannot understand the two holes at the back of the boat: If left unplugged, the boat fills with water when you aren’t moving forward. So I MacGiver’d them with some dog bags to keep the water out.)
And this was only the first time that day I had been thankful we weren’t constantly filming the Aventura.
After many deep breaths we gained enough control to start fishing again. So we started in an area that looked quite promising, keeping a look-out for any more freighters. We weren’t having any luck so Alan suggested we try another spot. As I reeled in my final cast, I fealt a dead weight at the end and said, quite despondently, “Well, I have something – probably a piece of wood.”
As it got closer, it looked almost round and quite white so I thought it was a shell. As it came up to the boat, Alan said, “You caught a fish!” and sure enough, there was a fish at the end of my line. His many, many fins were spread out as far as possible making him appear almost round. He had the ugliest face I have ever seen on a fish; a large, fat head with bulging eyes, bumps and little horns out the side. He was so unsightly I whined, “But I don’t want to keep him, he’s so ugly!”
And that’s the second time I was glad we weren’t filming all day.
P.S. The local expert reports that the fish is a Searobin, “either big head or barred.” I couldn’t decide if “big head” or “barred” fit him better, he has so much of both.