Friday, November 6, 2020

11.06.20 "The good, the bad, and the ugly...."

 So this post will be broken up into three parts, the first part the good.... Left Trenton at 315 and rolled into Atlantic Highlands at 5 and soon had the boat wet with the help of my doctor, Brendan Muholland, who had his Jones already in the water ready to go. It was a beautiful morning as Leif and I headed out way in front of the rush that was occurring at the check-in gate. So the first good was the boat didn't sink, it started, and we got underway without incident. The first big question was where are the fish and where are we going to go. 

     So the next good, we found bait, birds and bass. It was nice to hold a better fish than the schoolies we have become accustomed to on the beach. It was a sand eel bite, something I thought we would see a little later in November and into December, and I had come out expecting to be looking for the peanuts and adult bunker, but those we flew past in the bay with nothing on them. So my midday we brought some nice fish to hand and released them after a picture or two, and left before the fog rolled in and had the boats locked in for a bit. 

Okay, and now the bad. So at first light we took a slow ride out through the bay with bunker flipping and nothing on them. Now today was a take a guy fishing day with a little boat test mixed in day. Since the boat made it to the tip of the Hook, I was like "Alright lets go", and we did. We followed the channel out and decided to ride the line south. We went and went and went, and then saw the birds, and some boats, and then a lot of birds. I guess I was like that bug attracted to a bug light, "Don't look into the light"...ZAP!, because soon I was in the middle of the birds and there were fish on top, here and there where we were, and slurping on the sand eels. Leif landed a nice fish on a Ugly Ass Fly, that I guess if you were drunk and maybe on mushrooms it could have looked like a sand eel, but whatever, it ate it.

      Then I received a text from a fellow Captain, "You realize your over three off right?. My heart sank, I looked around, for the 50 or so boats that were in, there was another 50 out, out and over the three mile line, and I was one of them. We quickly dropped the rods and headed in, and started to look around. While Leif made some casts I fired up the Garmin unit and found just where I was, still over the line, WTF?. So at some point I was out about 4 miles, and even after firing up we we're still over and we quickly jetted back inside. There were some fish there also, not the same sized ones, not with the bird action, and not as many blowing up on the sand eels. We stayed for a bit and then made a move, I should have done better and have known where I was......

And the ugly. So after the move inside and the slower fishing, I decided to leave fish to go find fish......oh boy.  We headed to the Raritan Bay and found some bunker all happy and flipping and then over to New York. I wanted to check out Lower New York Bay near the Statue of Liberty. As we made out way under and past the big bridge the motor hiccuped twice, thats all I had to hear. I spun her around and we started back in and that didn't last long. 

It would run, then die. Run, stop. We did this for about 20 minutes and 1500 feet. I decided to put my non-marine-mechinc skills to work.What I found was the priming ball was collapsed, and wouldn't refill with gas. The engine wasn't getting fuel. So we took turns squeezing it and running the boat.


I never realized how far it is from the Verrazano Bridge to the Atlantic Highlands marina. I squeezed so many times by bicep hurt as I write this post. At times Leif took the wheel as I pumped, and then 

we would switch. Every time it died I thought for sure I was going to have to call TowBoat US in order to get back to land. Somehow we made it back, maybe Jim was blowing us home, and maybe he was just f'in with us and laughing out loud upstairs. There was a log jam at the ramp, a little hurried. We all watched as this poor guy with a brand new truck, new boat and trailer pulled out, without trimming his motor, and he dragged his keel and propeller up the cobblestone ramp.....ouch. Can't say a thing because that could have been me. 

     The other laugh Jim had, if he didnt cry, was this supersonic side scan thermal imaging contraption that ran along the motor.  Well as we made our way out front the force of the engine bend that thing over. If I can figure it out I will, and then straighten it out and put it into service again, for now its coming off for a much needed rest.

 It felt good to be on a boat again. It felt good to pull into Conte's Car Wash and give her a hot shower. It felt good to take a guy fishing and put him on the fish, and, it felt good to get paid that way again. No insurance company checks, no co-pays, just some cash in your palm for an honest days work.