Barely Wet

I am going to die on this boat.

We live in Central Florida, almost directly in the center of the state. One of the reasons we wanted a trailerable boat is that we like to go to the west coast on the Gulf and the east coast on the intracoastal waterways, the rivers and lagoons that separate the barrier islands from the mainland. We bought a hybrid boat just for that reason.

A hybrid boat has a modified V-hull. It is good for pleasure riding and fishing. The bottom of the boat is not flat like the lowland fishing boats. In that way, you can take it out in rough waters without getting beat to death. It is not a full-V either. In that way, you can get it into the shallow areas where some of the best fishing takes place.

The draft of the boat is a measure of how deeply the boat sits in the water. Our last boat was 36 feet, full V, and had a draft of nearly 3 feet. We test drove some boats that had a draft of less than 10 inches, but in mildly choppy water your fillings rattled in your head and back and neck surgery would be inevitable from the pounding.

The Coastal 231 solves those problems. It has a draft of only 14 inches and a modified V-hull that smoothly glides over the waves and choppy waters.

The Rocket Scientist has owned a boat since the age of sixteen, so boating is something deeply ingrained. He lived for 12 years on Siesta Key, Fl, and spent 2 years on a treasure hunting boat in the Caribbean. He has had everything from kayaks to cabin cruisers. He could not wait to get this boat wet so we took it over to the intracoastal waterways to put in at Indian River Lagoon on the east coast.

Something you need to know about the east coast: Mosquito Lagoon is barely navigable because it is so shallow. Most people pole small boats through that lagoon or use a small trolling motor. The fishing there and in the Indian River Lagoon that is connected by a canal is some of the best in the world. Indian River Lagoon has some deep channels but the average water depth is 4 feet. The lagoon runs south into the Indian River and opens into Sebastian Inlet from the Atlantic and some seriously deep water.

The locals, mostly rednecks and Hispanics that live around Bithlo and the country villages between Orlando and the intracosatals, don’t like the city boys coming out to fish their holes.

We pulled up to the boat ramp at Parrish Park and there was a group of Hispanics putting their boat in at one ramp and a couple of rednecks putting their boat in at another ramp. We backed toward the third ramp. I got out of the truck and into our boat to back it off the trailer and the Rocket Scientist did the driving down the ramp. All the while, these guys were jawing.

“In Puerto Rico we called them pescado de la ciudad…city fish!”

 

“We call them jerks,” came the redneck’s reply.

 

My husband backed the boat down into the water, got out of the truck and quietly went about his business while I cranked up the engine and backed the boat over to the dock. I killed the engine, got off and we tied up the boat. There were insults and jeers coming from the fishermen as my husband went to park the trailer. The group of fishermen continued their exchange and I was feeling uncomfortable when the rocket scientist came back.

 

Redneck #1: “I don’t understand why these city boys think they’re gonna move in here and catch fish just because they have these big ass shiny new boats.”

 

Redneck# 2 : “This is one place where bigger ain’t better.”

 

The Hispanic group boarded their small flat craft and motored away into the darkness of the early morning.

 

Redneck #1: “Y’all gonna be stuck before the sun rises.” He tossed his fishing gear into his little flat bottom boat.

 

Redneck #2: “Hope y’all got some poles on that monster to push off the sandbars,” he mocked, spitting tobacco juice into the water.

 

The rocket scientist smiled. He stepped aboard our new boat and quietly went about checking out the new depth finder.

 

Redneck#1 “Plannin’ to fish the deep holes?”

 

Rocket Scientist: “Nah, yo girlfriend ain’t here.”

I froze.

I am going to die on this boat. *sigh*

Name we decided on for new boat!

Name we decided on for new boat!

 

51 thoughts on “Barely Wet

  1. Oh Myyyy!! I’m glad the Rocket Scientist got to score with his remark–and that you both lived to tell the tale! 🙂
    I don’t know anything about boats or this culture, but this will make a great scene in one of your future books.

  2. Men and their games and conflicts are sometimes hard for us women to comprehend. I think the RS knew how to handle the situation. But you’re the one who will get the last laugh when include this exchange in one of your books.

  3. I would have frozen too. Them be fightin’ words. But then again, so were all those very rude things those guys were saying. Don’t you sometimes wish you could turn people into frogs? But no – that’s insulting to frogs.

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