Wow! I love going deep sea fishing on our boat. I was excited when my dad had asked me if I wanted to go this weekend. We departed that Saturday morning after almost a week of sheer anticipation, our destination, Port Canaveral, home of of some of the best fishing on the east coast of Florida. The sea is a very dangerous place when riled by a storm, even a mild one, so we always made sure the day would be at least close to perfect before we ventured out into the blue darkness of the open sea.
My dad and I had seen the destruction careless boaters could get themselves into, and we did our best to avoid it. That Saturday, though, looked s if it were a perfect offshore fishing day. The sky was clear as glass, with a couple straggling cirrus clouds, but nothing worth paying attention to, and above that, the fish were supposedly hitting offshore. All-in-all, the long awaited perfect fishing day had come, at least in our minds it had. In the meantime, my dad backed the boat into the salty murky water as I got the boat ready for our day long journey.
I set the navigation system to a favorite fishing spot of ours which was about twenty-five miles out called the Pelican Flats. We headed out on the gently, quiet, rolling blue monster’s back as our twenty-two foot vessel handled the ne to two foot ocean swells with sheer ease. Finally, after an hour long haul, and fifteen fishing minutes later, we ran into our first sign of action. “Fish on starboard!! ” screamed my younger brother. “Fish on stern, grab ’em! “, bellowed by dad from the steering wheel.
Instinctly, my brother and I had quickly grabbed the poles as the line screamed off and the tips bent almost to the water. Soon enough, both of us had fish on, very large fish from the feel. About half an hour of sweat and a good workout, we finally got the fish to give up their fight for life. That was the first time we had ever encountered a double ook-up, which happens when two fish of a considerable size are hooked simultaneously, and it happened in less than fifteen minutes. We ended up fishing for about four more hours and landed an incredible number of large fish, and we wanted more.
The three of us scanned the surface for more action, and found nothing of interest but what looked like a storm cloud moving towards us at an unknown velocity about fifteen miles north of us, so we decided to start heading in towards shore. About half an hour later and about seven teen miles out, still not enough to see land, we realized that the storm had actually been oving toward us, almost intercepting our course toward the port. Without any doubt we’d pass it before it crossed our path, we proceeded onward in the same direction.
Damn, I’d hate to get stuck in that storm”, we said to each other as we watched the lightning and complete darkness of it as it overtook about a five mile radius of ocean surface. But as we watched this awesome sight from a short, but safe distance, we realized that it was moving a lot faster than we were. From that point on our confidence level started diminishing and our fears of the ocean started escalating, we weren’t going to et by this storm. My dad punched the 200 horsepower motor and our hearts and adrenaline were pumping incredibly. Soon the storm had yet engulfed us in it’s fury and rage.
The light turned to utter blackness, the sunshine turned to pelting rain and a light show courtesy of the lightning bolts flashing at least every five seconds, the one to two foot swells had turned into an entourage of seven to eight foot white caps which our boat was incapable of handling, and more importantly, our confidence from a good day of fishing had turned into a handful of desperate pleas for help. The rain had been so harsh nd plentiful that I could barely look up to see what was happening to our boat, or more significantly, our lives.
Less than a minute later, I couldn’t see any light at all, except when the electricity showed it’s presence, which was close to nonstop. All three of us were scared, confused, and desperate, which is a bad combination of feelings in this situation. Our first reaction was to radio for help, so my dad frantically grabbed the CB from the radio, but all for not. The beating the boat was taking had managed to snap our marine radio antenna in two, limiting our communication methods to only flares and a whistle, oth of which were useless in this kind of weather.
Someone would have to be near us for those methods to work, and any sane person would have been miles from “our” storm. Also, our navigation systems were not working. It was displaying to us that we were thirty-five miles out and heading east, which we knew to be wrong. We were still about 12 miles out and heading in toward land, but we didn’t know where on land we were heading. Our chances of defeating this mighty beast had slimmed greatly, and the storm was putting a beating on our bodies, our boat, and our overall morale. After fifteen minutes of complete horror, our navigation devices started working.
The fact that we actually knew exactly which way to head had taken some of the evilness away from this sadistic act of treachery we had gotten ourselves into. Our cries of despair had turned to sighs of relief when the fringe of the storm had passed over our heads. The car ride home was very quiet. The only thing I inferred from the trip home was that we wouldn’t be visiting the infamous Pelican Flats any more. The next day, my dad put our boat up for sale, and, ironically, we hadn’t been out of sight of land for about six months.