Sunday, March 30, 2008

Funny memory from yesteryear

During winter break 2006, which would be my senior year of undergrad at Albany, my family and I embarked on a journey to Florida. We drove down in what seemed like the fastest road trip ever, helped by the video game system in the backseat. The hotel we stayed at had all the amenities with one great one in particular. We had the ability to rent a boat (free to guests) on the Indian River for the day.

My brother desperately wanted to go fishing so I took him one day, and that is where this story begins. At first it was a normal trip. Fishing not going so well, but it was a great day. The current was a little strong as well. We ended up driving around and we boated to the point where we aren't allowed to go past.

It was here that we realized why we couldn't go past. The current was really strong here as there was a mouth to the Atlantic Ocean and it would suck the little boats right out. We kept the boat pretty close to safe areas but the current kept on tugging. It was also pretty shallow. So shallow that at one point the boat would get stuck in the mud.

I would turn the engine on to get us out but all we would do is grind it into the floor. The boating was quickly turning into a nightmare. We got stuck on this sandbar and could not get off it. All we were equipped with was a stupid oar. That's right, ONE oar. There would be no paddling to safety. The only thing I could think of doing was pushing off the floor with the oar, but the current was so strong that by the time I could reposition the oar to get another push we would lose ground and end up either back where we began or even closer to danger.

There was almost nothing we could do and hope was fleeting. Then my brother came to the rescue. He jumped into the water and pushed us off the sandbar. The only problem was I couldn't leave the engine running for fear of chopping his legs off. The way the boat was oriented it only allowed to be pushed from behind. That and the only way we could move the boat was if I stood at the front so that the engine could be lifted from the ground.

So there were several attempts to free us from sandy death or complete ocean overtaking. He would push and then jump into the boat and I would turn on the engine and we would hear grinding. Finally we decided that enough was enough and the only way to safety was to perfectly time the engine on with his jump into the boat, even if it meant he would lose his legs. That was a risk I was willing to take. Jason gave one final, huge heave and did a weird fish flop onto the deck as I ran from the front (bow?) to turn the engine on and get us going. He raced to the front so the engine would stay off the river floor and we drove our way to safety. I had to drive backwards until I knew we were out of the sandbar region.

The story takes a happy twist though. We decided not to go home because we were amped up from the excitement and then had also not caught any fish. So we did some fishing in a very safe spot and still could not catch anything. We were just about to pack it in when we noticed something amazing and miraculous. Talking dolphins! Well they didn't talk, but we did see dolphins. A small pod (maybe like 5 or 6) swam around the boat (within a pretty close proximity of like 15 feet) as we fished. Eventually we gave up on the fishing and started throwing our bait to them. They would swim all around the boat and even under it at times. We were so amazed and full of enchantment. Then they left (after like 20 minutes), and now I'm done with this story.


Dad said...

One to remember... that was funny... it has been a while since your last posting... missed ya...

Dad said...

One to remember... that was funny... it has been a while since your last posting... missed ya...

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