Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Boat named “Deliverance” and Fred’s $300 Fish Dinner

My husband, Fred, loves to fish. If you caught a glimpse of us sleeping like some Lockhorns or Hi & Lois cartoon-couple, a dream bubble over Fred’s head would be him with a fly rod and Moby Dick on the end of it. So, when Fred wanted to go on a mini-fishing trip while we were in Florida recently, I did my best to support him and not be the “elephant-that-sits-on-his-wish-whoopie-cushion.”

I was concerned we would get seasick tossing on ocean waves we weren’t used to riding. Fred agreed and found a local ‘bait-shop recommended’ fisherman who would guide us on the inner-coastal waters in Titusville (near Cape Canaveral):

“What if we catch a fish that’s too big for the cooler?” I questioned, thinking of the story we’d be giving the car rental people.
“We’ll have it packed in ice and shipped home.”
“You’re going to mail a fish?” asked I, as the elephant, crouching above his ‘cushion of wishes’, ready to plop.

As we drove to meet the mystery man, all I could picture was some strange “loner” with a Larry the Cable Guy accent driving a pick-up truck, towing a boat named “Deliverance.” He would drop the craft in some obscure bayou and make Fred squeal like a pig before he’d let us go.

It is during this ‘drive to the unknown’ that Fred informs me the boat will be flat-bottomed and flat-topped (hear: no sides).

“There might not be seats, so you might have to stand the whole time,” he reported.

Stop the car.”

-Fishing with a stranger

-No place for fish

-Boat with no sides

-Pale tourist woman balances on boat in unknown waters for 3 hours while Capt. “Cable Guy” purposely rocks it, hooting, “That there’s some funny stuff”.

As it happened, it was an amazingly fun adventure. The water was a foot deep; Capt. Scott was not sadistic; my daughter, Krista, caught a 25 pound Red Fish...which was too big to keep, according to waterway regulations. And there was a seat with my name on it. We saw manatees, pelicans, dolphins and sting rays. It was so perfect, in fact, that I suspected the fish were being cued.

“Ready dolphin? Go!” Capt. Scott’s counterpart in a nearby canal would command and blow the dog whistle. I was ready for it to “E-E-E-E” and do the ‘dolphin moonwalk’ right alongside the boat.

But...Moby Dick is still out there somewhere, so Fred’s dreams are alive and well. No thanks to me.

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