Come on down where we can play
Come on down to my boat baby
Come on down we'll sail away.
“Come on down to my boat,” Every Mother’s Son
Friday the Thirteenth at the end of a Full Moon. And it was our FISHING DAY. I was up way early. Very groggy. I grabbed the Sea Grape trunk outside my tent door and did the Sea Base Pole Dance to get out of my tent and on my feet and almost fell down, anyway. Staggered over to make some desperately needed coffee.
Sarah appeared as if by magic shortly thereafter. Coffee does that to her, I noticed; instead of a magic lamp, this genie is summoned by magic coffeepot. She informed me that Abby and Julie were transported back to the Brinton Center by the Commissioner the previous night for Abby to be seen in the local ER. They were all right, and would be on the fishing boat when we boarded it. So that was all good news.
The full story as I got it from Julie later on was that they were taken to base, then transported to Fishermen’s Hospital up the highway. Abby was diagnosed with a severe UTI. I figured they’d have to catheterize her (and so did Julie), but they had one last trick up their sleeve. They administered a massive dose of antibiotics and some other goodies and got things going again. They then caught a few hours of Z’s before being put on the boat back to Munson. Abby certainly looked better when we all met up again.
And we were off. The little skiff kicked up a powerful wake as we went skimming out to deeper water. We didn’t catch much, but it was fun. Jeffrey caught an eel, and Zach was pulling in undersized groupers. The captain explained that the fish go crazy feeding in the nights leading up to the full moon, but when the actual full moon arrives, the fishing falls off since all the fish are full. We did eventually come up with a few fish worth keeping, but I didn’t see them.
At last, a boat we weren't the engine for
Going to try our luck
Leaving Big Munson astern
Kicking up quite a wake
An unwelcome guest
The fish weren't biting, so . . .
The reason for that is that I came down with a case of mal de mer. Now, I’m usually a good sailor. I’ve never been really seasick. But after a half hour or so thrashing about in this boat, I went aft and hurled what I had in my stomach. I figured I’d do better then; however, a half hour later I went aft and threw up what I didn’t know I had available to throw up. After that, I discovered that my brain and inner ear didn’t fight each other when I was lying down, so I spent the rest of our fishing trip lying on the bench in the bow. I felt fine, until I sat or stood up. I figure my general wastedness from short sleep and long days made me fall prey to the Ick.
At the end of the trip, the captain brought us back to the shallows, and Abby and I waded ashore to rest up while the others tried just a little bit more. Abby went off to the CTS to try to pee, while I ran an errand in the other direction. When I came back, she was resting in her tent. I asked her as I went by,“How ya doin’, Abby?”
”Awesome,” she replied. I offered a little poem then. “It’s sweet/ to excrete.” And then I went to lie down in my hammock.
Not to be too indelicate about it, but it’s amazing how much time one spends on high adventure trips discussing the condition and regularity of one’s bodily functions. After a trip of my own to water the local flora, I returned to find Abby in her hammock. I said, “My pee was the color of weak tea.” To which she replied, “Man, you’re dehydrated. [Pause.] My pee was orange.”
“That’s the medicine,” I said.
While we were resting, the third of the local Key Deer came in to forage in the campsite. This was Little Steve (remember, they’re all “Steve”), the faun, still in his spotted coat. Simply adorable. You just want to pick him up and pet him like a kitty or doggy. But you can’t. No touch, no take, remember.
Everybody was exhausted when we got back. There was much nappage before supper. We built a fire and cooked up a couple of groupers we’d caught. Someone else came by with some dolphin (mahi-mahi, not the mammal) they’d caught and cooked.
Julie discovered a huge bruise on her thigh from being “helped” into the war canoe. (We older folks struggled to get in, while the young’uns shot in like trained seals.) I also discovered that my ankles had burned badly on the boat, despite the sunscreen. There's just noplace to get away from the sun on the water.
Awww . . .
The days are just packed
Fire in the hole
Preparing to fry up our catch
The adventure leaves its mark on you
Is that a tattoo of Munson on your thigh?
I'll pay for this shot, but it's worth it
I was hankering after my beddy-bye, but then found out that night snorkeling was on the agenda. Julie said she'd go with Sarah and four Venturers while I stayed behind and rested and watched Abby, who wasn’t quite up to it, either. Sarah said the Commissioners reminded her we couldn’t do that. A male advisor and a female youth couldn’t be left behind together. Oh, yeah – youth protection and all that. That meant that Julie had to stay behind and I had to go along, since Sarah couldn’t take them out by herself. Ah, well. “Offer your body as a living sacrifice,” Paul says. I said I’d go so as not to disappoint the kids, but I didn’t plan to snorkel. I might not even paddle, I said (though I did, a little). When we got out to Munson Rocks, what I did was stargaze on my back while they cavorted in the inky depths. It was beautiful. I saw the River Eridanus for the first time ever; Indiana’s too far north to ever see it.
You know, they keep telling the crews, “This is your adventure,” meaning it can be anything you want. Baloney. There’s a schedule; they’re just not telling you what it is. Still, I’m glad the four who were fully healthy got to snorkel at night. It was a rare experience, I’m sure. And so, another day came to an end.
Heading out again