Be not afraid.  Easier said than done. After a lifetime of being on the water in small boats things were about to change – big time.  My runabouts, 14 and 18 footers got me through a lot of tough spots.  Spots I probably should never have gotten myself into.  Storms I could not even believe, including one wicked thunderstorm coming back from Charity Islands with my young son in the middle of the night. “9 foot seas” the Coast Guard told me when I called them at midnight to report we’d made it back to the dock. Wicked.  I thought I knew fear.

Now here we were, taking possession of a 34 thousand pound twin-engine 42′ long boat.  Home.  It was now our home.  Having sold everything we’re moving aboard and this is it.  All we have.  I pull up the hatch to the engine room and crawl down to survey the space.  It’s a factory down here.   Continue reading “Fear”

On The Hook

On the what?  First time we heard this term we were indeed confused.  After all, if something is ‘off the hook’ it’s a good thing, right?  So what on earth is ‘on the hook?’  Duh.  That means your swingin on your anchor rode (it’s not a rope if there’s a hook on the other end.)  And swinging it is.  Riding the hook is simply ‘at anchor.’  Well heck, I’ve been hookin it for 50 years on lakes all over Michigan. Been hookin in Higgins Lake, Burt Lake, a hundred other smaller lakes and rivers as well as Lake Huron.

No big deal.  Drop the hook and sit back and relax.  On a lake.  With no current. Without a fetch of 8 miles across the sound.  With no tide.  It is indeed a piece of cake.  I could anchor the Nightcrawler, our 18′ open bow runabout directly over the fish.  Every time.  Read the breeze, let out some rode.  Good to go.  A couple of things make it much more exciting now.  First, we’re 17′ out of the water to the bimini top.  With the eisenglass zipped in, we make a dandy sail.  Then there’s the bow.  On this particular vessel, our bow is an old school, a nearly vertical knife falling 4 and a half feet below the surface.  Like a giant rudder, only on the front. Continue reading “On The Hook”