An old maiden’s voyage

 

Beat up, banged up, and older than my grown kids

Beat up, banged up, and older than my grown kids

River hunting means not caring if you get a rezzie, not having to crowd around the refuge shack at 3am slapping bugs, and not having every working bird sent suddenly skyward by a blast from two ponds over. It’s peaceful, unhurried, and relaxing. It also means needing a boat.

So I bought one after last season – my first – and slowly but surely have been tranforming a tired old fishing boat into a duck boat. Mostly cosmetic – paint, new camo seats – since that’s as far as my skills go, with a little rewiring and new trailer lights. It looks good. Well, at least better.

From rust bucket to river ducker.

From rust bucket to river ducker.

Then came time for its maiden voyage this weekend. Yeah, a little late, since most guys were out for the opening day of waterfowl season. But six and seven day work weeks have left no time for getting out on the water. They do make it hurt a little less when you have to buy three new tires because one is flat and the other one and spare are about to be. So the trip to the lake got detoured by a few hours while we waited at Big O tires.

Finally off the trailer and in the water at Jenkinson’s Lake, came the moment of truth. And nothing. It wouldn’t start. More tries, and still nothing, even after borrowing a kayaker’s minivan to jump the battery. Then suddenly, after losing count of the attempts, the old Evinrude sputtered to life. Left Danielle and the dogs on the dock – just so someone could go for help if the old maid sank and me with her.

To my surprise, she ran well, slowly at first and then, throttling up, cutting nicely through the water. After several laps around that section of the lake, I brought her back to the dock to pick up my crew, relieved that the old boat had fared better than the Titanic on her maiden voyage.

Wet at last

Wet at last

Ready for round 2, I went to fire her up again. And nothing. Battery, maybe. Bad fuel? A clog or break somewhere? Or something worse, and probably more expensive?

Whatever it is, it’s going to take more than me and my paint cans to assess and fix. So we loaded her up on the trailer and headed home, happy that she’d finally gotten wet, hadn’t sunk, had made it around the lake a few times, but well short of any high fiving. Now to find a marine mechanic so that when the ducks are here in force, me and my old maid of a boat will be out there ready for them.

~ by zenhunter on October 25, 2015.

One Response to “An old maiden’s voyage”

  1. I see, to hunt from a boat! it must be very difficult to catch sight?

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