A Score Of 9 On The Dive

As the summer passes I’m really getting the feel of the little Whaler. I find a short cut from Jones Lake to upper West Galveston Bay and the fine fishing around Greens Cut, the wrecked shrimp boat, and North and South Deer Island.

Randy, my son, and I were heading out, under the railroad bridge, to chase the birds around Greens Cut. He said, “Dad, let me drive the boat.” “Why not,” I reply, adding, “We’ll take my shortcut. Be sure to cut real close to the stake that you will see shortly. This stake was the right side of a four foot cut, in a live oyster reef. We found out the width of the cut on this trip, At the then tide level, about twelve inches of water covered the reef.

We are skimming along close to thirty-five miles per hour and I tell Randy, “See the stake? Steer close to it and we will be OK,” and then we enjoy one of those moments of miscommunication, and CRUNCH! We hit the left edge of the reef, missing the cut. As the boat suddenly stops, I go flying over the bow, tuck quickly and cover my head with my arms, do a flip, and crash down, on my back, into the twelve inches of water covering the reef.

Randy is half in and half out of the Whaler. When we hit the reef, he had the presence of mind to pull back on the throttle, idling the engine, and it had no shear pin, so it should be OK. Randy gets all the way out of the boat saying “Gee Dad, I’m Sorry. We missed the cut!” I stand slowly, I’m not hurt bad, my shirt is shredded and my back is cut up. I tell Randy, “Don’t worry, I’m OK. Let’s lift up the front of the boat and make sure it’s not damaged.”

The boats fine, Whaler can really make ‘em, we still have our shrimp, there’s not much wind and the tide is coming in, so I say, “If you’ll wash off my back with salt water and clean out the cuts we’ll go ahead and fish.” Later that morning, while we were catching Speckled Trout, Randy says, “Dad you’re a tough old guy! I thought you were going to end our trip after my wreck.” I thought to myself, old, I’m not even 50.