Wednesday, July 11, 2012


click photos to enlarge
Rain fell all night non stop and continued this morning.  It would be very wet on the boat today.  I gathered everything up and headed for the truck.  Look who was waiting for me.  I called her to the house but she ran under the truck.  She loves to go with me.  I don't know how she will handle pouring rain all day on the deck of a boat.  There's no way I'm going to get her in the house.  I wrote about common sense in the previous entry and believe me I checked the weather radar on the computer before leaving for the lake.  It was noon when I pulled out of the driveway and the rain was pouring.  Shade jumped in the front and we were off.

It started raining harder.  By the time I got to the boat ramp it was impossible to get out of the truck.  A look out at the horizon and saw what I call awesome dark!
The sky sure looked nasty but, I remembered the weather radar I had seen only an hour ago.  As I said earlier - I love stormy weather.  Love it!  Another thing is that I know my limitations in foul weather and I trust the vessel I am on.  It is over built and I doubt there is any circumstance on this lake that would put me in peril while on this great boat except maybe a tornado or hurricane.  The other thing is that I have a great deal of "common sense."

Things sure looked nasty out.  Now, if lightning were present, common sense would dictate to get off the water.  This was a heavy downpour.  This was an unusually heavy down pour slightly driven by wind and it got heavier as we drove along.

The rain beating against the plastic wind screen was reminiscent of the sound of rain beating down on the roof of a reliable tent.  I find it impossible to remain awake in a tent with rain beating down on the roof, unless I have a book to read or the door of the tent faces the lake.  Ah - Calderwood Lake!
Shade looked up at me as if to say, "what in the world are we doing out here?"
"Hey fur face - you could have stayed home and slept on my bed all day but, you insisted on coming along."

I banked the boat into a wide left turn at 30 miles per hour and headed up Muddy Creek.  There was not one boat in sight on the lake.  We owned the water.  It was delightful.

I know what you're thinking.  It's pouring rain and getting worse and there are no boats on the water.  So, what's the point of being out here running around in this miserable weather?  The answer is simple.  I could go home or not even launch in the first place.  It would be justified.  There is a little word called ethics.  Its something that isn't taught in schools these days and used to be taught at home.  I was hired to rove the lake and seek out fishermen.  There was nothing said about foul weather preventing that.  I am expected to be out here and not dream up reasons not to be.  Besides, I like this weather.
I continually looked for lightning.  That would drive me off the lake.  Remember the term "common sense."

I didn't know that much rain could fall from the sky.  It was great.  I turned into a cove to check it out and noticed a boat that appeared to be washed up on the shore.
It was stripped of everything in it and appeared to have been on the lake for a long time.  There were boat numbers on the side and I called them in to dispatch.  It could be a stolen vessel.

The rain is beating down.  Shade doesn't seem to care.  She stands on point as if nothing is happening.  She really enjoys riding on this boat.  Something was floating up ahead.  Now what?
Like I mentioned in a previous post - I never know what the day will bring.  The lakes west of here where I used to live were not like Douglas or Cherokee in any way.  Every day was a normal day.  There weren't boats floating loose or kids floating in inner tubes out on the lake without parents.  The people seemed to have good common sense and very in tune to lake conditions.  Over here I find little common sense and people who exhibit rude behavior when driving boats.  The boaters on this lake seem to be oblivious to the rules of the water.  I can't put my finger on it yet but they seem to simply be inattentive to their surroundings and disrespect the power of water.  I think maybe there are more transient people visiting this lake and in actuality are inexperienced on the water.  Don't know.  Don't care.

Its nothing to me but, the thing appears to be fairly expensive.  Some people have so much money they just don't care.  Just toss it on the shore and don't worry about it.  If it sticks it does.  If it washes away we'll go get another one.  I had the urge to stick it with my knife and let it go to the bottom.  To me its psychedelic litter no matter what it costs.  It actually fits in well on this public nuisance of a lake.

I find all kinds of things floating around on the lake.  Boats, tubes, flotation jackets, boat bumpers and much more.  I wouldn't be surprised to look into a floating hulk someday and find Jimmy Hoffa's bones laying in the bottom.  I bet that most people who read this don't even know who Jimmy Hoffa was or the story surrounding him.
I'm about 75 feet off shore when we hit a rock pile.
Thankfully we were at idle speed.  I cut power totally and raised the motor.  I still can't believe it. I had just checked the depth and it was 17 feet.  Ten seconds later Ka-thunk!  We were in 2.5 feet of water.  It happened that quick.  Can you imagine a bass boat travelling 70 miles per hour thinking he was safe in 20 feet of water well off shore an hitting this?  The spot isn't marked on map or GPS.  The lake is indeed losing water.  There is more going out to run the hydroelectric operation at the dam than is coming in the other end from the Nolichucky, Pigeon and French Broad Rivers combined.
Fortunately the prop is fine.

The rain was slowing down and my back was aching for some reason.  We needed to beach the boat and walk on solid land for awhile.

The rain came and went, mostly came.  Shade ran along the shoreline and swam a little but mostly nosed around in the weeds.

There was not one boat on the water.  I covered my assigned area twice and nothing.  We would head back and end the run for the day.
I noticed some tent Caterpillars and went over to see if any were active within the silk.  Several pupa had hatched and were doing nicely.  Thank you for this blessing Japan.
There was no sense messing around any longer out here so I put the pedal to the metal and headed for the ramp.  Shade was soaked for the most part of the day but seemed very happy about it.  I guess labs ignore foul weather.  She's a very fine attentive friend.  

I backed the trailer into the water and jumped on the boat to load it.  I pulled away from the dock and made my turn to line up on the trailer when three guys ran their aluminum boat between my boat and the trailer.  I couldn't believe it.  I was making a run at the trailer an they simply drove between and blocked the trailer by tying their boat at the dock where it floated across the rear of my trailer.  Had I gained the speed needed to drive up onto the trailer I doubt I could have stopped in time to avoid mashing them.  "Ok - you work for the state.  Maintain the temper."   Three 18 or 19 year old "children."  Yes, I said children.  They looked like brats and acted like brats showing little consideration for anyone else but themselves.  Like I said - this lake is filled with an over abundance of idiots for some reason.  I've never seen anything like it.  Never!