An 8 hour tour

Posted: July 6, 2006 in Uncategorized

Written journal entry
Hualalai, Hawaii – 6/27/06

The adventures of the Bedingfield Boys are well known, and almost never documented. Those who are unfamiliar find out quickly firsthand that the slightly manic grin in the face of a potentially dangerous situation means they’re now on one of these infamous little excursions whether they like it or not.

Our fishing trip yesterday had all the usual hallmarks of an uneventful on the Hapa Laka; lots of beer, telling stories we’d all heard or even all been there for, and Alan pulling out every possible lure and bait configuration known to man, and several nobody’s ever heard of before and certainly never thought of. Over the course of 8 hours we circled a buoy miles from shore with patience and persistance that would make Rain Man say, “Ok, let’s do something else.”

Three aku and four ahi landed, none of them bigger than 10 lbs, we decided to call it a day, and fired the engines for home. Only, as the engines kicked up, a huge cloud of smoke reeking of oil coughed out of the back. The words, “What the hell?” from our captain indicated this wasn’t what it was supposed to do. And after opening the engine hatch and finding it almost entirely underwater, the words, “The is really fucking serious, guys!” took the guesswork right out of it.

Opening hatch #2 found the source of the water; the portion of the saltwater pump that cools the transmission had snapped off right at the base of the nozzle, and was spewing water rapidly with no way to re-secure the hose. About this time our captain started to truly panic, and that little smile showed up. Now, truly, my dad and I were in familiar territory.

While Alan started to consider our distance to the nearest boat, my dad and I fiddled with the fitting and decided it would be easy enough to simply take turns kneeling on the deck holding the hose in place while the boat motored for home. So, for the next hour I was alternating between leaning into the engine compartment with hot salt water spraying in my face, and munching my last chicken sandwich, willing the shore to come closer. And it worked like a charm. As we motored into the harbor, I had images going through my head from Das Boot and U-571 of rusted WWII relics captained by hardened naval officers and held together by willpower and novice, waterlogged crews. Then I realized it was really more like Gilligan’s Island, and I sure as hell wasn’t the Professor.

All told, we came away in the end with fresh ahi fillets, a bit more color on our faces, and one more story to tell. I’m beginning to derive a twisted anticipation from my cousin’s wedding this August.


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