Written by Captain Mary on Monday, May 10, 2010

If you are not familiar with Murphy's Law I will explain. Murphy's Law is, everything can go wrong, will go wrong.
Yesterday was our annual Mothers' Day Fishing Trip. On the boat was myself, Monica, my daughter, and my son, Jason, who was our official boat handler.
The day started out with getting the boat ready to head to the marina for launch. We have been going out on Mother's Day for so many years, I can't remember how many years we have been doing this. The amazing part of Mother's Day boating is that no matter what the weather prediction is, the day is always perfect. It's probably the only time that the marina is not packed with boaters.
We arrive at the marina, without a problem, launch the boat, back up and head out the channel, heading toward the ocean. Of course, we didn't know that Murphy was on the boat. Putting the throttle down, I notice nothing happened. We are idling down the channel and decide when we get out the channel we will anchor the boat and examine the problem. It appeared that Murphy was on two other boats that day also, along with us, a couple other boats were making repairs. A brief inspection of the throttle connections show that everything is intact, yet still no acceleration! We then remove the cowling over the engine and take a look under the hood. We then decide that the cable is broken. Most people at that point would head back to the marina and home. We are definitely stubborn boaters, why can't we engineer a way to make the throttle work manually? With some leader wire, electrical connectors, piece of rubber tubing, and a cardboard roll, we made a throttle. Now we are able to go forward to our fishing adventure. With Jason on throttle and me at the wheel we continue through Stiltleville to the ocean. We begin trolling and enjoying the day, watching bottle nose dolphins at play. Hours go by without a bite. We notice a sailfish jumping and head in it's direction, when suddenly Murphy shows up again.
A bird, which has to be a relative of the Doe Doe bird, dives down and grabs the bait. A stroke of luck and the Albatross lets go. We frantically pull the lines in until the birds fly off. Wouldn't you know it, the bird makes another dive and gets hooked. First catch of the day! Now, we have to pull in the bird and unhook it. These are large birds, and while pulling him in he kept going under water. Fearing we would drown the thing, we had to take our time. Finally getting the bird along the side of the boat, Jason, throws me a rag and says to put it over the birds head. The poor bird was yelling in fear, he was hooked pretty good, the end of the hook was coming out of his eye socket. His snapping bill and flapping wings, made grabbing him a bit tricky. I grabbed the bird around the neck and brought him on the deck, where the surgery began. Jason tried to cut the hook, but Murphy was on the boat, none of the tools we had was effective in cutting the hook. Our only option was to carefully remove the hook, we had to work quickly to avoid stress to the bird. It took some twisting, but we removed the hook without damaging the eye or any part of the bird. Monica stood watching and almost getting sick, thinking we were going to pop its eye out on the deck. Handing the bird over to Monica for the release, she carefully put him over the side. The Albatross flew away, looking like he was no worse for the wear.
Deciding at that point we would just do a little bottom fishing. Checking the electronics, I notice that they are not working, oh Murphy is back. Well, we have to do this the old fashioned way. One small problem is that we don't have a compass, Jason did have his I-Phone, which has a compass app.
One more problem foiled. We had a great time fishing up grunts and small groupers. It was time to head in, without a GPS, using landmarks and experience of the area. Monica was on the throttle, which took a bit of work to get it smooth. In the meantime we all got a bit a whiplash, Monica laughed so hard she was nearly in tears. After a bit of work we managed to find the marina and get home. We got enough fish for a fish sandwich. As much of the day was full of problems, we had a great day and laughed so hard. A beautiful day on calm seas is so wonderful for the soul.