Anticipation... and Rookie mistakes
by: John Stevens 7/12/2012
I had intended to launch the boat "Fishin' Buddies" a week earlier than last Saturday. Unfortunately, some nasty nasty issues with trailer wiring kept me from doing so. But, I wrapped up the issues last Friday, and scheduled the maiden voyage for Saturday morning!
Patrick, a very close friend and experienced boater readily agreed to accompany me on that maiden voyage, to give me pointers and help if it was needed.
I went to sleep Friday night, ok, I didn't sleep, instead I tossed and turned worried about every little detail and what I would do if this or that happened. I tried to sleep, I really did, but the anticipation of Saturdays events kept crowding my thoughts and sleep just would not come.
When morning came, I backed the truck up to hook up the boat, and much to my suprise, I had backed it up perfectly! The ball hitch was right above the ball on the truck! I hooked it up, loaded my gear, and set off for the lake!
After the ANS inspection, I met Patrick at the boat ramp and we went over the procedure. Plug in... check, transom unstrapped... check, trailer lights unplugged...check. We loaded our gear and prepared to launch. The launch was successful, and we had a great day out on the lake!
Since that day, I have now taken the boat out 3 more times, and have learned my own system for launching and retrieving the boat. However, I always seem to be forgetting something tackle wise. First it's drop shot weights, then its a spare spool mix up, then it's snaps, the list goes on and on.
Today though, I made the most boneheaded rookie mistake of all. I intended to be out for only a few hours this morning, but about 11 am , work called and said I had the day off so I decided to stay out on the lake! Cool beans! I caught plenty of fish, 4 species in fact. Perch, walleye, rainbow trout, and even a bluegill!
However, and yes there is always a however in life, what I failed to do was to properly protect myself! I wore my life jacket, always do on the water, but I neglected to protect myself in other, equally important ways. I sit here right now writing this with knees and shins literally glowing red from sunburn, bad sunburn! I had forgotten to put on sunscreen, and even to put sunscreen in the boat! Now I am paying dearly for it!
Moral of the story.... Always protect yourself, you only have one body!
Take care my friends, and I will see you on the water soon!