One of my fans, who shall remain nameless, sent me this email:
“After having sunk the kayak yesterday and wiped out my $400 electric motor and battery (Doug at North Causeway Marina hasn’t called back), I was relegated to rowing.
“The SS Minnow embarked from Cedar Island at 7:45 am. It would have been 7:15 but somewhere between the porch and the dock my Sage $350 8 weight 9 foot fly rod became an 8 foot, 8 inch rod. I broke the tip, don’t know how. Reloaded with an Orvis 8. Have rods will travel.
“I rowed southwest for 45 minutes. Toward Orange Island. The water was high and colored, the winds were 20 knots, and it was overcast. Perfect.
“The only redfish I saw were two fish I blew out when I ran over them. One was good size. But sightfishing was a zero. Did I mention the wind was out of the west. Hard rowing and the yak has a strong tendency to turn into the wind.
“At 12, I called Annie to tell her I wasn’t making it for lunch. I was lost, but no problem. As soon as I hung up, I looked up and 50 feet in front of me, a big redfish tail popped up upwind of me. (Redfish don’t tail well in high winds.) I worked myself above it but it never tailed again.
“Coming back to the north, the wind started to turn. I was using my Android as a GPS. It got moist and stopped working. I was now really lost. The lagoon is a maze. I called Annie again to say I would be back, she should take her mother to turtle mound without me, no problem, I was lost, but I was sure I could find my way back.
“Did I mention the lightning? There were whitecaps on the lagoon, the black thunderhead was 11,000 feet away (1-1000, 2-1000…). Rowing upwind was a standstill proposition. It was now 2 pm, the wind was out of the north and I was going to die.
“I rowed my ass off. I found the channel back. If the storm got too close I could have bailed on an island. The storm passed a mile to the east of me. I made it back by 3. That was over 7 hours in the yak, my hands are raw. My redfish catching record remains intact.”
It sounded like a long day kayak fishing. I emailed him back to tell him this is why people hire guides.
He responded, “who said it wasn’t enjoyable? Seriously, I did have a good time. Yes a knowledgeable guide would have known where we were, put me on more fish, and would have been more watchful of the wind and weather. But there is something to be said for ‘do it yourself.’
“That said, I will retain you sometime to get your thoughts. I am new to kayaking in Mosquito Lagoon and there is much I want to learn.”
It never ceases to amaze me the things human beings will do for fun.