Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mistake on the Lake

So, just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.

My husband's family is originally from Cleveland, known to many as "the mistake on the Lake." Today was a perfect example of how this moniker seems to transcend time and space.

Five passengers set sail that day for a three hour trip, a three hour trip.......

Coach and my eldest son, were invited to go crabbing along the beautiful Chesapeake Bay with one of my husband's brothers, Mike, another brother and his young son.  Mike has a boat that he adores; he spends many, many hours on his beloved vessel which I long ago started calling the SS Minnow, primarily because I've often questioned its sea-worthiness.

Never mind the fact that the forecast called for rain for most of the day, never mind that the crab season has been horrible, these men were going crabbing on the eve of Uncle Mike's 50th birthday no matter what.

This episode of Deadliest Catch meets Gilligan began with Coach steering the Minnow into open waters via the requisite 4 foot channel, only to become grounded on a sandbar due to distraction by the 8 and 11 year old first mates.  What follows is the actual recounting by my son:

Mom, it was wild.  So, we were totally stuck and the only way out was to push the boat back into deeper water.  Out of nowhere Uncle Chris took his shoes and shorts off and climbed in the water in his underwear!!!!  He pushed the boat back into the channel, almost naked but not afraid.

The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed.

The crabs were not plentiful.  The chicken necks they brought only drew the attention of eight crabs.  Coach announced the cruise was over and they should head back.

Eldest son continues his interview:
It was raining really hard and I noticed some smoke coming from the back of the boat.  And it got thicker and thicker and Dad was yelling to get the boat in to the dock quick.  I had my life vest on so I wasn't too nervous but we thought the boat was going to catch on fire and Dad told me to turn away from the engine in case it blew up.  We got to the dock and Dad got me out quick, along with everyone else.  Uncle Mike turned the engine off and tied the boat up.  I don't know what was wrong.
Coach said, "I guess we should feel a little badly.  We probably screwed up a lot of the wedding photos."

"What wedding?" I asked.

"There was a wedding going on under a tent right by the dock.  Sort of an embarrassing way to crash a wedding.  I bet all their pictures are going to have quite a bit of smoke in the background."

The Minnow would be lost

Coach continues, "Yeah, Mike called us when we were driving home.  The boat's half sunk at the dock.  Something about the gas line.  I'm glad we're outta there."

"Didn't I tell you guys that I thought this whole crabbing idea was stupid," I said, "You're from Cleveland!  You're not fisherman.  That boat is not seaworthy!"

"Well, not anymore, for sure," replied oldest son.

And with this, dear Jimmy, my father-in-law, who sat quietly during the tale of the SS Minnow, interjected.  "You know, our family is actually a descendant of an Irish sea captain."

"Really?  And how exactly did he meet his eternal reward?  Did he die at sea?" I shouted.

And with this, Jimmy lifts his downcast eyes, starts to chuckle and says, "Well, if we're being honest.....yes, he did go down with his ship."

Mistake on the lake..and the bay...and the open sea.
Point for mom.

1 comment:

  1. My maternal grandfather was raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. When he joined the US Navy just prior to WWII, his recruitment officer told him that most of their enlistees were Midwestern farm boys. They said they joined his branch of the military because they figured that it was the best way for them get to see the ocean. (I suspect that a particular lack of manure could also have been a factor.) So the midwestern longing for the high seas is apparently innate.

    My grandfather had many exciting adventures at sea, including standing on the deck of his destroyer in Pearl Harbor one December 7th, then throughout the Pacific for the entirety of the war. He saw plenty of ocean. He eventually retired from the Navy, then worked for NSA during the Cold War until he retired from there as well. Why am I telling you all of this? Because my grandparents retired to a house on the water on Virginia's Northern Neck. Whenever we would visit, we would sit on the deck, looking out at the water. Inevitably, my grandfather would say to us, "Tell me a sea story." Thanks to the glorious adventure you related above, your eldest son now has a great sea story to tell. #BrightSide #TheyNeverListen