The text’s went something like this..
Diane: “How’s the fishing?”
Me: “Great, drifting towards Canada, waiting for vessel assist”
And that was all that was said for the next three hours……………..
It was the start to a great weekend. Diane and I took Friday off and headed to Anacortes to meet Karin and Darin for another great weekend at Henry Island. We left early on Friday to avoid all the traffic we encountered on the previous trip and made good time. After loading the boat, we strapped the girls in, and buried the throttle, eager to get to Henry. During the hour and a half ride to our destination, I let my thoughts wander. All the cares of the day slowly drained away, and I found the happiness that goes with the ocean and fishing.
On the way, we made a quick stop at Lopez Island to fill the Grady with gas. It was late in the day, luckily the proprietor of the gas dock was kind enough to stay open long enough for us to get there and fuel.
After we fueled, it was off to Henry. We arrived just as the sun was setting, the last rays painting the sky a brilliant rainbow of reds and purples. After unloading the boat and getting settled, we grilled a hamburger for dinner and retired to the rack early in anticipation of a great day of fishing ahead.
Darin’s alarm went off at 0530. We quickly dressed, had a celebratory bloody mary, and hit the water. The Grady eased up on plane and we were on our way to Eagle Point. It’s about a 50 minute ride, the rising sun our companion, quickly filling the purple darkness with welcome light. As we got closer, I got busy rigging the poles, setting up the downriggers, and daydreaming about the hours ahead. I was filled with anticipation of the first hookup of the day and life was good. It didn’t take long- it came within 10 minutes of getting the lines down and the trolling speed right. Darin’s pole danced and arced, a 10 pound native silver lighting up the morning and peeling line of the reel. After a quick release, the lines went back in the water and soon we had a double on, both natives and both released unharmed. So far the day was turning out great!
Once we got the poles settled again, I took the helm of the Grady and we started to work our way back to the point. The fish seemed to be concentrated around that area and we wanted to get back as soon as we could. Suddenly the electronics went off and soon after the stereo. We looked at each other puzzled as to what was going on. I reached down and turned the key to the big motor and got a big nothing. The battery was dead! No panic, the trolling motor was still running like a watch and we could certainly troll our way back to Henry no problem. As we were discussing the situation, Darin hooked into another fish, this one with some shoulders and a good fight began. I moved the boat out into the Harro Straights and away from the other boats in the area. We soon netted a great fin clipped chinook (a keeper!) and started to make the turn back into the trolling pattern when the motor suddenly died without warning.
Darin and I looked at each other and our hands went for our phones simultaneously. I had no service, Darin one bar. He quickly found the number for vessel assist out of Roche Harbor and was able to text them for help. My phone lit up with the text from Diane and I responded back quickly and then the phone went out of service again. Luckily the sea was calm and flat and we were at slack high tide. We quickly assessed that we were in no immediate danger and sat back, drank a beer, and waited. A long forty five minutes later, vessel assist showed up, Andrew gave us a quick jump start, and we were back in business. The trolling motor was a no go however, even though I went over every single wire and connection. The decision was made to head back to Henry, get the girls, and go try our hand at some bottom fish because we didn’t need the little motor for that. Of course when we got back there was some explaining to do to our wives, but it all ended well. We had a little lunch and then headed out to try our luck again.
When we got back from fishing, Darin called everyone into the living room and made an announcement. Today was their anniversary! It was a big surprise for Diane and me, and we felt very humbled to be with them to celebrate. Darin told a few stories about their wedding day and we had all had a good laugh and a tear or two as well. It was a great night for sure. To celebrate the occasion, we all had a shot of Karin’s favorite drink and toasted the day…….
It was a wonderful trip, filled with laughter, love, and of course a few fish! Diane and I are very blessed to have such great friends and such a beautiful place to share our passion for life together. We very much look forward to the next adventure together…..