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Should Have Brought a Bigger Boat!

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So, for those that have never been out on Lake Harris (just south of Tavares), it is a big, beautiful lake that, if you traveled around its perimeter, would take you over 30 miles! One of the men from our church, Mr. Donald Hughes, had been talking with me about doing some fishing, and when I found out that he lived (at one time) only a few miles from its westernmost shore, I “got the itch” to do some fishing!

I had some motor problems that last time he and I took my little 12-foot aluminum boat out, and that problem (along with waiting for a gas gauge type cap), the small craft stayed off to the side of the property for months. The chance finally came, where appointments and schedules allowed some free time to ‘drown some worms.’

We got a bit of a late start the day of the trip and didn’t hit the boat ramps of Lake Harris until about noon time. Donnie recommended a few spots out of the way of any larger boat through zones and the poles and bait were readied. We had both known that fishing in these waters in the heat of a summer day (and it being so close to mid-day) that we probably wouldn’t catch much. It turns out that Donnie caught the biggest fish of the day (and that was also because he caught the ONLY fish of the day)!

So, it was decided that as we were out on the water, we might as well do the tourist thing and cruise around the base of it. The boat ride was going well for the first hour and a half, but as we started around the west side and as a rain cloud blew in, it was a race to outrun the raindrops. As we neared the southwest area of the lake, we noticed that we missed the heavy rain (as it had an easterly trajectory) and we had been heading south. For a while, we somewhat had some of the winds from the storm at our backs (which helped us as well).

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But our luck soon changed! Once we rounded the southwest part of the lake, we hit heavy side winds, and the chop of the water went from 1 foot to about 2 to 2 1/2 feet in swells (not really good for going across open waters in a “dinghy” 12 ft boat. Now, I had mentioned to Donnie earlier that this “Fluffy Adventure” may be good for a story, but the story was changing from a peaceful fishing venture to a near-survival adventure.

As we were getting slapped with waves washing over the side of the boat (and as Donnie was now holding the side rails of it to cushion himself from the sharp up and down action of the craft, he made an astute observation that suddenly sounded worthy of mention in print. He hollered to me over the loud whining of the 9.5 hp motor (which was running wide open)! “We should have brought a bigger boat!” I told him, “You just gave me the title of the story!”

An added note here: my friend Don had a simple medical testing appointment soon after our little “Fluffy Adventure.”

He went in for the test and ended up being taken by ambulance to a hospital in Tampa. His triple bypass surgery went okay, but he will not be bouncing around in the bow of my (or anybody else’s) boat for a while.

Just another reason to say that if you can get out and do stuff, don’t put it off for too long. Sometimes it’s just best to “Carpe – Deum” (Seize the day)!

Steve Goodwin is a recently retired Christian conservative veteran (of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division), who still feels that “duty to country” did not end when the military uniform got hung up. He and his wife Cecelia live on the edge of a beautifully wooded tract of land just south of the bypass, and are involved in not only church activities, but also attend school board meetings and local community action events as well.

Steven Goodwin
Steven Goodwin
Steve Goodwin is a recently retired Christian conservative veteran (of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division), who still feels that "duty to country" did not end when the military uniform got hung up. He and his wife Cecelia live on the edge of a beautifully wooded tract of land just south of the bypass, and are involved in not only church activities, but also attend school board meetings and local community action events as well.
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