31 August 2013


Or, as my friend Ashley calls it: "The fishing trip that turned into The Perfect Storm"
I for real thought somebody was gonna have to call my mama and tell her I had legit drowned somewhere off the coast of NC.

Picture it:
July {right?} 2004
Goose Creek Landing, Newport, NC
These two Berry babes of NCSU:

Y'all, as long as I walk this earth, I will neva forget this crazy shit.
Thank sweet Jesus above that we are all here now to tell this story.

Us ladies {my girl Ashley, me, Ashley's mom Leslie, and Leslie's cousin Nannie Sue} had decided to take us a little deep sea fishing trip that day. Weather was gorgeous, nothin' on the radar. Off we went to fish, listen to music, and get our tan on. The sun was shining, had a nice breeze blowing. All was right with the world.
Ashley snapped this lovely photo. See how calm and relaxed and happy we are? Got my red solo cup. There's some peanuts in the background.
So peaceful.

{I so loved that bathing suit. It was aqua blue with little gold fish all over it.}

The boat was a center console - a 21 foot Key West. We cranked up some tunes. Ashley was gettin' her fish on. I was having a great time watching. {And workin' on my tan.} We chatted about Mr. Andrew, who Ashley thought I should call or at least text. But, no, I insisted, he is off on some farm trip with his daddy and some other old guys, I think. And I am not going to contact him.
It was a magical day indeed. Sunny skies and a nice breeze.
What more could you ask for?

But, then. Well, then we noticed some shady lookin' clouds. Then they just kept on gettin' blacker and blacker. No biggie, right? I mean, we are off the coast of NC. Ain't nobody callin' for a hurricane. What's the worst that could happen?
But, pretty soon there was no sun to be found. We decided to head back in because radio traffic had mentioned a storm coming. Bummer, but not a huge deal. Storms pop up all the time with little warning at the beach. Cool, cool. We'd had us a nice few hours out there. Couldn't complain.

So we are speedin' along, headed back to shore ... What was that?
Loud thunder.
Okay, it's fine. Don't be a pooh.
Then ... 
I ain't gone lie. I was starting to feel a taddd freaked out. Just a tad, though.
We are somewhere between five and ten miles off shore. I mean, that seems kinda far to me, but I'm sure this boat can go super fast, right?

But it got real real when the rain came.
Because when I say rain, I mean hard, heavy rain.
I mean can't-see-15-feet-away-from-you rain.
I mean feels-like-somebody's-throwing-tiny-pebbles-at-us rain.

I'll tell you this.
Our captain, bless you, Leslie, was doin' a damn good job.
But, I couldn't see nothin. Nada.
As we made it closer to the inlet, with all the white caps and wind, I couldn't tell the difference between the actual ocean water and the grasses of the cut banks. I mean, I am just waitin' for us to run up on some little patch of island where the motor will inevitably knock off and wait there to get struck.

Naturally, we couldn't get in touch with anybody on our radio ... and cell reception was bad on a good day.
Please believe we woulda been floodin' Facebook and Instagram with this craziness had that been possible, because words cannot describe.

Anyhoo - 
Keep in mind, y'all, on a good day, it's about a 30 minute drive back inland. And here we are blinded by the rain. At this point, all four of us are hunkered down in that center console, which was made for one person - the driver of the boat - mayyybe two people, but the four of us were packed like sardines. Which, looking back, I don't really know why, because we were all still drenched. I guess at least that way, we had some sort of protection from the rain smacking us dead in the face.
And I have a confession: I was smokin' my wet, limp Marlboro Lights with the fury. I mean, one right after the other. I figured, Hell, we are fixin' to die out here anyway. At least I can try to calm my nerves.
{side note: Kids, never start smoking. Hardest thing ever to quit. Big thanks to Anj Davis for ripping them out of my mouth and putting them out with his shoe repeatedly, no matter how I reacted helping me quit the habit.}
My mind was racin' about 800 miles a minute.
  I hope somebody has a phone number to call my mama. And, so much for potentially dating that Andrew guy. This will be the last anyone sees of us. At least we are going out with a bang.
All I think about were images from The Perfect Storm.

Thankfully to Jesus, we were finally able to contact another boater friend from Goose Creek who turned around to find us in the pouring rain and we were able to follow his boat {closely or we weren't able to see him) and he led us back to Goose Creek.

I could have kissed him.
And the land itself, and everybody else in sight once we got off that boat for that matter.


I told Andrew this story once we got back. {This was in the early days when we had just started "talking".} And he laughed and said, "Why didn't y'all check the weather report first?"
 Clearly, he wasn't listening.

1 comment:

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

I would've crapped my pants and chain smoked wet cigarettes too.