Since fishing season is right around the corner...here's a little insight into something that's in the works.......its a little rough..but you'll get the drift.... Unanswered Prayers Sitting at the desk in downtown Salisbury staring out the window at as fine of a Delmarva summer Saturday morning as God had ever made my thoughts were only on one thing: fishing. My four hour Saturday morning shift would be over soon and precisely at 1 pm I’d be locking up and heading south. The combination of gentle southerly breezes and late June weekend sunshine held my attention most of the morning. My wife and I had made plans for an afternoon fishing trip to the shallow water rock piles off Saxis . Trout, croakers, and the occasional black drum were being taken with regularity . Bottom fishing with light tackle adorned with chunks of peeler would be the method of choice. It’s a relaxing way to spend such an afternoon. It wasn’t a very productive work day, especially since my wife’s new acquisition was sitting at home in the driveway. We’d been to Bob’s Marine in Clarksville to look at at slightly used center console. It was within our budget, I wanted it, but our money was tight so if figured that we’d just wait. My wife didn’t share that opinion. Without my knowledge she pulled the trigger on it, towed it home, and had it sitting in our driveway as I returned home from work on an otherwise very typical Tuesday night. Needless to say it was quite a surprise. Aside from a few “booze cruises” on the Pocomoke River we hadn’t had the chance to take it fishing yet. This was to be the day. At precisely 12:55 pm the phones were turned to the answering service, doors secured, and my Toyota pointed south. While enroute calls were made to secure peelers and the required tackle was awaiting pickup at Sea Hawk. We had planned this trip the night before. Prior to leaving for work on this sun filled Saturday the boat was latched to the truck, rods stowed, and a packed cooler sat waiting for us in the garage. We’d simply change clothes and leave land behind. In short order we were rolling southward boat in tow. A quick stop at Sea Hawk for tackle and ice and we were on our way. As we made to the west on VA Route 695 toward Saxis, Cheryl made mention of the darkening skies to the south. Having checked the radar prior to leaving the house I confidently explained to her that these storms would pass us far to the south. I reassured her we had nothing to worry about. With that fear allayed we cracked our first beverage of the day and eased down the turtle backed road toward the ramp. Like a kid in a old fashioned parade I made my way through my hometown of Sanford, new boat in tow. I was proud as a peacock of our new purchase, and equally as proud that my wife understood my outdoors addiction. We were going fishing. Things couldn’t have been better. Rolling down Hammocks road I quickly noticed that the tide was in our favor. I’ve always favored fishing the first of the ebb. We were right on time. The boat slid effortlessly off the trailer into the last of the incoming current. The truck was quickly parked illegally. As I proudly stode toward the boat, wife awkwardly holding the painter as the boat’s stern gently bumped a downtide piling, I couldn’t contain my excitement. This day was to be spent together on the calm waters of the Pocomoke Sound catching fish and enjoying a perfect Delmarva day. The Johnson 150 roared to life. After a short and smoky warm-up the command was given to cast off. It was the first boat I’d owned with hydraulic steering and both times I’d used to this point I’d been amazed about the difference between it and the Teleflex I’d become accustomed to . It was certainly an advance over the tiller stick operated by ropes and pulleys that I’d commercially used during my youth. Just prior to bringing her up on plane Cheryl made mention of the storm clouds looming to the south. Again I assured her that we were just fine. Bringing her up on plane we quickly accelerated to 30 knots and gloriously made our way toward Marshall’s Rock. What else could a Shore Boy ask for? With a cold beer in and bathing suit clad blonde as co-pilot, heading toward one of my favorite fishing haunts in our new boat. All was perfect. About three miles from our destination, just about halfway out of Messongo Creek, the mighty Johnson sputtered, choked, spat, and finally quit. There we sit aboard our new rig cranking and cranking to try to get this thing running. Everything indicated that we were out of fuel, but that couldn’t be right. The fuel gauge read half a tank. Quick calculations in my head began to raise questions. The only conclusion was that the sending unit was broken. We drifted along out of fuel. Our day of relaxation took a turn for the worse. Calls on the VHF went unanswered. I did manage to raise one of my buddies on the cell phone, but he was in Annapolis and wouldn’t be able to offer an assistance for at least a couple hours. Sitting there drifting along was fairly peaceful. We had beers to drink and I assured my wife once again that we would be fine, someone would would be along shortly, and those storm clouds hadn’t in fact drawn closer to our position. I firmly believed the first two affirmations. That last was a bald faced lie. That storm cell had in fact changed course. That lie was revealed in less than 10 minutes as what started as a gentle breeze turned now stiffened and the bay was turned to a small chop. The passage of five minutes brought us rain and another five knots of wind. Not having a pole, paddle, or oar at my disposal proved to be a real issue. We were only a couple hundred yards off the windward bank of Free School Marsh. The now 20 knot south wind pushed us quickly toward the marshy shoreline, but as the lightening began to strike down toward Watt’s Island we felt increasing pressure to be somewhere along the soft soil. Paddling with cooler lids and the top of a tool box, we made it to the shore where my first mate quickly jumped off the boat and up to her knees in Saxis Island marsh mud. The two foot chop slammed the boat against the mud and mussel mix as I tried somewhat successful to hold her off. The wife tried to help hold the stern off the bank, all the time letting me know how lucky was to be married to me. Luckily we hit shore just near a small cove. After battling the broadside waves for only about 100 yards, we brought the boat stern-to the waves making the next 100 yards somewhat easy. That small reward was welcomed. The storm intensified. The rain was torrential. Lightening danced across the water near Lower Bernard. The concurrent clap of thunder wasn’t heard, it was felt. On the radar we were right in the red. It couldn’t have gotten much worse. The next strike of lightening danced across water near Cambodia, only a mere 400 yards from our windward cove. Striking that close, the thunder was almost instantaneous. The reaction from my wife was not at all predictable. It scared the crap out of me, it put her over the button! She’d been given the task of holding the stern line as I guided the bow down the bank. As the tunderous clap resonated through our bodies, she immediately dropped the line began to rant. She certainly deserved it. I suppose I did as well. Informing me that was now done with trying to keep the boat off the marsh, she also informed me that was now going home and began to quickly walk toward Hammocks road from the shore line. She started straight across the marsh. I thought that she wouldn’t have that tough of a walk and stayed with the boat. Lightening struck near Dicks Point. Turning toward me, standing knee deep in mud and marsh grass, the next few seconds will forever be emblazoned upon my mind. Raising her hands to the heavens and looking skyward she uttered the following words, “ Please God, strike me dead so I don’t have to life the rest of my life with such a stupid son-of-a-bitch!” With that she turned and high-tailed it toward Hammocks Road. All I could do was laugh.