Finally the furniture arrives. We take our first boat trip into the Gulf of Mexico

The moving van finally arrives

In late August 1970, the furniture finally arrives from Battle Creek Michigan after a two week wait. At last we could sleep in our beds and hook the TV up to the so far unused TV antenna.

The first thing that came off the moving van was my Honda CL70 motorcycle as it was the last thing to be loaded onto the van in Battle Creek. I had no gasoline yet so I wheeled the motorcycle into the garage.

Posters on the wall

I watched as the movers unloaded and brought our worldly possessions into the house. It was good to have our stuff back. It was fun to “camp out” in our new home but to have all our luxury items back was good indeed. I spent some time in my new room setting up my stereo, hanging up my posters, and organizing my stuff.

Boat davits

Cleaning barnacles off a boat. Hard work.

The boat davits were in and the boat in place. The reason for davits is as follows. This was salt water. And barcicals form on surfaces left in seawater. If you have ever removed barnacles from the bottom of a boat, you know what I am talking about. Its grueling work. So we would put the boat up on the davits after the days use to minimize barnicle formation and to make boat cleanup easier. A new floating dock had been installed and attached to the seawall for ease of boarding.

Dad and I decided to take the boat out for the first time. We lowered the boat down on the davits and walked it over to the dock.

A typical small freshwater speed boat

The boat was about 7 years old at the time. A fiberglass 15 foot boat with a 35 HP Johnson outboard engine. The boat was designed for fresh water like we had in Michigan. It was really too small for deep sea fishing so dad later on purchased a deep V fishing boat.

Lunch

We loaded a cooler with drinks and lunch into the boat and said our goodbyes to mom. Mom was not keen on boat rides and very rarely road in the boat. Or anything besides a car as far as that is concerned.

We made our way slowly in the canal heading for the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. We traversed the entrance to the Gulf, saw the channel marker, and headed for it at top speed. Top speed for this small boat was about 30 MPH.

A fishing lure

We took the boat out about two miles and then we dropped anchor. Dad had brought his tackle box and dropped a line in with a lure on the end. We dragged our lunch and drinks out of the cooler and ate our lunch while dad attempted to fish. We had no idea of how to fish in Florida or salt water. All the fishing we had done was in the fresh water lakes in Michigan. So the fish just looked at dads lure and rolled around on the bottom in uncontrolled laughter! They were saying “What is this? Look at what this silly northern man is trying to catch us with? Does he not know that shrimp is what we like? What a greenhorn!”

Dad continued to fish for a little while longer. He had no luck so put the fishing gear away and sat back and finished his chicken sandwich.

Rainy season in Florida

It was pleasant weather. Not too hot. It was getting late in the afternoon and we would be heading in soon. Big fluffy cumulus cloud hung near the horizon towards the west. Soon it would rain as it did most summer days. Rains were different here in Florida. In Michigan it may rain on and off for 2 or 3 days. Here in Florida during the summer rainy season it rained every day in the afternoon like clockwork. The rains would form on the seabreeze and move from east to west across the peninsula.

Dad started up the boat and we made our way back to the entrance to the Leasure Beach canal. We slowly with no wake, made our way to our dock and unloaded the boat. Then we walked the boat over to the davits and winched the boat out of the water and swung the boat over land. Then we gave the boat a good cleaning with brush and hose. Then we hooked the hose to the boat motor water intake port and turned on the water and started the engine so as to wash out any remaining salt water from the engine.

We went inside and told mom all about our adventure. It was a good day indeed!

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