Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Jumping Fish Are Back

This morning Adam made our last major purchase for the boat -- a good used outboard motor. Here she is! -- an 11 year old Yamaha with only about 15 hours of use on her. She was on someone's dinghy and just didn't see much action, so they decided to sell her.
Here's our old outboard. It came with the boat and is 40 years old. It's been running fine and Adam will sell it on Craig's List, but he feels better about taking longer trips to Beaufort or Ocracoke, with a newer, stronger engine.
Anyway, he wanted to go to our slip and give the new motor a try, just a short, 30-minute dash around the creeks and back.
Julia and Sandy came too.
Sandy's always up for a lark :)
I tell you, this dog loves to be on a boat.
This is a typical low-slung house along one of the creeks. Doesn't it look peaceful? A house like that just says, "Nap on the porch," to me.
The weather's warming, and the crab men have their crab pots all along the creeks, with the buoys bobbing every few hundred feet.
I tried to get a good shot of one, but it's surprising how fast you're going, when you're just motoring along.
We motored up Kershaw Creek just fine and Adam was happy. Then the new motor started to sputter, and finally it quit. He pulled and pulled but to no avail. There we sat in the middle of the creek, hot sun on our heads, dead in the water. There was some wind, and we were nervous we might be blown into someone's pier eventually. So Adam pulled out the smaller foresail.
Then we slowly sailed our way back to the slip. For the second time this week, I guided the boat in, under only sail.  We are still such novices! Live and learn!
Back at the marina, I took a few shots of an old building. Until about 6 years ago, it was a little store, carrying all kinds of things. It would have been just my kind of place. The elderly lady who ran it though, said she closed it because she had to be there too much. It was wearying.
But it's such a quaint, quiet, Southern place. I hate to see it closed. I'd love to sit in there and chat with her and eat an ice cream.
"Effective Aug. 15, 1981"  That's about when I was starting college. Goodness, life is both long and short!
So ... Adam will need to tinker with the motor. He says it had not been run for 3 years when he bought it this morning. Well, they did start it up for him when he bought it. But probably the carburetor needs cleaning and various other things. He'll have it going in no time. But I've promised myself this: when he wants me to go sailing when he's testing something out to see if it works, I will politely decline!

Oh my! I almost forgot about the jumping fish! I've missed them. Adam and I used to sit and look for fish (mullet, I think) around here that leap out of the water, launch along on their sides and then splat! back down into the river. So funny!! I guess the warm weather and warm water brought them back into their airborne antics, and today we saw almost 40 jumps, during our hour on the water. Forty! Many of those were duplicates, in a way, because a fish will often leap into the air, fall back in, and then leap again a second later. They almost look like stones being skipped :)

Why do they jump? Are they too warm in the water and want to cool off? Is it some bizarre mating ritual? "I can jump highest, so you should mate with ME!"  Haha :) Silly. Whatever it is, it's sure entertaining to humans.


  1. MK, are blues running this time of year? They tend to jump a lot as well. Did you ever get up with the woman who commissioned the purple scarf? For some reason, this post reminded me of her.

  2. Your little tour sounds great! I grew up with quirky outboard motors.
    Oh Sandy! Could she be any cuter? I love her!


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