Shell Key - yacht run aground. Dramatization purposes only
The shell trade is good in Florida, Shell Key a prime destination for many that work this trade. But we deal only in ice and firewood, items that come dear to the beach dweller.
We fancy ourselves locals now, we have taken up residence and those that visit know us by name. Like lighthouse keepers we keep a keen eye for anything unusual anything suspect. We are stewards of the preserve.
A parlay with a majestic mega yacht offers up opportunity; but there is risk of refrigeration, TV's and the forbidden video game; By the beard of Zuess there may be air-conditioning and showers, we are cautious of whom we interact.
Turning the corner on this for ever extending stretch of beach I come across a group of would be yachtsmen giving a heave ho to their power yacht that has grounded high on the key. I give way and nod and move past as there are too many sea captains barking orders and giving direction already. I fancy them clueless and my mind moves effortlessly to buoy operations on the Coast Guard Cutter Mallow in which I was stationed many tides ago. Moving sinkers and putting buoys on station was our business; being innovative a necessity.
My stroll ends where the beach turns to sea grass, I turn and there is a woman in my pursuit; the fantasy of rolling around in the surf quickly diminishes and we are down to the business of their boat being aground and needing assistance. The woman states they are a cell phone click of calling for a tow. I offer counsel.
My approach finds assessing the men there more important then the situation; who's in charge, who fumbled the ball? I quickly assess that it is grandpa's boat and these are extended family down for a visit. I can hear bitching and moaning and the degrading effects this is causing the aging gentleman. Anxiety and stress seen in his face, his worry.
"Hey Captain" I cheerfully bellow out. "If you never run a boat a ground or bent a prop you are either a liar or never been out on a boat." I say with a sense of expectancy. I see they are too close to the problem and can't see the solution. "No need for a tow we can get it off the beach" The roll of eyes and and a couple of huffs ensue to disrespect grandpa. I give the look that my dad had taught me, the one that says everything without uttering a word. Silence is achieved; grandpa gives a weakened smile. There is a new sheriff in town and it's time to take care of business.
They have done quite a bit of digging at the stern of the boat which offered no resolution to their problem. I call to order the men to move towards the bow; explaining as we move forward the bow is lighter and if we can get any amount of water to flow under the bow it is to our benefit. A heave too and with small amounts of gain with each rock and roll, they are set free.
It's better to be lucky then good; their ordeal put to rest. I am elevated to hero status. "What do we owe you?" states what appears to be the eldest son; hmm my thoughts drift to the fair maiden leaning over the side with the come get me smile. She moves closer to the man to whom I am speaking an gives way to a gentle caress... Thoughts blurred - "Arr we deal only in firewood and ice on Shell Key, what say you?"
"Ah no ice or wood, sorry!" ~ "Say what?"
to be continued...