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THE DAY THE TRUCK SUNK AND THE BOAT BURNT

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I guess if you fish long enough some pretty strange adventures await.  One of my favorite saltwater bonefish areas for wade-fishing is Christmas Island in the Pacific about a 1000 miles south of Hawaii.  I have been there a few times and have some very memorable days of fishing.  I want to tell you of one particular day while fishing for Trevally and a few bonefish.  It was the day the truck sunk and the boat burnt.  I am not shitting you, this is a true story.

I wanted to dedicate a day to fishing for Trevally and maybe a bonefish or two.  My friend Tim was there and told me he would arrange it.  We got up early and with a truck the Tim borrowed from a friend on the Island we started out to meet our guide out on a point.  It was an extremely low tide and we had to start our trip out (on this point) in deeper water.  Tim was driving and decided to take a short cut to the point.  We were covering ground over the sandy flats at a pretty good clip.  We both felt it about the same time.  We could see our guide waiting for us with the boat, but we started sensing soft wet sand under us.  We started bogging down at the same time we were gunning it to stay on the top.  We weren’t too far from solid ground, but it wasn’t meant to be.  Our truck’s tires started spinning and we began sinking.  We stopped to get out and asses our situation.  The surface of the flats was now level with our bumpers.  We’d sunk to our undercarriage.  We tried to push; no good.  We put logs under the tires; no good.  We decided we needed help; good idea.  Tim insisted that I go to the guide and start fishing.  I refused at first, but he convinced me to go; the guide had our money whether we fish or not.  A truck-full of men then arrived to pull our truck free.  I met the guide and he had a good laugh over our misfortune.

We began our boating with the motor coughing and sputtering a little, but we were able to get to our destination.  We had shots at Trevally, but I managed to only land one small one.  We did see some large bones and started the stalking and casting.  We got so close to a nibble at few times but no good.  Our hearts were racing and aching as we watched them slowly swim away. 

We boated from the guide’s hidey hole to another, with a few nice bonefish to show for our efforts.  The boat motor was acting a little more peculiar; going into spasms every once in a while.  My guide pulled the cowling off a few time to tinker with this screw with that.  But it kept up it’s persnickety ways.  We did this all day and were heading back to camp lat in the day when the motor was giving up death rasps.  It happened on a great flat so guide told me to fish and he would work on the motor.  I slipped over the boat gunn’l and started fishing bones.  It was actually pretty good fishing, bringing a few to hand.  I was maybe a 100 yds from the boat when I heard the explosion.  I turned to it to see flames shooting up from the motor with black smoke rising into the sky.  I almost hate to say it, but we were lucky that another boat was close by and came to give us a tow.  It was the last boat out there.  We would have spent the night in the boat if it hadn’t come along.

That evening looking back on the day, I had to laugh.  What a day it had been.  The truck sunk and the boat burnt.  Gotta love it.

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