Tale of the “SEA DRIFTER” by Andrew McDaniel

Archived in the category: Featured Writers, Fishing Reports, General Info
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 15 Jun 17 - 0 Comments

This tale all started a couple months ago when my best bud from childhood emailed me letting me know that him and his family were planning to fly on down from Minnesota to visit. Being that they have never been to my cabin on Matagorda Island (technically called Peninsula, but it’s surrounded by water…go figure) a trip out to the island was a definite must since there ain’t too many islands in Minnesota. However, Minnesota does have a healthy Moose population.

So after navigating through Houston traffic like Dale Earnhardt Jr. navigates the Texas Motor Speedway, I finally made it to the airport and picked up the famous Suter family for yet another adventure.

After a couple of hours of catching up while driving back from Houston, we made it back to my house in Seadrift to load up the boat and set sail (or start an Evinrude outboard motor) for the island.

Before I continue on with this adventurous tale, I do want to add a quick disclaimer that every time I bring someone out to the island for the first time, I always ask “ready for your life to change?” However, it normally has a different outcome than what was about to happen over the next 24 hours from when we launched my boat in Port O’Connor.

With the boat in the water we cranked up the motor and away went to the island.

Upon arrival at the island, I asked my buddy “so what do you think?” His reply was, “it brings tears to my eyes.” Maybe it was the salt air that got to him.

So over the next few hours, our wives chatted it up while our kiddos played in the water around the cabin. Needless to say, it was great times all around, especially for the Suter family since they had to de-ice the airplane wings before flying to Texas. That’s right, it was actually that [fill in the blank] cold in Minnesota at the end of April.

With the sun starting to set, we boated our wives and kiddos back to the docks for them to spend the night at our house in Seadrift while me and my buddy continued our adventure on the island.

Spending the rest of the night out at the cabin with my best bud from childhood while having a cold one (or many) sure was nothing short of a true blessing. We talked for hours on end covering topics such as politics, childhood, raising children, even the local cow population that resides on the island. Too bad we didn’t have our own news crew out there. We probably would have received some great ratings since cows graze on islands in TEXAS! Sorry, that was an inside joke for my bud in Seadrift.

After sleeping like a log at the cabin, I walked out on to the patio to overlook the beautiful scenery that Matagorda Island has to offer during the morning hours. However, something was missing…

After thinking about what was missing for all of 2 seconds, it came to me…the boat is missing.

Being that we were on the island, the first thought that came to mind was, my cooler & surfboard was still on the boat and the second thought was, D’OH!!!

So I got my phone and dialed the local Coast Guard station in Port O’Connor to explain the situation. About 30 minutes after calling the Coast Guard, I get a call back from them saying the boat has been spotted drifting around King Fisher Beach in Port O’Connor and that it’s secured and anchored. First thought that came mind was, thank the good lord! Second thought was, wait, I’m still on the island and my boat is miles from where I’m at, D’OH!!!

So I walked down the beach and hopped a ride back to mainland with a very nice family to retrieve my boat while my buddy slept in at the cabin.

Upon arrival at King Fisher Beach, my boat was nowhere in sight and now my buddy from Minnesota is stuck on an island in Texas. Needless to say, his family would give me an earful if I didn’t bring him back.

So I hopped a ride back to the docks, spotted some people launching their boat and explained to them my current situation. Without hesitation, they said, “sure, no problem, let’s go get your buddy.”

By this time, the winds were still blowing hard out of the southeast and the waves on Matagorda Bay mirrored that of the Banzai Pipeline in Hawaii. Ok, maybe not the Banzai Pipeline, but you get the idea.

After a long and drenching ride back to the island, we picked up my buddy and then returned to mainland. Upon arrival at the docks, the Captain of the maiden voyage said to me, “it sure is an adventure with you Andrew”…yeah, he should talk to my wife. They could share their life experiences with me.

We then hopped in my truck to tow my empty boat trailer back to the house in Seadrift before commencing a search mission.

Over the course of the next few days, along with the help of a number of great people, the boat was nowhere in sight and still missing.

At this point, you must be wondering, where did the boat go? Did it magically disappear? Could it have been stolen? Maybe it was abducted by Aliens from another planet since they prefer Evinrude motors?

Being that my wife is much smarter than I am, she created a post on Facebook to hopefully gather some intelligence on the location of my boat.

Long behold, I get a call late in the evening that same day, letting me know that the boat has been found! So I ask the fun obvious question, “so where is it?” He said that it’s been beached up around the northern shoreline of Cox Bay and it is still in one piece and that he would go check on it for me the next day.
So the next day he sends me a picture of my boat and sure enough, it’s still there.

Now comes the fun part, how far did this boat travel and what path did it take? So I cranked up my super computer and by using historical weather data from NOAA, timeline of sightings, vector calculus and quantum physics (worked for Schrödinger’s cat…yeah that was a joke by the way), I was able to estimate its projected path using my proprietary “wing-it” computational methodology.

Being that my boat traveled over 20 miles on rough seas AND remained intact, I decided to rename her the “SEA DRIFTER” after being suggested by one of my fellow island buddies.

LESSON LEARNED: don’t trust an anchor, use a chain wrapped around your cabin, to keep your boat in one place.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who gave me a helping hand during this tale of the “SEA DRIFTER”.

Voyage of the Sea Drifter

Voyage of the Sea Drifter

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