Island Life… by Clint Bennetsen

Archived in the category: Featured Writers, General Info, Island Life
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 17 Aug 17 - 0 Comments

Close Calls On The Water

Greetings from the island everyone.  I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying your summer.  School starts back up the end of this month, so please be careful and on the lookout for the kiddos returning back to classes.  Good luck to all the Port O’Connor and Seadrift kids, have fun and do well.

The baby chicks and guineas are getting bigger and look like small chickens now.  Corky still hasn’t determined whether he approves of them, as I heard a commotion one day and looked out to see him chasing a white guinea that had found a hole in the fence.  Luckily the little guinea was faster and eluded the dog.  I also had a black chicken get out, and then discovered a section of their wire pen rusted away, so repairs were made.  I’ve only lost one of my entire flock of chickens and guineas, having found one of the Black Star chickens dead in the pen a few weeks ago.  Not sure what the cause was, but it happens.

I know one thing, no food scraps are going to waste out here, as those chickens will eat nearly anything, including tortillas and shrimp peels.  I’m still feeding them chick starter feed for a few more weeks, and supplementing that with whatever scraps I have or packages of tortillas that islander Vince drops off at the house.
My Fall tomato plants that I started from seeds are six weeks old now, and I just recently planted them into the ground.  It’s more difficult starting them in the summer heat, but I wanted to try and have a few fresh tomatoes for family and friends to enjoy.  Fingers crossed that they produce well.

I took Corky for his six month rattlesnake vaccine shot last week. The vaccine is supposed to help minimize the effects from a poisonous rattlesnake bite in case he gets bitten out here.  I would still take him in immediately to the vet should that ever happen, but I’m hoping the vaccine will help.  And at only $28 every six months for the vaccine shot, it is certainly worth him having it.

I might should also invest in swimming lessons for that silly dog.  While Corky and I were at a favorite island beach swimming hole that my friends and I use, he started chasing a bird, his favorite thing to do on the beach. But unlike in the surf, where the water depth very gradually increases, this spot immediately drops off deep right off the bank.  I turned just in time to see him go KERPLUNK!, and disappear underwater!  Knowing that boxers aren’t the greatest swimmers, I dropped my phone on the beach and headed towards him.  He popped up to the surface and his front legs were paddling so fast to make it back, and he did right before I got to him.  I can laugh about it now, but that crazy dog gave me a scare.

And speaking of scares, I definitely had one a few weeks ago at Clark’s dock. I ran in to pick up my best friend, Susan, to do some beach combing.  As Susan was about to release the bow line for us to head back to the island, I turned the key to start the Yamaha 150 outboard, and there was a very loud explosion, and the latched motor cowling immediately blew off the engine and went flying high into the air and landed into the harbor water.  It took me an instant to realize what was happening, and then I saw flames at the back of the motor.  I turned to check on Susan, and she, obviously being somewhat more intelligent than myself, was already off the boat and on the dock.  I’ll never forget the look on her face as she was pointing at the motor shouting, “IT’S ON FIRE!  IT’S ON FIRE!”  And she kept repeating this all day long.   I grabbed the extinguisher from the leaning post and put the flames out.  Wow!!

Unbeknownst to me, a small cut had occurred in the outboard hose fuel line, causing a tiny amount of fuel to leak and collect, along with fumes, under the enclosed cowling.   The starter apparently ignited the fumes and caused the explosion and the fire.  Myself, along with three other guys, got into the harbor water and searched for the motor cowling, but never found it.  Fellow islander, Chuckie, replaced the fuel line and let me borrow a cowling, until Britton found me a nice used one.  Thanks guys!

In closing, I want to say farewell to my brother, Delton, who is now in heaven and watching over me.  You will be missed but never forgotten.  I love you.

That’s it from the island, everyone take care and have a great day.

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