For the love of God, I am seriously considering moving south! This is ridiculous, and it doesn’t appear to be ending, and as many of you read this we may be in the midst of another monumental snow storm, but I will be 4 hours south where you’d think it would be safe. But alas, they’re calling for freezing rain almost to New Orleans!
Horrendous weather or not, I am leaving in a few days and had to get the boat ready, which was (still is) quite the task given the 10-inches of frozen snow encapsulating it. Not to be deterred, I began with a propane heater aimed at the drain hole and took a garden hoe to the top, whacking and pulling off snow until I could see parts of the tarp. I tried to roll the 1,000-pounds or so that was left on top of the tarp from the bow to the back, but the tarp was frozen to the boat carpet in most places, which caused the tarp to tear and leave blue strips and patches all over the deck.
I broke out the other propane heater and went to Lowes for a couple heat bulbs which I positioned in opportune places above the worst of it. Most of my poles were under the tarp, and I had to have new line and rigs and so on, and after 8 hours I was able to get them out and bring them inside, much to my wife’s delight.
I boiled water all day and took a pot at a time out and poured down on the massive block of ice encapsulating my bilge and aerator pumps. It’s always a surprise to see what’s under the boat tarp. A few honey buns, one of Chippy’s off-brand Mellow Yellows, my hammer which had been missing for months, among other things.
That was the end of the easy part. The onboard charger was glowing red on both trolling batteries, which meant no connection, so I removed, cleaned, and checked every fuse and wire without any success. It turned out to be the worst case scenario, two bad batteries, so off to Walmart I went, where I got to stand in line at the automotive area behind people with shopping carts full of non-automotive stuff who were clearly disregarding the “20 items or less” sign.
It may seem like I am merely copying and pasting from last year’s article at around the same time, and last year may have seemed like I did the same from the year before, but unfortunately that is not the case. I am doomed and destined to repeat this process every year, and oddly enough be surprised at the outcome. These are the perils of not having a proper dwelling for my boat.
In a fit of rage and disgust about the situation when my wife asked why I was huffing and puffing, I told her, “My boat having to sit outside all year is like you having to get ready in the morning in an outhouse!” She does not enjoy being compared to my boat as much as you might think, but that also is a mistake I will probably repeat!
Social media is simultaneously awesome and a pain in the rump, but it’s affective and necessary for what I do, so if this weekly column does not satisfy your need to know what I’m up to and you want to follow me on a daily basis, I’m on Facebook at www.facebook.com/josh.gowan.7, Twitter @joshmgowan, and Instagram at joshmgowan, fishing and hunting videos at www.youtube.com/wylecat1, and of course back-issues of this column are on my website at www.joshgowanoutdoors.com. If you really want a peak into a strange world, follow Chippy on Twitter @joshuachipman!