October 31, 2015 – Saturday – Florence Harbor Marina to Zippy Cove Anchorage – 42.3 statute miles traveled

We woke up to the sound of music, motors and talking and this was at about 0530. What in the world? When I climbed out of bed and looked out the window I saw an amazing sight. There were over 100 fishing boats out there. Most had already been launched and were either floating free in the harbor or tied up to every piece of dock space they could find. One was across the dock from our boat

I went to the marina office to grab a shower and on the way back talked to the people on several of the boats. These are the sleek, low profile boats with 250 Hp outboards, electric trolling motors on the bows that are controlled with a foot pad and tall stools for leaning on or sitting on while fishing. Most of the deck is a flat area for walking around while fishing and then the control cockpit has fancy bucket seats and bubble windshields. I found out that these boats cost around $70,000 USD each and some will go up to 90 miles per hour. Most of them do more than 50 mph. They are amazing fishing machines. Seeing them all over the bay in the dark with their running lights on was an impressive sight.

A fishing tournament was in progress and I heard them count off 103 entries. A few boats were launched after that and it was not clear whether they were in the tournament too or just guys going fishing.

We were on target for an 0820 departure and made good time once again as the river runs faster just below dams. Other than occasional rain showers and a totally overcast sky the run was uneventful until a fishing boat decided to come across the lake aiming right at Sea To See. At the last minute he veered off to cross our bow fairly close when his partner lost his hat overboard. The boat spun around right in front of us to pick up the hat and I had to rapidly slow down and put the boat in reverse to avoid running them over. What a nut case! They acted like we weren’t even there. No eye contact, gesture of apology or anything.

Next we found ourselves in the middle of what looked to be a sailboat race though the fleet was quite small. It took multiple course changes to avoid collision courses. This occurred just before leaving Pickwick Lake to enter the Yellow River and head to our anchorage for the night.

We dropped anchor in Zippy Cove in about 12 feet of water and settled in for the rest of the afternoon and evening while it continued to rain off and on.

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