Norfolk Boat Memories
While taking their gals sailing near Williamsburg, two fellows recalled their Norfolk boat memories, having grown up together during the 1950s. Dale Murray said, “I’ve been around the water all my life, but I’ve never been sailing.” He did just fine on the helm.
On the water indeed. “I have a center console 22-foot fishing boat and once held the state record for trout. I caught a 12-1/2 pounder that was 31 inches long and 2 inches thick. That was seven years ago.” He said it calmly without a hint of bragging, just matter-of-fact.
On this day along the York River, we saw osprey and cormorants but no pelicans. “We were out fishing by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel one day and fell upon a pelican thrashing in the water. He apparently had dived for a fish that turned out to be a 12-inch fishing lure with three separate hooks. He had hooks in his beak and his wing and was all twisted up. We pulled him into the boat and gently removed the hooks. We put him up in the bow, under a towel, and fed him minnows the rest of the day. As we came back to Virginia Beach and neared shore, he realized he was home and flew away.”
Dale will fish in any weather, even in winter. “One time in February we went out of Virginia Beach looking for striper. What was a warm southerly wind suddenly turned to the northeast and I thought, This isn’t right. We took only a half hour to get out on the Atlantic, but it took 5-1/2 hours to motor back into the wind. The boat was pounding against the waves and the waves were coming over the bow. One guy asked, ‘Shouldn’t we put on life preservers?’ Someone else said, ‘That would only prolong the agony of drowning at sea.’”
I asked, “Why on earth would you take a 22-foot boat on the ocean in February?” Dale cheerfully replied, “It was striper season!”
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