Although it's raining lightly, it doesn't look too bad. A check of the web shows nasty rain and thundershowers approaching from South Dakota but the storm track looks like most of it will go to the north of us. At 8:30 am, I call Lewie to see if he wants to go fishing even though the threat of rain is looming. To my surprise, he accepts the invitation.
One of the gas cans is empty and the way this boat is guzzling fuel, I am not willing to go out without a backup. The cans are 6 gallons apiece and one full day of fishing consumes about a can if we spend most of the time trolling. I pull the boat trailer up to the steakhouse to get it filled. Even though their gas is $3.75 a gallon, I'm willing to pay the price instead of going to Dalton where it's a mere $3.03. But as typical around here, I end up chatting with a guy I've seen around. He was going to stay until tomorrow but with the threatening weather, he and his wife are going home today. However he did give me some wax worms he had left over.
Lewie meets me at the steakhouse. While I'm getting the gas, Jerome, Lewie's neighbor, and Jerome's grandson, Zachary (who's 5), stop by. Lewie chats with Jerome and I join in while Zachary climbs all over the boat and interrupts incessantly. Zachary is a good kid but full of energy. Anyway, they're going home a day early as well due to the weather. Is there a message here? Jerome gives us his leftover minnows. I tell Lewie there's no reason to ever buy bait. Just hang out at the steakhouse with a boat.
After our hour delay, we finally head to the public boat ramp about a mile from camp. When we arrive, one guy is using the ramp and another is waiting. OK, we'll wait.
The first guy gets done and the second one launches his boat. But just as he finishes, the light rain turns to a downpour. OK, I guess this is bad enough to get me to give up. I'm glad we were third and not second. Lewie is happy that we're returning to camp.
The rain doesn't let up. I've shot some pictures and two short videos of the rain. According to the neighbor's rain gauge, we get nearly 3 inches of rain in the next hour.
At one point during the downpour, Denise and I were both sitting still in the trailer when we felt movement, much like an earthquake. Once the rain let up a little, I went out to investigate. There was so much rain, it washed out the dirt around the blocks holding up the front left of the trailer. I decide I better move the trailer before the next gulley washer comes. Besides, it wasn't quite level anyway. I put on my swimsuit and take off my shirt. I'm going to get wet so why wear a bunch of clothes? Out I go.
It took me about an hour and a half to get everything done including pointing the satellite dish properly. At least it didn't rain that hard while I was out there.
It's now 2:00 pm and the rain seems to be letting up. I call Lewie to see if he's willing to give it another try. He says he'll be right there. As I go out to hook the boat back up to the truck (I had to unhook it to move the trailer), I hear a noise. Upon investigation, I find that the new power trim motor is running and the motor is stuck in the up position. What the fuck? If I push the switch down, then the motor stops. However once I release it, it returns to the up position and continues to run. Disconnecting the battery is not an option because when the motor is in the full up position, I can't get the battery compartment door open. Then I remember there is another power trim switch located at the front of the boat (I have no idea why). I push it into the down position and the motor stops. I check things out some more and suspect rain water has gotten into this switch and is making the connection. In fact, I have to keep pushing this switch in the down position intermittently when the motor starts raising all by itself.
I open up the panel in between pauses to push the switch down to stop the power trim motor when it activates on its own accord. Once the panel is opened, I'm able to disconnect the power wire from the switch. That seems to fix it. I find some electrical tape to seal the end, lest the wire causes a short at some point later.
Now we can go fishing. But no, now it starts to rain again. I give up!!! During the travel here from California, the boat cover started to disintegrate. Several of the seams have come unstiched and I've found areas that need reinforcing. Shoremaster (http://www.boatcovers.com) here in Fergus Falls makes various marine covers for boats, docks, etc. and is well known worldwide. I've been meaning to visit them anyway to see if they will repair my cover so today seems like a good day to go. Lewie rides along.
They look at the cover and tell me it's made from "sunburst" fabric. This is a medium duty fabric that's OK for light towing but is mostly useful as a storage cover. They're surprised the cover was in as good of shape as it was after towing 1800 miles. They can fix it but don't recommend I use it to tow home. So long story short, they took measurements of the boat and I'm getting a custom made cover that's comes with a 5 year warranty. It's not too bad at $250 - $300. Standard covers for my boat from Cabela's run $200 and they wouldn't be reinforced in the right spots since my boat has a custom layout, raised console, downriggers, and a bimini top. It should be ready in a week.
We spent the evening playing cards inside as the rain continued. Margaritas helped to pass the time. I sure hope the weather is better tomorrow.
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