Monday and Going Nowhere Fast

| November 8, 2021

You know how it feels when the weakest link in your life’s chain breaks? Well, it may not be “broke,” but it’s too soon to tell on this Monday Morning. It’s actually hard to remember a time when I didn’t have a weak link.

That’s because, after readying the skiff, and loading the 4Runner for a five-day fly fishing and interviewing jaunt to the Southern Texas Gulf Coast, and ONLY AFTER doing all that … did the 4Runner sputter, jolt and bolt. Broken down at home is where I ended up, and the trusty V-8’ed beast is at the shop awaiting attention from my reliable mechanics … and awaiting that dreadful phone call is where I am, instead of on the water shadowing Captain Ken Jones out of Port Aransas, Texas, RIGHT NOW. It’s a truly dreadful feeling, but I was saved by the fact it happened here and not down the road somewhere. Good luck, right?

The new hours fritter away, and I am betting on photos coming in, and dinging my phone – from out there on the Texas Gulf Coast today, as last week’s front gives way to blue bird days. Picture perfect.


So it was good to roll out the skiff last Friday and expose it to the light of day. That light is now so low on the horizon that it seems weak, but I could see the boat had undergone some expansion-and-contraction while stored – and there was a telltale dollar-coin-sized black spot on the concrete under the lower unit. At that time, I thought this would be the problem (not the 16-year-old Fore Runner) that would slow my progress. It was lower unit gear oil, which was a relief. I traced it to the drain which had a trail, and on recommendation, pulled the plug(s) to replace the gear oil. Then I lost the all-important fiber washer (which was worn out anyway) while working on it Saturday. Jeesh. So it meant a quick run to Sanger’s Lake Park Marine to get one, make that three new washers. Simple right? Oh, no … not at all. Remember that “supply chain thing?” They dug and dug, and finally found the washers – a new breed of washer actually, one that is ethanol resistant (originals were basically wasted). It’s hard to believe it, but not having those down tight with the right sealing washers would only invite huge problems – very quickly So that was done Saturday afternoon, and I was good to go.

Before I hit that pothole, my plan was to get out and run the skiff before driving all that way to the coast. I stuck to the plan. She ran great and the fresh gear oil actually quieted down the lower unit a bit. I had also done a “hard reset” of my Toyota computer, and I thought, I thought I had that little slip in the transmission conquered as well.

This morning, in reality, the “travel gods” had mercy on me, and basically broke me down in my own driveway. Do I miss my FJ-60 right now? There’s nothing quite like that beast running around here anymore. But I would not call it a strong link either. One step forward, two steps back. Easy come, easy go. Insert your own cliche here ____________.

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Category: Body-Mind-Soul, Culture on the Skids, Destination Fly Fishing, Guides, Life Observed, On The Road, Texas Gulf Coast

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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  1. shannon says:

    Transmission is blown.

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