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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 10:32 am | Mostly Cloudy 55º


Captain’s Log: Cell Phone Fumbles and Foibles

Cell phones and fishing generally don't go hand in hand

A cell phone began singing a catchy tune, while we were fishing several miles out at sea. At first, cell reception at sea seems to surprise people. On a fishing trip, a cell phone going off usually elicits a comment from a fellow angler like, “Throw that thing overboard. We’re fishing.”

The fact is, we often get cell phone reception even at the islands. Well, on the front side anyway.

The somewhat embarrassed owner of the agitated phone switched his fishing rod to his other hand and dug into the pocket of his fishing jacket. It was a two-finger extraction, destined for disaster.

His two cold fingers lost their grip and the phone bounced on the gunwale of the boat, threatening to take the plunge. The owner grabbed for it and bumped hard into the person fishing next to him, causing that person to lose his grip on his fishing rod, and everyone on board watched in disbelief while the phone and the fishing rod — he was using one of my fishing rods, by the way — splashed into the sea.

The rod sunk fast, but the phone sunk slowly — though too fast to save with a long-handled net — and fluttered erratically in the water.

At first there was silence. Then there was a pandemonium of laughing, cursing, name-calling and shoulder-slugs. The guy let me know he would pay for the replacement of my lost rod and reel. Cool — that’s about $350. Losing the phone bummed him out because he hadn’t copied down all of his contacts. (Note to everyone: Always back up your contacts list.)

My suggestion was, “Someone call his cell phone, quick! If a fish answers, ask to speak to his granddaddy. Then make a deal with the big fish: ‘If you will bite the bait on the lost rod and swim up here so we can haul up the rig, we promise not to fillet you. And if you bring up the phone in your teeth, we’ll give you the biggest sardine in the bait tank.’”

I’ve seen way too many phones dropped into the sea. I’ve also seen them go off of piers, into lakes and streams, and even over a waterfall once.

What’s the strangest incident of cell phone loss you’ve ever witnessed or suffered?

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help.

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