This is the true story of a drunk naked chick, the Oregon Inlet Coast Guard and an at-sea rescue in 1975. It is a chapter in the book, Fishing Well Is The Best Revenge: Stories About Boats, Fishing, Friends, Captains, Oregon Inlet and Fishing the Mid-Atlantic.
The fishing trip began easily enough. We planned a two week stay in the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center on my buddy’s 28’ Bertram.
It was early 1975, we booked a slip for two weeks and ran the boat down from Virginia. The boat owner was relatively inexperienced so the original idea was to hire a freelance mate for the entire two weeks.
Yours truly would run the boat and the owner and/or other friends would be the anglers. And it went according to plan…mostly!
Backstory on Fishing out of Oregon Inlet
The first days were glorious, calm seas, great fishing. It was as good as it gets…we were having a great time. The boat owner was a small man, desperate to learn and understand as much about the sea and fishing as could get.
By this time, given that I am about 275 pounds, he’s nicknamed me “Hoss”…a takeoff on the old TV series about the Cartwrights. Our mate was a local guy, young and anxious to show well.
And he brought his girlfriend when we had room. On or about the end of the first week, two bits intersected to create a very memorable experience.
Bit one: The boat owner tells me that he “wants to be the Captain” the next day. After discussion (much!) and given the next day’s forecast of flat calm, I reluctantly agreed.
Given his newly minted title for the next day, he wanted me to guarantee that he would get no help. He was to be the Captain and, no matter what, if he asked anything, I was to say “It’s up to the Captain.”
Bit two: One of the charter boats at the dock needed a mate for the day. Our guy asked if we would mind him going with the charter if he made us a cooler of baits…
AND, if so would we mind taking his girlfriend out with us without him. We agreed to both….!
The Electronics Package
Note that in the day our “electronics” package consisted of a manual RDF (radio direction finder), a round flashing depth finder, and twin 215 HP gas engines carrying a single fuel tank of 180 gallons.
The package was rounded out by a CB radio and a newly installed VHF completed our complement. Clearly, there were limitations to be considered!
And We’re Off
At first light the next day, we head out following the fleet. The main body of boats was generally heading to the 630 line to target tuna.
The 630 was 32 miles from the dock—pretty close to the limit for us. Several boats, however, kept going all the way to and past the Tower.
This body of boats was running about 45-48 miles before setting out. They were marlin fishing, not tuna fishing.
And he followed them! Fuel was about to become a problem.
Fishing was good– dolphin, wahoo, a blue one window shopping, and the seas flat calm. The mate’s girlfriend spent most of the day napping or in the bow in a bikini.
She was pretty, shapely and good company. Not only that, but she was happy to make sandwiches.
By about 2:00pm, we had enough fuel to make it back most of the way. It was becoming clear, however, that we did not have enough to guarantee we wouldn’t to risk crossing the bar on fumes.
At 2:30, the charters picked up. My Captain, however, wanted to stay for another hour…all the while trolling offshore yet further.
Ask The Captain
When 3:30 comes around we pick up. The owner heads into the cabin and comes out white as a sheet. “Hoss, do we have enough fuel to get home?”
I answer, ”I dunno, ask the Captain!” This goes on for a few minutes until he reaches panic stage…”Hoss, what are we gonna do?”
Well, we now have a serious discussion. I tell him that:
- We will be maybe 10-15 miles short of fuel at cruising speed so do not run hard, and;
- Once in range we call the Coast Guard for help (in those days they came to get you, tow you to the fuel dock and treat you nicely all the while).
So, that’s what we did….
The Oregon Inlet Coast Guard
At maybe 15 miles out the Coast Guard met us. Aboard were three guys– two young guys and a heavyset old Bosun’s Mate on the helm.
The Coasties hook up the tow line and help us back to the dock. Still flat calm, it was now the early evening of a gorgeous day.
By now, unbeknownst to the rest of us, our mate’s girlfriend had found the vodka…and was clearly inebriated. As we approached the bar, she heads out to the bow…
The Eagles latest tape is on the stereo…turned on full volume…and she begins to dance! She gets way into her dance.
The next thing you know, she takes her top off and we’re all wondering what’s next. Now, the Coasties tell us to shorten the tow line as we cross the bar, which we do.
She continues to dance…topless…while the two young guys are transfixed. The old guy, trying not to look, is hanging on to the helm and looking forward.
One of the young Coast Guard Officers yells, “Take your bottom off!” She yells back, “Only if you take your hat off!”
Our now naked dancer is gyrating to “All I Need Is The Air That I Breathe” when the Coasties ask if she will jump on to their boat– which she does!
Upon boarding the Coast Guard vessel, she immediately pulls down the pants of the Bosuns Mate. Under which he is wearing huge dark green Vietnam style boxer shorts.
And it gets more interesting….much more.
Back On Land
The Coast Guard tows us to the fuel dock. Their crew is now dressed and appearing sheepish, but happy. What else would you expect in an Oregon Inlet fishing story?
All is well. The owner decides not to be the Captain any longer.
Our mate is available for the next day….there is joy in Mudville….
The next day at around noon as I’m on the bridge, the VHF crackles to life. It’s the Oregon Inlet Coast Guard… calling my boat.
Nervously, I pick up… “This is the OI Coast Guard, Captain. We are calling to see if you need anything today, if so we’ll be happy to bring it out to you!”
Way back in the day…
This story is taken from the book, Fishing Well Is The Best Revenge: Stories About Boats, Fishing, Friends, Captains, Oregon Inlet and Fishing the Mid-Atlantic. Written by Captain Jeff Waxman and edited by Elliott Stark, the book contains a number of great stories from decades on the water. It is worth the read. The book is available for sale on Amazon.com
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