The Tale of Wacht Am Rhein 2000
as told by HRM Rosseweisse, Queen of Uberheim
The morning started in a rush, as I left around 9:30 to pick up Stellarex and my provisions, and Siegfried began loading the Royal Pavilion. Around 10, Hagen arrived and proceeded to nap in the pavilion until our arrival at about 11:45. We immediately outlurked after loading up Stellarex's gear and headed out to the bait shop.
Fortunately, for this poor man, Siegfried had forewarned the bait shop of the lurk he was to run, and they had loaded up on extra bait. I say "fortunately" because Siegfried proceeded to clean them out, purchasing 25 whole bunker, several packs of squid and a pack of spearing. While there, Siegfried also needed to pick up a new "live-line"... he had already bought one on Wednesday of that week, however, when he arrived home that Friday, he found that Nailz had chopped it up to make a new cord for the lawn mower to be started with.
After leaving the now barren bait shop, we lurked on to 7-11 where we proceeded to provision ourselves with Gatoraid, grails, ice, etc.
We arrived at Robert Moses State Park at approximately 1:15pm. As I lifted Hagen's pack from the back of the pavilion, the clip opened, and his pack dropped to the ground... breaking the bottle of Rum he had brought with him and soaking his clothes in alcohol.. (tee hee hee!)
Stellarex, Hagen, and myself all loaded up our gear (some a little more damp than others) and prepared to outlurk. As we did so, Brunnhilde and Frey arrived boasting their new night fishing permit. They too loaded up their gear and prepared to outlurk.
Once we were set, we turned around to find Siegfried pulling out an entire fishing store from the back of the van! He began unloading the large white cooler packed full of ice, beer, and Gatorade;
a medium sized bait cooler packed full with ice and all the bait he had acquired;
a 7 GALLON jug full of water;
a large beach umbrella (with wooden poles);
a Coleman stove;
4 crab traps;
a chum pot;
a filet board;
a bait cutting board;
a sleeping bag;
the large MagLight;
2 fishing poles;
a large tackle-box;
a bag with 4 propane tanks,
a filet knife,
a bait knife,
and god knows what else in it;
pots and pans;
a trench shovel;
a Killie net;
and a headlamp.
(there might have been more that I don't remember).
Then, to our horror, he brought out the wonder that was to lug all of this across the sand... a luggage cart. Yes, in fact, an actual luggage cart with the 3" wheels. And he began to load it... and load it.... and load it! Until we thought the entire cart would break from the weight it held! We took what we could to help him out... I tied his sleeping bag to my pack, took his pack with the MagLight and the killie-pot attached, and what I could hold in my hands. Hagen took some of the crab traps, Stellarex took what he could. And we lurked.
By the time we were about 20 feet from the van (Still on CEMENT) Siegfried had broken a sweat from lugging this THING... about 15 feet from the sand, I began to lug the cart for him... he took his backpack in exchange... I made it about 20 feet in on the sand before I had to stop because there was a MOUND of sand in front of the cart. This thing was PLOWING its way through the beach!
At this point, I informed Siegfried that he could pick me up here in the morning, as I wasn't going any further with this monstrosity. Stellarex then suggested that we make several trips down the beach and carry everything there. This was decided upon as the only logical solution.
And, so, off Stellarex went to deposit what he could carry and come back for more. Siegfried and I stayed behind to begin breaking down the "stuff" and separating it to be carried. He reached down and removed one end of a bungee cord that was stretched well beyond its limits holding all of the gear in place. As he removed it, the cord slipped from his hand. Swinging around and landing nowhere other than straight on my ear! Dear god! It actually BROKE the cartilege in my ear!!
Eventually (after about and hour and a half) all provisions were lurked down to the camp site. Siegfried deployed his traps, I helped him set camp, and we began to relax. Not long after our arrival, a better camp site opened up just down the beach from where we were. So we began to move everything.
As we moved, I decided to take a couple of casts in the water. At one point, I managed to hook myself a skate. Skates are no ordinary catch... they are a patience game. It can take more than an hour to pull one in for the simple reason that they bury themselves in the sand and you have to play it out until they get tired enough to get dragged in.
Well, after about a half hour of fighting this thing, I had succeeded in bringing it in about 3 or 4 inches. At this point, Siegfried decided that I should move the rest of our camp, and HE would take over for me until I was done. I explained to him that Skates can't be muscled in and what must be done with them, and proceeded to move our gear.
Not even 5 minutes later, I hear a splash. I turned around to see Siegfried leaping through the water with the fishing pole, reeling like a madman... the only word that comes to mind for this is Helmrick. (I think this should be a new addition to the Uber-dictionary... "to run a helmrick" hehehe) And, wouldn't you know it, the line broke! I spent a half-hour patiently reeling in this thing and in FIVE MUINUTES, he lost it!!
We set up camp at our new site, and Siegfried decided that after he deployed his "wonder" (the crab traps), he would construct a "lean-to" with his tarp. Well, I don't know where he learned how to do this, but his "lean-to" didn't lean.. it didn't do anything but hang! He had tied up one side of the tarp on the beach grass and left it hanging against the side of the dune...
Then he tried to set up the umbrella... that didn't exactly go as planned either. He set the main pole in the sand and opened the umbrella... unfortunately, he didn't know how to lock it, so as the umbrella fell over on him because he didn't sink it deep enough, the top came down and closed on him! heehee... he got closed in the umbrella... then, of course, because I made the mistake of laughing at him, I ended up having to set it up... (mind you it only took me a minute or two and it was standing for the rest of the night!)
About this time, I heard an amazing amount of colorful language being used in the vicinity of good Siegfried... it appears he had deployed his Killie pot without first securing the other half well enough. One half of the Killie pot was now somewhere in the deep blue yonder.. Siegfried decided that - since the pot was now useless - the other half MUST be found and proceeded to attach 3 hooks to the small pole... each with their own sinker next to it. He then began casting out and reeling in continuously. Apparently believing that he would hook this thing and reel it in.
Well, after about 45 minutes, it was painfully obvious to all but him that it wasn't going to work. (surprise)
He then decided to construct a NEW Killey pot from the old one using his Killie net and the half of the pot he still had. He attached the net to the open end of the pot and set it in the water awaiting a catch. Of course, this was ineffective as the trap now had no bait and was sitting straight up when it needed to be on it's side. Eventually, he gave up on this and threw it back on shore.
Finally, we were able to begin fishing. Frey caught a few snappers and gave them to Siegfried, Hagen caught a tiny baby fluke that had to be thrown back, and Siegfried started catching Calico crabs. I managed to catch a small Sea Robin that had to get thrown back. Eventually, I hooked another skate. This time, however, in order to prove to them all that I actually had something on the line and not caught bottom, I set the pole down in a pole holder and watched it spit out the hook... (mind you, skate is my best guess... it might have been a fluke-they've been rather large in that area this year)
Anyway, now that I felt I had proven myself, I went back to fishing and hooked another one. This time, within 5 or so minutes, Stellarex had also hooked himself either a skate or a large fluke. Unfortunately, he only held onto his for about 15 minutes before his line broke. I managed to hang onto mine a bit longer... I was fighting it for about 30-40 minutes and had brought it in about half a foot or so, when a party boat went by in the bay WIDE OPEN! I swear you could have surfed these waves... they actually had the curl! I had been standing in water about calf deep and when these waves hit, I was in water up to my waist! They hit shore a good 3 or more feet inland from the tide line! This, of course, snapped my line.
After much cursing at the boat as it left the bay, I decided to set up for snapper. Mind you, after the line breaking twice, I first had to re-up the reel with new line, as I had none left! I hooked myself a solitary snapper that I donated to the cause of feeding the king. Stellarex succeeded in hooking himself a couple of Kingfish (unfortunately, these are very bony). And then Siegfried began to get hungry. He grabbed the Killie net and hit the water, looking for spearing.
As he chased down these poor little fish, Brunnhilde, Frey and I began building a fire as it was getting dark. Mind you we didn't have much to work with... it had rained briefly earlier leaving all the grasses wet. Frey dug a fire pit in the sand with a beautifully constructed sand wall in front of it so passing boats would not see our fire. Brunnhilde and I launched a search for, essentially, anything that would burn. We didn't find much. We did, however, find a box of charcoal that someone had left on the beach... if only we'd had lighter fluid! Well, Brunnhilde took the box of charcoal back over to Frey and they began trying to get it lit while I searched for kindling to start up our fire with. I finally succeeded in finding dead grass and brought back several clumps.
By now, Brunnhilde and Frey had ripped up the box the charcoal came in and were trying to light it up. Unfortunately, the box was wet from the rain. Frey decided to go off in search of wood, should we get the fire lit, and Brunnhilde and I stayed behind to work on the fire. All the while, Siegfried and Hagen can be heard yelling from the shore everytime Siegfried managed to net some spearing... "French Fries!" "Yup, they're a tasty snack!" And Siegfried would devour whatever ended up in his net.
Finally, we managed to get a small fire going by using a paper bag that Brunnhilde had brought gummies for the King in... We rolled it tightly into a log, and after several attempts, succeeded in getting it lit. This was enough to get the grass lit and soon (after throwing in the charcoal and the wood Frey had found) had a nice fire lit.
Now it was completely dark... and the only sounds were the camp fire crackling, the crickets chirping, the party boat waves roaring in, and SIEGFRIED... Every time he caught a crab in his trap he would begin singing in his best opera voice "Carapace Hunter! Carapace Hunter!" We were hysterical! We broke out the grails and got employed and listened to Siegfried catch crabs and spearing.... now THAT'S entertainment!
Soon after, Frey joined the rest of the men down by the water and I went off in search of gummies... Brunnhilde was sitting by the fire when all of a sudden, a figure came stumbling out of the dunes behind us. A young Chinese boy maybe 15 years old if not younger. "Excuse me! Can you find my fahtha?" "Excuse me! Can you find my fahtha?" as he worked his way down towards the water. The five of us (Frey, Brunnhilde, myself, Hagen and Stellarex) all pointed to the east saying that we had seen some people down that way that might be who he was looking for. Siegfried pointed west saying "I haven't seen anyone go down that way..." Of course, this kid ignores the 5 of us and, pointing west says "That way??" "NO!" we shouted... "THAT WAY" pointing east again. To which the boy replied (looking at Siegfried) "You show me!" Siegfried grabbed the maglight and shone it down the beach "Walk to the end of the light" he tells the kid. This kid walked maybe 5 feet and turned around "Excuse me! Have you seen my fahtha? You show me!"
This went on for about 20 minutes when I decided that either I had to walk this kid down the beach or I was going to end up having him follow us around for the rest of our lives asking for his father... I walked him about 30 feet down the beach to where the other Chinese people were, and when we got about 15 feet from them, this kid turns around and shoo's me away "OK Go! You go away!"
For the rest of the night, the people down the beach had to listen to us shouting "Excuse me! Have you seen my fahtha? You show me! Ok, fuck you!" Followed by cackling...
Not long after the China-incident, Siegfried hooked himself a skate (or fluke). Again, he ran a Helmrick... this time, however, instead of breaking the line, Siegfried managed to break the entire pole in half! He then proceeded to grab the top end of the pole and tried still to bring in his snack until the line finally gave out! (Some people never learn, I guess)
Eventually, Siegfried started up the Coleman grill to cook up his snacks. He threw a pot on the grill and put in the crabs (calicos, blueclaws, spider crabs, and even a hermit crab) He quickly found out that calicos are inedible after cracking the first one open... which left him with just a couple of blueclaws, a spider crab and a hermit crab - all of which he enjoyed immensely. We all feasted upon our various snacks and drank and talked well into the night...finally, around 2 or 3am Brunnhilde and Frey left, Hagen passed out in the "gnome hovel" that he had created for himself, and Stellarex, Siegfried and I all prepared for bed. Hagen woke up at some point in the early morning hours and deposited "gift" upon the dunes behind his gnome hovel...
Around sun-up, I awoke and began re-kindling the fire as Stellarex began to stir and eventually awaken. Shortly afterwards, Siegfried woke up and warmed up by the fire as I decided to awaken Hagen... I proceeded to do this by throwing all manner of small objects at his gnome hovel and screaming quite loudly "HAGEN! GET UP! CRACK-O-DAWN, CRACK-O-DAWN, CRACK-O-DAWN!" among other things until he arose. As Hagen warmed up by the fire, Siegfried again packed up the monstrosity that was the luggage cart to prepare for our outlurk.
We broke camp, doused the fire and began our lurk back... Of course, the return trip was not quite so much of a logistical nightmare as Hagen assisted us this time as well as Stellarex, and there was much less to carry. It was bad, but nowhere near the "Bataan Death March" as Siegfried later likened the hike out there to.
As soon as we hit pavement, Hagen, Siegfried, and Stellarex lurked off to the van leaving me with the gear. They drove to where I was and we loaded up to head for home. After unloading and washing everything down (There was sand EVERYWHERE!), Skuld joined us and Hagen picked up hotdogs, hamburgers, ribs and charcoal... and we proceeded to have a pool party/BBQ in "Jurassic Park" while finishing off the grails that were left over from the day before.
All in all, the trip was one that will not soon be forgotten... even though the only pictures we had from the lurk are now sitting in the bottom of the pool... still in the disposable camera.
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