Adrift Off Of Sheboygan.

There's nothing better than tales from the lakes. I loved them as a boy and I stil do.
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Adrift Off Of Sheboygan.

Postby BigMesh » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:05 pm

This is a story told to me as a boy in the mid to late 70s. The teller (Leo) was the owner of the boat and was aboard at the time. The crew was just him and an elderly man he had working for him. I have no reason to doubt the story as Leo was not one to ever brag or exaggerate,

Leo bought a weathered old wooden boat sometime in the 60s and it leaked badly. The Winter morning this happened they found the leak had gotten so bad that they had to run the pump pretty much non stop, The boat needed to be pulled out and worked on but they needed to clean up their chub nets before pulling her out.

They left Sheboygan with a 3 1/2 hr run to the nets. Things went pretty normal for the most part, that is until later in the day when the engine went down. They made brief attempts to restart the engine but being that the bilge pump relied on the engine and was the only thing keeping them afloat, they devoted their efforts to keeping the leaking old boat afloat.

Leo pulled up the floor boards and got down in the hull with a 5 gallon bucket. He bailed a bucket then handed it up to the old man who then dumped it overboard and returned it to Leo for a refill. They bailed non stop, only stopping to to keep the fire burning.

There two guys had no wives or anyone expecting them home at any time so nobody really knew they were adrift. For 3 days and nights they bailed relentlessly not knowing where they were and having no plan other than to keep afloat.

They were found adrift after 3 days off of Waukegan which is about 100 miles south of where they started. Leo who was a chain smoker said it was the first time he went 3 days without a cigarette. When they were found there were no floorboards left on the boat, they were all burned to keep warm and by Leo's account the body heat generated from bailing kept them alive.

Leo was a life long fisherman and had worked all over the lake and had worked for almost everybody at one time or another. He relayed one other story that is more dramatic than this one but I will wait on that one until later.

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