Dan D. Outdoors

Dan Dauw
Dan D. Outdoors

Flying Dutchman

That sounds like a circus trapezes act, but not so if you read the book entitled, “Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivals.” The term goes back to the 19th and 20th century for ships that left port on one of the five Great Lakes, but never heard from again. During a stretch of 20 years between 1879 and 1899, some 6,000 vessels were wrecked on these inland seas. I remember when I went on a Navy training cruise in 1962 aboard an old WW2 PCE ship, the USS Farmington. We left Milwaukee, WS, and on the second or third day out we hit one bad storm. There were times when we green horn sailors thought she was going to roll over. Do not think that just because they are “lakes” that they are nothing like storms on the oceans. I never saw so many seasick swabbies, including myself, hold on dearly to the rails and barf until dry heaves was the norm. I had the midwatch and was ordered to climb up to the “crow’s nest.” I thought, “Yeah, like there is some Soviet submarine in Lake Michigan that is going to slip us a torpedo!” Orders are orders, but I wished someone would have just shot me I was so seasick. Huge waves and lightening sent the little ship spinning every which way. Going back to the book I’m reading, today’s boats and ships on the lakes have lots of electronics to warn them ahead of time of bad weather. Still, storms can be no less violent today, so “Sailor beware” still fits as it did during the past centuries.

Jokes

What happened when the Maple City Band played a concert in Bermuda? The person playing the triangle disappeared. What happened when the prison van collided with a cement truck? Nine hardened criminals escaped. What’s nippy, economical and drives around Paris? The hatchback of Notre Dame.

Catfish 4 not 3

Now all of us know the 3 types of catfish we have in many of our freshwaters. There is the blue, flathead and channel catfish. Some call the paddlefish a spoonbill catfish, but it really isn’t in the catfish family. Regardless, I read in my latest issue of “Illinois Outdoor News” that a fisherman caught what he thought at first was a channel cat out of the Mississippi River near West Alton, IL. However, it had black and white markings. The fisherman said it looked more like cow markings. Conservation researchers said it was a rare “Piebald catfish.” The Mississippi Conservation committee reported that during a 17-year period up to the year 2014, river researchers sampled over 22,000 blue catfish and only two piebald catfish were found.

Biblical Humor

Did you hear about the anteater who went to Noah on the ark? It complained there were only two ants on-board? An old time angel gave a new angel a tour of heaven. The old timer said, “We keep the “Holy Cow” in that barn and we keep the “Holy Mackerel” in the lake over there. Pointing to an outhouse he said, “We’ll, I guess  I don’t have to tell you what we keep in there! “Holy (beep).”