Notes From the Dockside: Even fishermen need cell phonesThe cell phone has become one of those necessities of life that we cannot live without today. We once lived without instant communications and managed to get though our lives fairly well. As much as I have resisted technology, I have fallen under the spell of the cell phone.
By: By Mike Yurk, Hudson Star-Observer
The cell phone has become one of those necessities of life that we cannot live without today. There was once a time that we did not have cell phones. There are people today that find that hard to believe and never recall a time there weren’t cell phones. We once lived without instant communications and managed to get though our lives fairly well. Today if someone forgets their cell phone at home most people go back to get it.
As much as I have resisted technology I have fallen under the spell of the cell phone. My wife, The Bass Queen and I have not completely succumbed. We still have a land line to our house. But we both have cell phones.
The Bass Queen is much more technologically savvy than I am. She uses her cell phone for everything. She not only makes calls on it but also sends and receives texts, takes photos and sends them out and receives other photos. She is now looking to get one of those ipads or ipods or something like that so that she can read the New York Times, watch the weather Doppler and follow the stock market while she is making and getting calls, texts and photos. There is nothing that can’t be done with a cell phone.
I, on the other hand, am still in the technological dark ages. I just use my cell phone to make or receive phone calls. I can’t text. Several people have tried to show me how to do that but I never get it right. Except for the winter months I normally just leave my cell phone in the van to use while I am traveling.
I have found one other use of cell phones and that is as a clock. Because it works as such a good clock I have stopped wearing a watch. If I need to know the time, I just flip open my cell phone.
I also admit to taking my cell phone with me while fishing. It is good as a safety feature and although I have never needed it yet for an emergency, it is always good to know that it is there if the need arises. Also The Bass Queen likes to call me while fishing to get fishing reports and I like to call her to get weather updates. So it does have its uses while fishing.
Because I take my cell phone with me while fishing it gets more than its fair share of abuse. Cell phones can be a bit delicate but my phone has survived all sorts of calamities and is still working.
Several years ago I was fishing on the St. Croix and a rain storm blew in. It was one of those soakers that lasted all afternoon. I thought I was smart to put my cell phone in the pocked of my rain jacket.
A couple of hours later I reached into my pocket to find a puddle of water there. My cell phone was on the bottom of the puddle. When I tried to use it nothing happened. I thought it was ruined. The Bass Queen told me to take it apart and dry it out. I took as much of it apart as I could and spread it out on the dining room table. A couple of days later I put it back together, charged it up and it worked. I was amazed.
A year later I was in Alaska. This time I put my phone in the pocket of my shirt, inside my wet weather jacket. I was fishing for salmon on the Russian River. The river was especially high and fast that year. Also the rocks on the bottom were covered in slippery slime making it a true challenge to cross the river. As I was wading across the river at the end of the day’s fishing the current spun me around while I was dancing on some especially slippery rocks.
My feet came out from under me and down I went. I was facing into the current and trying to get up while protecting my fly rod. Water was pouring into my waders and generally things were not going well for me. My fishing buddy, Dennis and a volunteer that works on the river came out to rescue me.
Everything I had on was soaked and water filled my waders. Both my cell phone and digital camera were water logged. Back at the motel I tore apart as much as I could on the cell phone and camera and laid it out on a desk. The next day we went halibut fishing on the ocean and when I returned my phone worked again once I put it back together. That was more than I could say for the camera. That was toast.
For the next several years I managed to keep my cell phone dry until last year. I was fishing a lake south of Duluth with my buddy Dennis, who I had been with in Alaska, and a friend of his that everyone calls Frenchy. We decided to go into the landing that had an adjoining park with picnic tables where we planned to eat lunch.
As I pulled up to the floating dock at the landing I slipped my phone into my pocket. I stepped out of the boat putting my weight on the dock when it began to rock. I lost my balance and vaulted off the side into the water. I was standing in water up to my arm pits and then remembered the cell phone. Luckily I had extra clothes in the car. I have had these things happened before and am prepared. However, water was dripping out of the cell phone. Once again I took the cell phone apart and placed the pieces on the dash where the sun would start to dry it out.
It took a couple of days to completely dry out but once it did it worked again. To survive three soakings is truly extraordinary. I must have the most rugged cell phone in the world. If you are going to be clumsy you need to have tough gear but I still can’t text with it.
Editor’s Note: The Notes From The Dockside is an exclusive feature appearing in the Hudson Star-Observer on the first and third issues of each month.