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Wild and bumpy layout hunt

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Wild and bumpy layout hunt
We had a quick hunt on Thanksgiving morning and were covered up in black ducks. They decoyed nicely in the little river behind the shack. My buddy dropped one promptly after legal shooting time and gave his amazing big lab "the Line". We were in a "S" shaped creek, and the bird fell over a little finger into the next channel. Perfect hunt test/field trial stuff. Anyway, I undid years of training by dropping another black right behind him, while he was doing his blind retrieve. That was a limit of blacks. Didn't see any other species, and the forecast for Friday and Saturday didn't bode well for any weather. So we left the puddlers alone on Saturday and did one last scoter hunt.

The marine forecast for Long Island Sound was NNE wind, 5 - 10 knots, waves less than 1 foot. We launched into the big black morning, carrying the Busick athwartship and lashed down. Pretty calm near shore, but once we were 3 1/2 miles out it got a little "sporty". We had the Sound all to ourselves.



I don't claim to be much of a photographer, and lately I've been using my cell phone camera, but the wacky angle isn't my fault. It was jumpin'. Both boats, the Busick box and the new Snow Goose, handled the water easily. But it was a challenge staying out of the long lines and not scuffing the paint on both boats! Only one little rat's nest when one of the strings got blown down onto the layoutboat anchor line. Deployed my new favorite safety tool, the replica WWII paratrooper M724 folding knife and cut away the mess and we were back in business.



My gunning partner drew first watch in the layout boat, and after a few backdoor passes, three birds came up the string and he tripled!

The wind and seas continued to build, and a funky cross current developed behind the big island.



I got my turn, and blew some holes in the sky before I connected on 2 singles. Before things got any more interesting, we listened to Prudence over Valor and called it a day! But with no more than a quart of water in the layout, and very little green water over the bow of the garvey we had a day to remember.



The Arthur Anderson sneakbox in the pic belongs to another gunner who hunted the marsh that morning. Poor fella, he got skunked, and his eyes were a little wide when he heard what we were up to...



Scoter jerky, anyone?
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Re: Wild and bumpy layout hunt In reply to
Thanks for the story and pics. Boy do I miss gunnin' the sound!
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Re: Wild and bumpy layout hunt In reply to
Great story Dave...you guys did what Morton and I hope to do soon, sans the layout...

We had a fun hunt, but not much bird action on Friday. We turned it into a scouting trip and got into some fun weather ourselves. Went through this narrow channel where the incoming tide gets to about 10 knots... that was interesting.

How do you like that new boat of yours? You've seen me brag about the Snow Goose design often... do you agree with her great handling? My only complaint is that the captain gets wet when the wind blows hard from the side...; )

Cell phone camera or not, great pics.

A.


From CT

http://snowgooseconstruction.blogspot.com/
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Re: Wild and bumpy layout hunt In reply to
Dear Andrew,

Glad to hear somebody else was out on the eastern seaboard on Saturday.

I love the way the boat handles, even with my skeg mod (tapered or faired into the bottom amidships, doesn't run all the way to the bow). We ran her flat out and made some turns at full throttle on Thanksgiving morning and it was like skiing with 220cm skis, she cuts and sticks like glue. Got a thumbs up from C. in the bow... he has a TDB 14 that crabs and skates all over the place. I'm gonna steal his boat one weekend and put a little skeg on her.

She is wet when the conditions are right (wrong). It definitely needs a "lip" on the bow transom to break the water when you slap into a wave at low speed. It doesn't dig in or anything, just throws water like a firehose if you're not careful. Devlin has something drawn on the plans, but it looked fragile to me, like it would hang up on a dock or rock and rip half the deck off. I've already got some dings on the front that need to be repaired this spring, and will make a mod to address the "firehose" issue. Probably laminate a little "ogee" on the front.

Fantastic boat. I loved my BBII, and love this one even more. So much room, and jumping up to 40 hp really increases the carrying capacity. With the layout boat (100#) and 5 doz decoys there is no difference in the top end that I can see. Definitely a 3 man 2 dog rig. Will do a GPS run one of these days. I've done some timed runs between bouys and think I'm around 27 knots, which is close to 31 or 32 mph. That was in dead calm water. Usually run at about 3/4 throttle and it feels plenty fast.

I always try to strategically position the bow guy to block the water... kidding.

I'm watching the weather and the bird reports up on the Cape, keep me posted if any divers show up! It will be fun to meet you and compare rigs!

Best,
Dave
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Re: Wild and bumpy layout hunt In reply to
hey dave, sweet hunt. tell C congrats on the triple!
i finished the dark gray coat on my boat today, the light gray goes on tomorrow. i'm jealous, i have yet to make it out seaduckin' this year. got a bunch of mallards and some teal over the thanksgiving season.
keep rackin' 'em up! and yes i'll take some scoter jerky... feel free to drop it by anytime...
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Re: Wild and bumpy layout hunt In reply to
Dave, I did the "lip" thing... basically, I extended the 3/8ths decking out about 3"... then added a shaped piece of 3/4" ply underneath. It's tough as nails honest. I've never experienced water from the bow - only from the sides - about 2/3rds down from the bow.

The bow people are always dry on my boat, and when it blows from the side, I get wet. Life isn't fair.

What I like about the lip is when it slaps against the trough of a big wave and keeps the bow from digging. Morton installed one his cackler too.

Glad you like the boat. The turning ability of the SnowGoose is awesome and it's great when in the weather. The "keelsons" (sorry, I know that it's not correct nautical terminology) act like tire treads that grab the water in a turn.

Ok, so I love my boat - shoot me ; )


From CT

http://snowgooseconstruction.blogspot.com/
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Re: Wild and bumpy layout hunt In reply to
You're welcome, Bradley. How are the birds up on Lake Champlain? Pretty mild weather up there also, I hear.

We'll keep the Sound just like you remember it, unless they put the huge liquified natural gas tanker right in the middle of it...