Running Aground by Randy Rowley 1/25/24 ©


On the third Thursday afternoon in January, six FCS members arrived at Port O’Connor (POC) for our annual self-guided/chartered blast and cast (duck hunt and bay fishing trip).  As Thursday looked like it would be the best day for fishing, we decided to try that instead of hunting, as we often did in the afternoons.  It was too windy to head to the jetties, so we decided to head to the back bays.

We left port and headed to the intersection of Saluria Bayou and Mitchells Cut and spot-locked my trolling motor.  Burl Fulenwider and I cast out live shrimp and crabs that we’d cut in half, and Mike Pozhenko and I also tried Vudu shrimp, all to no avail.

After several minutes of no results, we headed SW on Saluria towards a point by a small unnamed cut that has an anchored houseboat.  I activated my spot lock again and we threw out the same baits as before.  While there I caught a stingray around 12 inches across, but it was our only catch.

While we were there, we saw a flock of ducks.  Then another.  And then several more.  It was the most ducks that I’d seen at POC in several years!  I hoped that meant that we’d have some good duck hunts.

As we were close to a duck blind that we’d used two or three times, I decided to check it out.  The water was low but huntable.

We ended the day in the oil field cuts off Saluria, with no other catches.  As we fished there it started to get foggy, and by the time we left, it was white fluff.  I gave Burl and Mike each a spotlight and activated my center console spotlight.  Going back to port wasn’t an issue, as I followed my trail on my fish finder’s GPS.  We also easily spotted the channel markers with our spotlights.  I was very glad that my fish finder had GPS – if it didn’t, we would’ve had a much longer ride back.

On Wayne Weilnau’s boat, Jim McGee caught four undersized redfish on Vudu shrimp and had two other fish break off.

On Friday, we planned to fish in the morning and hunt ducks in the afternoon.  After leaving port, I turned my fish finder on, but my GPS showed, ‘No GPS signal found.’  I turned my fish finder off and back on, and disconnected the power cable and plugged it back in, but my GPS wouldn’t respond.  But as it was daylight, I wasn’t concerned.

I wanted to see if a decoy would hold in the strong wind, so we headed to the blind that we visited the night before.  Fortunately, my decoy held.

We decided that we’d try the same spots as the day before.  I headed down the channel and got into open water at Saluria.  The channel there was a lot harder to discern due to the waves, and as my GPS wasn’t working, I had no trail to follow.  I figured that the channel was a bit to the left, as there were markers to the right.  We were cruising at around 30 MPH when suddenly my boat came to an abrupt stop – we had run aground!

I’d figured wrong and the channel was to my right.  I raised my motor’s jack plate fully (six inches) and trimmed the motor up.  I then tried to back us out, but we didn’t move an inch.  Roy Zengerle and Burl got the paddles and tried pushing us out, to no avail.  I had them come towards the stern, to get their weight off the bow, but that didn’t help either.

Wayne, Jim, and Mike had gone to Bayside that morning on a guided duck hunt, so he wasn’t available to rescue us.  I wasn’t very excited at the prospect of calling Sea Tow and paying them around $600 to rescue us, and none of us were very excited about getting in the water without waders on and trying to pull my boat back the way we’d come.  We agreed that the best course of action was to either wait for Wayne and company to get back or wait for another boat to come by and rescue us.

Fortunately, an airboat full of duck hunters came by around 45 minutes later.  An airboat was a Godsend, as they’re built to run shallow, and on land, if necessary, and have the power to easily tow a grounded boat.  The captain got out and tied my bow to his stern.  He then dragged us to the channel.  He had to reposition my tow rope once, but in a couple of minutes, we were afloat again.

We went to our fishing spots on Saluria and were just a little more successful than the afternoon before.  I again caught a stingray around 12 inches across and Roy caught its twin.  Wayne, Jim, and Mike bagged only three gadwalls, probably due to the strong wind.

That afternoon Mike, Burl, and I found success.  We hunted the blind we’d visited twice before and bagged seven ducks (including a three-man limit of redheads).

On Saturday morning Mike and I met Clayton Carrier at the Guadalupe Delta Wildlife Management Area.  We bagged 17 ducks (almost a three-man limit).  On the way back, I put my gun diagonally across my back, opened my chair, and used it like a walker to make it back to the other side of the pond which was around 200 yards away.  My bad back was screaming at me the entire time.

The next morning, I was hurting and so tired that I couldn’t hunt.  Binh and Harley Chu didn’t want to go out without either me or a working GPS, so they slept in too, as did everyone else.

Acts 21:17 – 28:11 recounts Paul’s return from his third missionary journey.  After he arrived in Jerusalem, some Jews falsely accused him of defiling the temple by bringing Greeks into it and teaching against the Jewish law and the temple.  Paul defended himself before the Sanhedrin (the supreme council and tribunal of the Jews), Governor Felix, and Festus, his successor.  During his trial before Festus, Paul appealed to Caesar, which as a Roman citizen was his right.

The Romans put Paul on an Italy-bound ship.  When they sailed near Crete, a terrible storm hit, and the sailors couldn’t steer the ship.  They jettisoned the cargo and non-essential rigging, but that didn’t help.

Then an angel visited Paul and reminded him of God’s promise that Paul would testify before Caesar, and told him they’d lose the ship, but no one would die.  Paul then told everyone.

On the 14th night after the storm began the sailors sensed they were nearing land, and they confirmed with soundings.  At daylight, they saw a bay and tried to sail onto the beach.  But the ship ran aground as they neared shore and began breaking up from the waves.  Everyone abandoned ship, and God spared them all, as he promised.

Paul and his companions stayed there for three months, and Paul healed those who were sick.  Although the Bible doesn’t say, I’m confident that Paul preached to and taught anyone who would listen, so God worked their shipwreck to the good (see Romans 8:28).

Have you ever poured your heart and soul into an endeavor, but saw it ‘run aground?’  If it’s still salvageable, what can you do?

  1. Ensure your plans are in God’s will. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you,” and Isaiah 55:8 says, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’” declares the LORD.”  God could’ve easily prevented Paul’s ship from running aground, but he had other plans for Paul.  Nor does he always prevent our plans from running aground.  If you find that you were outside of God’s will, confess your sin and repent/turn around (see 1 John 1:9).
  2. Study the Bible and implement its principles. Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
  3. Listen for God’s voice while serving him and others. Jesus said that he’ll reward those who are obedient with little assignments with much greater responsibilities (see Matthew 25:14-30).
  4. Ask experienced Christians for their take. Proverbs 11:14 NASB says, “Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in an abundance of counselors there is victory.”
  5. See your running aground with the right attitude. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 -18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” James 1:2-3 NASB says, “Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance,” and Philippians 4:6 NKJV says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”  We’re less joyful and more anxious when we don’t petition God and give thanks when we’ve run aground.

Our plans ‘running aground’ usually aren’t the end of our worlds, but we can be tempted to respond unbiblically.  But if we look at running aground as a learning or correcting opportunity, we can get moving again.

Randy, Mike, and Clayton

Mike and Randy


Categories : Devotionals

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Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/

Bible Verse of the Day

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, And Your glory above all the earth.