Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Florida Keys' Watercolor Kapers by Bob Kranich

The Stowaway, Part 3

Excerpt from Bob Kranich's second full-length book, Florida Keys’ Watercolor Kapers. Composed of 336 pages and 12 stories running from 6 pages to as many as 72 pages, fully illustrated with 88 watercolors and sketches. The watercolors were made roaming around Key West after Kranich finished a 750 mile hike from Georgia to Key West.

As you read these stories you will experience Key West, the Keys and the Caribbean. The stories span the time of the early 1800’s to 1969. 


Stowaway is a cute fictional story about a mischievous little girl who is not happy because her grandfather is called to work on Saturday and can’t take her fishing like he promised. She takes matters into her own hands:

Captain Jack picked up a hand microphone and punched a side switch on the radio. “What’s your grandpa’s name, Robin?”

“Norman Kranich,” she said softly.

He spoke into the microphone, “Key West Central, this is Captain Jack’s deep sea fishing boat. Over.”

“We hear you Captain Jack, go ahead. Over.”

“That you Sam? Over.”

“ Yes Jack, what you need? Over.”

“Sam, I’m out on a fishing trip with a bunch of customers, and I’ve got a stowaway. There’s no problem, but can you patch me in to Key West telephone, a Norman Kranich? Over.”

“Sure can, Jack. Just a minute. Over.”

“Hello, Norman Kranich residence, Mrs. Kranich here.”

“Ma’am, this is Key West Central, Ship-to-Shore. Hold on please while I make a connection.”

“This is Key West Central, I have Mrs. Kranich on the line. Go ahead Jack. Over.”

“Mrs. Kranich?”

Yes, speaking.”

“Ma’m, This is Captain Jack of Captain Jack’s Deep Sea Fishing. I have your little granddaughter Robin on my boat. It seems that she stowawayed to go deep sea fishing.”

“Captain, what a shocker!” Robin’s grandmother exclaimed.
“Is she ok?”
"Yes ma'am. I can’t turn around right now. I’m about 3 miles into the Atlantic and working with customers. But we will see you this afternoon at 5:00 at the deep sea fishing docks, Garrison Bight, pier 7.

Captain Jack hollered to his mate, “John, you got the helm, keep trolling. This little girl and I are going to do some fishing.”

They went down the stairs and over to the fishing tackle hanging on the side of the cabin.

“Here Robin, take this rod and reel. Let’s go to the stern, and I’ll bait the hook for you.”

“Robin, this is how you bait the hook with one of these larger cigar minnows like this. There now, throw the line, bait, hook, and sinker in. Let it reel out like this.” He showed her how to let the line out and then flipped on the drag.

“Like this, Captain?” Robin asked enthusiastically.

“Yep, you’re doing good,” the captain said.

No sooner had the line and bait got out about 40 yards, when wham! A strike!

“What do I do?” Robin yelled.

“Hold steady and reel it in,” Jack exclaimed.

Just then a Sailfish broke the surface behind the boat dancing on it’s tail. He could see that it was a real pull for an 8-year-old kid. She was reeling hard.

“It sure is hard to turn,” Robin said. “I don’t think I can hold the rod any more. He is pulling hard!”

“Lay your rod down temporarily against the rail and keep reeling,” he advised. “When the fish stops pulling for a moment we will put the rod in this holder I just put around my waist.” As the fish paused, Captain Jack said, “Quick, Robin, put the rod in the holder. I’ll hold the rod, and you turn the reel.”

All of a sudden, there he was…not a winning trophy, but a good size sailfish. Chuck was right there with the gaff as he hooked the fish and maneuvered it over a net which was hooked to a winch lift. Up and out it came. Robin’s eyes were as big as saucers!

Captain Jack looked around at his admiring fishing customers. He asked, “Anyone not got any fish?”

“Chuck said, “They all got lots of fish! It’s been a successful trip.”

“Well then, it’s time to head in so we can get back by 5:00. Robin and I will take the bridge. John and Chuck, please help the customers with their fish.”

“Let’s go home!”

Grandpa Norman, Grandma Delores, and Sandy had just stepped out of their car. As they went on to the dock they saw Captain Jack’s Full Catch easing up to the pier. They couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw who was on the flying bridge sitting in the captain’s chair waving to them.

As Chuck and John were tying up, Robin yelled, “Grandma, Grandpa, Sandy, come see my sailfish!”

Captain Jack jumped off the boat, shook hands with Grandpa Norman and said, as he tipped his captain’s hat, “Ma'am” to grandma, “Could you stay around a little while, we have some advertising pictures to take.”

A Key West Herald newspaper car came up and a reporter and cameraman jumped out. “Where is that sailfish? Where is that little girl?”

The next morning they saw a banner headline in the Key West newspaper, Sports Section.

Eight-Year-Old Girl Catches 80 lb. Sailfish
With the help of Captain Jack of

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