The evening festivities went well and I busily assembled the tents, cooked supper, drank ½ a bottle of homemade wine, read a short book and said a few prayers as the Duckman attempted to light a campfire. I was understandably concerned that Duckman’s valiant attempts at fire building were raining sparks and embers onto my nylon tents. He managed to produce every excuse in the book for his failings and grasped at a few more before I finally handed him a bowl of hot stew, a bottle of wine and told him to sit back while I tried my had at the fire pit. Minutes later, I had produced a roaring fire that the Duckman described in a mumbled voice as “lucky”.
We both relaxed back in our crazy creek chairs as the fire roared and the lies were told. Though our expected wake up time was set at around 4:00 AM we still managed to stay up until 11:00 talking through subjects from politics and blogging to hunting and fishing. Finally, we managed to decide some sleep was needed and we packed ourselves into the tents and dreamed of three shot bursts, good dogs and clouds of Greenheads that filled the skies. Sleep was interrupted through the night by Onyx who was also excited to participate in the next days activities and Duckman’s frequent farting and snoring. Though I only managed a few hours sleep I still snapped to full attention when the Duckman announced at 3:30 AM that someone was in the blind and stealing his prized shotgun! As I threw on my waders and thrashed around trying to locate my headlamp the Duckman ran down over the other side of the island with his two million candle power spotlight. As he shined the laser beam across the surface of the lake I could hear the honking and flying of several hundred Canadian Geese as they were frightened off the waters surface a few dozen yards from the duck blind. Moments later, I received a cell phone call from the Duckman indicating that while attempting to reach his highly valued shotgun he had managed to become “stuck” in the mud . . . right away I could see that you can take a boy off the salt BUT you can’t take the salt out of the boy. I began to ponder on these events . . . had the Duckman spent so much time on the Atlantic in recent years that he had lost his ability to survive in the Maine forests?
Well, while Duckman unstuck himself I managed to collect the rest of the gear, pack the boat, feed the dog and have breakfast. I was now in no hurry to stop the would be criminal who had earlier incurred the Duckman’s wrath as I was confident that NOBODY was stupid enough to mess with the flailing, mud soaked, hollering and yelling Duckman (AKA Swamp Thing). As I collected Duckman and paddled with him and the dog down the southern side of the island a light rain began to fall and I knew this was going to be one of those morning that all duck hunters live for . . .