This season was delayed and nearly overwhelmed by the effort required to replace the Seabears’ aging Detroit 8V53s with new Cummins motors. Following a late start we lost several trips to ugly weather and by the first week in August Albacore had virtually disappeared. This made the rest of the season a bit of a challenge and the Make A Wish finale a really long hard day

The Seabear went on the market in August of 2004 and after a lot of effort by Bob Sherman it was apparent that she would not sell for any reasonable price with one motor down. In the first week on January Wayne Kennedy, Bruce Ito, and I pulled the exhaust manifolds from the port motor on the slight chance that coolant leak could be coming from a cracked manifold. . Port Manifold We had no such luck and by mid January we started to disconnect both motors and remove exhaust manifolds, heat exchangers, alternaters, starters etc. to prepare the motors for removal. By the end of January we experienced our first tow to Shelter Island Boat yard Craig Stange and the two Detroits were lifted out. in the air While we waited for the new motors we spent the next two months cleaning and painting the engine compartment Crew Bulkheads and hatches were cleaned , replaced and painted. hatches . Wires and controls were rerouted, the lower helm station was removed, and we removed the old cowl vents and prepared for the installation of new vents. The Seabear was again towed to Shelter Island Boat Yard to reglass the spaces left when the lower helm station and vents were removed and to glass over several hull vents and a thruhull that were no longer used. The flybridge panel was removed and the new Cummins gauges Panel and wiring were placed. Finally by mid April we were ready for our third tow to Shelter Island Boat Yard and the new Motors. Cummins. It took nearly 6 weeks and an A frame A Frame to place the new motor mounts and begin to hook up the motors. . By the end of May we were finally ready for our last tow to Shelter Island Boat yard for props and shafts, installation of the engine room vents, exhaust flanges and the specially constructed exhaust risers, and fresh bottom paint. Props and shafts. Towed back to Harbor Island Memorial day and the start of the season passed with us still tied powerless in the slip. Memorial Day Woody Peebles rewired the battery banks. Battery banks and we were finally ready to light off the two new motors and again the Seabear was under power. Vroom at last. We lost our first two trips to the Cummins seatrail to start the warranty and a survey to change the insurance but were ready in just about five and one half months to again search for Tuna

After a busy week of last minute fixes The new Cummins motors powered us off into a persistent 20 knot NW wind that was to plague us the whole day. Our first fish came 76 nm from the Point in an area below the 220 bank. We spent the whole morning on widely separated jig strikes often doubles but our efforts to get fish to the boat were frustrated by the wind and a difficult cross chop (described by some as s----y seas). Finally just after noon we managed to find a hungry school and brought in several bait fish. First Trip We turned into the chop about 1:30 and headed for home barely making 10 knots with green water occasional washing the flybridge. Beat up by the waves and tired of dodging flying coffee pots we headed for the slip and cleaned fish the next day. 17 15lb to 25 lb Albacore (large for this time of year). The weather worsened and we canceled the next trip. Our best and last real tuna trip left a week later in a break in the weather. After an uneventful trip down below the double 220 the morning started auspiciously with a nice mark on the fathometer - a predicted strike - a single jig fish and 8 good sized bait fish. We worked the same area for single jig strikes and 2 to 4 bait fish until the bite slowed down at noon. Heading towards another group of boats we finished off limits with a 13 fish stop. Limits Most of the fish were large (running to 30+ lbs). There were a few small 10lb fish mixed in at the last stop. Limits 30 Albacore. The wind laid down coming home and after a long 2.5 hrs cleaning fish, we put the hammers down and came in at over 20 knots ...Wow !!! Home by 6:30 PM Over the next two weeks the bite just died. Boats were unable to get fish on troll. All fish were caught on meter marks most over 90 miles south of the point. We ran one trip without Tuna before trying to find Lisa and Terri fish on the annual kids trip. Thanks to Tom Neuman and his long time friend Pete The girls had a great time fighting about 8 fish and landing 2. This fishing is not really our strength. No !! jig strikes. What few fish we found were in a tight cluster of 39 - yes 39- cattle boats. We stopped on 4 subtle meter marks that Lisa picked up on the sounder. In the drift with 3 girls hooked up Big Fish a cattle boat drifted towards us ( who knows maybe we drifted up on him) and ended up cutting one line-- Not really a fun experience. The Young ladies ,however, learned a lot about Tuna fishing from Tom and Pete and have quite a bit of Tuna to share these were large fish 35 to 40 lbs. With the weather still sloppy and no one catching fish we decided to stay home and our last trip before the Make A Wish ended up at the Rock pile. Kids Fishing We got an early start for this years Make a Wish. The best site was 110 nm SW at the Bell bank, and this choice turned out to be correct. Nearly all of the large boat winners came from this area. What we didn't count on was the weather. After a miserable night on the way down we awoke to 8 to 10 ft. occasionally breaking swells in about 25knots of wind. The steep swells were accompanied by a modest SW cross chop making it impossible to find a comfortable trolling direction. To compound the fun this area turned out to be skipjack heaven. We fished what seemed an infinite number of double and triple skipjack jig stops while hanging on for dear life. Everyone (except Wayne) managed to do his share of chumming. Unfortunately the skippers projectile contributions from the flybridge didn't make it out of the cockpit. One jig strike produced a 25.9 lb yellowfin which turned out to be the fifth largest fish in the big boat class and won a rod and reel. Make A Wish 2005

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