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  • Buck Owens Story 1929-2006

    Little Miss Judy’s Believe It or Not!

    LORAN...Long Range Navigation versus GPS Global Positioning System!

    Way back in the old days somewhere between loran and non-loran technology I used to keep a nautical chart of the area on my boat. Why? Back in the old days we did not have GPS trackers like we do now. The fact of the matter is counting on loran to absolutely guide you to an exact fishing spot was almost comical! However, I only came to this conclusion after I was introduced to the new better technology of GPS! (Global Positioning System) When loran was all we had, believe me, I used it all of the time! It was a serious navigational aid back then! If you didn’t use loran a lot it was definitely hard to understand! With that being said, “Over the years I have had some pretty interesting encounters while out on the water!”

    I remember this one day like it happened yesterday! It was early seventies and I was heading in from offshore. Once I rounded red 16 marker located in Wassaw Sound a person standing up in a very strange looking boat was just a waving their arms. My father always told me that most likely when this took place someone was in need of something. Now, if I was way offshore I needed to make sure of their intentions before getting too close! However, while inshore the waving of the arms most likely means that they have a question and they hope that you have an answer!

    So therefore, I headed over, slowed down, and approached slowly. The person on the back deck of the strangely arranged boat was in much need of some local knowledge. And since he had just waved down some real located knowledge (me) I was glad to help. After a few minutes of back and forth talking the Captain asked for specific directions to the intra-coastal waterway. I had already suspected that he had missed his turn at Wilmington and Skidaway River! Heck, answering this question was easy enough for me, because I had traveled this area almost every day since I was five years old. Keeping all of this in mind, I always kept an extra chart of the area on my boat. Before handing it over I would circle where we were, where not to go, and then circle where they were heading. It made for a great simple, but confident navigational aid. No guessing here! That’s if you could read a chart. Now back in the old days inshore charts were just like those maps we used to pick up at the gas station. And I remember they were free too! I also remember when filling stations had attendants that really pumped gas, but as you know that is another story!

    Let me explain about this boat, it was wooden and it looked somewhat homemade. It looked as though when you stood up that half of the boat was still under the water line. When the gentleman came out of the cabin it was as if he was ascending from way below! Heck, I was looking to see exactly how far the cabin looked to have extended below the water line. I know it must have been an optical illusion. However, no matter, it held my interest for sure! I could hardly talk, because I was so darn interested in this boat! It looked exactly like something my father would have brought back to our dock. It definitely had lots of character for sure!

    As usual, when handing over the chart those receiving it would always ask how much do we owe you? My reply was always a simple one, which was “absolutely no charge!” And I hope it helps you get where you are going! As I pulled away from the boat, I heard a strong voice from down under say, “Wait!” A gentleman with a big cowboy hat stepped out and handed me something. What was it? It was a 45 record of Act Naturally! Buck Owens handed me this record, had a big smile on his face, and tipped his hat while thanking me! Simply priceless! (I bet you didn’t see this one a coming!)
    Thanks for reading! Captain Judy