A fishing journey

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During the summer of 1976, my dad took a journey he would never forget. My dad, grandpa and two uncles, Ricky and Moe, went on a three day fishing trip they took every year. They have been waiting for this fishing trip all summer.

It was July 22, the scariest night of my dad's life. If it wasn't for this trip, he could have never known to appreciate his life and not know how important it is to not take things for granted. It was this night that changed everything. He may have not known it then, but I think he now knows what is really important in this wonderful life.

It wasn't just a small boat for catching little fish, it was huge boat. It had a living room, a kitchen, and three bed rooms. It was a beautiful July day when they began their annual fishing tradition. They woke up Saturday morning, loaded the boat with fishing gear, and made their way to the Gulf of Mexico. They caught loads of ice chests filled with cheeps head, red fish, and trout. They were having the time of their lives. So far, it was the best fishing trip they have ever been on.

Suddenly, there were huge clouds forming in the sky. Before they could get prepared, it started raining. Then, the boat was rocking and the waves were crashing hard. All of them were having trouble to even stand up straight. They were all holding on the boat as tight as they could. Since they were in the kitchen, they saw all of the cabinets fly open, and pots, pans, and plates shattered all over the floor. Some of the furniture in the living room even flew overboard. Not only the kitchen supplies, but all of the hard work of fishing that day has flown out of the boat. At this point, they didn't care about the fish or the boat's furniture. They were only worried about one thing; to stay alive.

As the waves were getting bigger and stronger, the boat started to flip over. At first it was on its side. Nothing was on the boat except the four men. Everything else was floating below them. My grandpa was trying hard to keep the boat steady while he was steering. His efforts were useless. The waves were way to strong for him to keep the boat in control. Moe and Ricky couldn't hold on any longer. They were losing their grip and soon fell into the water. My grandpa steered as long as he could until he had no choice, but to jump off.

The boat turned completely upside down on top of all of them, except my dad. My dad was still hanging on the side of the boat. Being the strong man he was, he was not going to let himself go into that water. He knew he had to do something. He knew the boat was falling on top of him so he couldn't think of anything else to do but to climb. He didn't know where he was going or where his climbing would lead him to, but he couldn't think of anything better. He just knew if he could get as far away from the water as he could, he would be safe. He kept pulling himself up. He didn't stop. He pulled himself all the way around the boat. He climbed to the very top which was actually on the bottom.

He was standing on top of this huge boat in the middle of the gulf. Without a phone, a life jacket, and most importantly, his family. He was looking all around for any signs of his dad or cousins, but he didn't see anyone. He couldn't believe he was the only one who survived.
My grandpa suddenly popped up out of the water, my dad was relived. He has never felt so happy to see his dad in all of his life. He yelled to him asking where Moe and Ricky were. He was still very panicked that they were still somewhere underneath him. He saw bubbles above the water. He knew that was one of them. My grandpa didn't think twice. He dove right into the water and grabbed him out. It was Moe. He was coughing up a lot of water as he hoisted himself up where I was. Moe was safe, but Ricky was still no where to be found. When they didn't see bubbles, my grandpa jumped into the water thinking that hopefully he would see him either under the boat or around it.

He swam to the side of the boat, dove down again, and saw him through a kitchen window. He was trapped under the boat, inside the kitchen. Water was filling up but luckily, he found an air pocket he could still breathe out of, but not for long. The water was filling up quickly. Since he couldn't hear my grandpa, he motioned to Ricky to hold his breath. He clenched his fist and busted the window of the boat.

After the glass of the window shattered, my grandpa grabbed Ricky from his arms and yanked him through the window. The side of his leg was bleeding from the cut glass but that was the least of his worries. He didn't think about anything else but to be safe with my grandpa, dad, and Moe.

All four of them were on top of the boat and watching all of their fishing gear, furniture, and belongings floating in the water around them. After the treacherous storm, there was a sunshine forming in the sky. At this very moment, my dad realized the meaning of life. It's not having money, expensive clothes, fish, or a nice house. It's about family. He knew if this day turned out any differently and he was the only one alive, he wouldn't have had anything. When he saw this beautiful sunshine, it was God telling him that everything will be okay. My dad said a little prayer of Thanksgiving in his head. He thanked God that he didn't take away his cousins and dad that day.

They were stranded for seven whole hours when a coastguard came and rescued them. As they were on the coast guard boat heading home, they would remember this trip for the rest of their lives. Instead of boning over fishing experiences, they shared something much more important. They would never forget the night they saved each other's lives.

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