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The first time we tried to go to Bimini in the newly refurbished Miss Budweiser was a miserable failure. The new Cummins diesel 680hp QSM 11”s alarms would sound after a few hours and 3 times we turned around. Eventually the port battery alternator was repaired and the problem went away.
It was 2012 and my dream had come true. The Miss Budweiser, a 50 ft 1961 Rybovich, was mine. She needed a complete rebuild, from her bottom up! I had the good fortune of meeting Mike Rybovich, and in his new boatyard, she was rebuilt. His uncles and my grandfather knew each other from her origins; and we were continuing the tradition. I can’t say enough great things about Mike and his team. They did an amazing job bringing her back to life. The Miss Budweiser has state of the art electronics, fishing equipment and a comfortable salon.
In 2013, we wanted to go to the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas. It was to be our first crossing of the Gulf Stream, which acts like a river in the ocean moving north. The Gulf Stream is over 62 miles wide, up to 4000 feet deep, flows at 4 to 6 miles per hour and creates its own weather pattern as its temperature differs from the waters around it. It is the lifeline for fishing. It’s also located very close to Singer Island, Florida. The Miss Budweiser is docked at the Sailfish Marina there. My son, John, having graduated from the University of Vermont the previous month and my friend, Sam, from California joined us for the trip. We left at 7 am on a blue sky day and arrived in Abaco that afternoon following a stop to check in with customs at Spanish Key. The trip went off without a hitch. She ran perfectly!
We stayed at the Abaco Marina Resort for a week. Each day we explored the waters around the islands and the fishing was great. I saw the biggest fish I have ever seen in the Bahamas; a 735 lb marlin! That was the bait I needed to get serious about tournament fishing. We knew that we would be back.