By Fred Garth
Our plan had been percolating for at least a year. We were going to stack a bunch of Hobie kayaks on a big ass boat, blast far out into the Gulf of Mexico, throw the kayaks overboard and fish like crazed maniacs. It was my buddy, David Ellis’s, latest obsession. I’ve known the guy all my life and have seen him get consumed by many wild visions: from Ellen Halliday (a 14-year-old beauty we all had a crushes on in the 9th grade), to make-shift saunas heated by rocks from a bonfire. And everything in between like sailboats, blue agave tequila, bootleg music CDs and now, kayaks on a Mother Ship. When it comes to David’s wild-eyed escapades, I’ve always been a more-than-willing participant but for him, these things dominate his every waking thought. They possess him.
Take the case of the kayak dream. It led him to Prince Edward Island, Canada – three times – where he went to inspect the tough-as-nails lobster boats he’d spent thousands of hours researching online. If those boats could handle bitter temperatures, rough oceans and hard-scrabble lobstermen throwing traps around, then they could survive plastic kayaks and Big Dave. We have a saying for things you can’t break: they’re “David proof.”
Of course, in true obsessive form, David didn’t go after just any boat, he chased after a top-of-the-line, 45-foot Hutt, built by the legendary brothers, Roger and Gary Hutt, who have built more than 500 boats for the commercial lobstering and tuna fleet. Plus, he didn’t want just any old Hutt, he wanted the specially-outfitted, personal boat of Gary Hutt himself. And this time, like a lot of times, David got what David wanted.
Long story short, the Hutt arrived by transport truck from Canada to Lillian, Alabama in January 2015. Now she floats happily on the mooring at David’s house on Soldier Creek. In April, we had a rendezvous with the boys from Hobie Kayak TV to test his vision. We bought all the necessities men need: sandwich meats, beer, water and some monster steaks to go on the Big Green Egg grill – another brilliant David brainstorm.
There’s a feature story coming out in the next issue of GHM and a show on Hobie TV airing later this year so I can’t give away a lot of details. Let’s just say Mother Shipping works. We caught 10 different species of fish including a fairly large shark – all from kayaks. Nobody died or puked. We ate like kings and now, David is more obsessed than ever.
Look for the complete story in the Summer Issue of Guy Harvey Magazine due out in June.