Clearing his throat, Pete said, "I have some really bad news, guys; the explosion blew a big hole in the bottom of the cabin. I can hear sea water rushing in; it's already flooding through the hold in the floor."
On a peaceful, sunny Sunday in 1948, six couples from Ocala, Florida, step onto a wooden boat named Hazy Days docked off the Gulf of Mexico. It's nearly thirty-eight feet of old Florida charm, with gaily painted racing stripes and enough room for the women to chat and the men to stretch out and fish.
The boat cruises under the expert care of its captain, the old salt L. B. Wilson and his fishing guide, trusted friend, and close ally Buck Gilley. The two expect little more on this fine Florida Sunday than a slight sunburn and an ice bin full of fresh Florida grouper. But tragedy strikes the Hazy Days some thirty miles off the coast. It catches fire, and all fourteen hearty souls are forced to dive into the salty brine. Among them, they share nine life vests. But it's not enough-nine innocent lives are lost.
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November 28, 2006
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