Old 03-08-2012, 07:14 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Some where over the rainbow
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Originally Posted by tabascoT View Post
By Joe Julavits
Times-Union outdoors editor,

The storied "good old days" of Jacksonville offshore fishing really were good, Charlie Heston says. But the navigation back then -- finding one's way around the big pond -- left a lot to be desired.
"Sometimes you'd spend all day looking for your spot and never find it," said the 80-year-old Heston, who along with his brother Linden was among the pioneers of local offshore fishing.
In the '60's, Linden ran the Rapid Rabbit boat out of Mayport. The artificial reef Rabbit's Lair (RL) would later be named after his boat, and Linden is since deceased. Charlie piloted the Riptide, a 28-foot hull he built himself with the help of noted boat designer Mabry Edwards. The Riptide is still berthed at Heston's Pottsburg Creek dock.
Like other members of the fledgling Jacksonville Outboard Sport Fishing Club -- later to become the Jacksonville Offshore Sport Fishing Club -- the Heston brothers relied on a compass, distance/speed calculations and crossed fingers to locate fishing spots.
One day, Charlie, who had been a naval aviator during World War II, showed up with a strange-looking box on his boat. The planes Heston had flown during the war were outfitted with a navigation system called Loran -- long-range navigation. He found a Loran A unit at a war surplus store.
"In one direction, it was accurate to within about one-quarter mile; in the other direction it was within about 100 yards," Heston said. "We at least knew what ocean we were in."
Loran A was primitive by today's standards, but it was a leap for the offshore anglers of that period. Heston and his Loran helped the offshore club place markers on the early artificial reefs.
Even with Loran, few boats were capable of venturing far offshore to troll the bluewater. While trolling aboard his friend Edwards' boat, Heston caught the second blue marlin ever recorded in Northeast Florida (Edwards and George Hodges are credited with the first).

Too bad it didn't have that old loran unit on it that would be wild !!! That boat could really tell some tales. You're lucky to have it.
Thank you for posting the things you know or have found about this boat. Everything you have posted I'm saving it. Thanks again
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