No Bananas on the Boat

Robbie Rambles

A few weeks back my son Brandon took four of us ladies on a fishing trip. It was his sister, his girlfriend, her mom and me.

Well, let me be clear. It wasn’t just a fishing trip. It was a fishing tournament.

A tournament.

“Babes on the Bay.”

This tournament is in its 17th year and hundreds of women sign up for it every year.

I know this makes it seem like I’m quite a fisherman. I’m not. Truthfully, I can count on my hands the number of fishing trips I have been on.

Not only that, but I can count on my hands how many fish I have caught on said trips!

I readily admit, a tournament was quite intimidating. But I decided to just relax and enjoy it. After all, my son, who loves to fish had it all planned.

My daughter Erin and I did consider purchasing big sun hats and Jackie Onassis shades, but we knew Brandon wouldn’t be impressed with our lounging attire. So, I settled for the fishing shirt and cap we had ordered for the team and just purchased a couple of cans of heavy duty sunscreen, some water, a one day fishing license and, most importantly, a protective case for my precious cell phone.

Off we went to Rockport to get ourselves ready for the water.

We picked up our tournament packets, got the boat and hunkered down for a few minutes of rest before the big day.

Robbie Hamby on her Rockport fishing trip.

Morning came and we hopped up…just kidding, I don’t hop up in the morning.

But I digress.

We headed off before dawn and put the boat in the water.

We were doing the usual tinkering: Do we have this? Do we have that? Brandon was busy setting up lighting as we checked our supply list.

Drinks? Check. Bread? Check. Lunch meat? Check. Ice? Check. Sunscreen? Check.

We had the sunscreen.

Four big spray cans.

We believe in blocking the sun.

I had purchased a double pack and his girlfriend’s mom Jenci had purchased a double pack. Now, she went generic, which, hey I do all the time so I don’t judge. But when you have been sunburned as much as I have (childhood trauma) you get a bit paranoid. You want to make sure you have the best quality sunscreen possible.

And what says “summer-time sun protection” like Banana Boat sport with the highest SPF Walmart carries?

Can I get an amen?

Well, Jayti, Brandon’s girlfriend, snatched that Banana Boat away like I had stolen her purse. She tucked it up under her shirt and sat there silently. The rest of us ladies were confused. What’s wrong? What happened?

Finally she quietly said, “No bananas on the boat.”

Huh? What?

She repeated and said, “Don’t let Brandon know.”

Why? What’s the big deal?

“Bad luck.”

Bad luck? I don’t really believe in luck and I taught my kids there was no such thing as well. But apparently when Brandon seriously took up fishing as a hobby, he also took up fishing superstitions.

We quietly took the sunscreen and the real bananas we had packed in the cooler off of the boat and into the car.

A quick google search to verify his fear shows a myriad of fishing superstitions: no whistling, no redheads, no money, no women.

I mean, really, no women? Let’s hope the “Babes on the Bay” people never hear about this.

Maybe having bananas on the boat was bad luck because we didn’t win any prizes. Far from it. But still, we all caught something! And I don’t mean to be a braggart, but I actually caught the most loot. I caught a gafftop, hardhead, redfish and two (yes two!) stingrays!

I’m proud to admit that I was able to hold my redfish and take a photo! But that was all I could hold. When Brandon wanted me to pick up the stingray, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t. There’s a video to prove it!

And while I am here confessing, I will go ahead and admit to you, I kept my Banana Boat lip balm with SPF on the boat. I even used it.

But, please don’t tell Brandon.


Robbie Hamby is a single mom of three. Her column “Robbie Rambles” can be found at You can e-mail her at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *