The day before leaving for the big kayak fishing championships in the Bayou at Delacroix Island, LA my RV refrigerator died. Four fishermen would be traveling and living in my RV for 5 days, without moving and we needed enough food 4 days to stay cold. We brought a whole beef filet, chicken, beer, milk, eggs, etc.. and with 11 hour days on the water we needed to be able to return to the RV, pull out food, grill it, and no worry about whether it went bad or not.
Enter the Orion 65 and 2 Orion 25’s. Steve Fisher brought his 25 quart and I brought my 65 and 25. We filled the 65 with beer and drinks (enough said), and the two 25s with the food. We got 40 pounds of ice for all three which. An RV is the ultimate tool for this type of travel and camping where we were able to bring 4 15′ Kraken Fishing Kayaks, tackle, clothes, etc.., but the second the refrigerator dies, it changes everything.
On day one of training, James McBeath, Steve Fisher, and I got back to the RV after dark and i fired up the grill where we had our first “man dinner” which consisted of 1 large Beef Filet, and beer. No plates, not vegetables, only meat and beer. The 65 held most of the ice and the hardest part was digging down deep enough under the ice to find the beer we were looking for. We only had 3 lawn chairs to sit on and we had lots of visitors as the RV, grill, coolers, were inviting, and we were hanging out. The Deck pads on the Orion Coolers and the tougher than any chair or bench you have at home construction makes these coolers the perfect outdoor seating option. Yes, you can sit on the Orion, and you can be 300 pounds, too.
On days 2 and 3 we started getting lower on food, while our ice was still near the top. I drained all three coolers of water on Day 3, which was much less than expected.
Day 4 was a late night- it was competition day, and after the 11 hours of competition which included 15 miles of paddling, we had an RV party, where we drank all but our last 2 beers out of the 65. We still had about a case of soft drinks and 32 ounces of vodka for Vodka RedBull. Steve is on Team Redbull and we had no shortage of that stuff.
Steve and I took 7th place in the competition under the name “Team Jackson Kayak” while James and Hobie took 17th under the name “The Better Team Jackson Kayak”… Both were respectable finishes for bass fishermen and trout fishermen, we thought. Of course the fun factory couldn’t be beat and the challenge of the competition was up there with 4 portages, 15 miles of hard paddling, heavy winds, rain, navigation, etc..
Our day 5 was our epic no stress fishing outing, where we spent another 10 hours on the water catching redfish, bass, and speckled trout. We woke up, eat cereal (where our milk was nicely packed in ice in the 25 quart Orion) This day was mostly site fishing for Redfish “chasing tail” where I was using a swimbait primarily and the other guys were using a spinner bait. We caught 29+” redfish down to 13″ bass. The end of the day darkness is the only thing that got Steve and I off of the water. James and Hobie had to travel, while Steve and I had one more night in the RV before heading home to TN.
We kept three red-fish, cleaned them, and cooked one of them on the grill for dinner. Some Mediterranean spices, salt/pepper, and mayonnaise on toast made for some epic Redfish sandwiches. The rest of the fish we put on ice in the 65 which no longer had much in it, other than ice.
Steve and I broke out his Redbull, of which we may have set a new record for the most Redbull in one sitting (not saying I am proud of this, it just came to be…) at 13 each. If you wonder what happens if you drink 13 Redbulls (with a touch of vodka), think wrestling for an hour in the parking lot and staying up really late and then waking up not wanting to drink any coffee as you are caffeined out.
The final stage of our trip was the drive home, where we took turns driving my RV back to TN. When we arrived back at the end of day 5 we unloaded our three coolers out of the RV. Steve took his 1/2 of the Redfish filets and put them on ice in his Orion 25. I put my Orions on the deck of my house and drained out some water, and the rest of the soft drinks remained on ice for the next 2 days until the last of the ice melted.
This was an awesome impromptu test of the ice holding ability of our new coolers. I am glad they worked so well, as we had food we couldn’t replace, or shop for more, so having them do their job and hold ice was amazing.
I am looking forward to my next Orion Adventure!
Check out this teaser video: Adventure Kayak Fishing World Championships – Teaser