Re: My Horror Story
Panic often comes from being out of control and for some folks, you can resolve that by learning to control the situation.
And we've all probably survived a foolish situation so please don't take this the wrong way, I offer it from the "there but for the grace of god go I" perspective, wondering how we all survived at times.
An engine that runs away, or does run, or simply is ill-tempered, means that you aren't in control of the engine. Either learn to maintain it, or pay someone to maintain it, or get a boat without an engine. This is something you can control.
Running aground outside the channel means you don't know how to navigate. Either you didn't read the chart or you didn't factor in tide rise or something. There are free classes (Power Squadron, USCG Aux) to teach that, and books, and more resources. Again, either you sit down to learn this stuff, or it will be out of control and that leads to panic.
You got stuck and had to wait an hour to find help? Why? With a VHF or a cell phone and a tow policy or a call to the USCG, you could have gotten help. These are all things that you are apparently ignoring and allowing to control you, that you could be controlling.
Boating is something like baking a cake: ANyone can throw stuff in a pan, but the result isn't going to be very good unless you take some time to plan and learn what you're doing. If you just want to mess around with boats, that's absolutely fine and perfectly good fun. Best done in something you can PADDLE on protected waters. Canoeing, kayaking, all fun things that make navigation and engines and tows less of a possible problem.
Although I will confess to running a canoe aground in the middle of a wide river once, in dry season. The guys behind me practically capsized with laughter when they saw me hop out of the back of a canoe, in the middle of a river, and walk on the water for a while before jumping back in and paddling again. (Memo, never walk on water in public, it tends to cause disturbances.)