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post #490 of Old 07-03-2013
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Re: What's your biggest bonehead move sailing?

I guess it's time for me post here. I wasn't even sailing when this happened!
22nd of June. Left home to get on the boat and a friend is going to meet me later on at the club. I took the club dingy and tied it onto my boat to tow it back to the club docks. I've done this maybe hundreds of times over the years now it's pretty routine.

Climbed aboard.... the key won't turn! ARRRRG.. I tried and tried. So.. jump off and went Baaaaack with the dingy and (it's a 14 foot unsinkable with 6 hp) got some spray stuff.. jump in dink and go back to the boat again and climb aboard!

shhhsst shssst SUCCESS! She starts; just like always. After making sure the dink is secure I walk up release the mooring lines and attach the pick up stick toss them away and clear of the boat. I then walk back, turn the wheel, engage my poor little Hurth hbw 5. and about 10 seconds later; CLUNK, CLACK, SCREEEE! the engine dies.... look down.. HUGE tree stump with root between my prop and rudder! There I was floating down the channel! "don't turn off the key" "don't turn off the key" "don't turn off the key" I'm repeating almost in time with the engine chug chugging.

I never panic, I'm a calm, well centered and rather mentally competent person... Really, I am! I guess I had blonde brain this day. Because there there I am; trying all kinds of fancy; Tie the dink along side and take the old girl back in; Nope.. all we did was spin in the channel, get the air horn.. nope.. need a new re-fill for the horn. Jump up and down on the bow.. No one at the club sees.. some wave. I start calling people with my cell phone; nada, 2 old timers that were at the club come over in the big old fly bridge Chris Craft, I know them! I hold out a line, telling them thanks and glad they came over to help and they yell; :"your ok?" they wave and head down river! (I can see they've had "few")

Meanwhile; I tie a line to bow. "gonna tow her home this time" I'm thinking. Nope.. wind and current were fighting me and all my efforts. I'm getting really overheated and feel like I'm going to actually loose control of this situation ( Clearly, I already lost control)

A few minutes after trying to compose myself; A couple of guys in a bass boat stopped by and they got the wood out; I thanked them profusely. Then I get behind the wheel and put the ole girl in gear again... tow line I had rigged up? It floated under.. and yup! CLUNK, CLACK, SCREEEE! It's wrapped on the prop!

The bass boat guys looked at each other and then at me and I said. "yeah. I know, but could you just stop over at the club and tell anyone I'm in trouble? They will send help." (I hope this, because there's a party going on. ) I was mortified!

Finally a couple of guys from my club came down with his 20 something Renken, and towed me back. Lots of young guys and dads were there on the dock. (it's a graduation party) I'm a mess, shaken, and stirred, and; totally mortified! Got her tied up and finally! I ran down below and tried to put myself together boat is like an oven down there. So I just and just ran and hid in my car until the ac got me cooled off enough to function like person I normally am err think I am!

Later, (3;am actually) after I got my wits, composure, and some dignity back I played with the key again, tapped the starter a few times while in reverse and tugging the line it unwrapped. Whew....

Hey Dumass Denise! The moment the tree trunk stopped you dead in the water all you had to do was drop the hook! But Noooooooooooooooooooo MS High IQ had to prove that one lady, with one little 14 ft 6hp boat can single handedly "save" A 30ft 10,000 lb sailboat alone! :

"Next best thing to not having a boat? The knowledge from having one!" Denise, Bristol PA, On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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Last edited by deniseO30; 07-03-2013 at 10:52 PM.
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