Earlier I posted I'd go chronologically with my bonehead stories but the hilarious posts about outboards made me remember my " biggest captive audience" bonehead move.
It was a blustery day, small craft warning. I had a US25 sailboat at the time. I wanted to have a girls night out on the boat, but only one of my girlfriends would come. She wasn't a well seasoned sailor so I just did all the work getting out of the slip and heading out to the bay. We were leaving Clear Lake (Texas) and motoring out into Galveston bay. Along the entrance to Galveston bay is a place called the boardwalk. It's a long row of restaurants that line the entrance to the bay. That day there were hundreds of people eating and enjoying their dinner and the view. As we neared the entrance the waves from the bay started to hit us, rolling in pretty short intervals. No problem, with me at the helm, my friend by my side, my trusty vessel bravely facing the onslaught. I smugly nodded to the sailors coming in from the bay, bunch of racing dudes, not quite noticing their bedraggled condition as they pass by. I was feeling at the top of the world. At 20, I was feeling Girl Power! At the time there were only a few female singlhanders on the lake, few female boat owners at all, and I was making them proud, heading out when the guys were coming in
. Then the real waves started hitting us, steep waves, straight up, straight down. My friend gave me a " are you serious?" look. I just laughed with joy, this was awesome! I knew it would be a bit rocky, but once we cleared the entrance all would calm down a bit and we would have a rails in the water kick butt sail. We never cleared the restaurants. One particularly large wave picked my bow up up up and then slammed me straight down. I was actually worried I was going to hit the seabed with my bow. The force of the impact from the wave threw my motor mount in the up and locked position. I had a really fancy two finger operation "deep drop" motor mount, and I had forgot to lock it in the down position. My prop, fully exposed to air caused my outboard to scream, causing all patrons of the boardwalk to stop and look. The boat immediately hit another wave allowing the prop to catch some water. This created a HUGE spray of water. The sun was at our stern and the light hit the prop spray creating quite a show. During this fiasco, I had shoved the tiller to my friend and yelled steer. She, unbeknownst to me , then proceeded to aim for the nearest shrimp boat docked on the far side of the entrance! I tried to grab at the motor mount to get it back down but could not see anything because of all the water spraying everywhere. Still being thrown around and on a collision course for a row of shrimp boats I was finally able to throw the motor in neutral and get the engine back in the water, in the LOCKED position
. I grabbed the helm hard over to avoid the shrimp boats my friend was making a bee line for ( to this day I don't understand why she aimed for the shrimpers, people do funny things in stressful times, and in hind sight, I didn't say where to steer...).
Well anyways, we quietly turned around and motored back into harbor tails firmly tucked between legs..girl power took a big hit that day.
Sorry so long winded!!!