Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Boat Got Wet!

The day before we were to make a family fun run to the White Mountains to try out the new boat was the usual orderly event. Everyone knew exactly where everything was that they needed for trip. This location must be in my wife's mind as the normal question heard throughout the day was, "Mom, do you know where the (fill in the blank) is?". Thankfully, I know where nothing is. This lack of clairvoyance left me free to finish up some wiring on the boat for the battery, electric motor, gas motor, stern light, and bow lights. I hooked up the gas line to the fuel tank only to have gas running out. I discovered that the tank had the wrong fitting on it after saying a few choice words and praising the people who prepped this boat. Now I must stop trip preparation and go the boat store. The correct fitting was installed by the parts manager.

I will diverge for a moment here. Even though they use "Marina" in their name and the term "Blue Water", I will only call it a store. There is no harbor and the water, if any, flowing down the Santa Cruz River is definitely not blue water. It is what you would expect from a boat store in Tucson. My experience there has been poor to say the least. They had the boat I wanted but tried to show it to me on a trailer for a shorter boat, I installed the oar sockets when they finally came in, the fuel fitting was wrong, and.....See the previous post "Neighbors & Boats" for further little details on their level of competency. OK, I have that little piece out so that we may continue with the fun.

We were packed up, ready to go, and it wasn't even dark! This is a new record for us but it is most likely because we were staying in a motel instead of camping this time. Sunday morning we hitched up the boat trailer and we were off. The trip to Springerville was uneventful and therefore perfect. We hadn't planned to go to the lake that day so the motel was the first stop to check in and get settled. That night while watching the weather report it was discovered that there would be high wind advisories for all the next day. We had watched weather forecasts prior to leaving so this was a surprise. This area is always breezy but 35-40 mph is a bit much.

I got up Monday morning and was windy but not severe (yet). We all got ready and went to the lake. There was no one at the lake except a Forest Service employee in his truck. I went over to speak with him to inquire about road conditions to other lakes, how the fishing been, and other pleasantries. He was very pleasant and we spoke for about a half hour. During this time period the wind was steadily picking up. He said he wouldn't go out on a boat today and echoed the sentiment. By now you could stand 20 yards from the lake and get rained on by the spray from the white caps. The original wind speed estimates were considerably low. I would estimate gust ranging from 50-60 mph at times. We returned to the motel and parked the trailer. It was time to visit the local gift shops, book stores, and other inside activities. We decided that if it was the same tomorrow that we would leave a day early and take the boat to another little lake by Tucson for the morning. You must realize that I am anxious to try out the new boat.

The next morning was perfect. We launched the boat and trolled around the lake. At times the lake was a mirror. I had my limit of trout in two hours being the master fisherman. Those were the only fish caught that day. The girls took turns rowing the boat and did well. Both motors ran quite well so I got some decent breakin time on the gas. The eldest got to pilot the boat using the electric motor. My wife got to hone here launching and anchoring skills and performed admirally, as usual. It was a nice day.

We noticed that the wind was kicking up again and decided that everyone was satisfied. The boat was much more difficult to get on the trailer as the wind started to shift and pick up velocity. Both my wife and I ended up wading to trailer the boat. She performed with great bravery and forethought when she walked down the ramp into the cold water to make sure that the nasty old van didn't get any scratches on the nice new boat. It was a great time as finally the boat got wet and so did we!

No comments: