This little episode might save someone an accident.
Yesterday I was in a big hurry to get out on the lake. It was a gorgeous day
and I know that on weekends on Lake Tahoe, if you don't launch by 10 AM the
parking at the launch ramp where I have my pass may be full. Then it becomes
a super hassle.
Sooooo--I rushed over to pick up the boat. I keep it in a rented garage
that's about a half mile from my house. I live in a garageless condo.
That's how the po' folk live here at the lake. I threw up the garage door,
wheeled the boat out, lifted the tongue up on the van, checked my gas and
oil, checked the boat tie downs, slammed the garage door shut and zipped off
to the ramp. As I had figured, there where only about three parking spaces
left for car and trailer. I grabbed one of them. Well, by now my adrenaline
was pumping and I decided to see how quickly I could rig and get her in the
water. I jumped out of the van, untied the mast and stepped it, hanked on
the jib and then walked back on the boat to pull out the main and boom, when
all the sudden my boat started tipping back! The first thought was that I
had neglected to put the pin in my tilt trailer and the trailer was tipping.
I dove forward and the boat came back down, fortunately before it had tipped
enough to damage my Honda.
I jumped down to see what the heck was going on. Oh my gosh! I had driven
the five miles to the boat ramp without latching the trailer hitch! I do have
safety chains, but the damage that could have been done had I just hit one
unexpected pot hole is scary to imagine! Fortunately, no damage was done,
but my heart was racing now.
I latched the trailer, continued my setup and then backed down the ramp to
the water. SCRUNCH! There went my trailer light as I hit it on a piling.
That, too, can be easily replaced. For a hurried launch with bad luck I
think I was pretty lucky.
Moral of the story: Be careful! Have a check list. If you're new and
uncomfortable, you might even use a written checklist. If you're experienced
and confident, have a mental checklist. Just make certain that you check
everything on your list. Do it when launching and retrieving and stowing your
I may have to wait until our sail from Tahoe Keys to fix the tail light.
They have a chandlery there at Tahoe Keys where I can get a replacement and I
imagine I'll have the time as arrivals are coming in to install a new light.
If any of you give me poop for driving with one light, I certainly deserve it!
Now, do I feel better? I don't know. I think breakfast will make me feel
better than this confession has, but what the heck.
N. Lake Tahoe, NV