Confessions from this weekend of a Potterer-Rocky Mountains

Bruce Park (
Mon, 2 Aug 1999 16:47:47 -0400

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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You guys are too funny! Thanks for admitting to some of those things. And
here I was feeling all alone with the numerous goofs that I do. Here's my
most recent:
Saturday, Devils Lake, Michigan. My wife, sister-in-law and I have gone to
the far end of the lake, about 3-1/2 miles from the ramp. We notice some
dark clouds and head for home.
I decide I can make better time motoring. As we get close to the ramp the
wind is really whipping and it's getting pretty dark. Just as I'm bringing
us to the ramp the line used to pull the rudder up blows off the stern and
fouls in the prop, stalling the motor. Fortunatly we have just enough
momentum to drift the nose up to the dock and we get tied off. I run to the
truck and while backing down to load up I run the trailer guide into 2
posts. This is OK, I can fix it later...we're now racing against time as
the weather is deteriorating fast. Pulling out, it's obvious that I'm going
to rip the guide clean off so I have my wife drive while I push it agains t
the boat for clearance. Out we go and there goes my wife across the parking
lot, draggin the rudder and me chasing her yelling to stop. I catch her
about 3 feet from running the mast into a tree.
Now, it's blowing, thundering and lightining is flashing regulalry. I lift
and tie off the rudder, climb aboard and make the attempt to remove and
stow the boom and main. Yep..beleive it or not I climb up and play with the
boat at this point, but for some reason my only thought is to stow that
damn sail. As I undo the halyard the rain suddenly comes at me sideways and
hard. It stung pretty good, but I struggle on until there is a tingling in
the air a bright flash and boom and the ground shakes. As I look up it does
it again. I decide that's about enough for me and jump off the boat and
into the truck to wait it out.
It turns out that a tornado passed overhead somewhere close by. All hands
survived with no injuries, athough there were several trees down in the
road and lots of other peoples boat parts and tree parts everwhere.
I don't know if that qualifies as stupid, but it's about the dumbest move
I've made with my boat so far. At least I learned a good lesson....get to
shelter during a bad storm and pick up the pieces afterward.
Other that that, it was a good sail and a good experience. I've never
learned so much about sailing until I got this boat! One man overboard
drill, one dragging anchor and float away session (including daughter
floating in other direction) and now this. If this keeps up, I figure I'll
either be dead or real salty from the experience. I suppose it wouldn't be
so bad except that I'm usually very consience about being careful so I
don't get into any bad situations. Oh well.