I convinced Ginger to let me pull my new (used) Tracker to Florida early so we wouldn’t be caught in snow on our way South. We were there four weeks, and had to return for Christmas, which was part of the original agreement.
Everything went smooth; the weather was super and the boat pulled like a brand new trailer. This was the easy part.
When we arrived at our Southern retreat, we first had to open it up; only to discover the Dry Rid we hung in our closet had burst on the carpet and ruined our sliding door jams and mildew and mold had started in our bedroom. I quickly agreed to help Ginger clean the mess up and repaint the entire room. After several days, and one days help from neighbor Bill Shafer we finally completed our task.
Now it was time to play! I asked Bill if he would help me put in my new baby, and of course he agreed. When we reached the boat ramp, I climb in while Bill maneuvered the trailer. Bill noticed a slight tilt in the bow as it entered the water. I started the engine – and off I flew across the lake to our dock.
As I was tying the boat up, I knew I needed one more heavily rope, because it was getting very windy. I went to my side compartment for the rope, only to find it full of water. I knew something was wrong, because my live well is located on the other side.
“Hey Bill, I yelled. My boat is taking on water.”
“I’ll be right there, I’m tying my pontoon down, “ he explained.
When Bill came over, the first thing he asked, “Did you put the plug in the boat?”
“Yes, I put that in before I left from home,” I confessed.
“There’s something really wrong. We need to get this boat out of the water,” he exclaimed.
“Bill you take the boat over to the ramp, and I’ll take the trailer,” I directed.
As Bill headed out of sight, the boat sounded great. It was purring like a kitten. Then suddenly I heard it quit. There was no sound, nada, nothing. By now, its pitch dark and Ginger is at the dock, shouting orders. Then my cell phone rings, its Bill. “How does this trolling motor work?” he asked.
I gave Bill every instruction I knew, but he couldn’t get it to work. “You better get some help, the water is coming in as fast as I can bail it out,” he describe.
“Hang on Bill, I’ll get Don Schipper and his boat to pull you in,” I divulged.
I sent Ginger to get Don, while I went to retrieve the trailer. What seemed line days, Ginger finally came with sleeping Don, she had just awakened. And it was only 8:30 pm.
I sent Ginger with the trailer, while I went with Don to rescue Bill.
“I’ve never driven a trailer before,” Ginger announced.
“Just drive like you always do, and the trailer will follow,” I jested.
To make a long story short, the plug wasn’t in the boat. It must have come loose in our trip down.
Bill saved the day! Out bailing the lake. Don is now in the boat rescue business, and still insists that I owe him $100. Ginger is now the parks trailer towing queen, and I’m still “red faced” that I didn’t check the plug, before the boat hit the water.
The maiden voyage of the “Queen Bee” wasn’t so great, but it did make a good column.
This week’s bottom line: I am about to take my last voyage, a great leap in the dark.