Promise

I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.

Anna

Friday, July 13, 2012

What the Water Hides

It never ceases to amaze me when I run across someone driving a boat who seems to believe that the ground totally vanishes at the water's edge.

Today, as I was driving to work (in my boat) I was going to pass someone in what was probably an 18 foot, semi-V boat with two big motors on the back. At this point, the river was a Y intersection. I was driving up river, approaching the intersection, coming down the left-hand arm of the Y. This other guy and his one passenger was also driving upriver, approaching the same intersection from the right-hand arm of the Y. I was headed on down to the leg, but the other guy was intending to go up the left-hand arm of the Y. Had everything gone without a hitch, he would have passed me barely before I was out of my arm of the intersection. However, things did not go without a hitch.

Believing there is nothing beneath the surface of the water, he took the corner WAY too tight. Surely a man who owns a big boat with two big motors would know something about driving on a river.

Now understand, this river, where I drive every day, is a glacial river meaning it's gray rather than clear - you can't see past the surface more than say an inch, if that far. It's been a long time since I stuck my hand in the water to see - I mean, it's cold, and if I'm sticking my hands in the river it's to quickly wash some mud off - I just don't pay attention to how far under I can see my hand. I haven't done that for a very long time.

But I digress - Since this guy ignored the collection of rather large river trash shoved into the corner he was intent on cutting too close, it apparently also never occurred to him that such things stay there, not only because they've run into the bank right at the intersection of the Y, but they stay there because the water is rather shallow. Such things even contribute to the water being shallow. Cutting around the visible obstacle, he hit a buried one. It knocked his motor up and the current spun his boat around and parked it right in the middle of the Y. 

No one was hurt. No one was thrown out of their seat, nor was there any further danger other than possibly being stuck and unable to push out if the corner. I tried to idle over and maybe help but I couldn't get closer than say 20 or 30 feet from them before my prop starting kissing gravel so I had to pull away.

I watched though and they were able to push away and back out into the current. Next time I looked back they were gone. Did he learn anything about driving on a river? Well, maybe. At least he knows not to cut that corner close again.

Still shaking my head



6 comments:

Great American Author by 10 Day Book Club said...

Thank you for sharing. Certainly a lesson for life to pay attention to what lies below the surface.

William Kendall said...

Someone like that, I tend to think of as the exception to Darwin's Survival of the Fittest. It's the same sort of careless mentality that leads people to take snowmobiles out on ice that's not properly ready.

Anna L. Walls said...

haha - yeah maybe. Many's the time when I wonder how the human race ever made it this far, big brain or not. But in his defense, it is an easy mistake to make. It's very easy to forget that the river is constantly moving and that driving a boat is not like driving a car in that respect. I've made the same mistake and in that very same corner, but believe me, I only did it once and I didn't get stuck or hit anything. I made it across safely, but let me tell you, that corner rushes up really fast when you're broadside of the current.

Jacqui said...

The first time I heard 'driving' in relation to 'boat', I was surprised, but it was from my Navy daughter, so I figured that was the accurate terminology. Of course, she 'drives' a Navy Cruiser.

Anna L. Walls said...

Awesome - just a LITTLE BIT bigger than my little 16 foot boat. hahaha

Healing Morning said...

I wouldn't have known any of that stuff without reading your post. We have tons of rivers and lakes here in East Tennessee, but I don't own a boat, nor am I out on the water that often. I agree w/ you, though. You'd think people up there who are regularly on the water for travel would know those important safety issues. I'm glad no one was hurt!

- Dawn