Sunday 24 May 2015
Journey: Triple L Estate – Battle Creek – Triple L Estate
Today we planned on going up to the Battle Creek beach. We knew that Suzanne and Tony would be there and, according to them, it seemed as though their entire neighborhood might be there. We asked Rk and V if they, and the kids, would want to go up there also. They did. They needed to fuel first at Clarkes Landing and waited for us on the edge of the channel in order to follow us.
When we arrived at Battle Creek, the beach was PACKED full of boats. Lori and I don’t want to beach Gurlz Gotta Eat, because of the bow thruster, so we dropped anchor in the cove area and had R&V shuttle us over to the beach. At first R&V had to park along the front side, exposed to passing traffic. As soon as boats left the back side, R quickly moved around to the more protected location.
The water was particularly cold… which didn’t stop the kids from frolicking. J still has his arm in a cast so he sported the water-proof sleeve covering that everyone thought was a great invention.
Shortly after our arrival, a beached boat realized it had essentially been sinking while sitting there. The water had encroached so significantly into the boat that it had gone all the way up into the forward cabin. A few people had 5-gallon buckets so the young fellows jumped on board and began bailing. Lori asked if perhaps there was a through hull fitting that had come undone which would make it mute to try and bale. As she’s “just a girl” she was quickly dismissed as not knowing what she was talking about.
Because of the way it started to lean, they started to worry that the weight of the water, now gathering to one side, would cause the boat to roll. They tied a line to the stern cleat and pulled it around so that boat sat sideways on the beach. A go-fast boat happen to have a bilge pump that could be placed in the boat, but had to stay connected to the main boat. In order to reach, they asked Ronald to move his boat, which he did. As he tried to come in at the slot vacated by the boat with the bilge pump there were some women on the beach telling him, “No, don’t pull up, this boat is sinking.” I went up to them and said, “Yes, we know, he just moved his boat from over there so the bilge pump could be used.” “Oh, ok.”
As the young fellows continued to bail with the buckets there was a slightly older woman on the beach, all distressed, asking why some other guys aren’t getting on the boat take over bailing. I looked around the beach, and all the other people on the beach were fairly older, not in great shape, people. I commented, “These are young guys, they shouldn’t need to be relieved.” The woman almost wanted to start a fight with me… and I was to the point of wanting to take her down simply to shut her up.
When the novelty of the fiasco wore off, we went back to hanging out on the beach watching the kids play in the water. Randy, who had been in the water helping the sinking boat, told us that the boat had 4 scuppers that had been letting in water such that they couldn’t empty out the water until those had been closed off. Lori pointed out she had asked about through hull openings that needed to be addressed but no one on the boat wanted to listen to her.
The sinking boat had called Sea Tow, but then cancelled the call when they were able to contact a friend who would tow them over to Cape St. Mary’s Marina. When the boat arrived, it looked barely seaworthy enough to safely transport the one fellow on board…. and so began their ‘rescue’ plan. The rescue boat tied a line to its starboard stern cleat with a line that looked to be about 12 inches long.
Once tied up we see ALLLLLL the people climb on board the sinking boat to be towed across the river that looked marginally seaworthy itself and now had a 12 inch piece of ragged rope (technically, although on a boat, that piece of string did not warrant being called a line)…. Although children numbered among those climbing aboard, not a single one of the adults or children donned a life vest. Not until Lori said something to them … “at least put vests on the kids” … did we see a vest.
We sat on the beach a while the kids (J still with his right arm in a cast), RC, and Lori played in the water. We did have the excitement of not only seeing, what is becoming a common local site, the seaplane fly by, but also land and take off in Battle Creek.
Towards afternoon ending, marking evening approaching, we hitched a ride to our boat, raised anchor and headed for home. Along the way we looked for a sinking boat, but saw no evidence of a day gone afoul.
As we headed down river we noticed another boat being side towed by BoatUS. On the boat of the boat being ‘towed’ sat two children hanging their feet over the bow. We couldn’t believe the captain of BoatUS would allow that, it seemed a very unsafe practice. Well, actually, in general, I consider it unsafe to allow children to hang their feet over the bow while underway.
We arrived home before dusk after a lovely day on the river.
Engine Hrs: 92.0 – 93.3 Time: 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Conditions: warm, sunny day but the water felt quite cold
Vessel: “Gurlz Gotta Eat” – Beneteau Barracuda 9