Sunday, July 10, 2011


Las Vegas, NV for work meetings

Yesterday I took my brother in law, Billy, and his wife Joan out for a pleasure cruise.

We launched at 830AM and we pleasantly surprised to finddead calm flat water from the upper harbor to half way to the Intercoastal Waterway at Boca Grande Pass. I tried to anchor down on the north shore of Gasparilla Pass but my anchor pin wouldn't hold in the loose sand below. After a few tries and failures, the current was like a swift water rapids, we found ourselves in trouble...getting bounced around on the 6-18" floor. I was forced to raise the outboard to protect the shaft and I tried to use the trolling motor, but again, the current kept slamming us into the sandy shoal. With the tide falling, the only way out was to jump out and manually tow the boat to deeper water.  The current was soooo strong, we really struggled to kep our footing.  We were both wearing vests and the water was shallow, so there was never any real danger to us...just the boat.

I put Joan at the helm and had her calling out depths to us.  I really just needed a consistent 2' to feel good about firing up the outboard but Joan kept saying the depths were 0.6, then 1.2, then 0.9.  It never dawned on me that I was in chest deep water when she was telling me we were in 1 foot.  Finally I decided the depth meter must be damaged from running aground so I told Joan to drop the motor and fire it up.  She did and was able to drag Billy and I to deeper water.  I quickly ordered all aboard via the swim deck ladder on the transom.  Billy went first, then me.  I hollered for him to move so I could take the helm.  He tried to move so fast, he fell overboard!  HAHAHAHAHA....I told him to quit screwing around, we got to go!

Not really but he climbed back in so fast you'd have thought the water was on fire.  It actually felt wonderful I really wish we could have stayed swimming for a bit.   We got ourselves to 25' of water in 30 seconds and Joan had to go pee.  I pointed at the depth meter and saw it was working fine and she said, "Oh that's the depth?   I was looking at this," as she pointed to our speed: 2.1 knots.  HAHAHAHAHHA....that explains alot.

Thankfully, my bro-in-law and his wife stayed calm throughout the ordeal and we were no worse for wear.  We had lunch on the water at the Gasparilla Grill and it was very good. I inspected all systems and found no damage.

We then cruised the ICW back to BGP and into the Gulf channel just so my guests could say they boated in the Gulf. The winds on the day were less than predicted, which was nice. We had a light chop on the way home and landed at my port at 3PM.

The good news was the water was a beautifully comfortable temperature. The bad news was we didn't get to relax in it. We ran 61 miles on the day and used about 20 gallons of fuel.

We also spent much of the evening laughing about the entire ordeal.

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