Judging by the fairway traffic, last weekend was the first real weekend for many of the boaters in the marina. Saturday dawned overcast and rainy, but cleared in the afternoon, and Sunday started hot and sunny and stayed that way, perfect for the Long Point Bay Yacht Club sail past.
(The Marina hosts not one, but TWO, official yacht clubs- LPBYC and the Cliffside Yacht Club. Both are good clubs with nice folks, and we appreciate the fact that both clubs are courting Docksters this season, advertising their events at the head of the Dock, for example.)
Hundreds of boats left the marina on the weekend, many for the first time this season, which meant that not all of those hundreds returned under their own power.
Friday night, James and I engaged in our usual good-natured "stinkpotter vs. blowboater" insult-a-thon. He doesn't get the attraction of sailing.
I don't get the attraction of four-digit fuel bills.
We always agree to disagree and continue to share beers and tools and advice.
Saturday evening, SWMBO and I dinghied over to dock 2 to check out Gavin and Sylvia's new ride (more on that later). While enjoying the sunset, I notice, out of the corner of my eye, a big -tired Ford truck quietly slinking out of the marina. Shortly after, SWMBO and I return to the dock and notice that a) James' truck is gone and b) his boat is not in it's slip.
This requires further investigation. I grab my camera and walk down the Dock, and look across the basin toward the launch ramp.
Hmmm, that looks like...
...and The Instigator returns to Dock 6, albeit on the wrong end of the Dock...
... at which point, we get the story.
Travis and Candace and James and Brooke roared over to the beach in their pair of Thundercrafts...
... and only one roared back.
As the sun was setting James throttled up and the engine purred, but the prop was still. The smell of burnt rubber filled the air, and the diagnosis was quick- a destroyed coupler. The Instigator was dead in the water.
A quick phone call to Travis summoned his prompt return, and The Instigator endured the tow of shame back into the marina.
James is nothing if not resourceful. As he was being tugged back in by a quietly gloating Travis (enjoying the fact that he is the tower not the towee this time), James was working the phone, lining up shop space, getting parts ordered, and planning a quick turnaround.
We commiserated, we felt his pain, and I helpfully suggested that if he had a mast and sails he wouldn't have needed a tow.
I am going to pay for that.
Sunday afternoon SWMBO and Finn and I headed out into the light breeze. Leaving Port Dover in our chuckling vestige of a wake, we headed East..
... passing the US Steel works and the Nanticoke Generating Station.
Lousy day for passage making, but a nice day for baking and bobbing with no particular place to go.
Then turning for home as the sun started to set and the wind died.
Yeah, the sails are dirty, and the brightwork needs work, but we've got lots of time.
As we were returning to the marina we were stunned by a second rare event of the weekend. First, James under tow, now, what is this?
Rick and 20th Hole have actually left the Dock! And the marina! And then returned! Unassisted!
This is like the Transit of Venus, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster all rolled into one!
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