Monday, May 11, 2009

Memories From The Past - The Boating Incident

My ex-husband and I didn't have a whole lot in common, but one of the things we did enjoy doing together was fishing/boat riding. Throughout most of our 10 year marriage we owned a boat. We were also lucky enough to live only a mile or so away from the nearest boat launch.

Most evenings in the Spring and Summer after he got home from work we would hitch the boat up to the truck, stop by the corner store for some minners as he called them, and head to the launch.

One particular evening we decided to check out some of our uncharted inlets and gas lines. I'm not really sure what the gas lines were but that's what they were called by the locals. They were long creek paths with underwater pipes. The pipes were usually deep enough that you could pass through in a boat without harm.

After our exploring dusk was nearing so we decided to head back to the launch. We didn't have running lights on the boat and we didn't want to get stuck out in the middle of nowhere without lights to get back on.

Because darkness was quickly falling on us we decided to take a shortcut through one of the gas lines. Frank (my ex) was flying pretty fast down the gas line. My 7 year old son and I were at the front of the boat while Frank was at the back driving it.(we were in a john boat at the time) All of a sudden I hear Frank's voice over the loud roaring of the boat engine..HOLD ON!

At the very moment he hollered HOLD ON! I saw it! The gas pipe was sticking up far enough that you could see it just below the water. It all happened so quick. All I remember is grabbing my son and then we hit it.

I think this had to be one of the scariest moments of my whole life. We were going so fast that by the time Frank saw the pipe line he didn't have enough time to slow the boat down at all. As we passed over the pipe at at least 40 mph or more it flipped the boat motor up and off the back of the boat straight into the back end of the boat where Frank was. As the motor flew up and into the boat it hit Frank in the head.

As the boat motor's loud roar came to a halt and the boat was slowed abruptly by the gas line everything seemed to move in slow motion. All in one moment I saw the blood trailing down Frank's head while hearing the stillness of the deserted creek.

Checking to make sure my son was o.k, and slowly realizing that we were in the middle of nowhere at dusk with the driver and the motor of the boat out of commission I felt the panic rise up in me. I was truly scared. If Frank were not o.k there is no way I could have gotten us back to land....which I might add was a few miles away.

I didn't even know where we were. We had no paddles, no cell phones back then, and the motor was no longer attached to the boat, but laying in the back of the boat. I also had a son that was a bit shaken and beginning to panic also.

Thank goodness, Frank began to "come to" and get his senses back. It still didn't solve the problem of the boat motor in the back of the boat. Although my ex was not wimpish in the least, a boat motor is a pretty heavy thing to be trying to lift. Even if he did manage to get it lifted up and attached back onto the back of the boat, there was no guarantee that it didn't sustain damage from the full force blow it took from the gas line. Oh, and by the way, I was also worrying about the gas line that we had just hit full force might do.

Somehow in Frank's dazed state, he managed to lift that 500 lb boat motor back onto the back of the boat by himself. I think that might be called adrenalin. It took a few minutes, but the boat motor cranked up.

Believe it or not, we actually made it back to the launch just as dusk passed into total darkness. I really don't remember the ride back to the launch but I can tell you it took us a all a long while before we were ready for another adventurous boat ride to the middle of nowhere.


  1. When Frank got his senses back... hehehe, yeah, right! That dude is as strong as an ox!

  2. did he need stitches? did he have a concussion?

  3. WOW what a story!! I have tons of questions but I'll save them for playdate.