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Messing About in Boats

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    Where I live and grew up, we didn't have lakes, streams, or rivers anywhere nearby. This weekend, I was on a trip and some friends took me on my first-ever river rafting adventure. The river was pretty low, so we got hung up on some rocks a couple times. It was a very calm section, any "rapids" we hit were mostly Class I with one that might have eked into Class II, but probably not. It was mostly just a nice float down the river.

    FOCUS: Tell your awesome stories that involve being on the water. Did you kayak with walruses? Did you bring too many beers on a rafting adventure and hook up with somebody who looked like one?
     
  2. Disgustipated

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    I was pretty awesome in the water as a child. You can take that to mean I had zero fear and if it was anything deeper than a puddle I was ripping my clothes off and jumping into it.

    From the age of 3 I've lived no more than 30 minutes from the ocean. So, growing up we spent a fair amount of time at the beach. When you're new to the big bad ocean, you generally have no idea what it can, and how powerful it can be. Our life guards (we call them life savers) pull tons of tourists out of the ocean every year because they literally have no clue what they're doing.

    When I was 3 and we'd just moved here, that was our family. Me being me, you couldn't keep me away from the waves and my parents had to struggle to keep me from going in over my head. Unfortunately, if you're young or a poor swimmer you don't even need to be in that far to be in trouble.

    Since I was so fearless, my parents made sure I had water wings on (floaties). At that time, all that consisted of was two inflatable, yellow cuffs that went around your upper arms. This was deemed "safe".

    One day we were in the water and I got hit by a dumper. That's a wave that crashes over on top of its face and down. The force of that, and the suction underneath is tremendous. Me being 3, and in up to above my waist, I got bowled. I still remember it vividly.

    Apparently one floatie went left and one floatie went right. I didn't come up, and I was nowhere to be seen. By all accounts my parents and my brother freaked. In their position, I would have too.

    30 seconds later, and 50 feet away I bobbed up and spat out have a throatful of salty water; completely fine if a little disoriented. In typical fashion, my parents decided that if I could survive that then I was fine in the ocean without floaties anymore.
     
  3. Now Slappy

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    I have spent my entire life no further than 15 minutes from a large body of water. I grew up in NJ right by Sandy Hook and spent a lot of time down on the shore(Avon, Bradley Beach, Belmar area) and even back in the early 80's we had to deal with the bennies(Jersey Shore types) from NY.

    Also, my parents were from the Boston area so we would routinely head to Cape Cod for the summer. My parents bought a house up there when I was seven or eight. When I was thirteen I started working for one of the local ferry companies that toted vacationers to and from Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Believe me when I say this, it was a great fucking summer job. Most of my co-workers ranged in age from fourteen to twenty two and I was introduced to the wonders of alcohol and what alcohol did to high school and college girls. Ahhhhh......good times, good times.

    I worked there summers until I was 22. I got my first captains license when I was 21(100 ton Master). I had dropped out of college so a friend and I, not wanting to stay and freeze our asses off on the Cape during the winter, headed south to Florida...the land of bikinis and spring breaks. As it turns out, Florida is probably more accurately described as the "land of inbred rednecks and snowbirds in Cadillacs." But I digress.

    We ended up going to work on a casino boat out of Marco Island. This was also a great job. The pay was shit, but we got to spend the winter on a resort island and out on the water every day. I worked for this company for the next five or six years...give or take, all the while upgrading my license to a 500 ton Master with a 1600 ton Mate.

    The summers were great too. The company I worked for would lease the boat to other casino companies throughout the state and my crew and I would stay with the boat as contract employees essentially getting paid by both companies. I spent a summer in Panama City, one in St. Augustine, one in Jacksonville, and bits and pieces of other summers in places like Key West(that place almost killed me), Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, and Daytona. We would also do the deliveries up and down the east coast of the US when the company would buy a new boat. I basically got to see the entire state from the water, along with most of the eastern seaboard.

    After I got out of the boat business, I settled on Marco Island and now live about three minutes from the beach. Here is the view out of my bar that I get to see every day.



    And a couple shots of the bar...





    I don't think I could live land-locked. Maybe if I were on a lake, but then I would have to own a boat. Boating and being by the water has always been a part of who I am and what I do, and for the most part I don't think that will ever change.
     

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  4. Vanilla

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    This is my kind of thread.

    Well, every summer between the school year I teach sailing. My club has significantly better boats than every other club in the area. Motor boats to coach in that is. So, I have my personal 60HP boat that I rip around in every day while coaching. Combine this with the club being right next to a shipping channel and you've got some goddamn fun on your hands? I can get about 2-3 seconds of hull and propellor out of the water off of container ship wake if I hit it safely. Hit it dangerously and I could either get alot more hangtime OR I could flip the boat and likely come close to killing myself. (This has almost happened, you tend to need to sit down with the boat off for a second to recover)

    Back before I had my good boat, we have a little tiller driven piece of crap. Nearly cut my hand off on that. Accelerated and hit a wave at the same time, it jolted me back and I was hanging out the back of the boat with my right arm next to the propellor as the boat sped full throttle. I have driven that boat ONCE since then. Fuck that boat.

    I can't think of anything else worth mentioning now, but if I can I'll be back!
     
  5. BeCoolBitch_BeCool

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    A couple summers ago I got a job as a whitewater rafting guide on the New River. It's the only job I've ever had that I didn't look forward to quitting time. Mainly because when I wasn't on the river, I was just in fucking West Virginia.

    I still whitewater kayak with my father from time to time (which is difficult in Ohio). Every fall we go to the whitewater festival down in North Carolina on the Nantahala river. I'd definitely suggest it to any beginner or intermediate whitewater kayakers.
     
  6. seelivemusic

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    When I was a little kid my folks would make me wear a harness tied to the mast so I wouldn't jump into the water when we were underway. Evidently I was fine when the boat was not moving but once the sail was up all bets were off. I had the opportunity to sail on a 90ft schooner for three years in high school and have been around boats my whole life.

    I'm the only one I know who was injured by a batten, it ripped from the sail somehow and hit me on the top of the head. After a few minutes I had trouble with my vision because of the blood that was in my eyes. I wrapped my head in a towel and when I came up alongside the slip my folks didn't notice anything different. Rather than asking if I was ok my mom wanted to know if I had heard about the no hitter sox game.

    I've had some opportunities for work in Denver but its not near enough to the ocean for me. I like the mountains and rivers and shit like that but nothing beats a calm ocean at sunrise.
     
  7. eric

    eric
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    Not long after we got the cottage, I went out and bought a canoe. Nothing fancy, just a typical fiberglass canoe. We tried it several times around the lake but I could never shake the feeling that we were on the verge of tipping. Somebody would go buy in a 10 horse boat and you'd have to paddle furiously to turn into the wake in time. Before long, the canoe started just sitting there.

    A couple years ago I got in my head that I wanted to try kayaking, so I went out and bought a pair of cheap Canadian Tire plastic Pelican kayaks; the sit-in variety (not sit on top). They were a revelation. Stable and, compared to the canoe, fast. We take them out on a daily basis and no longer fear the wake of other boats. We enjoyed these little kayaks so much that we decided to bring them with us on our yearly trip to PEI and do some ocean kayaking.

    So, on the first calm day we took our kayaks down to the beach and paddled out, keeping within a few hundred feet of shore. It was great. We paddled several kilometers down the coast, then turned around and proceeded to make our way back. At one point on the way back, we took a little paddle break and spent some time floating around, out in the ocean.

    Its at this point that I clearly hear behind me deep, heavy breathing; like Darth Vader having an asthma attack after running up a flight of stairs. Its a bit difficult in a kayak to look over your shoulder without loosing your balance, so I nervously start turning the entire kayak around to see what exactly is breathing heavily down my neck. As I come about I see about 15 feet away the massive black head of a seal, giving me the hairy eyeball, then going under. We had inadvertently ended up amongst a group of seals.

    For the next 15 minutes or so we had them popping up around us at varying distances. On the one hand, it was cool but at the same time I was pretty much scared shitless. We're in these little plastic corks, sitting really, really close to the water with large marine animals swimming underneath us. One seal that came up close to us started swimming towards us before going back under maybe 10 feet away, and for those 30 seconds I had no clue what I was going to do. After 15 minutes they group continued to move down the coast so we paddled into shallower water to avoid them again.
     
  8. Supertramp

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    I have a bunch but just last week I was doing a welcoming-week thing with my university and they took a bunch of us to a camp-ground on a lake.

    21-23 year olds
    + Unlimited Alcohol
    + Canoes and Kayaks
    = Hilarious

    On the day we were supposed to return there wasn't any alcohol being served but my two best friends and I stole a bunch of beers anyway. We shotgunned several and mixed the rest in with energy drinks* and made way for the lake. Everyone was hanging out by the pier and taking it easy when they saw three drunk fools stumble onto a canoe and paddle into the shore. Then jump out, push the canoe into the water but push it too far and lose handle of it.

    By the time we got on we were half-wet and none of us was wearing bathing suits. We paddle around and soak in the sun when my friend LandShark** jump up in the middle and starts playing "rock the boat". Problem is, his inner-ear function isn't so great because of the ~7 beers we just shotgunned and he "rocked" a bit too far to the left and water gushed in. He settled down but our old-school wood canoe was way too heavy to handle all of us and we slowly just sank as water kept pouring in. Luckily we were by the other shore and it wasn't so deep, we managed to drain, flip and re-embark when LandShark decides to play "rock the boat" again. We're cursing his name when, suddenly, we just flip over in the middle of the lake. We all lost our sandals and our beer mugs, and had to flip over a ridiculously heavy canoe and push it 200 yards.

    And we didn't have a change of clothes.

    *EnergySyrup is my own concoction, and it's delicious.
    **LandShark because he always fucks and chases after girls with boyfriends, who are virgins or girls who don't want him at first. He's not a rapist at all, but he likes his prey when they put up a fight and/or feel guilty about it the next day. Dick.
     
  9. Durbanite

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    How about an ALT. FOCUS for this thread?

    I've always lived on the coast. My great-grandfather, both grandfathers and father have all sailed - my grandfather and my dad raced - my dad still does. I, however, cannot be anywhere on a boat when its sailing/motoring about - I WILL puke over the side regardless of the sea conditions and feel like shit for the next day or two. It sucks really because I like the concept of sailing, I just can't do it in practice. I don't go green, I more turn a shade of grey (more so than usual). I've tried eating different things, drinking something, not drinking something... I'm out of ideas. I even puked while out at sea after taking anti-seasickness medication the night before and before going out! My dad said he's never seen anything like it (and he's been sailing since he was 5).

    All this tells me is that I'm is not meant to be anywhere near a boat.

    As far as living inland, I could definitely do it.
     
  10. Nettdata

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    I've been sailing off and on for almost 20 years.

    For the last 10, I've had a 20' Hobie Cat that has been an absolute blast. I used to race 16' Hobies when I was on Vancouver Island, so when I got a bit of cash figured I'd buy a 20'... and had NO idea just how much bigger and faster they were. Tons of fun, and I just wish I made more time to go out on it. I haven't really had it in the water for the last year or so, as I've been working too much and not making the time.

    One of my best experiences was being guest-crew on the HMCS Oriole when I was an officer cadet at a military college. 16 of us got the chance to do it, and it was amazing. We did the Vic-Maui race in the mid-80's, as part of a training exercise. I was the only non-navy guy on the vessel, and was made the junior navigator due to my pilot training. Learned how to shoot a sextant, and all sorts of cool shit like that. And we cleaned a lot of stuff. All the time.

    [​IMG]

    It was an awesome 2 weeks.


    These days, though, I most enjoy the water by wading in small streams fly fishing, or float-tubing in a small lake, or hanging out on the shores of a river. Again, usually fishing.

    That's a big part of why I live on a lake.
     

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  11. taste_my_rainbow

    taste_my_rainbow
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    Your center of gravity was too high. You need extra weight in the bottom of the canoe.

    Even though I know this, my brother and I took an empty canoe down the river earlier this summer and it was the total opposite of fun. Being paralyzed, he isn't a lot of help and his balance is terrible, which just means I had to work extra hard to keep us upright and moving. We were good until about the halfway mark of the trip and then we flipped twice. The first he didn't have his life jacket on, so what we did have in the boat (including my favorite Kenneth Cole sunglasses and my shoes) was on its way down the river since we were trying to keep him from drowning. The second time he had his jacket on and everything we had was wet anyway but my leg got caught between the boat and a huge rock and got scratched up and bruised really bad. I have never been so glad to get off the water in my life...

    My parents put me in this infant survival training when I was 9-10 months old. For the final "test", they dropped me off the diving board. I did just like I was supposed to and kicked to the surface and doggy paddled to the side. I started swimming underwater at 4. I got a little prissy in my teenaged years and wouldn't swim in water that I couldn't see the bottom of but now I keep a bathing suit in my bag at all times, just in case the mood strikes.

    This summer some friends and I have been doing the monster slip & slide. Two tarps, a turf sprinkler, lots of dish soap and a pond. It's really fun but hitting your knees on the sandy bottom of the pond can leave scars.
    [​IMG]

    It's also very interesting being in the ocean topless. Boobs float.
     
  12. Guy Fawkes

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    Going tuna fishing during hurricane Bob last August.

    The best man was living in Colorado and the event was taking place on Cape Cod. Our Captain decided that it would be safe to instead go out early and fish closer to shore for stripers.

    The morning starts out fine with 3ft rollers but we're only 2 miles offshore and there are plenty of smaller boats around. After an hour of fishing and CATCHING fish the captain decides that we're going to head out to another spot. Ok fine.

    What I didn't know was that his other spot was an additional 8 miles offshore and that to get to it we needed to traverse some areas with ridiculous sand bars. Basically the depth of the ocean went from 120' to 30'... in the blink of an eye.

    When you have a large storm pushing lots of water/tide in front of it and then reduce the depth of water that this surge of water is moving through by 75% you can get some fairly large waves popping up out of nowhere. Like the one that did the following.

    The boat is a 36' cabin cruiser and the wave that hit us literally broke directly on top of the windshield and cabin roof..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As you can see the two outer windows imploded upon the impact of the wave. I was lucky? enough to be standing directly behind the captain but next to the door that led to the stern deck. The wave came up out of nowhere, completely submerged the cabin, and both windows imploded out of their casings like a bomb went off. The captain was struck in the head by one and nearly blacked out, the bride's younger brother took the other off his forearm. The entire cabin was filled with water for a few seconds and there was nothing between the floor and ceiling (including a dripping light fixture) that wasn't soaking wet.
     
  13. Zazz

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    I'm not great at kayaking or rafting, but tubing down rivers is easily one of the best leisure activities out there. I've hit rivers in just about every state from Colorado westward, and my favorite has to be Boulder Creek. It's about 2 miles of lazy river mixed in with a bunch of 3-4 ft. drops; perfect for dragging a 30 pack with a few friends for a sunny afternoon. It has rentals for something like $5 and it's in the middle of town, making hitching back up to the top really easy and requires less of a commitment, so all of your lazy stoner friends can't complain that it takes too long or costs too much. It's got a path along the whole side for the more tame crowd to exit when the rapids are a little rough, and there are always spectators at the drops to cheer and laugh at drunks eating shit all over the place, and even if you happen to be that drunk it's still a great time.

    I'm in one of the green tubes:


    [​IMG]
     
  14. Beefy Phil

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    I grew up 5 minutes from this. Going to the beach during the summer wasn't an event for us, it's just what you did. The downside is that you take it for granted until you have to leave it behind. This is Reason #1 why I could never do a long-term bid in the Midwest. Either coast, fine. None of that landlocked nonsense.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Disgustipated

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    I avoid boats too, but for a different reason. I adapt and get my sea legs pretty quickly, which is strange considering I get pretty bad motion sickness. Hell, if a first person shooter looks at me the wrong way I almost have to reach for a bucket.

    My problem is when I come off the boat. The last time I did this I had motion sickness for three days. My equilibrium thought I was still on it, and my senses of sight and touch disagreed.... they argued pretty nastily. I had to wait in the corner begging the world to stop feel like it was flip flopping everywhere.

    In short, as far as I'm concerned, fuck boats.
     
  16. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal
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    I live dead centre between Lake Erie and Lake Huron, less than a 40 minute drive to each. It's great because there's no salt in them (The Great Lakes house more than 25% of the world's fresh water) and the are some spectacular towns on them- especially Lake Huron/Georgian Bay which has Wasaga Beach (known as the nicest beach in North America), Sauble Beach and especially Grand Bend which is the best party town in Canada from May to September.

    I've always loved going to the beach when it's hot and now that I have a kid of my own it's a great excuse to buy water toys and sand castle-building tools and just say theat they're for her.
     
  17. audreymonroe

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    Both of my great water-related stories are from vacationing on this island in Nova Scotia with my friend's family.

    The first was on a whale-watching trip. It wasn't one of those lame, touristy trips, but we had befriended the old retired fisherman who owned the group of houses we'd stay in. He took us all out on his beautiful wooden sailboat. We saw a couple of cool whales pretty close and what not. But then, we saw a whale orgy. That isn't a figure of speech. We saw a group of a half-dozen whales having sex with each other and jumping up and twirling around. It was crazy.

    This might've been from the same year, but another time, we took a few kayaks out off the beach on the end of our road and soon had two seals following us. We stayed still for a while and watching them swimming around us. Every now and then, they'd come above water and check us out. They'd make this great grumpy sound of pushing the water out of their noses every time they surfaced. They were so close and so cute. Aww.
     
  18. AdrianSSS

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    One of my favourite (hazy) memories of my first visit to the US was in New Orleans. Several buddies and I had been out tourist-style in Bourbon Street the night before, and with hangovers the next day we headed out in search of food.

    Instead we found more beer - FAR more beer - and ended up thoroughly shitfaced at 3:00pm...which was unfortunate, because we were going on a swamp boat tour that afternoon. To our detriment, we were told that we could bring drinks along, as long as they were in cans, so between three of us we toted two 12-packs of Bud Light cans. That resulted in this:

    [​IMG]

    Two drunk Aussies and one drunk Kiwi (complete with wifebeater tan) swimming in the Mississippi. The other two (I'm the one pointing) jumped in first in their underwear and I thought "fuck it, when am I ever gonna get to swim in the Mississippi again?" so in I went. Some of our fellow passengers were less than impressed.

    And I'm no physics expert or anything, but that Kiwi weighed no less than 500lb when we tried to drag him back onto the boat. That made us sweat out all our beers then and there.
     
  19. Lasersailor

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    I was born on the water (I think). I don't ever remember not being able to swim.

    [​IMG]



    As for my favorite story, it has to be Sailing Naked at the Naval Academy. It's long, and probably won't mean much to people who don't sail. http://propercourse.blogspot.com/2007/05/naked-sailing-at-us-naval-academy.html

    I have tons of other stories here (and on the lost RMMB forums). Everything from almost dying in lightning storms, to almost dying in sub 40 degree water, to almost dying from 2 broaches. I'll post more later.
     
  20. tweetybird

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    I grew up very comfortable in water. We had a pool in our backyard that we were in constantly 6 months of the year, and very good family friends at the beach where visits consisted of the adults dumping the kids down the seawall steps, cracking beers, and not letting us come back until we were exhausted from climbing on rocks, building forts with driftwood, and swimming.

    I also spent at least a week every summer at Lake Tahoe. For those unfamiliar, it is a very large, very deep alpine lake that straddles the California/Nevada border. In the grand tradition of alpine lakes, it is really fucking cold.

    My father also grew up spending summers at Tahoe. Dad is not really what you would call a manly man - he doesn't play sports, doesn't hunt or fish, is kind of scrawny, wears large glasses... you get the picture. However, he was a really good waterskier back in the day. For some unknown reason, it was never a question of whether or not my sister and I wanted to learn to waterski ourselves. We would. End of story.

    This began at about age 2 with daily boat rides, during which we would be required to jump in the water and swim around the boat. There are multiple home videos of us crying into our life jackets as we doggie paddled around the boat, teeth chattering, my dad yelling at us in the background and threatening no dessert if we didn't swim.

    Then, as soon as we were heavy enough to use kiddie waterskis, learning to ski replaced the around-the-boat swims. Out we went on the end of a very long, very old two handled rope, start after start with the giant squirrely skis and not much in the way of instruction other than increasing volume from Dad, extremities turning blue. Every day that we came up empty was another day with Dad glowering all the way back to the marina, going over exactly what we did wrong in detail so that we'd be ready for the next morning. With enough of this regimen, eventually we could both get up on two skis and totter back and forth over the wake.

    I soon realized that if I got really good at this whole boating/skiing thing, Dad would stop yelling at me.

    First, I got really interested in the boat, which was a 1965 Century Resorter, a wooden boat that is, like all boats of its era, pretty but really fucking crotchety. My dad started letting me steer when I was about 10, and by the time I was 13 or 14 I was allowed to pull skiers. (For those of you buzzing around in newer Nautiques and Malibus, this is not the same. The fucking throttle was a screw mechanism, with a push button action to either emergency stop or start a skier. And for those of you who have never driven a boat and think it looks easy, just let this sink in: no brakes.)

    Second, I decided to learn to slalom (single) ski. If you were expecting some sort of appropriate gear for a 12 year old girl, you have not been following this story: Dad used a wooden ski from 1967 and if it was good enough for him, it was good enough for me (you can't get up on two and drop one on Tahoe because the lake is so huge - you'd never find it again). After about a million nasal passage-clearing starts, all 90 pounds of me thrashing around on a man's ski that was twice as old as I was, I figured it out.

    Once I proved myself, Dad started letting me have luxuries like a wetsuit, a ski of the appropriate size, and lessons with an awesome instructor who still takes me out in the summers. Dad also ended up buying a bigger, faster, prettier wooden boat that I was allowed to take out by myself by age 16.

    Looking back, I'm amazed that there was all this fuss and craziness over what is essentially a rich man's sport practiced by relatively few people. Perhaps this was my dad's one macho thing and it was all wrapped up in his self worth as a man, and he connected that to his worth as a parent. I'm sure he doesn't even realize the level of ridiculosity, so I'll never know. I will say that, despite everything, I still think there are few better better feelings than 8 a.m. smooth water under my ski before I take a really hard cut across the wake.