Navigational Boo Boos! -
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Old 01-03-2001, 07:37 AM   #1
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Default Navigational Boo Boos!

Well the boat show is almost here. Should start seeing some really scary Navigational Boo Boos. Do you guys know what I mean?

These people go to the boat show, get a boat and decide they are going to take it out in Feb. or March and try it out. Unfourtunatly the Columbia and Willamette rivers are usually high and alot of Nav. hazards are just inches below the water.

Last year, while fishing out at Kelly point for bass in march, A guy in a brand new Sea-Ray (or some family-ski boat type) came running out of the Willamette and started straight for the piling jetty that runs out from Kelly Point. (I was fishing the current break made by the submerged piling jetty) He was getting closer and heading straight for the jetty (now submerged) I was yelling and waving at him,trying to stop him from piling his brand new boat on the jetty. He looked at me and gave me the finger! The god's musta been smiling on him (for what reason I don't know) because he cruised right over the jetty and didn't even touch a blade on his prop. I couldn't belive it, I thought I was going to have to rescue him for sure. I bet this summer he crapped his pants when he drove by that spot at low water.
I've also seen some near misses on the Willamette below the clack.

Just for any guys who don't know. RED, RIGHT, RETURN. This means when returning from sea (traveling upstream) the red marker bouys should be on your right. This will keep you in the channels. Also check the cruising atlas before you attempt to navigate any new water, Or go out with someone who knows the water you want to run.

Has anyone else seen any Navigational BOO-BOO's? Or want to admit there own?


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Old 01-03-2001, 08:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Navigational Boo Boos!

I remember a classic navigational boo-boo from when I was in the Navy. I had a friend who was a Quarter Master on board an Aircraft Carrier. I think it was either Constalation or Carl Vinson. Anyway, they were down south and west of San Diego doing flight operations out inside the Navy Hot Operation Area.

When an aircraft carrier gets into flight operations everybody is working at getting the aircraft in the air and doing their operations and getting them back safely on deck. The ship changes course constantly to keep the wind on the nose of the a/c.

Anyway, they were operating near a HUGE rock that comes up from the bottom of the ocean called "Bishop Rock". If anybody knows this area it is awesome fishing - anyway the Navigator of the ship was a kind of whimpy guy that would not stand up to the captain very well. He kept warning the captain that they were too close to The Rock. The captain was engrossed in his activities of getting a/c in the air and didn't want to be bothered with this information. He finally told the Navigator to shut-up till they were finished with flight ops.

As the ship continued toward Bishop Rock the Con Officer asked what that RED BOUY was right on the bow. Somebody mentioned something about a fishing bouy and to just shut-up cause we have too much going on deck to get excited about moving for a net.

Needless to say the Navigator was logging all this down in the ships log. Moments later the Captain himself looked down to see the red bouy right in front of the ship. He turned to ask the Navigator if there were any hazards to navigation in the area. The Navigator told him of course - Bishop Rock!!! I have been trying to tell you.......

SCRAPE, Crunch .........Titanic!!!

The ship ran aground and was stuck for about 24 hours. The captain lost his job right there. The Navy flew out a new captain and the navigator practically had a nervous breakdown.

Moral of the story - you are never to busy to pay attention to navigational aids. No matter if you are flying 40 million dollars worth of aircraft or if you are just trying to beat everybody to the next fishing hole.

Simon Peter said to them, I am going fishing. John 21:3

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Old 01-03-2001, 08:32 AM   #3
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Besides the occasional sailboat with its keel buried in the mud across from the Milwaukie ramp on the Willamette ... and the truly scary "drifting into the breakers off the south jetty" @ Buoy 10 ...

My own best - did you know that Paulina Lake actually increases in size by like 200% after it gets dark?

We had been fishing on opening weekend in "snowy" conditions, at times the shoreline was invisible in all directions. Fished into the darkness (best time for browns and all ... no fish by the way) and finally headed in.

Made for the lights of the campground and the boat ramp, but when we got there it was the wrong ramp - the other end of the lake. Not wanting to go out to the middle again, I decided to follow the shoreline until we got to the ramp where the trailer was. Now, a '62 Mercury tends to be a bit tempermental in the cold, at 6,000 feet - - just to make things interesting it starts to gag and sputter - -

I wasn't ever too worried, but like I said, that lake gets a lot bigger in the dark - the funniest part was I had my head stuck up out of the canopy so I could (sort of?) see. Remember the snow is blowing, at some point I ducked back in - with beard icy frozen and looking like Quinn the Eskimo - and my buddy gives me a great "we're going to die, aren't we?" look.

COMPASS is required equipment, now!
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Old 01-03-2001, 08:58 AM   #4
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Phish on, That south jetty is for real!!!
Last year I was at the Buoy 10 waiting for fog to lift in the Ocean. I circled the Buoy all morning and finally decided I wasn't going to get out. By that time the fog was lifting and setting all around. One minute I could see 6 miles, the next 60 yards. I had a compass, but no GPS. Be warned, the shipping channel is not that far from the beach, only two hundred yards or so.

I noticed I was only in 10 feet of water when I completely stopped the boat. I thought I turned the boat heading directly for the channel, but was headed over a sand bar. Although, generally I have a good sense of direction, not this day. A friend of mine swore I was headed in the wrong direction and needed to turn North. Good thing, because as the fog lifted for a second, I wasn't a hundred feet from the beach breakers. Lesson learned, now I have a GPS. This really caught me off guard, I really respect the fog.
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Old 01-03-2001, 09:13 AM   #5
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First year with the boat, the wife and I were going to the west channel of Tillamook bay to do some sturgeon fishing. No kids yet, few responsibilities and a day to fish. It was going to be a beautiful day that started with about 100 feet of visibility due to the fog. Leaving the Garibaldi harbor my depth finder wouldnt come on. As the boat slowly drift out to sea I crawl under the dash and messed with a couple wires and a fuse, then all of a sudden the familiar beep tells me it is working now. I take my bearing to run to the west channel and open it up. I did not calculate in the amount I drifted towards the coast guard station. It was 3 hours to low tide and the bay had plenty of water to get to where I wanted. About 1 minute into this voyage I see sand dead ahead. I was missing the channel and was about to go over the big sand bar between the now removed dolphins. A very small piece of sand about 10 feet by 10 feet. I look down to see the depth finder is flashing 1.8 feet, which usually mean, UH OH is about to be heard, especially at full speed. Any thing less than 1.8 feet puts me the depth finder in a flashing mode, I have never particually liked. At this point I have 2 choices, leave it up on plane and hope to slide over the small piece of sand, or back off on the gas and settle down in the water and be stuck for sure. I leave it wide open and tell the wife to hang on.

I have had great success in getting my boat across small pieces of sand into a channel when I had proper speed. It was required in Netarts bay to get to where I liked to dig clams, at anytime near low tide.

Well not so lucky this time. I made it over the sand bar but came to rest in about 2 inches of water on the back side. I immediately jumped out of the boat and tried to push. The boat was just to heavy (18 foot Duckworth). In a matter of minutes the boat was high and dry. About 15 minutes later the sun broke out and was one of the most beautiful days anybody could spend at Garibabli. 3 hours later it was about 100 yards to water in every direction. We spent 6 hours and 15 minutes waiting for the water to come back in the bay to float us. Lots of boats waved and snickered as they went by.

Now I keep aluminum polish in the glove box to pass the day away if I am stuck on a sand bar alone.

The years have passed and we have kids now, I often wonder if that isnt the result of spending the better part of a beautiful day with little options on how to pass the time.

No boat damage I am glad to report.

[This message has been edited by Bait O' Eggs (edited 01-03-2001).]
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Old 01-03-2001, 12:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Navigational Boo Boos!

About three years ago during springer fishing at the Wind, my dad and I had gotten our limits early. Dad wanted to take a nap at the Home Valley cabin. I wanted to fish for something so I told him I was going to John Day river to try for smallies. I launched my new jet sled and took off up river. I was fishing around the parks dock and catching crappies, when going farther upriver beckoned to me. I knew if I kept it planned out I couldn't get into too much trouble. Being that the 150 jet pump was new, I was fluctuating the throttle speed. I could of swore that I was in the middle of the river. I was decreasing speed when suddenly I was blowing sand about 75 feet out the back of the pump. It is surprising how fast the boat can stop when you are 150 feet up on a sandbar. It only took me three hours of ball-busting work to get my boat back to the channel. Rookie on a river. It was a valuable learning experience.


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Old 01-03-2001, 02:25 PM   #7
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I've got to say that anyone who survives Clatsop spit is one lucky S.O.B. The Ocean is an unforgiving *itch and punishes mistakes very severely, sometimes with death!

I've been stuck on the sand in the B-10 area before. It's pretty funny now but it really sucked when it happened. Years ago I decided to follow the Pilot Boat out to the B-10 in the fog from Hammond. If you've never done this, they go pretty fast. I felt good with nothing more than 14' fiberglass boat, (the 'Frog')a compass, (it spun when you tipped up a can of beer) and a 1962 40 horse white Mercury.

I hauled it on down towards social security beach at wide open throttle as the Pilot receded into the fog. Couldn't keep up, no matter what. So.... I followed my instincts and compass right into that little patch of water right near the S. Jetty railroad bridge. Forgot to turn to the north. I saw brown in my wake and swerved only to come hard aground and almost over the windshield.

I could hear the other boats going by and after 10 minutes got out of the boat and marveled at the propmarked trench that ended at the receding waters edge. Soon the fog lifted and I knew where I was.

So I got out the paddle and started digging sandshrimp. 3 hours later I got it floated off and made it the B-10 just in time for the bite. I bagged a limit of 2 coho but caught massive amounts of 'Hey aren't you the guy that grounded that we passed on the way here?'

I don't follow the Pilot boat into the fog anymore. I use a GPS and a compass. Most important, I use my head and a healthy sense of fear for the Columbia River Bar!

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Old 01-03-2001, 03:19 PM   #8
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Ok, I've got a couple I'll fess up to....

There was the time I thought the tide was in farther than it was and launched myself onto the sandbar in Nehalem Bay between the State Park and Brighton marina (darn near tore the motor and transom off the boat).

Or the time I launched at Milwaukie on the Willammette in a THICK pea soup fog before daylight (stupid move) and ended up in Lake Oswego instead of down at Sellwood.

But those happened in the "old days".....I don't have to wear my helmet while boating any more.
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Old 01-03-2001, 03:49 PM   #9
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Several years back a buddy and I put in at the Peoria boat ramp on the Willamette (near flood stage and full of floaters) at 3am in super dense fog to get a choice duck hunting spot. We had to run upstream 5 miles in my old alumaweld flat-bottom center console and by the grace of god we somehow managed to make it up the river alive. My only navigational error (other than going up the river in the first place) was a corner I missed and ran straight up into a slough. I only knew this beause the trees that I could barely make out on the bank were going by us much faster due to the lack of current. Just the thought of ever trying this again makes me cringe. I will say that we had the best shooting we've ever had that day though... Joe
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Old 01-03-2001, 03:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Navigational Boo Boos!

Well I've yet to land on a sand bar or smash a rock, but last summer I took a couple of gals on a little bass fishing trip out of Newberg up the Yamhill River. As the day progressed the fishing was slow and the sun was hot. One of them had the bight idea to do some skiing, so we put away the rods and motored out to the dirty Willamette. Only being on this stretch of the river once I was being pretty careful, but when she came out of the water and those legs started shining in the sun, my eyes ended up staring off the back of the boat more then they did off the front. One quick glance at my depth finder told me I was in trouble. Looking over the side of boat all I saw was rock, and I don't mean little rocks, it was one great big rock that runs a couple of hundred yards up river and out about 50 feet. All I saw were dollar signs lighting up my eyes as I hammered it and slowly turned into deep water. She of course didn't have a clue what was going on until she was unable to hold on and tumbled in ankle deep water. Only a couple of scapes thank gosh, I'm talking about her not the boat, it was unscathed. Needless to say that was the last time she went anywhere with me. Just as well, she couldn't fish.
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Old 01-03-2001, 06:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: Navigational Boo Boos! guys are hilarious! I really related to Phish's story on Paulina. Been there, haven't been lost on that one yet. Pulled about the same stupid stunt on Wickiup a few years ago though. Left the launch at 0-dark-30 and headed down toward the dam. Compass?? Don't need no stinking compass! Turned up the Davis channel about the same time the sun was popping up and noticed the geese were honking but I couldn't see them. Fog...and lots of it. Just then, I glanced at the depthfinder only to see about 1 foot of water left. Well, I stopped and dropped the electric trolling motor down and using the depthfinder to find and follow creek channels, made my way back to the main channel. That was about an hour and a half of no fishing!

For a really stupid one, right after I got my first GPS, was out on Hagg Lake playing with it. Learning how to poke in the waypoints, I thought that was pretty slick. Turned around and in broad daylight, called up the waypoint for the boatramp and hit the power. Following the "arrow" just seemed too easy when I glanced up to see the long point right in front of me! Missed it, but sure learned to watch what I was doing and to set LOTS of waypoints if I use it for nav.

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Old 01-03-2001, 06:28 PM   #12
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Default Re: Navigational Boo Boos!

Fishing in a very remote part of northern Australia a few months back, I had one of those "Oh Sh*t!" experiences. We were up an estuary fishing the runout tide for all sorts of hungry critters. It wasn't too late in the afternoon but there wasn't a whole lot of water left in the creeks and gutters when we decided to mosey back. As usual, the "salties" (eustarine crocodiles) were lurking. At the river mouth we miss the channel and run a 20' fiberglass modified deep-vee solidly aground. The water is steaming out of the swamp -- the tides average 12-15' in this part of Oz -- and we are either going to spend 6 hours on the mudflats or get the boat off in the next 5 minutes . . . if we don't get eaten. So over the side the three of us go, and I can assure you we had no motivational problems as we dragged, pushed/ pulled and willed that boat into deeper water. The whole time we were looking for wakes, beady eyes and other lizardy things but the boys decided to leave us alone.

It felt great to be back on plane on the way back to camp . . . till we ran out of gas. The spare tank saved the day, though, and we stopped at some rocks along the way and caught another 50 fish (really!) in the 90 minutes before dark. A memorable day all around.

[This message has been edited by Snagly (edited 01-03-2001).]
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Old 01-03-2001, 06:46 PM   #13
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When I first got my 15 foot aluminum skiff a decade ago, I had some problems with launching. Not launching the boat -- that was easy. But on the very first day I almost launched the new 20 hp Evinrude into the bay. The transom clamps had compressed the virgin plywood transom pad, so the clamps were quite loose. When I bumped the boat onto plane, the motor lurched sideways and nearly jumped off the transom. Through-bolts solved that problem.
Then there was the day I almost launched my tow vehicle into the ocean. I was beach-launching at La Jolla (San Diego area), and was darned proud of successfully negotiating the breakers in and out. However, I didn't notice the incoming tide lapping at the truck's tires until it had sunk clear to the rims in the sand. By the time the lifeguard 4x4 rig came by to yank me out, my truck was down to the axle in sand. The brakes never were quite right after that.
Finally, I accidently launched my camera bag onto the freeway. Stupid me, I stowed the bag in the boat instead of the tow vehicle. Of course the bag blew out once I reached freeway speed. Not only was my 35 MM Pentax trashed, but my handheld VHF as well.
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Old 01-03-2001, 06:56 PM   #14
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Some of these stories are crack ups.

I was pulling out of Chinook landing after a full day of getting skunked with a friend and the ramp was full (summer time) There were 3 guys in front of us 1 was getting truck/trailer 1 was in boat cleaning/stowing and the last was holding the bowline all three were visibly pickled.

I started to walk up the ramp as the guy holding the bowline falls in the river so I fish him out and he courteously thanks me for the assistance (trying to hold back my laughter) I look up just in time to see the owner of the boat begin to back his tandem axle galv trailer and bran new dodge duel cab PU truck down the ramp. Well he must have been only looking out one mirror because he tore the front fender off of his nice shiny new truck on the top of the ramp.

OUCH expensive stupidity.... drinking is fun but know your limits

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Old 01-03-2001, 11:10 PM   #15
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Although a good navigational "boo boo" story is good for a few laughs I like launching mishap stories since more people around to witness them. My favorite is a guy had come down to inform me how great his boat was and to snub his nose at my craft. I didn't even have a chance to reply when his buddy started backing his brand new boat down the ramp for him. To make a short story shorter his motor was down and the angle of the ramp caused his motor to hit the ground, his buddy hit the gas not knowing what the hang up was. Before he could be stopped he managed to remove most of the back end of his buddys boat. I stepped in my little boat fired it up and cruised off. When I returned with my limit they were just getting all the peices picked up.
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Old 02-10-2002, 03:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Navigational Boo Boos!

I am going through, archiving all the 2001 posts to a read only search forum.
Found this and thought it rather timely...
Although, not the boat show, same thing! New boats out there, watch out!

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Old 02-10-2002, 08:15 PM   #17
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I think this is great. I am not afraid to say that we have gone through 5 props, broken ribs, and quite a bit of embarsassment.

My husband loves to go crabbing and shad fishing. He takes this friend with him who is clumsy on land, let alone on the water. This guy and my husband have run over the little pigs @ Tillmook at least 4 times. (Its their short cut)

That doesn't include the time they were shad fishing & my husband hooked into a Salmon and Billy was trying to get the big net and a boat had come along and the wake knocked him over into the key, broke off the key in the ignition and broke two ribs.

FNF You were not the only one who found those snad bars up on the John Day. My Brother-in-law always told me to "STAY TO THE STEEPEST SHOLE". We knew we could make it up river, well when we came down river it was completely DARK. (We had been cat fishing) My husband thought we were close to the steep side of the river, and swore if he went any farther over we would end up on a sand bar. :shocked: NO... :shocked: wrong side of the river. We were on the sand bar. :shocked: Broke the first prop there.

Eric at AMPRO became a good friend there for a while. He asked me at the sportsman show this year if I had bought a new boat. I told him no my boat still had a few good years in her yet. He replied, "OH, you haven't been around for quite some time, I thought maybe you bought a jet boat." :shocked:
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Old 02-11-2002, 12:02 PM   #18
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Default Re: Navigational Boo Boos!

Have had a couple of instances where I got caught by that handy little feature on the outboard shifter/throttle that won't let the motor start unless its in perfect neutral. I was up the Deschutes river just out of Lake Billy Chinook. Heading upstream, then decided to turn around and go back. Of course, the motor dies right then (not my boat). I throw it into neutral (I thought), but won't start anyway. Long story short, between trying to pole off of the BFR's in the area and restart the motor, I finally realized two things: one, that motor shifter had to be dead perfect up and down to start, and two, the motor was a piece of **** , since it shouldn't have died in the first place. No major damage, nicked the prop in a couple places. Just really ****** me off mostly.

[ 02-11-2002, 01:03 PM: Message edited by: chnookie ]
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Old 02-11-2002, 12:37 PM   #19
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I remember this thread. Good thing we got it back because it's fog season here in stumptown. There's nothing like a little hogline competition to make people run to the hole in the dark or fog.

A few weeks ago I encountered a little resistance and got bit by the complacency dogs.

'Been here a hundred times I can run it in the dark'. I motored away from the ramp in the predawn gloom, squinting through the rain streaked, fogged window. The GPS slept peacefully on the dashboard unused. This despite the fact that a route existed in its memory that would safely guide me from ramp to hole and avoid all the obstacles.

About 10 seconds after planing out, I saw a large black shape dead ahead. Just luck but I managed to not hit it dead on by jerking the throttle to all stop and flinging the wheel hard a port.

We hit hard. Everyone ended up on the deck. A quick inventory of souls on board and we fired up and made a bee line back to the ramp. It was still dark out and we trailered the boat and surveyed the damage. The right hand hull was cracked across its keel for about a foot and the broken glass was sticking out like a porcupine. The damage extended below the level of the deck but was still above the waterline.

We decided to go out anyway because the foam filled belly would not take any water and the damage was pretty localized.

Lesson learned, complacency will get you. Use the GPS route even if you think you don't need it. Getting wet is nothing compared to getting dead or really wet during an early morning swim.

Repairs to fiberglass in the winter are difficult at best but other than ugly the damage is repaired. I'll do the beauty/gel coat when it warms up.

30 seconds saved on not dialing in the GPS cost 3 weekends and a couple of hundred bucks worth of materials .... the memories were priceless.
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Old 02-11-2002, 12:43 PM   #20
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What a funny thread..... I haven’t owned a boat for years....but I have decided to get a boat for the F4.....

I cant believe nobody has brought this up yet....but I have had several boat launch experiences.....

1) no drain plug--i had an old 12' bud did the same thing with his brand new $21000 ski boat ...its a not funny thing when your knee deep in water or your 305 wont plane ....

2) Forgot to take the tie downs off…have u tried to launch with the tie downs on?….dumb

3) Had a gas can in which u had have the lid on tight for pressure to start the gas flowing pulled on that motor for an hour in the freezing the time I figured it out I was in my t-shirt sweating my ### off and my friend was laughing....

Never really got into to much trouble driving the boat....but I had a friend who had a motor which was temperamental…..we hook a fish in a hogline at Rainer drop anchor and chase the fish....motor doesn’t good drifting between other hoglines with fish on.....
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Old 02-11-2002, 01:52 PM   #21
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Everybody makes navigatoinal mistakes, even the US Coast Guard. A Coastie teaching a class I attended related his "idiot mistake" as the time he was in the San Francisco bay in a 32' boat. It was 0200 hours, and he was headed across the slightly foggy bay. There is a red light on top of the Bay Bridge to keep airplanes from crashing into it. The Coastie pointed the boat directly at that light, and kept a steady coarse for it, even though his instruments showed a right rudder. It was not long before the boat was beached hard, and the guys at the back of the boat were now at the front of the boat. It turns out that the red light he was headed for was the taillight on a vehicle going over the bridge. Trust your instruments!
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Old 02-11-2002, 01:59 PM   #22
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In the same day I witnessed a guy drop his sled(with a prop) onto the ramp, and at the end of the day I witnessed a guy dump his pickup in the river. It was september so there were all kinds using the ramp... simply entertaining... nock on wood that I dont pull some stupid human boating trick myself some day.
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Old 02-11-2002, 02:52 PM   #23
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Default Re: Navigational Boo Boos!

Well myself a boat owner I have done the Navigational boo boo too. I was fishing last year with some friends and we had just turned out of the Skippinon river heading for Buoy 10. The fog was pretty thick and I was running by gps. :shocked: I know probably not the smartest thing but anyway my Gps was telling me the right way which I didn't follow exactly and ended up on Desdamona Sands bout 1/2 mile east of the Dolphin. Scary really but was able to raise the outboard enough out of the sand and motor slowly back to Hammond and then wait for the fog to clear out.

The best one I have witnessed was a young couple with the adventure of trailering their new boat the first time. He was on the dock holding the bowline an she was backing the trailer down. He kept telling her to back up and finally told her to stop with just the tounge and the winch of the trailer above water. :shocked: She got out and slowly walked on the trailer as not to get to wet and he pushes the boat out to her. She grabs the boat with both hands and is unable to stop it and you guessed it SPLASH!! Well she yells at himn and he yells at her [img]graemlins/icon_argue.gif[/img] and finally she tells him to do it himself. He does the slow trailer walk and grabs the boat and pulls it up to the bow stop where he realizes the trailer is to deep. He yells to his wife to pull the trailer out and I don't know if she did this on purpose or what but she "forgot" to put her foot on the break when she shifted to drive the truck rolled back and she hammered the break and you guessed it SPLASH he went. WEll after that I bet it was a quiet ride home.
Sorry so long but it was a funny site to see. [img]graemlins/lurk.gif[/img]
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Old 02-11-2002, 11:43 PM   #24
Kevin M. Kelly
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Fairview, OR
Posts: 202
Default Re: Navigational Boo Boos!

Nothing like the Navy to show you that it happens to everyone.

You have the aircraft carier story above, now how about a submarine.

USS Nathanial Greene was operating in the submarine training area off Holy Loch Sctoland, I believe it was either in 1986 or 1987. They thought they were in the center of the area, while they were actually about two miles outside the bourdry.

Found the submerged sea mount just where it was marked on the chart. Didn't sink but hit it hard enough to total the submarine.
Been There Done That, Got the Tee Shirt
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