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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Willie and the Bridge

OK, this week the report involves incidents that could happen to anyone, but then again, probably hasn’t. At least not to everyone. All events are from recent times…

First of all, yes, I too found out that keeping a cell phone in a shirt pocket while out in a boat is not a particularly wise thing to do. Actually “out on the boat” is not exactly accurate, since I was only launching the sled when I leaned over to undo the strap. Kerplunk! I definitely found out that after that, no, no one would answer when I said “Can you hear me now?”

Note to self: If planning on dumping cell phone into water, do so before the end of the one-year warranty period.

Another thing that happened recently was when I pulled the boat out one fine morning at O’Darkthirty. I purposely leave a plastic 5-gallon bucket between the boat and the edge of the garage, figuring that if the trailer hits anything on the way out, it will be the bucket instead of the garage. I affectionately describe the fit for my boat as kinda like packing tuna in a can. Well, that morning the bucket did a right fine job of warning me the trailer was precariously close to the garage.

Didn’t bother me in the least as we heard the scraping sound of bucket, garage, and moving trailer. Sssssccccrrrraaaaaaapppppeeee was heard, but I could see in the mirror that it was only the bucket. Or so I thought.

When we got back I realized that (and no, I know you are thinking I trashed the trailer or garage, am I right?) the bucket was hopelessly pretzeled and reshaped into something resembling a bucket that had been run over by a tandem axel trailer and boat weighing 4500 pounds. Can’t imagine why. The fact that it was ripped open at the bottom was a minor annoyance. After all, this was the car wash bucket and all, but I have another one. What was a not so minor annoyance was to discover the brand new Costco-bought one-gallon car wash soap container was inside the bucket! The good news was that, unlike the bucket, it survived the crushing without leaking. The bad news is there is just no easy way to get the bucket unpretzeled to get the soap container out!

So now when the car or boat needs washing, the container cap gets unscrewed and the entire 5-gallon bucket is inverted to get soap out. This is somewhat of an unusual challenge as the handle on the top of the car wash container is still accessible. But if it is used to hold on to, the soap comes out and most of it falls into the crushed bucket instead of the intended replacement unit. Then the cap can be put back on and the crushed bucket can be fully inverted and some of the soap will dribble out into the replacement bucket. I tried just holding onto the pretzel one time but so much soap poured out that, well let’s just say the driveway is VERY clean. Only have about half a gallon to get rid of before I can get some new soap.

Needless to say the soap will not reside in the replacement dual purpose car wash/boat warning system bucket!

OK, so here is the Coup de’ Grace. Sturgeon Tom, skrimmy, reeldick, Fishing Is Life and I were all out fishing a few Saturdays ago. Fully five experienced, some might even say borderline hardcore, fishermen knowing just exactly what we were doing. We had been fishing for awhile above the I-205 bridge on the Willamette when we decided to move back down to the Garbage Hole.

A couple of weeks ago there was considerably more current in the Willamette than now. Knowing that, I started very high in the run, intending to hold there while I refreshened my bait. I pulled in toward the West Linn side but still well out in the river. Usually I start more toward the OC side, but since the path was clear on this line and a few boats were on the other side it seemed to make sense.

Anyway, I put the kicker in forward but just idling and started putting a new egg and shrimp cocktail on. It took longer than I was planning but I could sense little sideways boat movement so everything seemed fine.

Everything seemed fine that is until WHAM!!!!!

During the process of re-rigging, I hadn’t noticed that everyone else was as well. Five sets of eyes all glued to their individual bait rigs, all intending to get a perfect presentation. What I also had failed to notice was the HUGE back-eddy that had formed just below the bridge piling. While we (and yes, I was the captain so it was entirely my responsibility I know) were all ignoring the boat the thing got caught a full 30 or more yards away from the bridge but in the eddy and, combined with the kicker being in gear, made a full frontal assault on the Interstate Highway System! Had the Coast Guard or the Navy been in the vicinity I think they would have taken us out!

With a mighty shudder the bridge swayed back and forth. It resembled the video images that were captured of the Tacoma Narrows bridge in that force 4 gale several years ago. We could hear what sounded like semis jacknifing above. A large Sunami formed at the base of the bridge and flowed both directions, dislodging boats from their anchors from black point down to Cedar Oak.

It took about an hour for the river to settle, and the bridge a bit longer to stop swaying.

Well I found out that Willies are very tough boats. But they are not tougher than a bridge piling. At least their bow rollers aren’t. They do weld them on rather than bolt them for toughness.




Now another trip to the shop is in order after the end of springer season.

Sigh...

[ 05-19-2003, 07:16 AM: Message edited by: Hogmaster ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ouch! Just because someone is experienced, maybe even hardcore, doesn't make it impossible to keep getting impeller material...

Just ask BOE

:grin: :grin: :grin:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OOOPS! OK, so you weren't. It is just that you have been associated with so many broken things (mainly Tom's rods) I must have projected your presence there!
:grin: :grin: :grin:
After the concussion it is lucky I remember how it even happened!
:shocked: :shocked: :shocked:
 
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