While many of you were enjoying this weekend at boat shows.. We here in Woodyboaterville decided that Sunday looked like about the best day of the year to try and move Betsy, our 1958 Connie. Now mind you, she has not really been run for years. We tore off 1/4 of her bottom planks. Removed countless items including gas tanks and only really tested her for about an hr. So to make a 3 hr journey through the Chesapeake bay From Deltaville to Reedville had my nerves a little on edge.
I asked my next door neighbor.. Plastic boater Frank… To help out as a chase boat. He is a retired policeman and a by the book kinda guy with a boat that is needless to say, ship shape. As we headed out to get Betsy, the seas were a tad heavy, but OK. We made it there in Franks boat in about 45 minutes..Oh! that 454 can move that boat…
There she was at Krunches dock, all perky and her tail was wagging. She started right up and off we went. Now… With a 3 hr death march in front of you out in the bay. I have to admit. You notice each and every flaw in the boat. Each creek, glug and spit could be disaster…I think I have about 7 fire extinguishers on boat along with one of those big tanks that blows out the engine compartment. I was alone, with Frank in the chase boat, but as predicted by the weather man on line..
|I can not photo shop clouds like this.. They look to fake.|
The seas flattened out and it was smooth sailing. What an amazing day..80 degreees, low humidity, calm seas.. It’s like the world was helping Betsy home.Karma is a good thing..
Or was it…At 2,500 rpm the starboard engine started heating up a tad. Why push it. And to be honest, not a huge more speed. So we stepped her down to her new sweat spot. 1700 RPM’s – As we got half way, I noticed some water in the bilge.. And the pumps started working.. Now.. I have to say.. the term “that sinking feeling”… it’s a cliche for a reason… There I am alone, don’t want to stop… And as long as the bilges..4 of them.. keep shutting off, I am OK … Just plow forward.. Another cliche that rang true..
|Thank god for Frank.. Just knowing another boat was there was a good feeling.|
As we arrived in the Great Wicomico, This calm fell over me, I could swim home if need be. And after all I am only in about 8 feet of water.. I could walk home.. At this point, all her problems went away and I was able to see her beauty once more. Survival had blinded me earlier in the day, I was now able to slip back into my romantic view of the world and Betsy…
|Passing by the Reedville Stack.. All is swell in the world. I am home|
On she went. Tail wagging and glugging to her new home. It’s like she knew. She was home, and knew that her life from this moment on would be nice slow cocktail sunset cruises.. Like her life was going off into the sunset.. Another cliche, by the way.. Once docked, I climbed into the bilge to find water coming in .. The darn bolt on the stuffing box had completely come off. One twist and fixed… I plugged her into her new home and just sat and had a nice cool glass of water. Basking in my seamanship… Next week, I need to learn how to dock. If she is still floating..
|Home swell home|