A Day And Night To Remember

night 2

Smith point light House at the Mouth of the Potomac River

Yesterday started out as what could be considered the best day in a Woody Boaters life. And in one instant turned to hell. As you all know, we were planning to be on CBS Sunday Morning today. But got bumped for a Nature photographer and Navajo something, A couple weeks ago it was how to pick a mattress. HA. Such is the world of TV. It didn’t matter because yesterdays weather was amazing, simply amazing. Jimmy and his family and the Boatress and I were out on WECATCHEM and SUZY for as I say, “it 30 Gallons of fun”. About 6 hrs of running around the entire area. It was around 80, no humidity and flat water.

Night 22

The Boatress and WECATCHEM  which has a different meaning when I see my bride!

night Jimmy

Jimmy out in the Chesapeake Bay running side by side. And yes we are planning to do a comparison.

Night 3

We stopped at Woody Boater Clif Aimes house for a pit stop and fun chat about todays Poker Run at the Reedville Fishermans Museum. It was like a 3 boat show!

Now.. We are then notified that the segment on CBS has been postponed til after labor day, but that was OK, we enjoyed the day so much that we hung around Jimmys house til after dark for an amazing dinner. Heck, we have a search light? Know the area like the back of our hand.. Right? I suppose from the header you all know how this ends… Like any great event. Being towed in.. But in the middle of the night? Yup!

night 6

I Know where we are at least.

Here is how it happened. We were just putting along, around 1000 RPM and then it just stopped. I mean the boat stopped. Engine and boat! Like we were anchored. We had no idea what had just happened. The engine would start. Just when put in any gear, stall. There we are..In the dark, in the channel, and dead. Do I jump in? NO WAY.. We call Jimmy. Jimmy starts heading out in his Mako from across the bay. And it develops a huge oil leak, so goes back in..

night 11

SUZY to the rescue

And now the only go to boat left is trusty Suzy. Out she comes in the dark to the same mess I am caught up in. Which by now I have figured is a snarl of crab pots. After about an hr of wondering what in the hell is going on Jimmy arrives. I am able to jump in and feel around. It aint a crab net. Its something far worse, some sort of Oyster thing that is all ground up in the prop and shaft. And nothing is going to set it free. So we need a tow home. At this point, Jimmy runs aground, and a series of nutty things happen.

Night header

Night 12

The beautiful stack, were on our way home, dragging god only knows what, and the boatress at this point is wondering if the last 28 years of marriage was a mistake!

But break free, and we are able to be towed home. To stunning Sportsman headed in at night. Crazy. But I suppose in the end, a perfect Woody Boater Day and Night on the water! The one thing, that made it all fun even in our darkest hour, was knowing we had a fun story for our WB Sunday Morning!

Night 15

Guess what I am doing today!

29 replies
  1. Texx
    Texx says:

    Glad everyone made it home safe and hopefully there is no serious damage to the running gear. The life & times of WECATCHEM Chapter 25. – Texx

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:


    It’s nice to have good friends nearby! 🙂

    Karma was paying you back for not making the trip up the Potomac to pick me up at the Gaylord for a day of boating. (Guess I should have made the trip down to Reedville actually.)

    Troy in DC

  3. Alden R
    Alden R says:

    Check into a shaft razor/knife/cutter. Also, it would be a good idea to add a shaft collar zinc anode to prevent Galvanic corrosion that might corrode the fasteners in the hull.

  4. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    So bummed, got up early on a Sunday morning to watch CBS. Be sure and let us know the new date.

    • Chris C.
      Chris C. says:

      I set my alarm to watch CBS and watched and watched and watched, nothing about wooden boats thabout a little after nine in Houston time a looked at my phone and seen my WB email and read that the that it was postponed. Bummer. That’s all I could say. Do let us know. Disappointed in Texas.

  5. Matt
    Matt says:

    Yes, she sure is living up to her name. Catching Oysters is a true accomplishment thats for sure. HA. I love it.

  6. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Hey, what the hell? You could have been the tin man that sits in a cubicle picking or ditching what goes on some inane TV show…..and leaving the antique boat segment on the cutting room floor…..but NOOOO…..you WENT BOATING….with all the thrills and chills…….BRAVO!
    and having Clif and Jimmy around only enhanced the fun….
    John in Va.

  7. Dale H
    Dale H says:

    Of course you know this means I may be lynched by my club for spreading bad information. My blood will be on your hands!
    Apparently weeding your prairie garden is far more important than wooden boats.
    All seriousness aside, I see a prop recon in your future.

  8. Matt
    Matt says:

    I expect that the entire culture knew about this and are wondering what happened. I don’t think CBS knew we would plaster the universe with the info so fast. I even waited until sat and knew Thursday! The good news is that it will hopefully air when people are watching after Labor Day. Bigger audience for sure

    • Cobourg Kid
      Cobourg Kid says:

      Matt according to Chris Stevens ( of Northern Exposure fame ) ” a person has three choices in life. You can swim against the tide and get exhausted, or you can tread water and let the tide sweep you away, or you can swim with the tide, and let it take you where it wants you to go.”

      Just believe that the tide is taking the WB story to a better place and time. Just swim with it!

  9. Bill Hammond
    Bill Hammond says:

    Wow! That must have made one nice big whacking sound when it wrapped around the prop and stopped the engine/boat!! Was the bottom damaged at all? Sure hope not! And hopefully no Prop Shaft damage either! Good to hear that the blind tow home didn’t encounter any more mishaps! Hope you drained a few Tankards while toasting the Sea Gods over your safety!

  10. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Got up raced to the TV…Found out all I needed to know….and much more about indians and lack of water and other useless subjects, knowing when I left for church, woodie boats would be showing….only to get home and find the show has been rescheduled….What a bummer..
    Anyhow glad you made it home safely with lobster trap carefully…or maybe not so carefully preserved around your prop and shaft…I’m sure the residue will make great yard art.

  11. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Well, I just got home to find out that I recorded a two hour paid program selling Hee Haw on DVD. Hopefully I do better when it really airs.

  12. jim g
    jim g says:

    Get you one of these wire cutters. They work great. I’ve been using them for over 20 years. I gave a pair to a friend of mine who liked scuba diving in lakes. I drilled a hole on the end of one of the handle and put a ring on it so he could clip it on his belt. He was able to easily cut his way out one handed when he got tangled up in barb wire about 50 feet down.

    The spring loaded ones will probably be easier to use one handed.

  13. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Matt, you got that one out of the way fast! I suspect it would be an interesting day if you asked all of us for stories of mishaps involving propellers, shafts, etc., and the various things we have collected along the way… Every boat I have owned has, at one time or another, “reminded me” that I need to be mindful of just where I’m going and what I’m looking at.

    Glad everything and everybody is OK – at that RPM there should be no damage, except perhaps to the prop – but then again, that is the original bronze shaft isn’t it? Oh well, that’s boating! 🙂

  14. Scott K
    Scott K says:

    Our evening today ended on a rope too. No oyster pots though. Just a cranky carb.
    Gotta love great neighbors willing to rescue old noisy boats!!

  15. Carla
    Carla says:

    You had to do something in order to have an interesting story, Matt since the Algonac clip got bumped. Might I expect a call from you and/or Jimmy in the morning?. I am just happy to hear everyone made it home safe and sound.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      no calls. It will be a prop repair and hopefully thats all, i was going around 800 rpm. An Oyster pot..actualy two of them together. It was like an anchor and no way was I getting it gut through. I had to use wire snips and the knife.

  16. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    Just curious as to what that “thing” actually is? oyster drag mat? discarded oyster tong cage? Inquiring minds want to know. Salt water bays and coastlines add another dimension fresh water doesn’t require, that is changing bottom contours from tidal flows and estuaries and crab pots or lobster buoys as well as additional flotsam and jetsam to avoid. A safety reminder to idle your boat after sunset sounds prudent.

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      Two Oyster traps. The good news as I looked was if I had gone further I was into some serious sunken pilings. So in a strange way, it saved me. I was in the channel, but then drifted into real crap. It is amazing how quick stuff escalates based on your actions. If I had jumped in to be a man, I would have been screwed. No ladder yet. That was in Jimmys boat which I had left there.

  17. Mo Sherrill
    Mo Sherrill says:

    Best to leave boating to daylight hours, except in very familiar waters! If you have to boat after dark GO SLOW -there are “boogeyman monsters” in the dark – especially on water!!!! Glad you made it to shore with no REAL serious problems and I hope your 1-3/8″ shaft isn’t bent!!

  18. Matt
    Matt says:

    We know the waters very well. Just not the ever changing crap pots and this mess. We are lucky and were going around 800 rpm. Upon further inspection the prop is on a shim. So not sure if its right. The shaft is a 1 1/4 shaft according to the factory specs, so the measurement of 1 3/8 kinda makes sense. I was just trying to measure and my little puller wouldnt fit. UGH..

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