Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Memorial Day Memories-Part 2

Sunday was the perfect day to spend at Cape Lookout. Not a whisper of wind, 75 degrees and sunny. An early run to the store and we were flush with beer, ice, fried chicken and a deli tray. We put four chairs in the boat, launched it, headed out the inlet and turned to the east toward the lighthouse. It was so hazy, I couldn't make out the black and white diamond structure until we were within a mile-usually you can see it the minute you leave the inlet. We ran the beach but saw no more ponies. We tied up inside the "bight"-not too many boats there at 11:00 A.M. and we were able to grab a spot, unload, double anchor to keep the boat from swinging into others and then commence to doing absolutely nothing for the next five hours. Beer runs were made to the boat until Jane fashioned a "golfer's cooler," a plastic shopping bag filled with beer and ice and tied off at the top. The water temp is still cool and the girls would make "pee trips" out into the water. If you're ever at the beach and see women walk out to waist deep water, stand there for half a minute, then walk back out, that is what they are doing. They faced an interesting dilemma- the deeper the water, the more discreet they could be, but the deeper water was colder making it impossible to pee, or at least imposssible to start the stream-I don't know that for a biological fact, but I don't know why they would lie about such a thing and I have seen several females report the same on a whitewater rafting trip.
It clouded up and we bolted home at 4:30 taking the back way and booze cruising it down Taylor's Creek to get out of the southwest wind that had kicked up in the afternoon. We let the girls out to get a head start on the showers, pulled the boat out and headed home to get ready for another late night-dinner and another night music and beer and rummy drinks on the boardwalk.
One of Scott's favorite quotes is "nothing good ever happens at the boat ramp." I have spent enough time at these places that I know that truer words have never been spoken.
Long holiday weekends bring boaters to the coast who have not used their boat since the last long holiday weekend. Their ramp skills leave much to be desired. There is also a phenomenon in the summer called "ramp rage," which can be triggered by any launching faux pas that prevents local seasoned boaters from being able to get their craft into the water. I saw a guy from Chapel Hill pull a full-masted sailboat out of the water and "through" an oak tree (the tree won). I've seen countless upstaters launch there boat, then realize when they turn the key that the battery has been dead for a decade. I've seen cars left in reverse launch not only the boat but the themselves. I saw a guy from Raleigh in an old tri-hull try for an hour (no shit) to steer his boat onto his trailer on a windy day while his wife alternatively laughed and cursed at him. I guarantee that when he got home he put that boat on the market and retained divorce counsel.
I have never seen anything quite like what happened at the ramp on Sunday. I was easing the trailer onto the ramp closest to the dock and a guy was beside be at the other ramp. I saw his buddy gun the Carolina Skiff up on the trailer and give the guy in the car the "go" sign. The only problem was that neither had actually hooked the boat to the trailer and the ramp was extra steep on the low tide. The car pulled the boat to the top of the ramp and I heard a huge crash. The skiff had slid off the trailer and landed smack dab on the ramp, at least a yard from the water. Everybody around laughed their ass off. The two guys didn't seem very concerned-the guy in the car muttered a brief apology then they pushed the boat back into the water, regrouped and re-trailered it. Nothing good ever happens at the boat ramp-but funny shit goes on 24/7.

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