I know better. I was stupid. I was more than a little overdue for a fuel filter change. It was on my to-do list….a bit too long on the list, actually….just one more trip…….
We went up the coast in a slight blow to pick up some lumber for the greenhouse project. About 1000 pounds. It was blustery. Not a storm. Nothing to worry about. But we were side-towing our old Surf/whaler acting in the role of barge alongside the boat at about three knots and we were bobbing around some. Light chop. No biggie.
It was getting late. High tide was late and so we had gone up to get the wood late. I think it was about 7:00. No big deal. Didn’t even bother bringing the radio ’cause were together. Who ya gonna call?
We had the walkie talkie but my neighbour had gone to town.
Engine missed a few times. Then died. Damn. Damn. Damn. Pulled the filter and we had water! Gawd! When you are stupid or lazy or just plain procrastinating, the situation out here is just NOT forgiving. We were dead in the water, the wind was at least 15 knots going south and, with the current, we would likely drift down island right past our house within a half an hour. I felt like the idiot I was.
I briefly contemplated cutting the ‘barge’ loose and trying to paddle like hell to get to the beach so that Sal could jump ashore and go get her boat but I was not in the least bit sure that we could paddle close enough with the wind and current. Swimming a hundred yards or so might make up the gap…..?
‘Hmmm…jus’ maybe ol’ Rog got home by now. It is 7:00 – ish……? I’ll try the walkie talkie before flinging myself into the sea’.
Beeedle, beedle, beedle…….
“Oh Roger, I am sooooooooo happy to hear your voice. We could use a hero right about now. Mind coming out to mid channel and towing us home? Engine quit.”
A half hour or so later, we were at the dock and Roger was heading back home to finish his beer. We were lucky. It is not often you can do so many thing so wrong and come away unscathed. Nice sunny weather. Late-in-the-day relaxation mode. Sloppy habits. Safety ignored. Procrastination. Perfect recipe for a mishap.
And there’s nothing quite like a disaster at sea to focus the mind. We are now quite focused. A little tightening of procedures around here is what is on the agenda for today and we’ll slip in some fuel system repairs at the same time.
Then we’ll haul logs up the hill to make room for the lumber that has to come up next.
And you wonder what we do all day around here……….? Now you know. We do stuff. And then we screw up. And that makes for adventure if not just a few extra shots of adrenaline. And some things actually get done. Then we write a book.
Then we do more stuff. And screw up again……
Repeat as required. Life is a series.