Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Idiot Payment

Memorial Day on the Chesapeake means Fairlee Creek. Yes, we had a few issues there a few weeks ago but we were more than happy to go back (especially since we would be anchored no where near the beach).

We were greeted by the Fairlee Creek "camp ground." I prefer staying on my boat, but a tent on the beach may be a close second. By the way, this is the same beach where we had our bonfire.
We arrived Saturday morning and rafted up with 3 other boats. By the end of the day, we had 6 overnighters.

Unfortunately, Joe lost one of his grill attachments in the water. Doug and Joe's daughter, Jenn, were already in the water and dove down to try to find it. 9 feet of water isn't much when you are in a pool and can see the bottom; the murky Chesapeake is a whole other story. Another boater friend, Mike, has an underwater hookah/houka that forces compressed air down a tube and Doug thought this would be a good time to try it out. Here is Doug using that device in order to stay underwater longer to search:

After a couple minutes looking, he came up and said that he was having trouble staying on the bottom. Boaters are so resourceful. Mike decided that he would tie a spare anchor around Doug's waist so he could stay down longer. (This is where I double check to make sure the life insurance is paid up - just kidding - well, sorta.) Doug searched longer with no luck. However, somehow he managed to lose the anchor - he came up, the rope was tied around his waist, the anchor was gone. Mike was not willing to lose his anchor, so he went down to search - found his anchor - still no grill attachment. In the long run, Joe ended up using our grill and had his son Nick bring down his spare grill the next day.

Our next adventure was Sunday. A beautiful Regal had anchored behind us. Around midday, we noticed that it had broken free of its anchors. This boat was in serious danger of drifting into other boats. After numerous attempts by different groups to yell to the owners, it seemed that no one was onboard. Again, boaters are resourceful and very helpful and went to the rescue. Three zodiacs and a skiboat worked together (Joe and Doug in one) to protect neighboring boats and reset the bow anchor:
Once the bow anchor was set, it was realized that there was a small stern anchor and that the line had become wrapped around the stern IPS props. Doug was in the water yet again. This time he was diving under the boat in duress in order to unravel the stern anchor line:
After approximately 30 minutes, the boat was once again secure. Ironically, the owners returned just as soon as eveything was solved. They were quite grateful and offered beer to all who had helped. One group had already left on their zodiac but held up a bottle of wine and said that payment was not needed. My husband reported that they had gone into the cockpit fridge, taken the bottle and declared it as "idiot payment." My husband and our friend, Joe, accepted their thanks and declined the beer. As they know, we've all been there and been grateful to another boater for some help.

Looking back, perhaps they should have accepted the "beer payment." The boaters on the 4 helping boats had left the boat in a very good position. The captain of the Regal decided to fiddle with the anchors and was drifting again in no time and managed to once again wrap his stern anchor line around his props. Essentially, he was dead in the water and about to drift into some of the boaters who had helped him the first time:

After having issues twice I figured we needed to revoke his "Regal Card." In the long run, he rafted up with this other group in order to not cause any more issues.

The rest of the weekend involved sunny weather, sunburns, bullhorn karaoke, and general debauchery. In other words, a very "proper" Memorial Day.


  1. I love reading your boating stories. Goodness, poor little Doug was a little angel this weekend and coming in for the save. Sounds like you guys had fun, with a few adventures tossed in. I love how fellow boaters just jump in and help out. Such a great community.

  2. The picture of the tents down the beach is me and my friends. My brother an i have been going to fairlee every memorial day and labor day with my parents since i was 12 ( im 26 now ) this past memorial day 2012 we had to move down the beach because the point takes on water now.

  3. How fun that you found yourself on my blog. Yes, the water does take over the point now. Certainly makes for a tricky entrance into Fairlee.