Last year we didn’t get Kevin’s sailboat out of the water til after November 1st and were shocked to find that the boat docks had been taken out of the water and set up on the boat ramps, so we couldn’t take his boat out at the sailboat launch, which has a really good and steep drop-off for pulling out a sailboat. One of the docks was still working and we did manage to get it out, but it wasn’t ideal.

So this year we’ve wanted to get it out earlier, and our friend Glenn always helps out in a big way, motoring the boat over to the launch and helping Kevin get it all situated on the trailer. But he works on elections and he’s way busy right now and has almost no free time, so this morning, after we’d had days of rain and crazy lots of wind, Kevin and I de-stepped the mast ourselves. This involves lowering the mast and we did just fine, with Kevin doing mostly everything and me pulling on a rope to guide the mast safely down. At the beginning of the sailboat season Kevin had carried the mast down the hill to get it on the boat, and he was going to carry it up today but I helped him, so at least I felt useful doing that.

But then I said I thought I could motor the boat over. The thing is, that’s not something I’ve ever done before. It’s a very small engine and I knew it wasn’t rocket science, but the first goal was to start the motor, and you have to pull the cord like a lawn mower and I pulled and pulled and pulled some more and got very frustrated, so Kevin got it started and we took it out for a short lesson, so I could learn how to maneuver it. Like I said, nto rocket science, but I had to remember to pull on the big lever coming out of the motor to the opposite side from where I wanted to go. He also showed me how to put it into reverse, but then he backed the boat back into our dock so I wouldn’t have to mess with that.

He waved at me from the shore as I headed out and kept waving and I didn’t know he was filming me, but here I am, already kind of far away.

I was worried that if the boat died while I was en route, what’d I do? I thought that maybe adrenaline would kick in and I’d somehow be able to get it started, but there was also an oar on board so I could always row.

I set out and it was kind of OK at first…

…But then the wind started to pick up and the water was pretty choppy so I really had to pull on the lever for the motor a lot in order to try to go in some semblance of a straight line towards the launch.

As I went I got a little more confident and decided to try giving it just a little more gas, but then I’d pull harder on the lever, from one side to the other, and I was zig-zagging a bit erratically but then, after I was more than halfway to my destination i realized the motor, which was mounted on a very old piece of wood, was coming loose. As I pulled to one side, the motor lifted up on the other side, alarmingly close to rising to the top of the piece of the board. Was it going to completely fall off?? So I quickly did my best to jam the motor back down onto the board and I was pretty confident that nothing like this had happened in our very short lesson on how to motor.

I tried to slow down but then I got close to killing the engine and of course I didn’t want to do that, and then I was approaching the dock and I tried to yell to Kevin that the motor was loose but of course he couldn’t hear me because of the wind and as I tried to forcefully push the motor down onto the board the boat veered wildly and headed for the rocks. I’m pretty sure that at this point Kevin started scrambling over on the rocks; I guess he was going to throw himself toward the boat to keep it from violently crashing.

Somehow I had the presence of mind to put the boat in reverse, which involved pushing a lever back, and I gave it some gas which didn’t seem to do much, but then I finally did get it going backwards and then slowly zig-zagged towards the end of the dock.


Kevin had the big hook which is normally kept on board for hooking onto something on he dock, and he managed to pull the boat secure and I stepped onto the dock and was immensely relieved. Yay! The metal cord from the trailer had to be attached to the front of the boat and I volunteered to crank the crank to bring the boat closer, which involved walking down the slippery dock and sloshing through the water. I also had to open the back hatch of the truck so I could sit on it to crank. I was wearing these great rubber shoes that Kevin bought for me, but they didn’t really keep my feet dry because I was wading in up to my calves. But Kevin has had to wade into the cold water quite a few times and I figured I should do it for once.

After that there were still things to do, like I had to climb into the truck and back it up a couple of times which of course makes me nervous because what if I backed it way down into the water and submerged it? But that went ok, and then Kevin did some cranking when the truck was a little farther forward so he didn’t need to get wet.

We had to do some more stuff and it was all a little jarring to me because I was afraid that something would go wrong, but of course Kevin completely knows what he’s doing and it all sorted itself out. Well, Kevin Sorted it out.

I was so happy that the boat was on dry land.

When we got it into the parking lot, it wasn’t secured to the front of the trailer so Kevin had to unroll some of the wire attaching the boat and then we had to push it to get in in the middle of the middle thing that it needed to be up against. I’m pretty sure those are all the correct nautical terms. I do feel that all the kind of serious weight-lifting I’ve been doing for the past couple of years did help me to actually be useful in pushing the boat to where it needed to be.

We drove home and I felt like I’d accomplished something new, which is a great thing and doesn’t happen to me very much. I steered the boat! I backed the boat! I didn’t lose the motor!

Kevin then had to back the trailer into our curvy driveway because he couldn’t take it out into the circle in front of the house like he usually does because the ground was too soggy, and he did an impeccable job of backing. Among other things, he’s a backer. Need any backing? Kevin’s your guy for sure.

He’s mentioned that he’s going to teach me to back the trailer sometime, but i think that backing the boat plus not causing the motor to fall off the wooden plank and plunging into the lake is all the new skills I need for right now.

Meanwhile…lately I’ve felt that there are just so many things I want to accomplish that I’m rushing around all the time, yet I still don’t manage to get things done that I want to get done, but I do feel that many other people feel like this, it’s not just me.

I do hope to get some of my other summer photos up here before the year is out but suddenly it does seem to be barreling right into view.


Ok then,

Mrs. Sailboat Motorer Hughes.