a tale of a fateful trip…” *Gilligan’s island opening*

I haven’t finished with my photos of September, but here’s the story of the boat shenanigans from last Friday, October 5th.

kevin and I were going up to Starved Rock on Friday; we’d planned to leave between 10:30 and 11:00 so we’d have time to do some hiking, and were then going to a nearby winery to listen to some bluegrass.  but things didn’t go as planned.

first of all, when I woke up I looked out the bedroom to see kevin walking around.  he’s not normally on that side of the house.  lester had bolted out the front door at about five in the morning when it was still dark.  but at about 9 he hurried up the front walk, anxious to get back inside.  whew.  meanwhile, I realized that i’d chipped a front lower tooth and my dentist wasn’t available so a backup dentist was able to see me.  before I left, kevin said that our neighbor frank had called – his boat was sinking!  alarming.  because we were going to head out after I got back, kevin arranged for amy and jim to tow frank to the boat launch later in the afternoon.

but while I was driving to the dentist I saw all kinds of issues with this plan.  neither amy nor jim had driven our new boat, and it took a long time for both kevin and me to figure out how to dock it in our new boat slip, so it all seemed like a bad idea.   plus you never know what will happen with a boat…

kevin agreed, and the new plan was that he would tow frank with jim’s help.  my tooth issue didn’t take long to fix, so I was home in time to go along for the ride.  bev, who was at our house to cat-sit, joined us, because the more the merrier.

we started out at 11:30 and had time to talk about the situation.  kevin said that the back of frank’s boat had been filling up with water the night before because the lift had broken.  somehow frank had managed to pull his boat to the beach and tied it up to some trees.

Friday morning, frank drove his minivan to the boat launch and jim sat in frank’s boat as we towed it.

I drove our boat and things were going fine.

jim mostly stood around in frank’s boat.

it was a little tricky towing him under the bridge but I managed to not crash his boat into the sides of the tunnel.  yay!

it got a little hairy as I tried to maneuver so that Frank’s boat would go into the boat slip and my boat wouldn’t hit the other boat.  luckily kevin always knew which was I should be turning the wheel, and together we managed to successfully get his boat where it needed to go.

kevin and bev climbed out of our boat to assist with frank’s boat, and I managed to pull our boat up to the next dock and secured the ropes.  I never left my boat while all the shenanigans over there were taking place because even though my ropes were secure I had a suspicious feeling that somehow they might untie themselves.

here you can see poor bev covering her head; she never ever goes out in the sun without covering her head, and she had no sun protection that morning.

the boat wasn’t perfectly lined up with the sides of the trailer so jim started rocking it to maneuver it into place.

kevin later told me he was sitting there pushing the boat with his feet.  the woman in the purple shirt is linda, frank’s wife.

I love this picture showing just how hard everybody was working.  look at bev go!

I love the way kevin manages to manipulate one rope all the way around bev as he tries to get a handle on things.

here, frank pulls his car forward and along near the end of the video they realize that the winch strap, which you need to pull the boat up onto the trailer, is stuck.

backing up again!  at the end of the video you hear a little shriek, and i’m pretty sure that’s when bev’s rope snapped.  it didn’t seem to make a difference, really.

jim jumps aboard the trailer as frank once again pulls the minivan forward.  kevin pulls on the winch and confirms that yes, the strap is definitely stuck.

frank got out of the minivan and tried to see what was going on.  what to do?  I realized we might never get to leave that place.

commercial break!  I took a picture of my new fitbit, the Ionic, which is waterproof.  I could have tested its waterproof-ness by pitching in, but instead I continued protecting my own boat, plus documenting it all for posterity.

this is one of my favorite photos, because of the jaunty way linda has her jacket draped over her head.

you will see there’s somebody new here – a nice guy came along in a bright orange pickup and jumped in the water to help. we never caught his name, but because kevin kept telling frank to move the car, the guy knew frank’s name and kept hollering to him.

later, kevin told me that the guy wanted to scoop up bait at the end of the pier.  he was going to use it for a fishing contest later in the day, and he probably figured that if he didn’t help he’d never get to his bait.  he said they’d need to cut the strap off the winch, which would completely destroy the strap, but at that point there was no other way to do it.  frank found some gardening shears in the van and the guy cut the strap and tied it onto the winch.  by some miracle it was strong enough to pull the boat out of the water.  it turned out that the strap was fairly new and whoever wound it around the pulley hadn’t pulled off the old strap, and that old strap got entangled with the new one plus it was all folded over on itself and that’s why it was very stuck.



here the guy utters the line “that sumbitch is heavy!” as he gets frank to back up a little more.


wow.  what a morning – we piled back into our boat at about one o’clock, we got back to our dock a little later and then bev and I covered the boat.

that was a final ordeal because it was hot by then and bev was getting lots and lots of sun on her head and it was hard work.  kevin had gone up to the house because he was having all kinds of issues with his insulin pump, and jim went back to his house because he was wet and hot and exhausted.

whew.  we finally pulled out of the driveway at about two and didn’t get to hikethat day, but all in all it’s a miracle that we even left at all.

a very exciting start to the weekend.

ok then,

mrs. October hughes.