July 4th turned out to be a pretty decent night, but unfortunately, my boyfriend experienced his most humiliating moments ever and all I could do was sit and watch. Justin (my boyfriend, aka DIYer) decided it was time to take the Beast out for her first time. I was against the boat going out into the flooded Mississippi and tried to talk him into not going, but when a grown up wants to do something usually they cannot be talked out of it.
So I went to lunch and enjoyed some friendly conversation in the marina restaurant while hoping the boat worked well on the first voyage in years.
After my lunch was done, I noticed that our boat was at the pump out station. I helped with the pump out and then the boyfriend said it would be too difficult for him to untie the boat and to get her running since their isn't much space near the pump out station.
I untied her and started walking to the slip on the other side of the marina to help guide the Beast in and tie her up. This is when I noticed there was a problem. He had both engines running in neutral when I untied the boat, but when he went from neutral to slowly moving (it's a no wake zone), one of the engines died. That made it pretty difficult to maneuver the boat.
I told him that there was a boat behind him and Justin yelled "Help me!" and we both knew there was nothing I could do. The "help me" got the boaters' attention at the dock he was at and they came out and pushed the boat around for him, after he hit a houseboat. Fortunately a boat in water, without power, can be pushed around pretty easily and there were five big guys at different points pushing him away from the boats. They were giving advice and were freely calling him names. (We both understand how that happened!)
Mean time I knew I would just get in the way of the big guys and knew we would run into similar problems at the dock where we are slipped. I ran over to the dock when I thought he had things under control and one of the guys from the restaurant followed me. We got to the dock and saw him still being bounced around. Finally, he started to go straight and was heading our way. The neighbor was curious and came out and was able to help too. All Justin had to do was get the boat close and the three of us on the slip fingers were able to get her in the slip and out of other boaters way.
The damage to our boat is minimal and the other boater was understanding and said not to worry since she has a steel-hull. We agreed that the boat won't go out again until I feel that she is worthy and that mistakes can happen, but bumper boats in the marina is never a good idea.
The two lessons learned from this are that sometimes a girlfriend can be right and that we have very understanding neighbors that are quickly becoming friends! We've helped them in less than stellar boating moments and they sure did help us out today.