In South Dakota, we have learned from experience that the US Army Corps of Engineers shows the same control over the Missouri River System as a newborn baby has with it’s bowels. They lie to us even when the truth would suffice. There……I have added my two cents worth. I have no doubt it is actually worth slightly less than two cents.
After a record year of flooding, the water was dropping so quickly that I have used Dock 44′s webcam on a daily basis with a marker that I placed myself to watch the water levels at Lake Francis Case. We wandered out on October 8th to make one last sailing trip before getting the boat out for the long cold winter that is destine to set in. This is my least favorite thing to do in the whole world. Seriously, taking my boat out for the winter has become the most depressing thing I am forced to do.
When we arrived, we discovered there were only four boats left in the marina and the water was so low, I was actually just a little nervous as last week I had ten feet of water under my boat and now, not only could I see mud banks that I have never seen before, I could see the actual concrete mooring weight on the mooring to the east of my boat. We would be taking serious risk to try and go sailing today and hope to find someone capable of getting us loaded and out of there when we returned on Sunday. I should not complain as we did get in the water at the end of March this last spring and only missed five weekends up to this point.
There were three sailboats and one of those fume puking power things referred to as a powerboat. One of those sailboats belonged to a couple there that I had never met before. Their boat, “No Patients” is the boat I had helped rescue earlier in the summer when they were unable to make it out there and it had broken loose from its mooring and floated to the back of Snake Creek Bay. She had her keel buried in about 4 inches or more of mud as the record flood water had started receding. I really feel fortunate because even finding that boat way back where she had ended up was a stroke of luck all in itself. Anyway, it was a lot of work to save her but I would do that for any sailboat and I hope that someday if my girl should be in need of rescue, someone would put that much effort into saving her.
Karma can work against you as well as with you. Today, Karma was with me. The owners of the boat I had helped to rescue had a truck and offered to help me get my boat out. With the water this low, I could not pass up the opportunity even though I knew, I was not going out one last time for the summer. (Insert: Grown man crying here) We loaded “No Patients” out with no issues at all and they hooked to my trailer right away and my “Boomdiada” was also loaded out with no issues other than one rope falling under a trailer tire and snapping as we drove up the ramp. We pulled her to the winter resting place and will return to do the final winterizing in about three weeks when we come back to help Linda repair the small boat shed that spent the better part of summer under water.
As we parked “Boomdiada” in the yard and we noticed one of the owners of the very last sailboat had arrived and was he unhooking her from her mooring. We all pitched in the best we could and also got “Dutch Treat” loaded and removed from the water again without incident. All that was left was then was the fume puking gas burner. Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I hate powerboats, it is just that I love sailboats so much more.
I hate winter and can only hope to survive one more so I might sail again. Until I can find way to get my old carcass moved further south, this is a ritual I must endure. I do hear Mexico calling my name.