Pulling the boat out alone…..in Novemberrrrrr

For whatever reason I couldn’t manager to find the time to pull “Oh-rah” (my father and I were both in the Marine Corps-so he named it aptly) out of the river and safely on land.  This is actually a funny story.  It was early November and I drove to the Cape.  I was meeting a good friend of mine, Tony P, to help him delivery some “high-end” furniture, about $30, 000 worth, to Wellfleet.  I drove down Friday and spent the night.  Saturday morning I could have waited for Tony to help but I didn’t think we would have time based on his schedule.  It was about 10am and I had decided I needed to just get moving.  Unfortunately it was low tide, very low.  As I pulled the boat away from the dock my mom yelled out “I’ll have my cell phone on while I drive along the beach”.  Yeah, that was comforting, why because our boat had been having engine problems for quite some time, it would stall out.  As I pulled away I noticed the steering was tight so I texted my mobile marine mechanic.  He basically said “don’t worry but be careful”.  Heck, I wasn’t going that far, maybe 2 miles to the “free” boat landing.  I noticed the tide was very low and the channel markers had already been pulled.  I didn’t want to go too far out just incase of engine problems but the tide was so low I was hitting bottom.  I had to be about 3/4 of a mile out and it was still only about a foot deep.  Not good.  I was worried the entire way.  As I got closer to Bass River it was a mix emotion.  I knew I was closer but the current and the tide in Bass River can be tough.  My reprieve was that the Bass River channel would be deeper however trying to dock was a technique I was still working on, and the Bass River current was stronger than the Parker’s River current.  Low and behold I docked my 24 foot Wellcraft with perfection.  I thought “damn this is gonna be a piece of cake”.  Was I wrong!  My mother and I had previously staged my 2003 Land Rover Discovery at the Bass River landing with the boat trailer.  So when I docked the boat, being November no one else was around.  I tied up and went up for the trailer.  I backed it down into the water, easy peasy-lemon squeezy.   It took only two tries to line the boat up with a line on the bow and pull the boat up onto the trailer as I sat on top of my truck.  Boom its done.  As I fastened the boat there were two guys watching near by.  I jumped behind the wheel of my LRD and starting pulling the boat up the ramp.  just as we crested the landing the entire truck and boat bounced and shook.  I thought the whole damn boat fell off the friggin trailer.  When I jumped out the two onlookers ran over.  I forgot to lock the ball on the trailer.   Thank God I attached the safety chains otherwise the whole damn thing, boat and all would have rolled right back down into the river, good Lord no.  I managed to trailer the boat back to my moms house.  I think my gears were stuck cause it made an awful noise.  Finally I jammed the shifter back into all-wheel.  When I got back to the house the space to “back in” had about 2 feet on either side, at a 90 degree angle.  I made it on the first attempt.  Then of course I couldn’t lock the ball hitch.  So I waited for my 6 foot 6 inch 275 lbs friend Tony P to show up to jump up and down on it the hitch.  But while I was waiting I decided to take the kayak out and grab some fresh, super cold oysters out of the river.  I plunked the kayak into the river and slid right in.  At low tide I can cross the river in 3 strokes of the paddle and reach the other side where I can sink my hand into the river and pull up a fresh 2×3 inch oyster.  I pulled out about 15 shells.  The funniest part of the day was just after Tony pulled his faded silver van into the drive way 3 Yarmouth Police cruisers pulled up behind him.  What made it more interesting is that Tony was dressed just like a punk, baggy jeans and sweatshirt, wool cap on backwards and dark sunglasses.  Turns out the house next door had an issue with the alarm.  Why is this about Aspen Personalities? Because life is an adventure and sometimes we take risks.  When we do and they payoff the rewards can be grand, such as fresh ice cold oysters and the comfort of knowing your boat is ready for winterizing.  Besides, I needed my first story.