Thursday, March 29, 2007

Curious Bystanders

My friend, Renee, has blogged about how people ask the silliest things about her children, being that they are unique in size and diversity through adoption. Anyhow, it got me to thinking about silly things that happen to us when out boating.

The other day, on the docks, we got the strangest looks and advice. People make assumptions and conclusions without even so much as a mutual conversation. Fishing is a man's world and it is a common perception for people to assume I'm clueless when it comes to loading and unloading my boat or backing my trailer. Mostly, this happens on weekend fishing and less during the weekdays when the pros or regulars are out.

Let me give you a little visual....Our public docks are overlooked by the local restaurant, Grills. It has great seafood, lots of live music on weekends and an outside tiki hut with an area to watch the boats come and go at the docks. There are hecklers which scare me. What many folks, on and off the water, don't know is that the dock closest to the restaurant has too much angle on it and leaves a lot of trucks spinning their wheels trying to pull boats out onto wet pavement. It all seems like good entertainment unless it is happening to you.

Usually the unloading isn't a problem because the restaurant isn't open and the cruise boat tourists haven't arrive either. When we get back from fishing, the 3-ring circus begins. I usually hop out and take 1 child in tow with me to the suburban. Jack has to back out amongst a crowd of 'chillin' boats waiting on their 'ride'. I come back, praying every moment of the way, to get one of the first 4 spots with the trailer. I back down. Now, let's stop here. Any person with a knowledge of fishing/boating could notice that I'm pretty decent at this. I rarely miss the first time, even in tight situations. BUT, we're not talking knowledgeable folks... ha ha. I step out to wait for my vessel to arrive. Jack stays with the boat at all times and drives it onto the trailer.

We have a routine. We are sensitive to timing, movement, various hand signals if the band is playing and even sometimes we have relay microphones (AKA kids screaming back to daddy). I trust Jack not to mutilate my fingers (seriously) and he trusts me to load the boat like a valuable part of teamwork. What jeopardizes all this teamwork is the guy who thinks I need help. This is the man who jumps down off the walkways and starts cranking the boat for me. This is the guy who thinks he has super-human strength to load a 6,000 lb boat up rollers to the rubber stop. Sometimes Jack will let him to 1-wear him out 2-keep from hurting an innocent stranger. If this guy doesn't show up to save the day, there is the other guy who decides to talk Jack's ears off and give him advice on how and when to move the boat. He's a helping buddy because, afterall, there is a woman at the winch.

We hate to be rude to those that are sincerly curious about fishing or our classic Mako; however, mostly we have to ignore these folks. We have to focus on not having an accident. We have twice seen trucks pulled into the water with their boats & trailers still attached. I have precious cargo in my SUV and they know the drill to jump out of the opened windows and swim to me or the dock if they get pulled back to the water. I cannot afford to have my husband and other child roll off the trailer and be dumped on concrete. We once had a strap snap on our old Rinker. Scared me to death! I screamed but praise God that we had a bunk trailer at the time. We now have triple chains on our Mako because with rollers, we can't afford to let gravity do damage.

All this to say that Renee, I can sympathize with stares and curious folks who feel the need to know and help you out.


Renee said...

You are amazing. I can't even park Clifford straight in our driveway ;o)

Sorry, but the phrase women at the wench had me cracking up..

Blessings and Love,

Robin's Reports said...

Maybe I should have said wench and the wench or wretch and the wench. ha ha.

AJR said...

Ah Robin, I would not have come down and treated you like a "Woman"

I would not yell down personal advice.

I would not even come down to help either.

I would have have been to busy saying to the other customers - Hey come watch this this - this ought to be good! :-) :-) :-)


Robin's Reports said...

Edited to correct spelling of *winch*!! Sorry - bad me!