Sunday, July 5, 2015

Power boat tour

A different view than on Kintala
We have been on the hard for more than 50 days. Work on Kintala is progressing just fine and we certainly hope to have her back in the water way before 50 more days pass. Still, watching a boat pull away from the dock for an evening or weekend sail will spark a moment's jealousy. So when Derek, son of the marina owner, invited us on an evening boat ride to see the race fleet last Wednesday we jumped at the chance to get off the land for a bit.

The family has two boats floating in slips here. One is an abandoned sailboat that they ended up with and did a ton of work to. It is a beautiful little cabin boat now, one that would make any owner proud.

The other is a Boston Whaler center console power boat. This one also came needing a ton of work. Since they were at it anyway,  a new 6 cylinder Mercury (4.3 liter?) was shoehorned in place. This current boat replaced a slightly larger version of the Boston Whaler the family once owned. Derick's story was that that boat had also enjoyed a major engine upgrade. An upgrade which put a little more raw power into the hull than the hull was really built to handle. Eventually it was sold to another person who understood that, when it comes to internal combustion used to make something go fast, there is no such thing as too much horsepower.

There is much to be said for working on one's own boat in a yard where the owner and his crew routinely do such things.
Anyway...Derek has a choice of sail or power. Since the Whaler had not been out much yet this year, he elected to give it a chance to breathe a little. My rides on powerboats have been few. Back on Carlyle there was one ride on a jet ski, one ride on a pontoon boat, and one on a little blue open bowed boat of indeterminate power. That's it. I told Derek I had never really been on a powerboat before, which might not have been entirely true. But it was close.

We motored down the creek at a sedate “NO WAKE” pace. I even took the helm for a minute or two while Derek searched for the key to unlock the cover over the navigation boxes. These being his home waters there was no real need for the GPS. Since the boat was powered up anyway it seemed a good idea to warm up the electronics as well. Once on the Bay he turned to port, instantly putting us in waters we have seen but never sailed. Up ahead was the Frances Scott Key bridge. Just beyond it lay a marker that notes the point where, on the night of September 12 – 14, 1812 the HMS Tonnant, with Francis Scott Key aboard to negotiate a prisoner exchange, sat during the siege of Fort McHenry. Later Key wrote the poem “Defence of Fort M'Henry” describing his experience of that battle. A poem that became the National Anthem of these United States. It was a pretty cool tour near the Fourth of July Holiday.
Fort McHenry

Just south of the Bridge is the tiny spit of a man-made island, Fort Carroll. It was never really finished and, it seems, was never much of a Fort. In 1958 an attorney bought it with the idea of building a casino. Those plans never worked out and now the Island is overgrown with trees, home to uncounted birds, and still surrounded by a wall. It is a sure bet the adventuresome still visit the place. I know I would have, had I grown up anywhere around here and had access to a boat.  The closest we got was a slow motor around the place while Derek told stories of it being a stash point for an enterprising marina thief a few years ago.

Tour over, Derek turned the bow back toward White Rocks and gave the Merc free reign. We flew across the water at nearly 40 mph. Which was okay...sort of. Well, actually, it wasn't my favorite part of the ride. There is something about a power boat going fast, pounding against the waves, that strikes me as a protest. A motorcycle going fast flows along the road. An airplane going fast, down low, is pure magic. The Z-car at full song well, sang.

A power boat going fast is just a beating, a bit like a motocross bike. (Which is why I never spent much time in the dirt.) Still, to each his own, and we certainly enjoyed our evening on the water, a good look at the sailboat fleet, and one of the more interesting historical tours we have taken in a while. And I have certainly been on a power boat now.

Thanks Derek.


Unknown said...

I have been a long time follower, probably since the beginning. My wife and I live on the other side of the bay, and cruise the Chesapeake out of Rock Hall. We are planning to spend a few days on the water next week, probably Wed, Thurs, Fri. 7/15,7/16,7/17 and wondered if you would mind if we cruised over to Oak Harbor to meet you and maybe hang for a while and chat. Thanks, let me know.

Steve Winand
M/V Rogue (yes, I'm from the dark side)

Deb said...


We would love to have you visit! Just keep in mind that Kintala is a bit of a project disaster at the moment...You can anchor at the end of the docks - there's one anchor spot there and rarely anyone in it, and there's a dinghy dock. If you prefer a dock, they usually have one transient slip somewhere but it has been pretty full the past couple weeks. Here's the lat/long of the anchorage: N39°08.784' W076°3.922'. Contact us through the blog contact form and we'll email you our phone number. Look forward to meeting you.