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Sun Sep 6, 2020, 10:46 AM

A boat parade in which my boat did not sink.

During the 1970s, I lived in a little town near Morro Bay, CA, across the bay from the city of Morro Bay. My rented house was about 100 yards from the back bay estuary, so I acquired a converted little 8-foot long El Toro class dinghy sailboat, and bought an antique 3 hp outboard motor for $10 at a garage sale to fit on its stern. When the outboard would run, I could go under power. When I could not coax it into starting, I rowed.

Morro Bay had an annual Lighted Boat Parade every Christmas, so one year I put a 12' pole in the old mast hole in my tiny boat's front seat. I added a small, borrowed Honda 1000 watt generator to the boat's gear, and installed multiple strings of lights to simulate a Christmas tree. When it came time for the annual event, I put my tiny boat in the back of my 1954 International Harvester pickup and drove over to the boat launch area. My wife and I took the boat out of the truck bed and dragged it down the launch ramp. I installed that antique outboard on the stern, put the generator near the transom and plugged in the lights.

The outboard and generator cooperated, so off we sailed, looking between the strands of lights as we motored off to join the parade, right at dusk. Both my wife and I were wearing lifejackets, of course.

The Scow Joan P. was, by far, the smallest boat participating in that parade. By far. We were surrounded by boats, all of which were at least three times longer than ours. And yet, as we passed by the piers and docks in Morro Bay, people hooted and hollered to see our tiny craft go by with its 12' tree of lights. For our own safety, we kept near the docks, to avoid being overrun by the yachts and large powerboats that made up the parade.

No boats sank during the parade, I am happy to report. Perhaps that was because no political issues were involved in the parade.

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply A boat parade in which my boat did not sink. (Original post)
MineralMan Sep 6 OP
malaise Sep 6 #1
MineralMan Sep 6 #2
malaise Sep 6 #3
MineralMan Sep 6 #10
malaise Sep 6 #15
MineralMan Sep 6 #16
MyOwnPeace Sep 6 #4
MineralMan Sep 6 #8
dchill Sep 6 #19
empedocles Sep 6 #5
MineralMan Sep 6 #9
empedocles Sep 6 #11
MineralMan Sep 6 #14
riversedge Sep 6 #6
MineralMan Sep 6 #12
Wounded Bear Sep 6 #7
empedocles Sep 6 #13
TalenaGor Sep 6 #17
StTimofEdenRoc Sep 6 #18
erronis Sep 6 #21
Warpy Sep 6 #20

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 10:50 AM

1. Lovely story

Bet neither of you was drinking

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Response to malaise (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 10:53 AM

2. We had a nice bottle of Chardonnay in the boat.

Plastic glasses, though. For safety.

There are many stories that center around that little boat, which spent many days on the water of the bay for fishing and picnics and other activities.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 10:56 AM

3. LOL

Sounds like fun

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Response to malaise (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 11:17 AM

10. We had no money at the time, really, so

we had to make our own fun, and that little boat was part of that. If you live on a body of water, a boat is pretty much essential, I think. So, we had a $10 boat and a $10 outboard motor. It gave us millions of dollars worth of fun, for sure. Along with many fish suppers to pay its way.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 11:51 AM

15. Some of our best memories are from times when we used our imagination

and limited funds

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Response to malaise (Reply #15)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 11:55 AM

16. That is very true.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 10:59 AM

4. Quite the story.........

consider all of the "safety issues" that would now have you determined to not even THINK of leaving shore!
Ah, but for the youth.........

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Response to MyOwnPeace (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 11:09 AM

8. Oh, I don't know.

I would probably still do it now, if I lived there and still had that little boat. But, we were in our 20s then, and making the joke was the most important thing.

I had that boat out another time, fishing in the main channel of that bay. I was having quite good luck and had a bucket of fish in the boat, destined to become supper after being filleted and fried up. While I continued fishing, a friendly harbor seal, which probably weighed over 400 pounds, poked its head up over the gunwales, looking at me. I was somewhat concerned that it might take it in mind to come aboard, which would have resulted in dire consequences.

So, I gave him my catch, one fish at a time, to keep him alongside rather than on board. It worked, and I started tossing the fish farther and farther from the boat, to entice him to move off. Then, I started up the outboard and moved on, bucket empty. We ate hot dogs that night for supper.

Jack, the pelican, also visited my boat on several occasions. He would perch on the bow and watch me fish. He, too, often got a treat when I caught something too small to become my supper. Nice fellow, Jack.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #8)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 01:27 PM

19. Seal piracy! You were lucky he didn't make you walk the plank!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 11:00 AM

5. Long ago I belonged to a club where we raced 11' Penguins. Neat lil boat.

[Never heard of one sinking].

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Response to empedocles (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 11:14 AM

9. I did sail in an El Toro a couple of times.

It's an easy boat to sail, but I did manage to capsize it once. Mine was no longer a sailing vessel, though. Its rudder was missing, and I had no mast or sail, anyhow. I bought it for $10 at a different garage sale, and kept it for about 10 years. I finally gave it and the outboard to a high school kid, and switched to a 16 foot Grumman aluminum, square stern canoe with a more reliable outboard.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #9)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 11:18 AM

11. Friend would bring a car battery wireable to a tiny propeller to his boat; handy for making sure

some forard progress was made in his lil dinghy.

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Response to empedocles (Reply #11)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 11:21 AM

14. I found oars very useful, and they were always stowed

in my little boat, just in case. I had to use them fairly often, too.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 11:00 AM

6. Thanks for the share. Your boat sounds like the little old fishing boat I useon small lakes.

motor is old and sometimes I have to row.
someday, I may upgrade if I can find a deal.

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Response to riversedge (Reply #6)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 11:19 AM

12. Yup. A boat is a boat.

Even if it's old and tiny. The fun is the same. Keep your eyes open. You'll probably find a better one you can afford sometime.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 11:01 AM

7. There are good reasons for speed limits in harbors and marinas...

and they should probably also be followed on open waters when large groups of boats are together.

Most safety rules are based on common sense.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 11:20 AM

13. I have sailed on a lake where all sailboats ruled. No power boats allowed. Nice.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 01:05 PM

17. can we please do abide in parade over the spot where the Trump parade sank lol

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 01:10 PM

18. Q: What do you call a Trumpster bobbing in Lake Travis after his boat sank?


A: Proud Buoy

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Response to StTimofEdenRoc (Reply #18)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 01:42 PM

21. Very good! I could add "drunk and stupid" but that isn't necessary.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Sep 6, 2020, 01:34 PM

20. New England had a lot of boat parades that didn't involve sinkings

most notably the yearly blessing of the fleet in places like Gloucester and New Bedford. They were enormous affairs but nobody was pee on themselves drunk and everybody obeyed marine law and it's a lot more challenging to do that in coastal ocean and a harbor without hitting rocks or taking out a dock.

Then again, those boats and the people on them worked for a living, so I suppose it had to be different.

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