Cuyahoga River Meet 2020 Write-Up
WRC Guys & Gals,
Surprisingly the river was down a bit since I was last there only a few weeks ago, but deep enough to run our boats and have a good time. When we got there about 9:00 AM a couple guys were already there Jerry Kay, Chip Rabbitt and Steve Schmitmeyer. As we pulled in, Chris, (the owner) and one of his helpers asked what was going on, I proceeded to tell him we were the Antique Outboard Motor Club that had called about having a meet at their place today. He claimed to know nothing about it and asked who I talked to I told him his mother and one of their girls who worked there! Oh well it worked out great, the only thing he asked was for us to park in a certain area, no problem.
The guys put their boats in and the cruising began. I had brought a young friend along that has shown interest in learning about outboards and how they work. Tony Pastore has been coming to our Wednesday get-togethers where we have been showing him the ins and outs of motor repair! He’s a quick study and sucks it up like a sponge.
Even tho the day started out rather chilly (45*) by the time we got to the river it had warmed up into the 70’s and was sunny and cloudless. Our first run up the river was slow and cautious as we weren’t sure where the logs were hiding! At this point there weren’t any canoes or kayakers on the water so after our slow run we opened up the mighty Merc Mk 25 and ran full steam back down river! Oh the rush that brings!
The next adventure was down river only to find several areas were clogged with seaweed A.K.A. river grass, which I can tell you wraps so tight around the prop it might as well have been nylon rope. I had tried backing up thinking it would flush off the prop and gear housing, but when I lifted the engine and saw the birds nest of grass I realized there’s no way it’s going to come off aside from cutting and ripping at it! It took a while but I finally got it all off!
Our total number on the list that Bob Joynt had everyone sign was 25 after I added a couple that hadn’t signed! Thank you Bob, I’d say that was a very good turnout for the first meet of the year!
The noon hr had arrived and we were all hungry. The Iron Horse Restaurant has side panels on the back section of the restaurant that open up making it into a nice patio area. They also have outside tables that you can sit at in the sun, but by this time it was pretty warm and the crowd of kayakers and canoe renters had grown exponentially and most of the outdoor seats were taken. We placed our orders and soon the food was here! I didn’t hear any complaints so I think it was pretty good!
By the time everyone was finished eating we were back out in the boats. I had promised Dave Deck a ride so we headed up river as fast as the old Merc would take us, but as soon as we rounded the first turn in the crooked river (in case you didn’t know that’s what Cuyahoga stands for) there was a flotilla of Kayakers ahead! Running full tilt I was tempted to blast right thru the whole mess of them. How dare they be on our river when we’re running outboards! But alas I slowed and putted through them. Phooey sure would have been fun tho! We went up another ¼ mile or so and turned around as I wanted to go back and pick up Tony so he could man the tiller and feel how a motor responds.
With Tony on board, I showed him how the controls worked and started the Merc. I didn’t know if he’d ever handled an outboard before but he told me he’d taken a course to get his driver’s license! Wow I didn’t even know kids had to have a boat driver’s license. Tony put it into forward and we were off. I have to say he was very cautious running it and didn’t feel comfortable going very fast, and that is very admirable in someone when they are first learning how to handle a boat and motor! After running thru the Kayakers a couple more times we headed back to the restaurant and pulled the boat!
Most of the guys had already pulled their boats and were loading up all their gear. We bid a good by to the gang and were on our way after a fun day in the sun running boats! Till next time Remember –
Keep The Blue Smoke Flowing!
Gary & Peggy