WRC Guys &  Gals, 

Does the song title  ” I Love a Rainy Night” or “Walking in the Rain” Or maybe ” Splish Splash I was Takin a Bath” give you any insight to todays Meet ?  It brings new meaning to the term ” This will be a wet meet ”   Don’t get me wrong, we’ve all boated in the rain before and have survived and this was no different with the exception of the waves and wind ! But I will preface  it with the previous days conversation !

Tues. morning Ryan sent me a text asking if I thought we should postpone the meet to another day ? After having to change dates on other meets a couple times, I told him I thought we ought to stay with the original date as I hate making changes at the last minute !  My logic was people don’t always look at their emails every day !  So ~~~ We let it stand rain or shine !

4:00 AM I’m wide awake listening to the rain hit the roof, Oh it’ll stop by the time we get up, right ?   Well it’ll stop by the time we’re on the road, almost there we’ll stop for a bit of B’fast at somewhere near the meet location and by the time we get to the launch area the rain will be over, right ?  Well almost, still a slight sprinkle !

We pull into the Espyville ramp area about 8:45 and only one car is in the parking lot along with a couple truck & trailers that were already out fishing !   I have my trusty Arkansas Traveler in tow with my freshly rebuilt Johnson Po-15 on the back !  I had run it on a flushing attachment in the driveway last week so was pretty sure it would run on the boat ?  Ryan texted me he was almost there, and a few more of the guys started showing up ! Paul Wood, Bob Davidson, Tom Kenepp, Bob Joynt & Leslie, Domonic & Maryann, Jerry Kay, Scott Wimbush, Tom Shanor  rolled in !  After chatting with everyone for a bit I got another message from my young friend Mason Biller asking if the meet had been canceled, I assured him we were a go and were already on our way ! 

As predicted the rain let up just enough to make us all decide to launch the boats !  Bob J. had brought his Patina special with a 10hp Evinrude, he said he didn’t know we were bringing the PO’s or he would have brought his !  Luckily he brought what he did ( I’ll explain in a bit ) ! 

So Bob Launch’s the Patina Special, followed by me then Ryan !  Bob along with Leslie start up and head out into the wind and waves, it’s running about 1- 2fters with a wicked 25mph wind blowing out of the Northwest.  Ryan and I both launch and I try starting the PO to get out of the way for Ryan to start, after several good tries I finally realize I can’t get the darn thing started before the wind has me facing the rocks, so I row back to the dock where Tom Kenepp is holding Ryan’s boat. He offers to hold mine too so I can attempt to start it again ! Ryan get his started and heads out with Emma his daughter on board.

While Tom is hold my dock line I get the big PO started and are soon right behind Ryan headed out of the channel !  We both hit open water and the throttles are opened ! Ryan takes off into the waves and wind, if he can make it to the bridge and the other side of the causeway he’ll be able to open it up and run in some sheltered water !

I head out into the waves and try to open up the PO but it just won’t clear itself out to plane off the boat !  I try adjusting the carburetor lean, then rich with the Mag full advanced, It just won’t respond ! I head into the wind and waves to see if maybe going far enough to turn around and try going with the wind will give me the boost I need ?  It’s futile, nothing I try increases the speed so I decide to give up and head back to the dock !  By Now everyone on shore is watching to see if I can get it to go !  When I finally look around to see if I can spot Ryan I see he’s dead in the water trying desperately to keep from going up on the rocks ! 

Now the situation is getting scary, my PO is still running but not that great and I’m trying to figure out how can I go over and throw Ryan a line and tow him back away from the rocks ? The only tow line I have that’s long enough to throw to Ryan is tucked up under my front seat, and if I let go of the tiller to go get it the engine could either stall of go hard over and throw me out of the boat !  These old engines are a start and go with no neutral !  So thinking my only solution to try and save Ryan & Emma is to kill my PO and row once I get close enough !  So I do it ! Kill the engine and start pulling with all my might, just as I’m nearing Ryan & Emma I see Bob coming in the Patina Special !  Thank God I signal him to get Ryan as I know I can row back in !

Situations like this are what teach unforgettable lessons, namely be prepared for all possibilities !  What I learned first off is,  consider the weather conditions, wind and waves.   An engine untested in adversed situations !  Keep necessary items that might be needed in a hurry at hand ! 

So once back at the dock tied up securely I decided to start the PO again to see If I can figure out what is wrong and why it won’t  open up to full RPM ?  Bob Davis is coaching me with suggestion but still nothing seems to give the big opposed twin the feed it needs ! So I admit defeat and put it back in the trailer ! 

Back  under the shelter of the pavilion and out of the relentless drizzle we all are enjoying the satisfaction of downing one of Donut Bob’s circular sugar and chocolate covered delights !  It was once said by someone famous ” Sugar makes all things better” !

But one of the best happenings of the day was when I spotted one of our newest potential members Mason Biller and his Grandfather as they walked up to me !  Mason is one of those kids you just instantly like, always smiling, Polite (a true credit to his parents and grandparents) and best of all he loves outboards and according to his grandfather anything with and engine !   I suspect one day this young man will have a great future whether he becomes and engineer, outboard mechanic or anything he puts his mind to !  We will be lucky to welcome him into the WRC !

As the rain continued to dampen the day it definitely didn’t dampen our spirits !  As people started to leave we wrapped up the meet promising to do it again soon !

Thanks to Kelly & Ryan for hosting the meet and to all that contributed to making a rainy day something special !

Gary & Peg