I think we were probably about 17 at the time. We were either already in our senior year of high school, or it was a couple months before we started…I can’t honestly remember what month it was that we were out at the lake. Anyway, we went out there and met up with some friends of our parents’ and their kids. It was the first time dad had parked the boat on a beach instead of in a dock slip, and so when we all got ready to go out and tool around the morning after we’d arrived, he started up the boat, and promptly sucked a big rock into the engine somehow. It was very odd. And also it fucked up our boat.
So mom and our brother and our older sister and her husband at the time went off with our parents’ friends on their boat, while the Twin and I, and our older sister and her husband at the time stayed with dad. We planned on rendezvousing later at a restaurant/bar that was back in the canyon part of the lake that we liked to head into for a quick stop sometimes. We figured we’d be about an hour or so behind them, depending on how hard it was to get the rock outta the engine.
It didn’t really take long, as I recall, to fix the boat and get back on the water. Maybe 90 minutes? Not sure. Anyway, we finally were on our way, and headed back into the canyon. Dad wasn’t sure if mom and their friends would be at the bar already, so he decided to check out some of the coves along the way to be sure we didn’t miss them hanging out in there for a swim, or something.
The lake was a bit low that year. Not so low that they shut off the canyon access, which had happened in the past, but it was still low, and we were cautioned to watch for sand bars/high ground where we might not be used to sand bars and high ground being. The Twin and I were watching the level of the water off the side of the boat pretty closely. We had entered a cove that was pretty large and relatively deep as far as length goes. The water was NOT deep, and we alerted dad to that fact right quick. “Dad, the ground is right underneath us in here. Watch out!” Dad ignored us. You know, like dads are prone to do when it comes to teenage backseat drivers.
We went to the back of the cove, saw that our friends and mom weren’t in there, and turned to head back out. Dad was speeding along at a steady pace, too. Probly about 35 or 40 MPH would be my best guess. We weren’t tooling around like grandma, is my point.
As we headed back out of the cove, the Twin and I continued to warn dad that the side he was on now looked even MORE shallow than the side we’d entered on. He didn’t respond. We both looked at each other, and then turned around in our seats to sit properly, and hunkered over like you would if you were on a plane going down. And as we did it, dad drove us right up on top of a sandbar, sucking a bunch of mud and sand into the engine as he did. The boat stopped, sat still for a moment, and then teetered over to the right side where it settled into the sandbar nice and tight. Here…I drew a diagram to help you visualize the situation a bit better:
There had been another boat back in the cove when we first drove in (which was why I think dad thought it was ok to head back there in the first place, actually…), and they slowly drove out past our semi-wreck of a sandbar parking job without calling out and asking if we needed help, or waving or anything. Just…ignored us. As they slooowwwly drove past in a deeper part of water. That was awesome.
Even more awesome? We put up our red flag (which was made to look like a pair of old-timey undies that ladies used to wear in the 1800’s…) and started waving at boats as they passed out in the canyon about 200 yards away. Not joking…people WAVED back at us. Like all friendly and shit. Oh yeah, HI! We’re just hanging out on this sandbar with our boat parked on it and unable to move, waving our RED FLAG at you, just to be neighborly!!! Assholes.
No one would stop to see if we needed help. NO ONE. It was awful! Even more cool was that I was the first one to be brave enough to get off the boat and see what we were stuck on. Turned out it was a muck of sorts that came about halfway up my calf. And when I sunk down into it, I must’ve stepped onto a weird reed that was buried, or maybe a piece of glass, or something, and it sliced into my big toe. So I was bleeding everywhere. Well done!
I learned to just forget about it, and suck it up, though. I couldn’t be on the boat as we tried to move it off the sandbar, because we needed it to be as light as possible. At least we were all adults…and we had 3 men with us. (Twin, was oldest sister’s husband with us, too? Now that I think of it, he must’ve been, because I remember all the seats being full.) But the boat was at least 20 feet from any edge of the sandbar. We decided it made the most sense to pull it in the direction the hull was aimed, because…well, duh. We had to.
But it wasn’t budging. We broke a rope trying. We were starting to freak out a little bit. We didn’t have a wireless phone in the boat, and we had a CB radio, but it was broken. Always had been. And people just kept passing by and waving back at us when they saw us flagging them down! GAAAH!
Finally, we saw someone coming towards us. Two someones! On jet skis…perfect!!! They came closer, and we saw that it was a couple who each had a small child with them on their jet ski. They asked if we needed help. We almost screamed YES! And there may have been tears. Possibly. (I’m a pussy in survival-type situations, not gonna lie. And yeah, we’d only been stuck there for maybe 40 minutes at that point, but I HADN’T EATEN SINCE BREAKFAST, DAMMIT!) This couple had passed by a jet ski camp just a couple of miles back down the canyon, and apparently it looked like a big one with a fair amount of men that were there…they said they would go and see if anyone there was willing to come help. They left, and we prayed that they didn’t desert us if they couldn’t find help.
20 minutes of tugging and pulling passed…the couple and their kids still hadn’t returned, and we started to wonder why our friends didn’t maybe come looking for us, since they had likely been at the rendezvous point for at least a couple of hours, and we should’ve met them long before! But whatever…we just dealt with it as it was, and kept pulling on that damned boat.
After about 30 minutes had passed since the little family on their jet skis had left to find help, we heard a noise. A roaring of sorts. Sounded like several boats were going to race past the opening to the cove, so we turned to look and see what was up. But it wasn’t boats. It was jet skis. Lots, and LOTS of jet skis. There had to have been about 20 of those suckers headed right towards us! It was awesome! (Tears might’ve been possible if I hadn’t been so awestruck by the sight of all these strangers coming to help us.) The best part was that these weren’t your average jet skiers out for a joy ride. These were like Hell’s Angels jet skiers. They were wearing leather, I shit you not. And they were big, and strong, and they had a plan! AND MORE ROPE!
They set about pulling on the boat, with a few in the back pushing as well, and not 5 – 10 minutes later, we were back to floating point! Our boat was freeeee! HALLELUIA, I wasn’t gonna die on a sandbar!
Unfortunately, dad didn’t learn any kind of lesson from his dangerous driving through the cove, and continued to give us all little heart attacks all the way to the bar. Where our mom and her friends were still hanging out. And were also SMASHED. My brother had gotten so drunk while hanging out with those folks, he proceeded to try to fall asleep on the table at dinner that night. The waiter told us it was “illegal” for him to put his head down on the table like that. Which was fucking crazy, but ok. Our brother needed to go paint their restroom with vomit anyway, so no biggy!
It was a pretty crazy day. One I’ll never forget. One that I know we have better pictures of, but these were the only ones the Twin was able to find for us.
Us in the boat...I'm the one in the back right, our older sister is striking the dramatic pose in the blue bikini, the twin is glancing over her shoulder in sunglasses, dad is driving, and my ex-brother in law is in the passenger seat. I think the person behind my twin is...oh, is that your ex-boyfriend Matt, Twin? Was HE with us? Damn. My brain is broken...I can't remember any of this stuff!
Dad and ex-bro in law surveying the distance to the nearest edge of the sandbar.
Some of the jet skis that had stopped to help us out.
Here’s to hoping we have a much higher water experience this time around! WOOHOO!