May 30, 2011 The Rescue

Today is memorial Day and we decide to walk down to the marina in Fulton to see if we can get any help in towing the “Belle” through the lock. From our hotel, the walk to the marina is about 20 minutes. As we approach the repair shop, a guy approaches us to see what we are doing and the story begins; the storm, the breakdown, the drifting to shore, the walk into town and the lack of assistance by anyone so far. As we are talking to this gentleman another pulls up in a car. We introduce ourselves and ask for help. Meet Don, a retired fire chief and Pat, a financial investment advisor, both owners of houseboats in the marina. We chat for a while and Pat agrees to take on the challenge of getting us through the lock. Wow, this is great!

It’s a nice sunny day and the temps are expected to reach the nineties, a far cry from the last few days. We hang out with Don on his houseboat and drink a beer while Pat launches his boat. We board the boat and head out for an hour and half wait getting through the lock. There just happens to be a barge coming down river and it seems to take forever. So we wait…….Lisa, pat’s wife has joined us for the excursion and we chat as we wait. Pat and Lisa are pretty cool folks, so is Don. They are the kind of people I’d like to hang out with.

The lock finally accepts our north-bound craft and as the water rises I explain our situation to the lockmaster, he says he will hold the gates open until we return. Now is the challenge, the chop is pretty high and the wind is strong as Pat manuevers his boat ever so cautiously through what is called the “stump field.” This whole area has been flooded and is usually high and dry spotted with tree stumps, but there is only about 3 feet of water to navigate in, a dicy challenge for Pat and his boat to get us close enough to the “Belle.” He does it beautifully. Gator and I jump in, retrieve our craft and tie off to Pat’s boat for the return journey. It’s on now as we tug back through the crasing waves to the lock. When those north gates open and spill us out, I am excited and relieved. We pull into the marina, tie off and do the “happy dance.” Somehow, with the help of these generous folks, we made it!

For the next little while we hang out at the dock. Don brings us some much needed ice from his firehouse and we invite everyone to sign the “Belle,” including our newest friends, the gas girls Nancy and Ashely.

The "Gas Girls"

We gather up our stuff for the night and head back to the hotel. It’s been a long, hot day and we’re ready for a meal, a shower and some sleep. We will have to wait until tomorrow to find out the fate of our motor. We’ve been told that Donny, the mechanic will take good care of us.

It doesn’t surprise me that there are still folks out there who are willing to help you and when we walked into that marina this morning we hit the jackpot!

Many Thanks!

May 31, 2011


One Response to “May 30, 2011”

  1. Tom Haynie Says:

    You learn to appreciate alot about those folks along the river –

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