Category Archives: stranded

I Highly Recommend Oars

Over the Fourth of July weekend, my family and I hopped in our boat and headed up to a nearby marina for dinner on the lake. It was nice. UNTIL we started home. Our engine sputtered and coughed like it was dying a painful death, and then…it died. So, there we were floating in the channel, in the deepest lake in Kentucky, and the sun was going down – fast.

Now I don’t mind telling you that my husband, Mark, and I have an ongoing difference of opinion about oars, and whether or not we need them on our boat. I think we do. He thinks we don’t. His position is simple: We have two motors and two batteries onboard, so why in the world would we ever need oars?

I’ll tell you why: Because when the big engine dies, we use up one battery just trying to restart it. The other motor, which is connected to the other battery, is smaller and less powerful, and while it will carry us for a time, often, it won’t get us all the way home. Which leaves us with no motors and no battery power whatsoever. Then we’re stuck floating on the water, in the dark of night, with other boaters whizzing by, unable to see us because our navigation lights are also dependent on the batteries we’ve used up. (Need I tell you that this has happened before?)

So, there we were, during the lake’s busiest weekend of the year, floating on the water, in the dark, with no oars. AGAIN. Other boaters – the ones with really good eyesight – spotted us, motored over and offered to help. But would my husband allow anyone to help us? No he would not. Why not? Hmmmm…apparently allowing other boaters to help you is like allowing someone to give you directions. It just doesn’t happen in Guy World. It’s completely unacceptable behavior. (Which is ANOTHER reason we need oars!!!!)

I do not live in Guy World. I live in Girl World – also known as REALITY. My daughter lives in Girl World, too. Which is why during our three hour ordeal on the water, my daughter and I made up our own lyrics to the tune of that song “Hello Muddah, hello Faddah, here I am at Camp Grenada…” Our song went like this:

Hello Muddah, hello Faddah,
Here I am stuck in the water,
The motor’s shot, no oars to row home,
And Mark won’t let us call for help via his cell phone.

People ask what they can do,
But Mark tells them, “We don’t need you.
I can fix this, please believe me,”
And we’re thinking, No, don’t go, please stay, retrieve me.

We are hungry and getting colder,
We are thirsty and much older.
It’s very dark here, out on a limb,
I wonder if our pride will warm us while we swim!

For the record, Mark did somehow manage to fix our engine in the dark, and we had just enough battery power left to get it started, and get home. But even so, this Christmas, I will be buying oars! Oars for everyone!

P.S. My neighbor told me that if she sang a song like that while she and her husband were having engine trouble on the water, her husband would toss her out of the boat. So I’d just like to point out that to Mark’s credit, he didn’t toss anyone out of the boat. I’m sure he thought about it, but thankfully, the man has a great sense of humor and eventually, he laughed despite himself. (It was probably my daughter who saved me: Mark probably realized that watching your dad toss your mom out of the boat and into the lake, in the dark of night, with other boaters racing around, might be just a teensy bit traumatizing – some realities are recognized even in Guy World, but only some.)