Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Even Seaplanes Need Piss Breaks

I anchored my sailboat over the weekend at the very tip of that sandy point to the left-hand side in this picture. -->

It's La Trappe Creek, located in the Chesapeake Bay. This is a rare anchorage for the mighty Chesapeake because the water stays deep right up to the land. We pulled my sailboat 12 feet from the sand and anchored, despite my boat's draft of 4.5 feet. It was COOL.

We set the hook in the pitch blackness, bleary-eyed and pissy with one another. Sailing at night to get to a place like La Trappe is a real effort -- especially if, like me, you like to keep the beers slowly flowing and the cigarettes slowly smoldering. Mixed with tiredness, these activities put a significant strain on the mind and body (in a good way though). Now, if I were a cocky person, I'd quote Sir Francis Chichester and give myself a pat on the back right here.
"Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk". -- Sir Francis Chichester
But I'm not a cocky person and I've never considered myself a "really good sailor", so I'm not with Chichester on that one. However, we had been sailing for hours and hours through the blackest pitch blackness, often wondering if we were going to run aground, straining to keep our dry eyes open to avoid crashing into unlit concrete marker bouys, trying to figure out which of the myriad tiny blinking red and green lights in the distance was the one we wanted, while the boat shook and rolled and the brass lanterns clinked and flickered in the humid salty darkness -- all that pushed the nerves, to say the least.

After I made the damn-fool mistake of trying to anchor too near the channel with too little depth and nearly being plowed over by fucking Rodney Dangerfield in his you-scratched-my-anchor stinkpot, my observant crew made the excellent suggestion to anchor off that beautiful point in the above aerial photo. Thank god we did.

The next morning, after grilling up the 25" rockfish I'd caught the previous day, we noticed a seaplane flying close overhead. I've seriously never seen a seaplane in all my Chesapeake days, but here was one right overhead and it appeared to be coming in to land. With all our eyes affixed on it, that seaplane set its pontoons onto the water about a hundreds yards from us. My gregarious first mate Colin, of course, ran over to chat.

After 15 minutes, the seaplane started the motors and off it went, back into the air and over the horizon. Colin came trudging back to the boat and said the guy had just landed his plane so he could take a piss behind a tree. Man, this is one of those things you don't think about occurring -- that some pilot would've forgotten his empty Gatorade bottle and had to land a seaplane on a body of water to relieve himself.

La Trappe Creek is an awesome anchorage, but summer weekends turn into a hardcore redneck/stinkpot extravaganza as the afternoon and evening progress. (I like rednecks most of the time so I can use that word). Man, the funny-ass things Bay 'necks do! I witnessed here a massive 11-boat raft-up and teenagers flirting, drinking and sucking face with one another in small boats with motors that were so high-horsepower that the sterns were close to swamping. Later, they fired up a big-ass bonfire and hooted and hollered late into the night. Also, one boat put on an ad hoc fireworks display, interspersed with a chorus of surrounding boats honking airhorns in loud approval of the show (ok, I honked too).

I recommend La Trappe Creek as high as I can. It's a damn nice place to spend Memorial Day weekend -- at least if you're flying in an airplane and have to take a piss real bad.

(Photo credit)
Your post made my morning, LB. Thanks.
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