Orlando Bingles’ Western Adventure: Day 10

by Bingle on Jun.06, 2008, under Richard Bingle Family

We had a long drive ahead of us from Temple Bar Marina, AZ to Selma, CA and had to get the houseboat back to the marina by 11:30 a.m., so we got up around 7ish and tried to leave by 8:00. It was still cool outside, so we decided to forgo a last dip in the cold waters of Lake Mead and attempted to get our houseboat off the beach and backed out of the cove we were in. Karen untied us, Ashley and Amber wound up the ropes, Alyssa and her stuffed souvenir coyote from the Grand Canyon “Luna” watched, and I manned the helm. It soon became apparent, however, that we weren’t going anywhere. The wind and waves from the day before had deposited us quite firmly on the beach and the sand had built up under the front third of the pontoons. No matter what, I couldn’t seem to get us backed off of the sand. Karen and Ashley got out and pushed on the bow while I put the outboards into reverse, and we eventually started moving. They jumped on board so that they wouldn’t have to wade too far into the cold water, but it was apparently premature as we stopped moving as soon as they did. It turned out that all we had managed to do was pivot the stern of the boat about 15 degrees to port (towards the rock outcropping on that side) and were just as stuck as we had be previously. We struggled with different strategies for getting unstuck (including moving the 250 pounds of suitcases and Amber and Alyssa to the rear cabin, retying the starboard ropes and tightening them while trying to pivot back to perpendicular to the shore, digging out some sand from under the front of the pontoons, pushing and shoving on the bow, praying, prying with branches, and wiggling the boat with the engines. After over an hour, we finally got off the beach (and this time Karen and Ashley waited a bit longer before climbing aboard)!

Cap'n Rich

We cruised back to the marina where we were refueled and the props and the boat “inspected”. We were fortunate in that in all our struggling to get off the beach we hadn’t managed to damage the props and hadn’t used up too much fuel. In fact, the guys refueling us were amazed at how full our tanks were for having been out for several days. We figure it was because we had been given the hint that running on one engine was almost as fast as running on both and we hadn’t had to use the generator at all on the third day. Somehow even though they seemed to make a big deal about how full the tanks were, we still ended up needing about $100 worth of fuel (coincidentally about the same amount we had used in our day of tubing at Lake Havasu).

After loading up the van again, we were soon on our way back across Hoover Dam and past Las Vegas on our way to Selma, CA. We would use the hotel in Selma as our “base camp” for the next couple of days. Along the road we were treated to a view of a large wind farm right along the highway in the Tehachapi Pass.

We reached the hotel in Selma around 8:30 p.m. and had a late dinner before heading to bed.

Next stop, the Kings River!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.