Friday, July 06, 2007

Fourth of July.

I was totally convinced that I had the best Fourth of July of anyone until I read that the Pygs built a tent in their living room or something, to which I said: OF COURSE THEY DID and WELL PLAYED, WELL PLAYED! But, nevertheless, we had a fantastic Fourth of July. This year, we had the privilege of joining our friends Elissa and Indi and Stephanie on Indi's boat. After briefly sheltering in Old Town to ride out the tornado apocalypse that the Arlington Alert Service told us was coming, we boated up the Potomac to the Key Bridge, turned around, and parked ourselves right behind the Lincoln Memorial to watch the show. Life is good. And maybe it was just the great vantage point, but it seemed to me that the fireworks were particularly awesome this year. I especially liked the ones that resolved themselves into what looked like a bunch of pewtery fingerprints. Really very excellent. And when it was all over, everyone in the boats tootled their horns.

The day was pretty excellent. One minor quibble, though, related to area marinas. We initially attempted to put in at Gravelly Point, but by the time we got there, they were closed to new entries, forcing us to drive down to Belle Haven Marina. Now, here's the thing: when we got the boat in at Belle Haven, Indi oriented the boat to go right out into the river. That's when some other boater, who saw what we were about to do, got our attention and told us, no, wait, stop don't do that. Why? Apparently, there was some sunken "steel boat" about thirty yards from the launch, and if we had headed in that direction, we would have run aground on it.

Here's the thing: there were no buoys, no markings, no caution area roped off, no warnings on the shore or at the docks, and no one in an official capacity standing by to say, "Eh-yuh. Raht oot dere is where dat ol' steel bote don' sank. Evuh since, dumb motherfuckers be running they ass aground!" The only thing in the immediate vicinity that maybe once passed as a nautical marker--you know, for the red right returning and whatnot--was a jutting old unmarked post that now serves as the nesting place for a family of ospreys*, and most of the inquiries directed to the ospreys were met with loud, aggrieved squawks and the general sense that, barring naturally-occurring foodstuffs, the birds would totally covet the liquid contained in our eyeballs.

So here's the question. Do people, like, run aground on that sunken boat, like, ALL THE TIME? And, if so, what would it take for the good people at Belle Haven Marina to realize that it might just be a good idea to, say, I don't know...get the WORD out about the dangerous, hidden menace lurking just within spitting distance of their launch? Because that knowledge would be really, really useful. Just saying.

Anyway, Belle Haven Marina! Come for their sunken steel boat, stay because you ran aground on it!

*I'm assuming they were ospreys. It's not like I'm Jeff Corwin or something. I'm an English major. If it had been a nest full of William Faulkner first editions, I would have been all up in that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey! Just like to point out that whenever you put in at a new ramp it's a good idea to ask the
'locals' about the best route to the marked channel. And there were plenty around on the Fourth. Btw, there is also a sign next to the ramp. Recommends that you get a map from the office. Anyway, glad you enjoyed the 'works. I agree they were spectacular!