We’ve been having a spate of ridiculously low tides here at sleepy BoaterRated Central, and a couple of weeks ago I posted on our Facebook page a picture of the exposed local oyster bar with a crowd that would make the Grand Central Station version proud. Our guests, however, were birds at low tide. This post is not about eating.
We spend our time here at sleepy BoaterRated Central getting BoaterRated.com web site up and running. BoaterRated.com is dedicated to help boaters help fellow boaters find providers of marine services and goods thru the recommendations of others in the boating community (the Virtual Dockside™). If I may be permitted a shameless plug, it behooves marine providers to ask their customers to write reviews as a form of a referral network too, but that’s a deeper subject for another day. In any event, recommendations, referrals, reviews, whatever you want to call assisting one’s fellow boaters is only effective when advice is heeded.
Which brings us to our oyster bar.
Last weekend, I was enjoying a fine dessert in the back yard and I noticed a couple in a 25-ish foot center console heading my way from the northerly entrance to our estuary. They seemed to be feeling their way in, quite slowly – which is to say lost – and eventually ventured outside the established channel. Now, this was at night, with any moon at all hidden behind clouds (no Perseids for me!), so visibility was quite poor and the channel is marked with a few PVC sections that are hard to see in the best of conditions. As the tide was about halfway thru its ebb, the oyster bar wasn’t quite exposed yet. SOOO much could go wrong.
Ahoy, I yell, you don’t want to go that way (straight toward the green blinker marking the Okeechobee Waterway)! If you have a radio I’ll help you navigate back to the Waterway channel (the green track in the photo). No radio, came the reply, and the driver backed away from me with both engines full astern. Hmmmm. Back toward me he comes, perhaps for directions? I implore him to stay far enough away to avoid the silted in area north of my dock, but close enough that we can converse without scaring the entire neighborhood.
Full astern he goes again, throws her into forward, turns right and straight toward the green blinker he goes. He stopped quite near the red X in the picture.
They had cell phone, for shortly afterwards a group of friends in a flats boat appeared and approached on the green path. After about an hour of yelling, throwing lines back and forth, and much time spend racing the center console’s engines in both forward and reverse, the rescuers apparently had enough and left our stranded friends to their own devices.
Did I mention the tide was ebbing? Low tide was approximately 2am that morning. I had offered help twice directly and once to the flats boat crew, with no takers. I figured three strikes and I’m out. I finally peeked out back at about 7am and our friends were gone, so I suppose all’s well that ends well. I imagine they’ll be looking for some propeller repair however.
I know it’s sometimes difficult to seek or accept advice. We men especially have a reputation (ask for directions???) against it. But we have no problems accepting advice for a restaurant, a movie, a book, even a fantasy football pick. Offering advice is easy – and it’s even easier now that it’s so easy to offer it on line. Accepting the advice has a good chance of enhancing your experience, be it a slice of pizza or a good quarterback. Or boating! Join us on the Virtual Dockside™ at BoaterRated.com, share your recommendations, and find good services!