things are not always easy on an island. for example, this is what a capsized boat looks like. after boat number one, the marsal, lost its engine compression (i.e. the handsome older model boat we purchased with a portion of the rabbit island residency kickstarter funding) and boat number two, the leakin’ leana, lost its engine compression as well a few days later (what terrible luck), andrew was left with boat number three, a small, borrowed, unnamed, rowboat with a trusty older model outboard engine.
with number three in service everything was again well on the bay until about a week later when a storm came up suddenly and the lake kicked up. andrew was on the far eastern side of the island and by the time he realized heavy weather was coming from the west the boat had been partially filled with water. the scene he came upon as he arrived back at camp was chaotic. the wind was strong and loud in the trees. the boat was bouncing up and down on the mooring line which jerked and then went slack with each forthcoming crest. every time the nose dipped between capping waves it scooped a gallon or so of water which ran aft and pooled, further lowering the boat's freeboard. andrew scrambled to throw on a wetsuit and for the next hour bailed furiously as the lake continued to fill the boat one wave at a time. at times he tried to balance/move the boat from the bow and would be lifted off his feet about 8-9 feet from the lake bottom and then come crashing down with the boat, nearly under the bow. unfortunately, you can see for yourself the outcome of the match. he said it was a pretty hairy two hours.
after capsizing was inevitable he was able to rescue the gas tank, lifejackets, bilge pump, and oar and got them to shore before the boat went completely over. the boat remained partially afloat even when upside-down because of an air pocket that was trapped beneath it and due to the foam flotation under the bench seats. the engine, however, did not float and fell off, sinking promptly to the lake bottom in about 4 feet of water. andrew hauled it to shore with successive squat lifts using his arms and back. the boat remained like this for the next 24 hours, bobbing upside-down on the mooring line.
the following narrative is the now classic commentary as recorded on the facebook wall of scott hannula. scott lives in a cottage on the shore of the adjacent rabbit bay and has been one of our main sources of mainland support, troubleshooting, local knowledge, chainsaw know-how, and much more. his brother mark had lent us the boat in the wake of our previous boat troubles. they have experience with the island and surrounding waters spanning decades.
Recent Radio call from Rabbit Island
Rabbit Bay: “Rabbit Bay here, go ahead.”
Rabbit Island: "Rabbit Ray, this is Rabbit Island…..we have like 5 footers out here.“
Rabbit Bay: "Copy that… 5 footers, we have a bad storm headed this way.”
Rabbit Island: “Ah… I have a problem”
Rabbit Bay: “What is it?”
Rabbit Island: “The boat is sinking…”