The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Motorcycle Frankie Theory - Boat Bites Part 2

First, a couple of new terms to add to our glossary of boating terms:

Gunnel-the side wall of the boat

Cleat-the (usually) T shaped piece of hardware used to fasten lines to boats and/or docks

Once Around has really nice high gunnels, which make for increased safety when moving from one end of the boat to the other outside.  However, it also has a cleat on the inside of the gunnel about three feet off the deck.  Last week when we were preparing to depart from Moorhead City, I was striding up the port side deck of Once Around and jammed that damned cleat into my left thigh.  I winced in pain and uttered, "boat bite".  Although it swelled to about the size of a half of a baseball and turned purple almost immediately, I probably wouldn't have ever mentioned it in a post.  It was just another boat bite.

Before I go on, I need to tell you about a guy I knew some 35 years ago when for a time I raced hydroplanes.  (Did I ever tell you I love boats?)  Anyway, there was a real strange character who also raced with us who we all called, "Motorcycle Frankie".  Some of you reading this out there remember him, and know how really strange he was, even before he did a face plant on his motorcycle through a construction barrier at about 50 mph!  For the rest of you I offer the following.

Motorcycle Frankie loved his cat, Zoa.  All the boat racing crowd knew that, because we often saw him sharing his food, booze and cannibus with the little feline.  Zoa was a bit strange, too.  Also, Zoa would disappear often and at all odd hours you could hear Frankie calling, "Zoooaaaaa" through the pits, searching for his pal.  One race day in particular, cries of "Zzzoooaaaaaaaa, here Zooaa" were heard for what seemed like hours.

However, come time for Motorcycle Frankies race, and he forgets all about Zoa and jumps in his flat bottom runabout and heads out for a particularly rough riding five lap heat.  At the end of the heat, as Frankie pulled into the pits, he had a grin on his face as big as if he had won the race...and he hadn't.  It seems Zoa had chosen to sleep off his hangover from the night before in the bow of the race boat.  When the race was over, he looked something like this:

Zoa lived through the ordeal, but to our knowledge he never raced again.

Motorcycle Frankie also had a particular wierdness, that whenever he hurt himself, he would immediately do it again.  Several times I witnessed him for example, bump his head, and then repeat it full force.  He swore it made the original pain go away.  And here I finally get to the point of all this...

As I was refueling at Alligator River Marina two days ago, a sailboat pulled in in front of me, totally lost control, and began to drift back headed for a collision with Once Around.  I was busy with the fuel hose, but the Admiral standing alongside on the dock yelled, "Get up there before he hits us", and off I sprinted...right into that same damned cleat, in the same damned spot on the same damned thigh.  My eyes started watering from the pain, and I muttered, "Screw you Motorcycle Frankie", to which the Admiral said, "Huh???"  Once the situation (and my pain) came under control, I explained Motorcycle Frank's theory of the double hit, and how I damned sure did not agree with it.  Neither did my now grapefruit sized thigh.

Then today, on the crossing of Abermarle Sound, things got pretty rough, and the sea gods took their toll again on my first mate.  A rougue wave hit us from the port side just as Carrie was moving around the back of the helm chairs on the fly bridge.  Although she was holding on with her left hand, she lost her footing and while stopping her fall, she jammed her thumb into the seat back...hard.  After a trip to the Ablemarle Med Center in Elizabeth City, NC, she is sporting this on her broken right thumb:

When we get to Norfolk, VA, she gets to go see another orthopedic surgeon! (Just to make sure no permanent damage). Score, Once Around 2, Carrie 0.

Then tonight at dinner the strangest thing happened.  Our waiter took one look at her thumb and said, "I can tell you how to make it feel better", and he slammed his thumb down on the table and told Carrie to do the same.  She and I looked at each other and said..."Screw you Motorcycle Frankie"!

Remember, "Boating is Fun!"

1 comment:

  1. Good gravy people! Are you sure you are up for this trip? Do we need to wrap you in bubble wrap? Start being CAREFUL for goodness sake!