Dress For the Crash, Not the Ride

Motorcycles. They were “what I did” from my early teens through my late twenties. Buying, fixing, riding, selling, racing, and crashing. It was all part of “doing motorcycles.” During my years working at dealerships, I learned (and would teach others) to always “dress for the crash, not the ride”. It’s easy to be gliding along in a t-shirt, shorts, and no helmet thinking all is well and life is great. IF you end up in a crash, however, all is suddenly not well and life is not so great. But if you have “dressed for the crash”, then, (hopefully) a few scrapes and bruises will be all that result when things don’t go as expected. Well, LaNae and I are wanting to make sure we are “dressed for the crash” (i.e. the time when things don’t go as expected). We need to assume at some point one of us may be upside down in the wake of a passing ore ship in the middle of a mile wide muddy and angry Mississippi River. So we spent the day at my brother’s lovely (and nearby) pond…crashing. Yep, intentionally falling out of our boats, getting upside down in our boats, flipping our boats, etc. We were specifically practicing reentry techniques. The first (nicknamed the “cowboy”) is essentially a method of laying in the water, righting your flipped boat, crawling onto the stern, tossing your leg over (thus the name “cowboy”) and crawling to the cockpit until your butt falls conveniently into the seat. Sounds easy (it ain’t). I almost accomplished it a couple of times solo, but only succeeded when LaNae grabbed and steadied my bow. Then, voila’ ! I was back in my boat! Good thing she was there in her boat, (Separate Boats). The next method (let’s call it “sink and swim”) consists of pushing my unoccupied boat parallel with the rescue boat (i.e. LaNae’s boat), turning it on it’s edge allowing the cockpit to take on water and partially sink, and then simply floating feet first back into my boat. Then with LaNae pulling on my boat (or arm, or ear, or whatever she could grab) and me reaching up and grabbing LaNae’s boat (or her arm, or ear, or whatever I could grab), flipping my boat upright with me in it. COOL !…it worked ! LaNae then also successfully performed the “sink and swim” method to reenter her boat. Ok, so now we think that we can get back in if we dump out. We will, however, likely purchase a paddle float (allow’s one end of the paddle to be used as a push platform to help with re-entry) and a hand operated bilge pump to get the water out of the boat. Check the box, round one of reentry/rescue practice is complete !

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