Watching the Boating Action on the St. Mary’s River

Monday May 31st 2021

I’ve been writing about how full and active things were this Memorial Day weekend at the campground. None of the activities were things that I had any interest in participating in and I had no interaction with my fellow campers. This morning I had a very strange and surprising emotion. As everyone packed up and left I felt alone and abandoned. By late afternoon as I started to enjoy the quiet and refocused on my up coming travels I was back to normal. Talk about weird feelings.

This afternoon I returned to the parks in historic downtown St. Mary’s. There was a lot of people enjoying the afternoon along the side of the river. Unlike Saturday it was easy to find a parking space, but there were still lots of empty boat trailers in the parking spaces and along the roads. The two boat ramps were in almost continuous use.

I engaged in the nautical equivalent to watching RVs back into campsites and setup. Watching people launch and recover their boats can be very entertaining. The majority have the process down. They can back up and managed the boat fine, but a few people could use a little more experience. The boat ramp is along a section of the river with both tidal changes and a strong current. Aligning the boat with the trailer and getting it loaded correctly takes some skill. One boater this afternoon didn’t have the skill or apparently the patience to deal with it. The boat was clearly not on the trailer straight when he decided to pull out of the water. No amount of pushing and pulling on the boat once it was out of the water would get it aligned correctly on the trailer. He was finally forced to put it back in the water so the buoyancy would assist. All of this took place while other boats were waiting to be launched and recovered.

Launching boats had its own form of drama. One young guy spent several minutes on dry land loading his boat and removing all the tie downs. He then proceeded to back the trailer into the water. The boat floated free and got caught by the current. The guy jumped out of truck stripped off his shirt and shoes, tossed his cell phone into the truck and dived into the river. He caught up with his boat about twenty feet off shore before it hit anything. Luckily he remembered to put the truck in park before he started chasing the boat. I had visions of the truck following him into the water.

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