Winter Sucks!
March 2001

The last couple of winters have been very mild and I guess we should have expected a more normal Illinois season.  The first part of December wasn't too bad but a lot was going on so I didn't get the Cabin Skiff out much. And then it snowed. And then it snowed some more.  It never really got that deep but it just wouldn't go away. This in itself wasn't a big deal as the roads in our area we always in good shape but the boat ramps were not.  They all were solid snow and ice and stayed that way. Then it got cold.  The only liquid water in the area was what ran from the faucets. Everything else was frozen solid.

Finally in mid January my local river began to thaw (all the lakes stayed solid for 2 more weeks).  I just couldn't take it any more and had to put the CS on the water.  Had to drive about 25 miles to find a ramp that wasn't still froze in but was finally able to drop it in. Ran downstream about 21 miles and then back. Was a fairly entertaining ride.  Since everything else was still fairly well frozen over most all of the waterfowl in the area were taking up residency on the river. Ducks and gulls everywhere.   But I really didn't have much time to watch them because I had my eyes locked on the water ahead.  There was this little problem.  Although the river was now liquid I guess a better term would be "semi liquid"!  There were lots of chunks of 6" thick ice floating downstream.  Many of them 10' across. So there we are, 20 mph, zig zagging down the river trying to avert disaster. The whole time smiling from ear to ear. On the upside there wasn't any other traffic to worry about. My friend, who just came along for the ride, agreed - he said all the sane boaters stayed home..........

In mid February attended the big boat show in St. Louis, Mo.  I thought it would help relieve the boating urge a little just to mill around a bunch of boats.  Wrong!  It made it worst.  I came home just aching to mess with the boat.  I had built two entertainment centers in the shop this winter but it was really a boat I wanted to fool around with. I stalled things off a little by taking the CS to the canvas shop and having a convertible top made for the area aft of the cockpit .  But when it came home I just couldn't take it any more. The weather was still lousy so I decided it was going back in the shop for a few changes and fixes.

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