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jimh posted 06-28-2002 01:41 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Last night I was down on the riverfront in Detroit for the Freedom Festival Fireworks. They closed the river to boat traffic--plenty of law enforcement boats running around.

Federal BORDER PATROL had a big new MONARK aluminum 25-footer with enclosed helm station and a 30-inch (or more) engine bracket hanging off the transom. I get the camera man to zoom in with his big 50:1 lens so I can see the outboards--a pair of Mercury Optimax 225's.

Watched the TRAVEL CHANNEL on cable last Sunday for two hours of the Geraldo Rivera series on sailing around the world. This segment was a trip up the Amazon River in South America. About 1,000 miles up the Amazon they go out with some Green Peace hippies looking for wood poachers. All the outboards are black Mercury engines, looked like 25-HP 4-strokes. Pretty good market penetration, 1,000-miles inland.

Driving to work on Thursday, a beautiful day, wished I was going boating. Guy blows by me on the freeway towing a bass boat with a big black engine on it. I speed up to catch him to see what it was; the cowling looked different. After going 85 for a mile or so I finally catch him. It's a JOHNSON 150 but the cowling is practically black. If that is dark blue it's one shade away from midnight black.

JWK posted 06-28-2002 02:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for JWK  Send Email to JWK     
I was just out of 8th grade when my father patroled the Bi-centenial fireworks for the Coast Guard Aux. aboard his 35' Chris Craft Commandar "Beladona". We cruised up from Gibraltar that afternoon and saw every size and make of craft that floated. What a zoo!

The river was closed from the Ambassedor Bridge upstream and we were on station there to keep boaters from getting any closer to the barges.

The fireworks were spectacular, most memorable was the American flag suspended by a parachute, about the size of a large umbrella, with a bright white flare underneath. One landed right in front of us and we got it with the hook. Unfortunately it was burnt beyond saving by then.

Something went bump in the night and then everything went downhill from there. I missed it, but the bump was a body and my dad called the Coasties over to haul it out. Then it was time to go home and we only had one engine working for some reason. Pitch black, reduced steerage, and every idiot without running lights on the water, I thought my dad was going to have a nervios breakdown. Worst I ever saw him.

We got in very late but without incident and I was able to sleep in the car on the drive home. Oh to be a kid again. I think my dad stuck to teaching boating safety after that.

Later that summer I was introduced to Classic Whalers in the form of a Newport and could be seen at the Elizabeth Park launch ramp for several years after that entertaining my friends and fishing buddies.


jimh posted 06-28-2002 09:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The boater crowd in anchored upstream in the river gets a bit crazy waiting for the fireworks to start.

By the way, I don't think the young women on those boats have any idea how tight a shot you can get with a 50:1 zoom lens and a 2X extender. We get quite a few who are doing a little "flashing". I guess they think they're 200 yds. from shore and nobody can see them.


Dr T posted 06-28-2002 12:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dr T  Send Email to Dr T     
Must make for some interesting out-takes.


David Pendleton posted 06-28-2002 02:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
What do you do, Jim? For a living, I mean.
rb posted 06-28-2002 04:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for rb  Send Email to rb     
those pics would make a very interesting cetacea page 59

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