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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Monday, June 19, 2006

DON'T ROCK THE BOAT...OR DON'T POWER LOAD IT ANYWAY!

Dan and I don't have time for fishing any more and even when we did, we weren't experts by any means. My Grandpa use to take me fishing when I was little and taught me all about bull heads and cane poles and how to set a hook. I'm not sure who taught Dan how to set a hook, but usually what Dan ended up with was fish lips. We use to have a little boat that we called a Ba-Toon. Dan wanted a bass boat, and I wanted a pontoon. We found this little gem (with a HUGE 15 HP motor!!) and fell in love with it. We bought it brand new but never saw another one like it...we're not quite sure why they didn't catch on. They were easy to load and unload, and you couldn't have sunk it or tipped it over if you tried. Maybe it had something to do with the question we got asked over and over as we were unloading it at the access "What is it?" TRY SAYING TOY BOAT THREE TIMES FAST! When you can master that, come back and ask us again!!

Anyway, thought you might find the following article intersting. Sounds like it "takes place" down by Sturgis, Michigan...names apparently have been changed to protect the stupid.....

File under: Silly laws
COMMENTARY
LOUIE STOUT

The beleaguered fisherman had tried to load his boat the way it was designed -- and the way anglers load their bass rigs in just about every other state -- by driving it onto the trailer.But as he discovered, you get ticketed for it in Michigan.

"I'm from Indiana and we don't have that kind of law," the angler pleaded. "I've never heard of such a thing.""Well, boy, dis ain't Indiana," Boss Godfrey from the movie would have told him. "Dis is Michigan."

Meanwhile, another boater backs his trailer deep into the ramp then jumps into the boat cockpit. He cranks up the 225 horse Mercury and the three officers swivel toward him.

The "ramp guards" watch as he backs away from shore and lines up the nose of his 20-foot Triton with the trailer. He slid the shift lever forward and began the approach.The officers sensed another bass fool would use his outboard to load his boat. But this Michigan angler knew better. If he got a slow-but-running start, he could glide his vessel onto the bunks and the momentum would send it near the front roller where he might be able to winch it tight.

Unfortunately, it's a risky move. Drive-on trailers aren't built to be fully submerged. With the bunks beneath the water, there's a chance the hull won't track properly and the bow will miss the roller.And that's what happened. The boat nose fell off to the side and the steel bracket nearly gouged the spiffy fiberglass.No problem, the angler thought. I'll just put it in reverse, give it a little gas and start over.

The moment his hand went to the shifter, an officer peering above him issued a stern warning. "Don't even think about it," he sneered, glaring at the angler the way Boss Godfrey taunted Cool Hand Luke."I'm not gonna gun it, boss, just shift into reverse so I can straighten the nose," the angler said."Oh no you're not!" Boss postured. "You'll churn the water, and that's power loading.""But it's on crooked. How else can I straighten it?" he asked."Get out and push it off," grunted Boss, who obviously has never tried to muscle a 2,200 pound boat by himself. The angler removed his shoes and waded into the water. He pushed, grunted and strained every muscle, finally inching the boat into position. An elderly person or someone with limited physical capabilities couldn't have done it.

Boss Godfrey stared shamelessly above him. He didn't get to write his ticket, but he enjoyed flexing his authority while the angler labored in knee deep water.Eventually, the boat was loaded and pulled from the water.While strapping it down, another boater could be heard questioning the reasoning for such a ridiculous law."Today's big glass boats are designed to be driven on and are nearly impossible to load by hand," he explained. The officer couldn't care less."Power loading causes damage and the ramps are expensive to repair," he growled. "State ain't got that kind of money."

Really? Michigan can't afford to build ramps to accommodate boats of the 21st century, but it can afford to pay three water cops to stand on a boat dock and harass fisherman on a Sunday afternoon.Boaters contribute significantly to Michigan's tax base with tariffs paid on their rigs and anglers chip in extra excise taxes on tackle items they buy. Portions of those taxes come back to the DNR and are supposed to be used for access development and improvements.

Given the attitude of the ramp guards, the angler knew it was best to keep his thoughts to himself. In the back of his mind, he could hear that famous line one of them spoke in the movie: "What we have here .. is a failure to communicate."

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