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Kamakazie


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My father made it a point to load up the family of five boys from Pittsburgh for a Canadian fishing trip at least once a year. This time we took a friend and his father. We had a 13' Boston Whaler, but since there were eight of us we rented a 16' alum. v-bottom with a 15 horse outboard.

We developed several mantras we repeated during the trip. One was "Lets get out and beat the water to a froth." Another one was "Kamakaze." I still use these thirty years later. Each mantra was repeated when appropriate and provided endless entertainment, when used at the right time.

On the last day of the trip, we motored about five miles away to an island that had an abandoned fishing camp and dilapidated pier. We all fished off the pier, catching a bunch of walleye. Darkness approached and the alum boat was slower and didn't have lights so had to leave early, with the fish biting.

The captain was the other father, and responsible party, or so we thought. He got out about fifty yards and couldn't bear us still catching fish so decided to remedy the situation. He turned the boat at full throttle and aimed for the pier, yelling "Kamakaze" at the top of his lungs. Slightly amused, we pulled in our lines and cast them towards him to get him to pull off. By now the boat was really moving. He turned to buzz the dock, but forgot about the horizontal telephone pole, just below the surface. The boat pased over without incident, but the motor caught the pole and kicked up out of the water. Anyone that's been around boats, knows that without the resistance of the water, the engine will race until the engine seizes or throws a rod. He knew this and his first thought was to get the engine back in the water.

Decisions are made in milliseconds during emergencies and he stood up to push the motor back into the water. When the propeller, now turning at least 15,000 RPM hit the water, the boat jumped from 0-25 in about 1 second, throwing him against the motor. He gamely held on, but was plastered against the motor, holding on for dear life.

Steering on was out of the quesiton and the boat turned toward the boulders on shore. I'll never forget the look of disbelief on my brother's face the second before hitting a VW sized boulder. It was a combination, "Rat caught in a trap, I'm gonna die, I can't believe you did that" look. Everyone was thrown about in the boat but only bruised.

The boat was dented, but still very seaworthy. The fishing camp was kind enough waive all damages, since the boast was still serviceable. The fishing was great and the Kamakaze pilot returned ten years later to fish. The camp remembered him and wouldn't rent him a boat.


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