Why I Don’t Feel Safe on the Water
Dear Bay Weekly:
Nice piece last week [Editor’s note to Letters, Vol. xv, No. 30: July 26). My view from the bridge:
A week or so ago a fellow boater met me coming down the pier, gesturing to the T at the end of the dock. “There’s a jet ski out there. He’s lost.”
Why was I not surprised? It was banging against the pilings in a stiff wind. They did not know how to tie it up.
Two guys. New personal watercraft. They were, indeed, lost. They had no idea where they were; no idea where they had come from, no idea what direction that was and they were almost out of gas.
This boatyard has no fuel. I turned on his ignition. The digital fuel meter popped to life, pegged on empty.
“How far can you go after it beeps like that?”
“I don’t know.”
It was the first time he’d been out. I smelled alcohol.
“You can use a credit card for gas.”
“I don’t have a credit card.”
I pointed to the glove box on the machine. “Do you keep some money in that, just in case?”
“I have no money.”
He collapsed on the dock put his face in his hands: “This can’t be happening to me.”
“It is,” I assured him.
“I can show you a chart,” I said, bringing out one of NOAA’s products from my cabin.
He turned away.
“It’s just like a road map,” I encouraged.
“No. I can’t follow directions.”
But he’d bought this jet ski costing many thousands of dollars.
Money, my uncle once told me, doesn’t care who has it.
His friend was more lucid. He remembered the name of a town where the owner had parked his car. There was no such town, but a similar name rang a bell with him, and it was only a few miles off.
I took him to a high spot and pointed out a distant house. “Go to that house on the marsh and turn left. Someone there will help you.”
The owner by then had cadged $10 from the softhearted woman who’d reported their plight. I made him take her address and promise to mail her the money.
He started the jet ski and they roared away out of my life.
Wait a minute. I’m on the water a lot. He and his kind are out there, too. I am at risk.
Kent Mountford, Lusby,
Help Taking the Sting Out
Readers have been asking where to get the Safe Sea Lotion mentioned in Jane Elkin’s Taking the Sting Out of Summer (Vol. xv, No. 28: July 12, 2007). Elkin wrote, “Sea Safe Lotion, available with or without sun block, uses the same substance that makes clownfish immune from sea anemone stings, and it is clinically proven effective against sea nettles.” The lotion can be purchased at Cape Drugs at the Cape St. Claire shopping center or online at www.buysafesea.com.
Department of Corrections
Because of a garbled number, the winners of the Weight Challenge Southern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce were incorrectly announced and reported to us for Bethany Rodgers’ July 5 story Public Figures (Vol. xv, No 27: July 5). Robert Labs of Davidsonville was the men’s winner, reducing his weight by 44.4 pounds, or 17.85 percent of his body weight.