Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Priest Lake Hobie Sailing, Fatal Wind Storm, Run in with the Law

We were up at Indian Creek Camp from Friday July 13 – Sunday July 22, 2012 for our Annual Priest Lake Sailing Trip.  The overall wind was light to very light except for 2 days, Wednesday (18th) and Saturday (21st) when it was moderate with some periodic white capping and a big scary thunder/wind storm on Friday (20th).  Along with our 2 H14s, H17Sport and Weta, there was a Trac16 (from UT) and a very nice family on a 2010 Getaway from Spokane (Miles, you should know them, you sold them the boat new).  I also sailed for a while alongside a local Narca 5.0 (we were well matched, though I was able to just stay ahead of him ;o).  Overall I got in 7 days of sailing, honing my light wind skills, never having to get out the paddle, though there were times I was tempted.  We have been sailing up at Priest lake annually for 20 years, some years with it blowing every day and others, like this year, with just a bit of wind.  Regardless, it is great fun and we plan to return next summer for year 21. Hopefully there will be a bit more wind, but not all at once, as we got in the storm of Friday, July 20. We will send early notice next year some more Hobie sailors can attend.

There was a Fatal Wind Storm while at Priest Lake.  Yes we were there when it blew through the campground last Friday (see pictures).  The fatality happened outside, but near the campground. Luckily, at the campground, the only fatalities were to things and not people. See pics…

Now regarding the run in with the law… A Bonner County Deputy gave me a written warning notice for having unregistered boats on the beach (the Weta and Zoom w/5 hp motor).  I explained that we were from Washington and that in Washington 14 ft sailboats and motor boats under 10 hp do not need registration, and that Idaho and Washington respected the others registration policies.  He said NO, if you boat in Idaho, you’re boat needs to be registered regardless.  I went to the park manager and he checked and found I was right, so the Weta and Zoom were back on the water by Wednesday.  I did not see the Deputy the rest of the trip.  I don’t think he wanted to admit to being wrong.  I will be writing a strongly worded letter to the Bonner County Sheriff about this deputy.  The Deputy was also very authoritatively confrontational in this initial interaction with our mostly Asian group (all Asian when he first showed up) stating, “WE have a big problem here, who owns these boats!”.  That is no way to start a dialog.

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