août 30, 2006
Over the last 18 years, we've had our share of peculiar incidents involving lost motors. Back in 1993, the transom cracked off the barge and our two 15hp engines sank into 90ft of water! After a bit of searching, the motors were found and recovered. A few years earlier, we had a big white Johnson engine fall off a boat in the river. Gerry was able to quickly locate that one and bring it back to camp. Last year, we had another bizarre incident. Because of our previous experience, we have been bolting the engines onto the boats for the past 10 years. Even though our motors are bolted on our transoms, one of them managed to slip off the boat as one of our clients was driving it! We were not sure what the cause was and we were eager to find out what happened. Pit had taken his open-water diving course back when he had graduated from high school. The only time he had been scuba diving since then was a just-for-fun dive to check out exactly what attracted all those large walleyes to the South Arm! That was about 10 years ago. After getting all of his scuba equipment revamped, he headed out to find the motor that was lost in June 2004. The recovery was organized so that two of the guides would slowly backtroll the boat in a grid pattern while Pit held on to the anchor. The motor was spotted that day, after letting go of the anchor Pit was alone at the bottom of the lake with and engine, and had no way of getting it up to the surface! A second tank of air was drained while trying to find the motor a second time.
The tanks got refilled and came back in last weekend. On Monday, Pit went diving for it a second time. This time with Diesel and Points in the boat, Pit dropped down nearly right on the motor! He was in the water less than a minute! The three of them dragged the motor to shore, then drained it and brought it back to camp. Diesel cleaned out the entire motor, from the fuel pump to the carb, and we started pulling. Within 2 hours of finding the engine, a motor that had been submerged for 14 months fired up again! The only damage was a few scratches from when it hit the bottom of the lake. The housing on the engine that holds the bolts in place was cracked, and so that's why the bolt didn't hold the motor. At any rate, the motor is now back on land and will be used as a spare for the upcoming seasons.