Tales of Chaos #002

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Tales of Chaos Issue #002

"Did I Wake You?"

Our continuing saga of my 1963 Red Amphi rightly named "Chaos" puts
us in the Mullica River at Sweetwater, New Jersey. There are actually
six Amphi's joining us on this excursion and between us there must
have been 20 or more folks all anxious for a day of sun, fun and
splash.

We got it. Plenty of sun, a whole lot of fun, but a little too much
splash. The fun was easy! Who couldn't have fun? I mean there was not
a cloud in the sky and we had our cars parked on a beach only
accessible by boat. (what a feeling to be the only cars driving on
such land!)

The splash? I am getting to that. I you have ever seen the movie "The
Perfect Storm", my Amphi was the Andrea Gail and I was George
Clooney. You see after a few hours on the beach we decided to swim
down river to pick up some Pizza. No problem..We pick up the pizza
and I get the prestigious duty of carrying them in my car.
Fortunately for everyone last minute seating arrangements (a few
quick rides for the locals actually) has the Pizzas going in a
different car.

The seating changes place three young kids in the rear of my craft
sitting on the folded roof. I took it easy as not to shake them up,
and we were a little ahead of the pack. Half way to the beach is when
I hear it. You know the noise...The noise of 400 Hard Pumping Horse
Power bearing right at you, full throttle, generating a mini tidal
event in its wake. Zoooooooooooom, and I see it. The Wave. The 4 foot
eddy breaking right on my hood!

I turn my head to warn the children to duck, but it was too late.
Like logs in a whirlpool the boys were flushed into the rear floor
well. Water cascaded over the windshield like Niagara Falls in full
flow. Side wake began pouring in through the door windows as the car
was tossed about helplessly.

The children loved it and quickly screamed for more! Me on the other
had began assessing the damage. My bilge was clearly flooded as I has
6 inches of water on the sub-deck. My feet were submersed along with
the throttle pedal. Terror filled my soul as fast as the water filled
my Amphi.

In an attempt to reach shore, I steer towards land only to find
direction control useless. The front of my bow had sunk low enough to
allow the logo to submerge and it was not coming back up. Applying
throttle only splashed more water into the engine louvers. Luckily
the vehicle began to rise again as my bilge pump worked furiously to
remove the unwanted burden.

Still shaken I hug the shore in the case I need a quick escape but
this turns out to be a bad idea, as no sooner do discover I am in the
middle of a tree stump field hear a heavy SLAM!

The front of the amphi again goes below the surface only to be
slammed back upright apparently by another stump. My nerves at this
point are shredding quick. I clear myself from the hazards and
proceed to the beach.

Closer inspection on land (yes we did make it) reveals no damage
short of a few bad nerves and some wet shorts. (from the wave silly!).

Good thing I didn't have the pizza!

Chris Skeeles - Red '63
Canton, Ohio
 
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