This morning when I got up I had no clue what I wanted to do, so I thought about how nice the day was going to be and decided to do something about it. One of the things I have always wanted to do was to take the boat and motor down Lake Coeur d'Alene and then go up the St. Joe River to St. Maries.
I filled the Jeep with some food and water, the tablet, and the two containers of gas and drove down to the boat. By 8:30 AM I was on my way. The boat buzzed along at 28 mph on a glass smooth lake. I whipped past Harrison and spotted the old railroad bridge that is now part of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes. Idling forward and under the bride I entered the St. Joe River. The channel is well marked and before long I was back up to speed.
What a rush! The water was so smooth. The boat moved like a bird skimming the water. I stood and let the wind chill my skin. I had my coat on and my hoodie up hoping to dampen the wind chill. I still got very cold.
When I reached St. Maries I pulled into a city dock, sat in the sun and ate my brunch. What a wonderful day I was having.
I loaded up, turned around and headed out. Everything was going great!
I followed the river down slowed the engine and idled back under the bridge. Once free of the final no wake zone I hit the gas and got back up to speed. Suddenly I heard an alarm. At first I thought it was my Lowrance so I turned the power off on it. The alarm sounded again. I cut speed and dropped my rpms down and the alarm stopped. The outboard was running well, but I could not get the rpms up above 3000 without the alarm. I checked the cooling intake and it was not clogged. I was baffled.
I chugged into Harrison and docked at the public dock. At this point I checked the oil and it was exactly where it should be. I raised the motor and checked the cooling intakes again. No luck.
I idled back onto the lake and bumped my speed up until the alarm sounded and then backed off a bit. I was able to travel at about 6.7 mph so that is what I did. It was slow but I was able to head home. While I traveled I posted progress reports to Linda and Alex Harris so that folks would know how I was doing. The morning was so fast and exciting, and the afternoon was slow and boring. The positive side was that I was running on glass water and the sun was so warm I had to strip down to my T-shirt.
I arrived home at about 4:30 PM. It felt good to be back and I could relax knowing that I made it.
After putting the boat away I drove home smiling all the way. It was just another adventure that worked out and I can check "boat the shadowy St. Joe" off my bucket list.