Poker: The Cardude crew (aboard Bijou) and the Heahustler crew (aboard Bucky) were returning from a spectacular overnight anchorage in the Tampa Bay area when a huge 60 or so Marlowe caught up to us at the narrowest part of the GCICW. For whatever reason there may or may not be, he kept the boat at that point of highest squat, you know, just before it climbs on plane, creating absolute havoc behind us. I got on the radio to Cardude and warned him about the “wake machine” that was coming, but due to the narrow markers, there wasn’t room to pass. We held him in check for about 10 minutes, but we knew he was going to explode when the channel widened, and he did. I was first, and I went full throttle in hopes that he would be on plane by the time he caught me. No such luck. When I saw he couldn’t pull himself out of the pre-plane squat, I pulled it back to idle and waited for his stern to pass before I gave it full trottle, left rudder and bow thruster to spin my bow into the first wave, followed by the caverness trench left by his 1000 or so struggling horsepower. There just wasn’t enough channel width to get the boat turned in time. When it’s that bad and things are falling and spilling and rocking and rolling so much, all one can really do is hang on to something and hope he’s not towing a 30 ft. dinghy. Even with latched cabinets and fiddled surfaces, there was a lot to clean up. Wakes from sport-fishers are commonplace around here, but I was negligent in assuming I wouldn’t get mega-waked on the ICW. He got me, and now he was going for Cardude!
Ole Bill tried to do the pre-megawake set-up pretty much the same as I did. He was nearly against the starboard channel marker when the broadside hit. Bijou rolled over about 45 degrees to starboard while still heading up the first wave. I could see his entire keel and rudder as he slipped into the trench at that angle, still trying to turn into the wake. In the bottom of the trench the keel took hold and rolled him 40 or so degrees to port which was the position he was in when the 2nd wave hit him slightly forward of amidships, drenching the deck and turning the boat back to starboard, directing him outside the narrow channel. I could see him scrambling to get the boat turned back out of the shallows. She rolled several more times but the new sail kit he installed recently kept the boat from the quick snap-rolls it was known for before the kit was installed, helping Bill gather the helm again. The Marlowe just continued on in that full squat, never getting on plane for as long as we could see him. I doubt he ever looked back. Afterwards, Cardude says to me: “Too bad you didn’t get a video of that one.”
Sometimes irresponsible wakes hurt people. Sometimes there’s not space or opportunity to cope with them. Ours was a case where we knew it was coming and still couldn’t do much of anything about it. I’m really sorry your story has to face judgment and conjecture, but I’m particularly sorry you were kicked while you were already down. You’ve contributed many valid points in our discussions here on TF, and I’ve always sensed your impressions and arguments lucid.
"When life gets hard, eat marshmallows”.