Cartoon by Scott Anthony

Jerry's View: That low tide was a high point for me

I have had my experience with minus tides so I don't plan to join the throngs on the Puget Sound beaches next week at Seahurst Park. There will be hundreds of people walking the wet sand with lanterns and flashlights.I have talked to several divers who explore the bottom of Puget Sound and know there is a 20-foot boat on a trailer out there near the Salmon Creek sewer treatment pumps.

I don't know how it got there.

Several years ago a bunch of Highline - West Seattle guys decided to rent a 30-foot cruiser and play a lot of poker on Puget Sound. I was there.

We rented the boat, took it through the Ballard Locks and headed for a bunch of pilings our captain knew about near Indianola, just north of Bainbridge Island. We found some old pilings left from an historic dock. We happily tied our cruiser to them and got our game started.

It was a sunny afternoon; we were in high spirits ( that too ). The game was not going well for me. I was down 40 bucks and whining about my poor luck. At about 8 p.m we fixed some sandwiches and a few more libations.

While munching our dinner I noticed a light moving past us. I stood up. It was a guy with a flashlight pulling a washtub. He was wading in knee deep water just outside the window of the boat. In hip boots he made his way further out to where a dozen others had gathered. They were "clamming"! At night!

The boat suddenly lurched. The cards, chips and cash on the table slid wildly to the floor of the cabin.

The tide had gone out while we were engrossed in our card game.

Not much we could do except blame each other; lie down nearly upright and try to sleep and wait it out till the tide came back the next morning.

It was the longest night of my life. Five guys bunked in narrow quarters with nary a toothbrush.

The boat became almost upright about 5 a.m. We were able to untie it and motor back to Ballard. It happened on a minus tide. None of us had given tide changes a thought.

That low tide was a high point for me. Since all the money, chips and cards were on the floor we had to divvy up the money evenly. I lucked out all square. Beware of poker games on a boat.

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