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Old 06-12-2010, 11:03 PM   #43
charlie wilson
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Lower Saranac Lake
Posts: 572
Since we digress

This might be a good time to mention the disagreement that almost sundered the FreeStyle paddling group.

We'd had a spat of motorboat and jet ski rundowns in the late 90s and decided to go proactive. We selected the Smith and Wesson stainless auto platform because it was double action and American made and took magazines for quick reloads. There was some grumbling that custom Colt Autos were more accurate, mostly me, but that was voted down. We agreed we should have a common round so one FreeStyler could share magazines with another. Then it got ugly.

The women demanded 9mm autos for reduced recoil and maximum magazine capacity. The guys wanted 45 auto, on the basis that once you've decided to shoot at a motorized craft, the bigger hole would be better.

Coffee was served with or without cream and sugar; the obverse of normal practice. Married folks, and even folks in love, ceased cohabiting. The blanket was about to be torn multiply when S&W came out with the 40 caliber S&W. Less recoil for the smaller; pretty good sized drain holes for the more aggressive; life became good again. Magazines were exchanged as needed.

The anti motorboat/jet-ski initiative continued. Lou Glaros was a guidance engineer at Martin Marietta. While he worked on the Sidewinder, he figured we didn't need ten miles of range and probably couldn't afford $500K a Jet-ski, so he modified the shoulder fired, 2 mile range, Stinger's heat seeking guidance so a much lower thermal image would suffice for targeting.

I was with him on the first test, with two of the hybrids mounted on Lou's Whaler in Florida. He was at 90 dg to the test site on his Hobie Cat with a video camera.

A jet ski appeared and entered the area. Lou radioed to fire and I did. The missile streaked out, acquired the target, traced a curved path to it and voila! No jet ski. We agreed to chat about what to do with the oil slick later.

Then a runabout entered the target area. Lou radioed to fire again, which I did, while noticing Lou lighting a big cigar. he was always enamored of the fighter pilot ethos. The missile streaked out, seemed to acquire the runabout, then turned and streaked towards the HobieCat.

It was terrible! The Hobie, Lou and video camera gone, along with most of a perfectly good Cuban cigar. On the bright side, no oil slick! But, with our engineer gone, no chance to fine tune the heat seeking device, so FreeStylers settled back into the more defensive posture of using defensive products against motorboats.

OK, that's meant to be amusing, and maybe cathartic.

In reality, we're kinda like bikers with bumperstickers reading "Start Seeing Motorcycles" That is wishful thinking. We need to do what we can to protect ourselves: bright boats, bright and worn PFDs and, maybe flags on big water. WinterWarlock is very correct; it comes down to gross weight. Mass X Velocity squared; the motorboats wins almost every time. Be careful out there!

Last edited by charlie wilson; 07-02-2010 at 02:04 PM..
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