WELCOME RAY AND TERRI MATTHEWS TO THE
EXCLUSIVE STARCRUISER OWNERS' CLUB!
The Prowler Debuts - #113
It was with great trepidation that I set out to hover on this beautiful October day. Oh yes, I knew that the gentleman who was to pick up the Prowler, already had flown the PL Express about 45 miles on the Wisconsin River during the August 2000 cruise without a hitch, but there was something in the air......something that reminded me of the last time we were out.....when David Timmerman had an accident.....and in no way, did I want to see The Prowler damaged on its maiden voyage. So with a few words of caution to Verdon about the spots in which we might consider training Ray...and then also a word of caution to Ray, I felt better. I don't know if it's the methods we are using in training, but lately it seems the crafts and their new owners have needed to spend a few hours down time in the shop after the maiden flights. What a bummer!
|With Ray's touchup, I got a good
shot of our newcomers to the 'club'!!
And here we are, at Lynn Hollow landing near Potosi WI. For anyone who doesn't know where Potosi is, if you have ever heard of the great Catfish Festival, this is it! A town about 2 blocks wide and 2 miles long!
And if you have never had the pleasure of the ride down thru the hollows that lead to this boat ramp, you have truly missed a great one!
|Ray and Verdon head out for the
maiden voyage. Traditionally, Verdon will get behind the
'wheel' first and then trade places with Ray later on.
Ray was very relaxed and Verdon didn't need to do much......which
gave Verdon time to play in his own craft later on!
Meanwhile, Terri and I took the PL and enjoyed the ride......a little wet due to the wind and a skirt problem, but we got great pictures!
|After Verdon and Ray each took a craft and went out, it was fun watching them just play tag......and the scenery this fall day was just beautiful!|
|Verdon decided Ray needed the experience of backing down the tallest sandbar on the Mississippi River......if you look close, you can see the sand bubbling under the bag skirt because the lift engine is idling. Ray is cleaning his glasses from some spray.....|
|The run for the top!|
|There's nothing like coming in for this sandbar off the great river.....at first, you know that if you just open it up and head for the top, you'll be all right. But as you get closer to the sandbar, you know that you can't open it up all the way without the nose hitting first......so some quick prefigures show that just a bit of a sidewise hit and up the slope you'll go!|
|After Ray made it to the top, he backed down the slope, and then did a quick 180 and back out to the river for another fun run!|
|The feeling of climbing that hill
is great.....believe me! We have had a few newbies forget
to slow down when they get on top, however, and have had
to rescue them from the other side.
But not Ray, he stopped in beautiful time to join everyone!
|Terri showed some concern about this hill, but I assured her we would be all right on the descent......and off we headed for another great bar!|
|Well, I guess Ray thought I meant
it was time for a drink, as he ends up on this family's
picnic blanket. The bag skirt was only inches from the
family cooler......and the beverages!!
At first, they admitted, no one was concerned as they were used to hovercrafts coming in on the sand and setting down, but when Ray continued sliding sidewise into their picnic area, the men grabbed the children and decided to move!
The women sat there and continued with their picnic......while Ray and the rest of us joined them!
|What isn't shown too well, is the
huge pontoon boat that Ray had missed in his travels!
We all joked around a bit after this incident and offered free rides to anyone brave enough.....and Ray moved his hovercraft away.
|Look at those beautiful Wisconsin Bluffs......as Ray and The Prowler continue the journey.....|
|Terri is taking pictures now and Ray offers her a hand.....|
|Verdon and Ray travelling together.....|
|and racing again!!|
|I think Ray is in the lead!|
|Here we go......all my fears return. A windy narrow creek bed leads back to the boat landing. I hope Terri catches the pictures on the camera......before.......|
|Ray hits the bank.......but|
|he cleared it, and continued in his travels back to the landing.|
|We all had a great time today......||Ray didn't want to quit......but Terri and I coaxed him into lunch!|
What more needs to be said, except "Welcome Ray and Terri.....glad to have you aboard with your new craft!"
If you want to hover with Ray, he'll gladly oblige......and we can all look forward to a hoverin sponsored by Ray in 2001......guaranteed!!
To meet Ray and Terri via the internet, write The Prowler!!
Turn to: Another great hovercrafter in IL........
Or back to the Ambassadors page......
Or just back to the Front Page!