Caution To The WindCaution To The Wind A high wind is a menace, not to mention a deadly threat to boaters, campers and others who spend time in the outdoors.
By Bob Hood
From causing backlashes to increasing vehicle gasoline consumption, a high wind is a menace, not to mention a deadly threat to boaters, campers and others who spend time in the outdoors.
Nothing can replace common sense when a high wind becomes a leading factor in a journey outdoors. Not even safe boating laws such as those that require life preservers for all persons on board a boat can provide the protection that comes from using common sense.
As I have said more than once in the past, I have often wondered whether some boaters who literally throw caution to the wind and end up having their boats capsized in a gale are not among the children you hear some parents complaining about. You know the kind, the ones you spend 18 months trying to get to stand up and talk and the next 18 years trying to get to sit down and listen.
Watching the weather forecasters on television or listening to a weather report on a radio prior to heading outdoors will help you have an idea on what to expect, but don't count on them being 100 percent correct. To me, listening to a weather forecast is much like reading a fishing report, you can get a different forecast or fishing report from different sources. Paying attention to changing weather patterns (in other words using common sense) will go a long way in keeping you safe while venturing outdoors.
Although the wind can be life-threatening to boaters, it also can produce hazardous events for campers. The chance of high winds rushing through a campsite should be one of the first things to consider when choosing where you will erect a tent or set up a camper or RV. If you have ever chosen a campsite that is close to or beneath tall trees with dead limbs hanging overhead and have had a high wind bring those limbs down on your camper or vehicle, you won't forget it.
For hunters, the worst wind-related dangers they face won't come around again until next fall when many of them return to their tree stands, ladder blinds or tall box blinds. But in the coming months when they return to their leases to fix up their cabins, move blinds and feeders they should consider any changes the winds may have made since the last hunting season ended. Blinds that were secured to trees last fall may not be so secure now after being pushed onto by the strong winds that we've had for the past few months.
While discussing the windy weather and the hazards it causes with a friend recently, I was asked to recount a story about a group of fishermen who made a trip from Fort Worth to Toledo Bend (Texas) one year, arriving somewhat surprisingly with their nerves still intact despite having to drive the entire distance in a fierce wind.
When they left Cowtown, the wind was blowing about 25 m.p.h. out of the north, but by the time they got to Big T, it was blowing through the tall pines at about 40 m.p.h. No one in the group wanted to go fishing in a gale except for two guys named John and Ed.
You've probably met someone like John and Ed. John is one of those overly-eager fishermen who thinks that no matter how early he gets onto the water he already is an hour late. Ed, on the other hand, just thinks he has accomplished one of life's greatest achievements if he gets onto the water at all.
John was standing next to his boat in a boat stall the following morning waiting for Ed to join him. The high winds had not let up. John waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, after 30 minutes of fuming over Ed's no-show, John walked to the marina motel room only to find Ed still in bed. John immediately bombarded Ed with scorn.
Ed started to blame his no-show on a faulty alarm clock, but quickly shelved that excuse because he had used it the last time he and John went fishing. So, he decided to blame the wind.
"I left about 30 minutes ago to meet you but it was the wind," Ed said. 'Wow! What a wind!"
"Oh yeah?" John asked. "If you headed for the dock 30 minutes ago, why are you back here?"
Ed just shrugged his shoulders and explained. "John, every time I took a step, the wind blew me back two steps and pretty soon here I was right back in the room. Wow! Can you believe this wind?"
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