Articles By Our Members
Noah's Ark: The Second Sinking
by Brian Clarke, June 2002
For the second time in as many years, Wally's ark went to a watery grave,
only to be rescued in the nick of time by the grace of good fortune.
Tuesday evening, June 4th started as a normal boat club evening at Andy
Haydon Park, mild with a light breeze. The ark was floating, complete with
a brand new battery, in the middle of the pond when, all of a sudden, it was
gone. No one knew why.
Peter Z. stripped down to his shorts and started to wade into the water
towards the ark's last reported position. The mud, slime, weeds, and
leeches quickly drove him out.
Wally and Bob W. quickly brought a canoe from Bob's back yard and the
search was on. The light was fading and even Peter's keen eyesight couldn't
spot the elusive ark.
The next morning at 8:00am, Wally, Ken H. and I returned to Andy Haydon
Park with my 12 foot aluminum boat in tow, but coffee at Tim Horton's was
necessary to wait out a rain shower and plan the course of action. When we
arrived at the pond, the roof and some superstructure had drifted to shore
but no other sign of the ark could be found. We rowed across the pond many
times, a spotter on the bow, one on the stern and the third person rowing.
Water depth in the search area varied from about 5 feet to so deep we
couldn't see the bottom. Diving masks didn't help, even when Ken put his
entire face in the water. I was sure he was going to tumble over the stern.
Just as we were on the point of abandoning our search, talking about
lights and scuba divers, a glimmer of a pointed bow and stern with a
rectangular hole in the centre appeared in about six feet of water at
exactly the expected location. It looked like the photo of the Titanic on
the cover of National Geographic.
An anchor was dropped to mark the spot and many unsuccessful attempts
were made to retrieve it using a large net on a long pole. Wally was able
to raise the deck and the remaining super structure but the hull and battery
kept slipping out of the net. The next brainwave had Wally and me sitting
together in the stern, each of us with a net on a long pole, and Ken manning
the oars. We were to capture the ark between our nets. When Wally and I
leaned over the stern together, water started cascading over the stern onto
our feet. Only quick action with the bailing bucket averted a disaster. Silt
stirred up from the bottom of the pond blocked our view of the area, so we
returned to Tim Horton's for lunch and to plan the next strategy. We also
picked up another pole with a strong hook on the end.
Back to the pond and the silt had settled. On the first try, Wally
managed to hook a deck cross-member and raise the ark to within 3 feet of
the surface. We slowly paddled toward shallower water but then disaster
struck! The cross-member broke and the ark settled to the bottom again.
Our boat drifted down-wind and we lost sight of the ark. Wally finally
spotted it and after a few anxious moments the ark and battery were in his
We all headed home for a nap.