|Naturally, who could resist demonstrating a water wheelie or two as the next "duck" tour is briefed for their entry into the water. I've swum with the ducks for several swim-ins. Once in the water, sometimes a driver explains all about the "little" Amphicar that's cruising beside his "bigger" vehicle. The passengers are curious ... who is faster ... surely not that little toy. One thing leads to another and soon the driver has his passengers all pepped up for a race. The duck controls go full forward ... amphi keeps up ... the tourists chant "go go go" ... we shout over the roar of that big Stalwart engine asking "are we ready to race yet?" ... the duck replies "I'm goin' for it" ... just a little more "peddle to the metal" and the amphi pulls ahead. Not amazingly fast, but no doubt about who is the winner. The remodeled Austin Ducks do about 5 MPH in the water whereas the original shorter Stalwart was spec'd at 6 knots. In one race "for pink slips", the driver explained as he didn't have the title on him, would I accept a couple priceless "quackers" instead? So, now as the tourists quack away on their noise makers, we can quack right back at them. Everybody has a wonderful time with many more unique memories to take home.||
Then there's the time one stalled out on the ramp, coasted backwards into
water, and drifted. ... and drifted as the engine didn't want to catch.
By the time the engine started again, he had drifted into a predicament.
I'm not quite sure how he managed it, but
he couldn't go forward in the mud, nor back up as a jet was plugged. The
driver was embarassed and the passengers were wondering if they were going to
have to swim to shore. So, lets have a little fun...
"Hey there, need a tow?" I offer as I hold up my tow strap.
Well open mouth and insert foot. He took me up on it!
Now what am I
gonna do? Well okay, why not. At least it'll pass some time until one of
the other tour boats can come to the rescue.... Gee, I know I can't budge him
forward through all that soft mud. Good thing I don't draft anywhere near
as much as he does... Maybe I can nudge him backward into deeper water....
How heavy is he anyway?... What can I hook onto in the Amphi?...
Got to find something that won't pull off!
Many thoughts go through my head.
The driver hooks one end to the back of his vehicle, and I loop the other end through the seat belts
and out over the engine lid ... the strap pulls tight ... the seat belts are holding ... a little more gas ...
we're kicking up a lot of water now ... but wait ... we're moving ... the passengers
are clapping and cheering. The little Amphi that could ... Between the head lights
and the curve of the bumper, you'd almost swear Amphi had a big grin.
So now he's out in
open water, but with a plugged jet he can't effectively navigate anywhere. So
now the driver asks to be pulled over to the dock. Swing around to the front
and attach the strap again.
Steering is quite a challenge with that big sea anchor behind you...
As if that wasn't enough excitement, a while later Lisa brings
to my attention another duck across the lake that hasn't moved in a while...
and there appears to be quite a trail of brown water behind it. Yup, he's
managed to chew himself in about 100 feet into a "muck" bar, and he hasn't moved
much in 20 minutes. So we head out to the other side of the lake again and pose
that infamous question ... "Did you call for a tow truck?" This time the outcome
was a little different. I couldn't budge him, lake rescue couldn't budge him, and
neither could the park police boat. Another duck comes and I pass over my tow strap
to combine together with theirs, but
he can't get close enough in the shallow water without running aground himself.
The passengers get ferried across the
lake in several trips. I guess that's why it's called the "Austin Duck Adventures".