I grew up a little more than thirty minutes from the Manasquan Inlet. We would spend our summers going to Point Pleasant Beach or down to Long Beach Island.
The summer would start off the same every year, a trip to one of my friend’s house the weekend of Memorial Day. We would alternate between where we would go but almost always we would do the same thing, spend some time out in the harbor on a recovered Boston Whaler.
As we got older, the trips became more about drinking and less about going to the beach, it was one of the latter trips that will be one to remember.
The drink of choice for some reason, maybe it was the beach atmosphere or the fact that it did not taste all that bad, was rum. Usually we opted for Bacardi, in fact it was Barcadi that I first got drunk off of, and this year was no different, although we opted for the 151 proof version, a slightly higher octane.
We went to my friends place and decided to take out his row boat. It was nighttime and we did not want to take out the powerboat since we were just going to check out the lagoon. There were four of us total with my one friend, the owner of the boat, rowing and the rest of us sitting in the back.
The bottle went around the horn a few times, and of course it was going down really easy, forgetting that it was 151 proof. Not too far into our trip we all started to feel the alcohol. The rowing became a little slower, we all found stupid things extremely funny and the boat began to rock a little more as each of us started losing our balance.
At some point our rower noticed that it was getting incredibly hard to row, then one of us noticed that the boat seemed to be getting lower in the water, not one of us noticed the fact that our feet were wet.
We were sinking, and none of us knew why… luckily the person rowing came to his senses and asked if the drain plug had been kicked loose? We reached into the water, a good three inches now filled the bottom and my friend came up with the drain plug in his hand. We all yelled, put it back in a few times before he realized what he needed to do, and it was almost too late.
Since we were still in the lagoon we just pulled the boat as best we could up onto one of the docks and drained it out, and laughed about almost sinking the boat. I do not think anyone would have been hurt back then, since I believe the lagoon was at best four or five feet deep, but it was enough to make us realize that you should not mix 151 rum with a row boat, or any boat for that matter.
Thinking back though, it sure was a great time.