I went on a waterskiing houseboat trip to Lake Cumberland in mid-August. If you ever go to Lake Cumberland do yourself a favor and do not rent a houseboat from State Dock. I would have written about our houseboat experience sooner but I needed some counseling before I could broach the subject publicly. Let me begin with a quote that sums up our experience aboard the SS POS (850), “the Titanic had fewer problems.”
We took possession of the SS POS (850) and proceeded to navigate it across Lake Cumberland to the slalom courses past Girder Hill marina (which is quite a haul). We parked the houseboat in a nice cove with close proximity to the slalom courses. We skied until almost dark and returned to the houseboat for a relaxing dinner and looked forward to a dip in the hot tub.
My comrades tried to light the upstairs grill and there was an explosion which resulted in fire coming out the sides and top of the grill. Luckily, Doug stepped back when the flames violently spewed out the front of the grill almost singed his swimming trunks and personal equipment. Fortunately, we had a second grill on the first floor and found another brave soul to light it. The other grill fired up without serious incident and we were off to the fridge for some meat. That is when we noticed that the fridge seemed to be unusually warm. We figured that the huge amount of food that we piled into it put a load on it and fixed dinner.
After dinner we decided to watch a little satellite TV. However, the tall cliffs surrounding the cove our houseboat was positioned within blocked the sky from the auto-tracking satellite dish. This wasn’t an issue since we just wanted to watch a little satellite TV to show off how fancy a houseboat we rented for ourselves. We decided to play a DVD instead and loaded the player. However, the DVD player would not feed the TV. Therefore, the large TV and surround sound system were neutered useless.
It was definitely time to consult the ship-to-shore radio for assistance. The folksy Kentucky drawl on the other end helped us reset the fridge circuit breakers and promised to send help out the following day to get the DVD player and grill working. We were thankful for the help and were reassured for the moment. However, the fridge circuit breaker flipping off almost every hour left us a little uneasy since we came prepared with enough food for feasts every meal.
Not to be deterred we decided to entertain ourselves with some Texas Hold’em. Those not electing to play Texas Hold’em went upstairs to relax in the hot tub. The hot tub was hot but describing the jets as anemic would be an understatement. I have seen picnic baskets more powerful! After a while the generator sputtered and eerily died. The AC kicked off, the hot tub stopped, and the lights fluttered. The battery system on board was only large enough to run the lights and fridge for a couple hours. We tried to re-start the generator to no avail and concluded that the generator was out of diesel fuel. We began theorizing as to how this could have happened since the tanks are large enough for the houseboat to be out a full week without needing a fill up.
We beckoned the ship-to-shore radio for assistance but no one answered. It quickly became clear that we were out of luck until the State Dock people came in the following morning. Needless to say, tempers began to boil a little and the houseboat literally became an inferno. Then, those lucky enough to have a state room discovered that their fans didn’t work (and later that they wouldn’t work even if they had power). Everyone tried to sleep but it was like trying to sleep in a boiling hot cracker jack box, without any sort of prize. This was merely the 1st day…