The F. D. O. could scoot along at the breathless speed of about 25 miles an hour. That may not seem very fast when traveling in a car on a road, but out on the open water, you're booking.
On flat glassy calm days Dad could get her planing. She planed best when it was just Dad, but she planed just fine with two or all four us in the boat. It just took a bit more coaxing. There was nothing so exhilarating as flying across the water with the wind whipping our hair. With the wind whipping away your words and almost making it difficult to breathe. We couldn't do it for long because the least bit of rippling on the water made for a pounding ride, but my heavens it was fun!
On Fourth of July there were boat races. Boats of all sizes and shapes and with all manner of engines and horsepower were divided into somewhat similar categories. The race went from Cruz Bay out and around to a group of rocks called The Brothers, about a mile away, and back to Cruz. It was simple, whoever got back first won.
I think Dad was challenged. I think he may have made bets he could beat just about anyone. He was up against bigger boats with lots more horsepower. Of course it was a slam-dunk. He was already on his way back before the first of the other boats had even made it to The Brothers!
The winner got a case of Schaefer Beer. Dad's favorite brand. The F. D. O.'s reputation was sealed. She won every race she ever entered.
But she wasn't just fast...she was tough too. One time a barge got stuck on The Brothers. Dad went out in the F. D. O. to see if he could help, and by God...with the help of the tide and surge of the waves, he and the F. D. O. pulled that barge off the rocks.