Padre Bay experience

Tiff Mapel

Well-Known Member
#1
Hi all,

We got back on Sunday night from our first trip out on our new houseboat. We took my mother and my friend Lauren and her two girls. My husband found us a great beach in the back right branch of Padre Canyon. After we got anchored, we enjoyed a swim off the back deck, and noticed 7 bighorn sheep across the canyon. What a treat! Not long after, a slew of jet skiers continually came by at full speed, passing the back of our houseboat and beyond into the canyon. The traffic finally quieted down at dark. Our neighbors around the bend into the canyon, "R Pleasure," played music into the night, and finally turning it off around 5:30am. So not much sleep that night. Combine that with the fireworks ALL OVER the bay. It was a noisy night.

The next day we toured up to Rainbow Bridge, and swam under the Lehi Arches. Took the kids to Dangling Rope for ice cream. What a great day! We got back to the houseboat around 4:30, and we were all wiped out from the day's adventure. The jet ski brigade was in full force. My mom decided to try the paddle board for the first time in her 68-year old life. She was in the middle of the channel behind our boat. There was only about 50 feet of water from the back deck of our houseboat to the other shore. Two reckless jet skiers decided to go full throttle past her and back into the canyon. They each passed about 10 feet to each side of her. Well, she fell off the board when their wakes hit her, and clung to the board. I was furious and had enough. I jumped on my board and confronted the jet skiers when they came back through. I asked them to slow down because we had paddle boarders and kids in the water. The entitled teenagers rolled their eyes and left.

Not long after, we were swarmed by three separate ski boats full of adults. They didn't make eye contact with us, and ignored our requests to slow down. They passed behind us on plane with their big wakes, making sure to rock our boat. Now, if this was purely coincidental, I don't know, but I suspect these were the parents of the reckless jet skiers. Who knows. It was disappointing that these adults condoned the reckless behavior of their children, and even came over to "teach us a lesson." Boy, that took the wind out of our sails after such a great day. We tried to call NPS on the radio, but we were too far back into the canyon. And it didn't occur to me to get pictures or video of these hooligans. My husband jumped in our little boat to try to follow them to see which houseboat they went back to.

That night, "R Pleasure" only played their music until 2am. They must have finally been getting tired. We pulled out the next morning, and headed for a much quieter beach. We stayed at the mouth of Padre Canyon. It was a huge crescent beach, with four other houseboats there. We took a chance. That was such a nice, quiet, restful night we awoke the next morning with tears of joy. So we learned an important lesson: Don't beach in the back of canyons where the water is narrow. It entices jet skiers to go exploring, and they do it non-stop. There is no peace.

Now, why am I relating this experience? Generally, we find people to be cooperative at Powell. They actually do slow down, or turn down their music at night if you ask them. In over 30 years of going to Powell, this was the worst most blatantly rude and reckless behavior I've ever seen. Do people think they have a right to disrupt other's experience? Do they feel they have a right to be loud? Sure they do. But, WE also have the right to enjoy Powell and get some peace and quiet. I don't think anyone who comes to Powell thinks, "I'm going to make someone's day completely miserable today." But it happens. Common courtesy has left the building.

I'll definitely be back. But I won't be going to Padre Canyon. That place is nuts.

Tiff

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Pegasus

Well-Known Member
#2
Tiff,

We were in Padre Canyon last week also for the week returning last Sunday - camped near the big rock island on the left side going into the canyon. We had a houseboat, my big cruiser, our ski boat, and our dinghy, 2 jet skiis and SUP's and kayaks on a really nice sandy beach mostly muscle free.

All I can say is "ditto" to your story. We had jet skiers flying past us all week while we were swimming behind our boat with only about 100 ft between the back of our boat and the solid rock wall. We had kids in the water swimming, etc. also. Several times, surf boats from the camp around the corner came by the back of our boat at full wake. We yelled at them. They flipped us off. This went on for two days then they at least starting going to their houseboat from the other side of the rock island. But then, a day later, they decided to pull a wakeboarder around the rock island passing right behind our boats at full wake less than 50 or so feet away. The driver was yelling as he went by "we are safe, we are safe" and the girls in their boat were blowing us kisses. Total as* wipes. And very intentional. My wife and I both lost it and were yelling at them and swearing at them. We were embarrassed afterwards for losing our tempers. BTW, these were not teenagers, but were probably in their late 20's to late 30's.

Like you, we had a great week, but we had 3 or 4 really bad experiences (not counting the countless number of jet skiis flying by swimming kids) over the week with people doing stupid and dangerous (and illegal) things that really did ruin a couple of days for us. Lake etiquette seems to be diminishing more each year, and consistently in my experience, it's the wake/surf boat owners doing the majority of the stupid sh*t. I call them "oblivion's" as many of them are just clueless rude jerks.

I'm sorry to hear about your bad experiences - and I totally agree with your advice to NOT camp at the end of canyons in the summer as they attract jet skis like flies on a rib roast. We learned that several years ago - it's good you mentioned it to the WW crowd as it is so true!

-Doug

p.s. - on a positive note, we had three kids with us that just turned 13 and took the required test to be able to ride the jet skis alone (under adult supervision). Kudos to the State of Utah for preparing the exam that they had to take to get their licenses. It was very thorough. The kids kept pointing out other jet ski riders who were breaking the law based upon their learning from the exam (and us telling them the rules over the years I hope). I highly recommend that as your kids turn 13 that they take this exam, or just have them take it anyway at any age - it was not just jet ski related, but general boating related. Nice job State of Utah boating division!

p.s.s. - RE the stupid surf/wake boat neighbors, we did consider driving our ski boat around the island at full wake as they had their three wake boats tied up next to the side of their houseboat to "show them" the effect of a huge wake on their own boats, but realized quickly that we would probably "show them" but wold also damage their boats from them banging onto their houseboat, of which we would be responsible for the damage! We really wanted to do it, but we were smart enough to just think it and not do it!!!
 
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Tiff Mapel

Well-Known Member
#4
Ah, I could have used some of those zombies and crocs... ;) Doug, I'm willing to bet that those were the same entitled jackwagons that were being rude and reckless to us. Where's a ranger when you need one?!?! Yes, boater safety exams should be MANDATORY for everyone who comes to Powell.

Tiff
 

SEALEGS

Well-Known Member
#5
They had a Padre Bay area camp host out there for awhile but I guess NPS discontinued that. My wife and I will be heading out on the Canyon Rider next week armed with 2 DSLR cameras ready to take some video's and photos if needed.

We call that area the idiot zone.
 
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Tiff Mapel

Well-Known Member
#6
Sounds like they need to reinstate the camp host. I know the Canyon Rider well! Spent many fun trips on that boat! Have a great time, and hope you can bust some of those idiots and turn them in to NPS.
 
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Ryan

Well-Known Member
#7
Sounds like a terrible experience. Sorry.

My first advice would be to take photos or videos of that type of behavior. You don't need a fancy camera to do something like that. In reality, my iPhone8 does just about as well for video, and zoom, as my wife's much more expensive camera. If things are that bad, take those videos and find a NPS Ranger, and turn the jackwagons in.

I am not familiar with the South end of the lake, but my experience on the North end is if you stay near the marinas (speaking about Bullfrog Bay or Halls Creek on the north side), you are not likely to have a relaxing experience.

Four or five years ago, we took our new to us houseboat and stayed for a week in Bullfrog Bay. We had mooring whips that were designed to hold our ski boat off the back of the houseboat. They worked great, until the boats came by to close (and it wasn't just wake boats, but just as often cruisers), then I would make a mad dash to my little boat off from hitting the houseboat.

Two years ago we stayed in the back of a really nice canyon in Iceberg. Despite the fact that you could see that the end of canyon was just around the corner from where we were camped, boats of all sorts would come by with disruptive wakes.

My lesson from that is I will not ever camp in Bullfrog or Halls Bays again. And I won't camp in a canyon like Iceberg unless we are at the VERY end.

There are areas of the lake that still offer the relaxation that we enjoyed 30 years ago. But they aren't near the marinas.
 

Pegasus

Well-Known Member
#9
Ah, I could have used some of those zombies and crocs... ;) Doug, I'm willing to bet that those were the same entitled jackwagons that were being rude and reckless to us. Where's a ranger when you need one?!?! Yes, boater safety exams should be MANDATORY for everyone who comes to Powell.

Tiff
Tiff, I hope your guess is correct and it WAS the same people causing issues with your trip and mine - that would mean there was only one horrible group causing the problems last week. Just curious, the three boats with this group were a red/black/white one, a blue/white one and a black/white one. When the perps did a drive by to you, do you remember if these were the colors of the boats? -Doug
 

Tiff Mapel

Well-Known Member
#11
Tiff, I hope your guess is correct and it WAS the same people causing issues with your trip and mine - that would mean there was only one horrible group causing the problems last week. Just curious, the three boats with this group were a red/black/white one, a blue/white one and a black/white one. When the perps did a drive by to you, do you remember if these were the colors of the boats? -Doug
Doug, YES! Those were the exact three boats. We tried to figure out which houseboat they were on, but couldn't tell--and we didn't want a confrontation, either. The red/black/white one actually towed a woman on waterskis into the back of the canyon right off the back of our boat. They stopped just short of "R Pleasure" around the corner from us. Yes, boatloads of adults who should know better.... You didn't happen to get any pics of these boats, did you? I'd love to file a report with NPS.

Tiff
 

Pegasus

Well-Known Member
#12
Doug, YES! Those were the exact three boats. We tried to figure out which houseboat they were on, but couldn't tell--and we didn't want a confrontation, either. The red/black/white one actually towed a woman on waterskis into the back of the canyon right off the back of our boat. They stopped just short of "R Pleasure" around the corner from us. Yes, boatloads of adults who should know better.... You didn't happen to get any pics of these boats, did you? I'd love to file a report with NPS.

Tiff
Wow, amazing how one bad group can spoil others solitude/safety by being jerks. The red/black/white boat was also the one that pulled the wakeboarder by us right at the back of our boat telling us he was "safe", but the other two boats also cruised through at full wake regularly not pulling anyone, especially early in the week. So this group was getting yelled at and told to slow down by at least two groups, but still continued to act like fools, and intentionally make MORE trouble.

We didn't get any photos - we like to put our cell phones down for these trips and didn't have them readily accessible when the perps would show up. Truthfully, I didn't even think to get photos/video. That would have been relatively easy to do and would prove the infractions easily. My question is though, would NPS really do anything with such photos? I hope the answer is yes, but I really doubt it based upon my past experiences. I would love to hear from someone who may have turned in photos to NPS to see if they actually pursued anything - or, can they even really do anything to a perp with only photo proof, legally? Inquiring minds want to know.......

My wife did take our dinghy over to talk with them after they buzzed our grandkids who were swimming behind our boat (she is far more diplomatic than me), but when she went over their houseboat was empty. She only tried once, on day two of our trip, then figured it would probably just get worse talking with them. In hindsight, I do wish I would have got their houseboat name at least so potentially someone would know who this group was and this post would at least shame them somehow.
 
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Tiff Mapel

Well-Known Member
#13
The blue/white and black/white boats came by the back of our houseboat on full plane with their large wakes, one after another, turned a nice big circle and then left, leaving us with their tsunamis. My husband asked the red/black/white boat's occupants not to ski behind our houseboat and if the jet skiers were their kids. They said they "didn't have any kids" and were basically unpleasant. We wondered if they were on the large Bravada houseboat that was nearby.

I was wondering the same thing--if anyone else ever reported a disturbance of intentional reckless behavior, and gotten any response from it.

I bring my camera with me on each trip, but I'm after scenic shots and wildlife. Not idiot boaters. Yes, it would be helpful to get the houseboat name, especially if it's a shared ownership boat. We could contact their manager and hopefully they could impress upon their owners some nice boater etiquette. Unless of course the whole ownership group is the same way. Some people are just jerks, I guess.

Tiff
 

Pegasus

Well-Known Member
#14
Those problem boats were not from a Bravada, just a 'normal' type nice houseboat. Others from my group may actually know the houseboat name as they rode the paddleboards around the island. "Big Dog" (one of the big glass enshrined 4-level boats) was parked right next to us on the other side of our beach with a large group of people, go fast boat and surf boat and never caused us any concern at all - very respectful group.
 
#15
Tiff,
Sorry it was so bad! You'll just need to plan two extra days so you can make it back to Burro Beach next time. Remember the view???
Eric (back at work) :(
 

SEALEGS

Well-Known Member
#16
Sounds like they need to reinstate the camp host. I know the Canyon Rider well! Spent many fun trips on that boat! Have a great time, and hope you can bust some of those idiots and turn them in to NPS.
Thanks Tiff. Hopefully we can meet in person sometime. We exchanged a few emails 2 years ago after we brought her down from Halls. Again thanks for your help.
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Todd
 

Tiff Mapel

Well-Known Member
#17
Those problem boats were not from a Bravada, just a 'normal' type nice houseboat. Others from my group may actually know the houseboat name as they rode the paddleboards around the island. "Big Dog" (one of the big glass enshrined 4-level boats) was parked right next to us on the other side of our beach with a large group of people, go fast boat and surf boat and never caused us any concern at all - very respectful group.
Doug, if others in your group know the name of the houseboat, please message it to me, and I'll follow up with NPS. I know the Big Dog boat--they are a nice group.

Thanks,
Tiff
 

Tiff Mapel

Well-Known Member
#18
Thanks Tiff. Hopefully we can meet in person sometime. We exchanged a few emails 2 years ago after we brought her down from Halls. Again thanks for your help.

WOW! The boat looks nice! I saw it on the buoy when I got off my Trash Tracker trip on July 26th. I think I saw our old boat too, the "WWDotCalm." What did you put on the front deck? Is that Trex?

Tiff

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Todd
 
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