It’s important for we ‘sun setters’ to continue to introduce new activities in our lives. It keeps us young. If you are looking for a new experience allow me to suggest boating. It is an activity filled with the spirit of adventure and scenic beauty, interspersed along the way with some frustration and stark terror. In an effort to allow you to minimize the frustration and stark terror let me offer the following:
The Launch: Critical step for happy adventure. Backing up a boat on trailer can be tricky. Turn the steering wheel to the left the boat goes right, turn it to the right it goes left; sort of counter intuitive. It is extremely hard to execute with a lot of people watching, particularly if they are waiting for you to clear so that they can launch. When backing up if you see the stern of the boat (that’s the back) parallel to you in driver’s seat it’s time to pull forward and start over. Best advice; go real early so no one can see you.
The Cruise: This is the best part; water as smooth as glass, endless marsh views, dolphin tails silently breaking the water; incredible beauty. A few tips. As you look out and see blue herons that appear to be standing on the water be aware, they are standing on the water and you are about hit a sand bar. If you do hit a sand bar and go aground, note the tide. If it is coming in, you can wait and you’ll probably float off the bar. If it is going out, immediately panic, jump in that water and push like hell to get the boat off the bar. Failure to do so could guarantee you will cook in the afternoon sun waiting for the tide to come back in.
If you are lucky enough to meet the South Carolina Natural Resource boys in their “Darth Vader” four engine, siren and flashing light equipped speed boat, have no fear. They rarely use the “glocks” protruding from their hips. After they finish asking you a bunch of question you know nothing about relative to “throwables, whistles and fire extinguishers”, they usually let you go. The neat part is they will call you “Captain”, which has a nice nautical feel and makes you think you actually know something about boating.
The Return: All’s well that ends well; easy to say, a little harder to make happen. You must first recall everything you learned about the mystical “turn right go left”, phenomena. A sparsely populated boat ramp is best for the same reasons mentioned in the launch phase. Back the trailer down until the trailer V is slightly submerged. Bring the boat up onto the V. Be careful not to gun the boat onto the trailer and smash the bow into front fork. Holes in the bow are hard to fix. Attach the trailer winch line to the boat eye hook. Crank the boat up the trailer until it is tight. Failure to attach the winch cable to the eye hook will cause the boat to fall off the end of trailer when you pull out. This is bad.
So that is about all your really need to know. Go boating, you’ll love it.
Harry McHugh… first a corporate blue suiter then an entrepreneur; survived them both as well as two daughters. Writes to relive the adventure. Big believer in jump before you look. The results are usually hysterical.
Catch Harry’s stories at: http://funnierthanwethink.blogspot.com/