Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer on the Water!

This weekend my family and I welcomed in the 2012 summer boating season.  This is our third summer boating on the lake, and I absolutely love spending weekends this way.  Since this was our first time getting the boat on the lake, we always wonder how well things will pan out, but everything went over flawlessly.  This isn’t how things have always gone.  To kick off the 2012 summer boating season I thought I would recap some of the more memorable moments my family has had on the lake over the past couple years. 

A cove we swim at.

Tubing has become one of my favorite water sports.  My families boat is smaller, so we usually only strap the large tube onto the boat a couple times a year.  It is easy to do – and very fun; however the entertainment doesn’t come without some pain.  It seems almost every time I go tubing I wake up the next morning with some sore muscles.  During the first summer of tubing, I would try to hold onto the tube as long as possible, riding all of the crazy waves and then end up being thrown off the tube.  I would usually crash, violently, into the water, resulting in a sore neck or back for the next few days.  I have learned now, how to let go of the tube and land on my back into the water, preventing some injury.  But what is the fun without a good ride, so the sore necks and back are worth the fun at least once a summer.

The first year of boating seemed to go over flawlessly.  None of us had any major injuries, or did any major damage to the boat, but last summer (2011) was another story.  The year started out rough and ended rough as well.  Of course the first couple warm day we all wanted to get on the water, so I ventured out on the boat with just my parents.  Things went well, the girls got the boat on the water without any issues – and we ended up at our new cove we found that summer and loved.  After a few hours we decided to head in for the day.  The girls were in charge of putting the boat back onto the trailer.  My mother decided she wanted to try to put the boat on the trailer this time.  I was fine with this.  Even though I’ve done this job a few times it still makes me a little nervous having to do this, especially when other people have their boats parked close by.  My dad was waiting for us on the back of the truck, while my mom was steering us toward the truck, at a fairly quick pace.  I assumed she would slow down, but that didn’t happen.  She continued at the brisk pace and eventually slammed into the trailer.  I thought the boat was going to go flying through the back of the truck, taking my dad out in the process.  Luckily she stopped the boat, and the trailer caught it, preventing this from happening, but giving all of us and the people around us a big scare.  Still to this day my mother hasn’t lived this down.  The boat suffered some damage to the front, but everything was fine.  This was just the first of many chaotic events for the summer.

 Shortly after this first incident of the summer we were back on the lake, swimming in the cove that was near the dock my extended family owns.  I was sitting on the back of the boat while JC and my mom were in the water swimming.  I notice near the shore a few things moving.  I keep watching and finally realize there is a nest of snakes along the shore, pretty close to where we are swimming.  I voice my snake spotting.  Immediately my mom and JC get out of the water.  After the announcement of the nearby snake nest one makes its way over to our boat to check out what’s going on.  The snake pauses along our boat.  JC has one of the orange oars in the boat held over his head, ready to attack in case the small snake decides to climb up the boat.  Needless to say, we drove to another part of the lake to swim the rest of the afternoon—and the majority of the rest of the summer.

My life jacket is a family heirloom -- passed down from my grandma, who used it years ago.

 Another afternoon on the lake after the snake incident we try to give the family cove another try.  The sun was beating down on us, so we all decided we wanted to try to put up the cover to get some shelter from the sun.  We had yet to put up the cover, so none of us really knew how it worked.  JC and my dad are working, when we hear a “plop” into the water and my dad curse.  He dropped a piece of the piping which holds the cover up into the water – so much for getting out of the sun, ever!  Since we are going to be exposed to the sun at all times now we decide to get in the water and cool off.  I notice the water is especially dirty, with lots of moss and sticks, but plunge in anyway.  After a little while I hear JC say “There’s a huge turtle,” and make a bee-line to the dock to get out of the water.  So much for having a great protector!  I quickly swim away from where he was at; I can see a green blob bobbing in the water.  The blob floats away, toward the middle of the lake and I quickly swim toward the dock.  Once on the dock JC and I realize it wasn’t a turtle, it was a huge pile of moss floating in the water.  Our “moss turtle” gave us a big scare.

 Finally, our summer was coming to an end.  We wanted to get as much time on the lake as possible so the family piled up and headed to the lake despite a partly cloudy sky and our personal meteorologist telling us it was going to rain later in the afternoon.  The sky was still sunny, most of the time, and it seemed nice, so we got on the water and spent a few hours enjoying the water and boat rides.  Then the clouds started forming and the sky turned black while the wind started blowing fiercely.  Once we got to the boat launch it started to sprinkle, no big deal we could get off the lake quickly on a normal day.  But this was no normal day.  Everyone else who was on the lake, even if they weren’t with meteorologists, saw the sky darkening and decided to head in when we did as well.  So my parents and I were stuck on the lake while it sprinkled, waiting for JC to bring the truck and trailer down to the launch.  Then things got worse.  It started pouring.  We had already put the front cover over the boat to prevent it from getting completely soaked, so in search of shelter, I headed underneath the cover and huddled in the very small walkway in the front park of the boat.  My parents ended up getting soaked, while I stayed fairly dry huddled underneath the cover.  This was the first, but most likely not the last, time we had been stuck in a downpour on the lake. 

At the family dock.

 Despite all of the mishaps that have taken place while on the water over the past few years, I love spending time with my family on the lake.  I’ve looked forward to the summer for the past few months to create more memories from our mishaps and quiet afternoons at Mill Creek Lake.

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