Boating lesson

For our big anniversary party next month, we’ve arranged to rent a pontoon boat for the day. When we spoke with the marina owner last week, we admitted that I’ve never had any experience with a boat that size — I mean, although I took the handle of the outboard motor on Sheepshead Bay off Brooklyn when I went fishing with my grandpa and father when I was about 9, and ran a 5 hp outboard by myself when we were at the Belgrade Lakes when I was 15, and have done a fair bit of canoeing and kayaking recently, I’ve never driven a power boat bigger than a 12 foot rowboat. Well, the marina owner was a little hesitant, so we asked if we could get a lesson on running a pontoon boat.

Arlene phoned the marina yesterday about 8 in the morning to ask about a lesson then, left a message on the machine, and kept getting the machine when she called a few more times. Joel (oh! Millie and Joel and their 1 3/4 year old grandson Jacob are up in Casco this weekend, and we all came in their car) drove me to the marina, where we found the owner vacuuming out a boat. He said that there was nobody else working right then, but there would be on Sunday. We arranged to come back at 9 this morning.

So Arlene, Joel, and I went back this morning.Tyler, the recent college graduate son of the marina owner, took us out on a boat the exact size of the one we’re going to rent. He went over how to run the motor, how to untie the boat from the dock, to remember to tie the anchor to the boat before tossing it overboard, where the channel markers were and where the no wake zone was, and let me run over to our association’s dock across the road from our driveway. It was really good to have seen the dock from the middle of the lake, just so we know where we’re going when we need to land there to pick up passengers. Joel took the controls for the way back. We now have two drivers checked out on a ten-passenger pontoon boat.

On the way out we passed quite close to a loon who didn’t seem to mind the boat at all. It was raining lightly on the way back, but we all enjoyed being on the lake anyway.

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