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Bring on the Boats

It was a weekend of boats.  Unusual for us, as we don’t have a boat, don’t spend much time thinking we need a boat; and don’t feel like our trips to Lake Chelan have been less fun for lack of a boat.  It’s Lake Chelan.  In August.  Which, if I can spell it out here, means there’s sunshine, a pristine lake, and all the sand and drift wood two kids could possibly play with.

Boats up until this weekend were superfluous.  Things simply tied to docks.  But get a couple of kids in a tippy canoe, a paddle boat with gusty wind and a sail boat on the only windless day of the week, and it’ll be all they talk about on the way home. 

The canoe was first. 

And though we’re all smiling here, my son and I are slightly nervous.  Actually I’m nervous and he’s just working up to being terrified. 

The only person here who’s been in a canoe in the last 25 years is my husband.  Only he’s sitting up front now instead of me.  I mean, all was good up front until he told me I was facing the wrong way.  (For the record, they don’t mark those things ‘front’ and ‘back’).  And, I guess if we were going to canoe the ‘right’ way, I’d have to turn around.  Which meant that now I couldn’t see anyone else in the boat.  Heh heh… um…right.  If small children were to be popping over the side, I needed to know.  Not after the fact.

Hence the sudden switch.  And a little more motion than my son could already handle.

We would wobble our way westward through the drift wood to the discomforting sound of my son wheezing that he was scared.  By the first buoy, he would utter that he wanted to go home.  And canoeing would last eight or nine minutes.

By which time we would trade in our canoe for a paddle boat and be off in the same direction.  Only with happier clientele.

Nevermind that the main rudder did not work and we would pedal in circles to the left for some time before actually drifting away from the dock.  But we didn’t sway and lurch in this thing.  And for one small person in particular, steady circles were better than a loopy ride in a canoe.  Any day.

Then since paddle boats without a working rudder are only so much fun–for adults, we would park the paddle boat with a big slam into the dock and pat ourselves on the back.  Or maybe that was each of us trying to shove the other out onto the dock.  Anyway, the fun was just beginning. 

Not that I know a thing about sail boats.

The sailboat was one of those opportunities we don’t expect to slap us in the face too often.  But it was the situation where we know ‘them’ and they’re related to ‘these guys’ who have a sailboat and have invited us along.  All that.

Only it was Lake Chelan on a windless day.  Which meant that the little motor on the back of the 21′ catamaran would get more use than the sails themselves.  A tame ride by sailing standards.  But great for us since our little people were along and diving in after them was not on my top ten list of ‘things I can’t wait to do at Lake Chelan’. 

I only mention this, though, if you’re like me and have no idea what a catamaran sailboat is.  It’s big.  Has two pontoons.  Bench-like seats on each side that rest over the water.  And a trampoline in front and back where kids or luggage can sit…and get soaked. 

Here’s the ride.  Or at least the sail.  It’s up there.

And one of the seats.

Which is just opposite of where my husband and I are sitting.

And here’s the front where my daughter and our friend’s daughter is.

And here’s the trampoline part in back with my son …

And a better glimpse of the front where my son split his time.  Forgive his crack, if you will.   Sadly it’s just as tan as the rest of his exposed body.  I’ve stopped worrying about it, even in public.

And this is our friend’s brother, who made the whole sailing thing possible.

And a word about the wind again…. Since it didn’t exist, Dan here cut the motor and we stopped to dive in off the sides.  It being some 400 feet deep and all.

Here’s my daughter.  Completely ecstatic.  Or the water’s cold.  One of those.

And here’s my son.   In the water…

And on his way out.

And my son and my husband (whose arm looks like it may just snap off) back on the boat.

Then it was my turn.

Only my son thought something tragic might happen as I peeled away the extra clothing to my swimsuit. “Don’t take off your undies!” he shouted.  Then as I situated the bottom of my suit as was necessary or not, he pleaded again, “Mommy, DON’T take off your undies.  And I kept that in mind as I flailed off the side still in my shoes.

Without regret there are no pictures to show that I actually got in the water.  This I can live with.

There are, however, memories of a weekend in Chelan, where we chanced upon three boats. 

And now, smile at the thought of them all.


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