Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm On A Boat!

Well, I was this weekend anyway. Buddy of mine has a cabin up on Miles Bay at Lake of the Woods, Ontario, CA. To say it's secluded and beautiful is to say that Albert Einstein was "gifted". This year he took me and another buddy, and of course, Sam the Dog.

So, pack the Jeep, drive 6 or so hours due North, pack the 18-footer at the marina, motor out to the West another 25 minutes or so, tie up at the dock, unload boat, pour drink, light cigar, begin vacation. It's a small island with 3 family cabins on it, maybe 8 acres, heavily pine-wooded. I don't fish, myself, but it's apparently Walleye heaven for those who indulge.

We played lots of wargames, kayaked around the islands, drank, smoked, and cracked wise at each other, and generally had an awesome time.

The only real adventure was Saturday. Normal berth for the boat is the East side of the floating dock, and Friday night the wind shifted to a nasty East wind. We woke up Saturday to a 20 knot wind blasting from the East that raised whitecaps and knocked the boat against the floating dock. The whips and lines held, but we had to watch for a few hours as the boat and dock shoulder-slammed each other - not a pretty sight but it was too dangerous to be messing with.

Finally we got a relative lessening and out we went. We got the owner in the boat and me and the other guy tried to cast him off.

Hard to do when the floating dock is rolling 30+ degrees in 2-foot swells. But at least it wasn't raining.

We got the whips undone and were working at the bow and stern lines when I saw a nice roller coming in and yelled a warning. I'm sure we looked quite comical as I dropped face up, spread-eagled on the dock clutching a cleat, the other guy dropped face down, and our buddy in the boat let go of the stern line he was trying to unclip and sat down hard. But none of us lost fingers or went in the drink.

Even after we finally got the lines unclipped, we failed to throw the lines in the boat, and the bow line fouled the prop for a bit. Once our buddy got that fixed he motored around to another family's dock on the other side of the island, we ran over and got him tied up, then we went back up to the cabin and relaxed a bit, started telling stories about how exciting it all had been. By the third time we'd each retold our part of the story to each other there were giant Kraken trying to pull us all under while Jap Zeroes were strafing the island and alien frogmen were trying to afix demo charges to the boat.

The other few days the weather was wonderful. I kayaked a little, anointed Sam the Dog as King of the Island and let him run loose and dig up whatever trouble he could find (none), watched the bald eagles over on the next island (much quieter this year than the previous two years), read in the sun, smoked a lot of cigars and drank a lot of rum. At night I saw the Northern Lights for the first time, watched satellites track overhead, and marvelled at the Milky Way and far-off thunderheads. And smoked cigars and drank rum.

Trust me, you're jealous.


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