For several years now, Lee and I have been wishing for a boat. Driving on the bridges spanning the local waterways, I’d look out at the boats going by with a longing to be out on the water too. I want to explore the undeveloped barrier islands and search for seashells and sand dollars. I want to coast in the rivers between the marsh grasses and listen to water lap the side of the boat.
So this year we finally joined a local boat club – a boat co-op of sorts – and I’ve been so excited sometimes I can’t sleep. Silly I know, but I can’t help it! Last week, Lee and I met with a trainer for orientation and took a boat out on the water. Let me just say – it’s harder than I thought. The basics of boat operation aren’t really that tricky, but understanding the tides and learning the waterways and channel depths will take some time.
This afternoon we took Camille and Boo for our first boat trip without the trainer. Our plan was to keep it simple and just cruise around the Intracoastal waterway, drop anchor at some point and have a picnic on the boat.
Sounds deceptively simple, right? About 20 minutes into the trip we found ourselves stuck in the mud, but we learned some good lessons about how not to drop anchor, got back into deeper water and had a well-deserved margarita and some steamed shrimp.
Then we cruised out closer to the ocean where the views were gorgeous. We hit some choppy water, but thankfully Camille didn’t find the waves alarming at all. In fact, she laughed hysterically every time we crested a wave and salt water sprayed across our faces.
Then there was that one time when we got turned around, but thank goodness for GPS because we were soon back on the right track toward the marina.
It would be nice to skip this “newbie” phase and already have all the knowledge and boating skills of a salty sailor, but I realize the only way to get that knowledge is by being on the water. And despite our mud encounter (did I mention that I was up to my knees in mud at one point? Gave my new boat shoes a workout!) and brief disorientation, being out on the water was pretty fantastic. I love standing up when the boat is cruising, feeling the wind whipping at my hair, even getting the occasional sea spray shower. I’m excited that all the waterways and beaches around coastal Savannah are now open to us, and I’m ready to explore some more.