“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Discover Boating. I received collateral to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”
It’s summer! For as long as I can remember summer has meant warm sunny days, bare feet and time spent on the water! That’s why I volunteered to be an Ambassador for “Discover Boating!”
When I was a child growing up in Maine at various times (not simultaneously) my family owned an ocean going sailboat, a motorboat for spending time on Green Lake, canoes and kayaks. At summer camp (the YMCA Camp Jordan in Maine) I learned to use a small sailboat*, canoe and kayak. (*not that I remember how!)
When Yankee Bill and I were first married and living in Huntsville, Alabama we purchased a small motorboat. He christened it the “Jenn-i-Fuzz” after me :) We were stationed at Redstone Arsenal, which had it’s own recreation area and boat launch onto the Tennessee river. Bill and I developed a routine where a couple of times a week in the summer he’d go home, change, pack a quick bag with clothes and a swimsuit for me, come back on post, get the boat out of storage and hit the river. When I finally got out of work I’d call him on the cell and he’d head back to the dock to pick me up. I can’t count the number of those long southern summer evenings that we’d spend on the water tooling up and down between Decatur and Guntersville. I always especially liked going through the locks between the lakes-it was so cool to be inside as the water level slowly raised or lowered.
To this day boating is still a part of our most memorable summer fun as a family. Every year we spend a week at a cabin up in the Adirondacks on the Fulton Lake chain. Our kids have grown up boating every summer.
On a hot summer day at the lake there is nothing like cruising along in a boat. The heat just seems to fade away and the feeling of the wind whipping by is just plain exhilarating. We bring along a cooler of water and sodas, a bag of sunflower seeds and just spend our afternoons touring up and down the lake. Sometimes we’ll stop to explore an island (there are a couple of them in the Fulton Lake chain that are owned by the state park system) or to take a swim by jumping right off the boat.
As the kids have gotten older Buddy and Princess have gotten to be quite the pair of little daredevils. While they both love to go tubing (ie being pulled on an intertube behind the boat) Princess is the one who really sees it as a challenge. She is always daring her father to try to dump her off! Last year’s most memorable vacation quote came from her after one particular tubing session. . .
“Is that all you’ve got Old Man?”
Needless to say he dumped her on the next go round!
Last year was also the first year that Princess learned to waterski (Buddy hasn’t quite mastered it). We got a set of youth water skis which have a line between the two skis to help them stay together. . . and she’s so petite that we had to have her wear a pair of gym sock so that her feet would fit in the binding. Let me tell you, that girl was skiing like a champ! It’s all she wanted to do each time we took the boat out. Buddy was content to whip around in the tube.
One of the things I love so much about boating is that it’s something we do as a family. We’ve got our own little family traditions around it–like Yankee Bill always wearing his special Hawaiin print boating hat, snacking on sunflower seeds (one of the few times we do), and the kids each getting a chance to drive the boat for a few minutes (supervised of course!). Each summer we keep building on the memories. I like to think that some day my kids will be sitting with their own children reminiscing about the days they spent every summer boating on the lake.
Another great benefit to boating is that, of course, you have to do it outside. I’m a big believer that it’s important for kids to spend plenty of time in nature to be mentally and physically healthy. Boating is one of those times when you just unplug completely. Heck–on the lake we visit you don’t even get cell reception most of the time. Instead of staring a small screen and ignoring each other you have to look up and look around. You breath fresh air. You look at the sky, the water, the scenery. I always seem to see so much wildlife when we are out on the boat-loons diving under the water, herons skimming the surface of the water, the occasional deer or rabbit, or even bats as twilight sets in.
I wouldn’t trade our lazy days boating on the lake for anything!
Now I grew up boating–but what if you didn’t? Don’t worry–the Discover Boating website has a ton of great information to get you started. They have a free Beginner’s Guide to Boating you can sign up for that includes boat type descriptions to help you find your perfect boat, useful tips when it’s time to purchase a boat,advice & tips on operating a boat, information on maintaining & storing a boat and even boating terms to help you learn to speak boat! There is also information on boating with kids, a boat selector tool to help you pick out the perfect boat for your needs, information on fishing and watersports and much, much more!