OK, in all fairness, 96 percent of my weekend did not involve water, so I’ll knock off the nautical talk. But for one exhilarating hour, it was all water, baby. I watched the shoreline race by in a blur of green and brown, the wind in my hair, a shout of adrenaline-fueled elation snatched from my mouth by the breeze as we skipped across the surface of Pactola Reservoir. Countless times I have driven by or walked around this massive lake. Once, in my youth, I went ice fishing here (a miserable experience I don’t recommend, but that’s another story). But I had never been out in the middle of Pactola before, and the fresh perspective did wonders for my soul.
Tara and I were up bright and early despite a late night on the patio hanging out with a couple from across the street, eager to give our new boat a spin. So eager, in fact, we were on the water by 7:30, an ungodly hour for many on a Saturday morning. We wanted to get there early in order to beat the crowds, which —given the forecast of sunshine, mid-80s, and a light breeze—were sure to be plentiful. Also, this being our first time out, Tara wanted to be sure she did everything right (i.e., not sink or drown). All along I’ve put my faith in her abilities, since she’s the one with boating experience, while I’m the guy who hears the words “bow” and “stern” and immediately thinks of customary Japanese greetings and angry facial expressions. At one point during the drive to the lake, I heard my wife muttering to herself.
“Beg your pardon?” I said.
“Sorry, I’m just going through the mental checklist of everything that needs to be done. I probably should have taken notes.”
“I probably should have taken notes” is not a phrase you want to hear when you’re putting your life in the hands of your significant other, and I will admit, that gave me a moment of unease. It didn’t help that she and her dad were unable to actually take the boat out on the water in Nevada due to high winds, a fact I did not learn until after she’d come home. But she certainly looked like she knew what she was doing when she hitched the trailer to her pickup, plugged in the lights and had me do a safety check, and then lowered the boat into the water like a pro once we arrived. Any initial trepidation I felt disappeared as soon as she throttled that bad boy up. What a rush! It took me all of five seconds to remember why I always wanted a boat.
In short order, I found three ways to embarrass myself:
OK, fine. I’ve never been one for subtlety (and apparently find it impossible to resist milking every pop culture reference for all it’s worth). But eventually I settled down as the novelty began to wear off, and even took a turn piloting her myself for a bit. She’s very easy to control and steer. It’s safe to say I’m hooked. In fact, once we were back on land and leaving the boat launch area, I started eyeing this beautiful cabin cruiser and asked Tara when we could upgrade.
“It’s got portholes, babe!” I pointed out. Portholes mean a cozy below-deck room. Portholes undoubtedly also mean tens of thousands of dollars, so I think we’re going to be Crestliner fishing boaters for a good, long time.
Let’s just say I get the appeal of boating and can understand where my FIL was coming from.
Speaking of all the “she”s and “her”s, we need a name for our boat. And this is where you guys come in: I’m asking for your help! Please feel free to weigh in with as many suggestions as you want, and don’t worry if the names are off-color, racy, or punny—the sky’s the limit here, folks! (Knowing us, off-color, racy, or punny names will probably give you an edge.) As an added incentive, if we end up choosing your name for our boat, I’ll send you a nice little South Dakota care package.
What are you waiting for? Anchors aweigh!