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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Permission to Come Aboard?

Anybody who knows me will tell you I am not overly fond of water. Sure, I love a bottle of water, and a shower can be almost godly, and I can even live with a quick lap around the swimming pool, but rivers are a problem. Lakes are anathema. Great Lakes are the gateway to the afterlife. Any body of water big enough to become a graveyard of shipwrecks is just too big, too worrisome, too dangerous to toy with.

Yet, here we were, kayaking on the lake that "never gives up it's dead." Cruising along as if we were safe.  And we were, the water was so calm, and clear, and perfect. You would just paddle along, look down and think "I could just reach down and pick up that rock." But you can't touch the bottom with the paddle, a two sided kayak paddle. So you look at the shore and it is heck and gone away, so you paddle madly, furiously, with a fight or flee energy that saved your primitive distant ancestors. 

Yesterday I decided to throw caution to the wind and get on a boat, a boat with a glass bottom, and go look at shipwrecks. Taking a boat to look at pieces of boats scattered across the bottom of the lake, madness, I know. There is no explanation. Temporary insanity is my guess. On the plus side I made the reservations online so I could obsess, fret and worry about that not working. There was no time to worry about climbing aboard a floating coffin and cruising through a graveyard..

However, we walked down the pier, clambered aboard the boat, and set sail. Good Captain Kate at the wheel. "Please note the location of the life jackets, under the seats on the upper deck, port, and starboard sides." She said over the PA.

I noted the locations and they were both seats, with people sitting on them. A rough calculation proved fruitless. Both seats were occupied by women roughly the same size, either would be equally easy to throw overboard in a mad dash to save myself if things got ugly. It came down to age, the woman on the starboard side (I think) looked older, less inclined to self defense. However the one on the port side, (the other side) was closer, and had a much smaller purse, actually it was more of a handbag, even just a large clutch, so it was safe to assume she was not packing heat. However she was with a man, maybe her husband and the woman across on the Starboard side (the side over there) was with another woman, possibly a sister (a female sibling, not a nun).

At this point it was a toss up. Starboard (one side) or port (the other)? The only way to decide was to ask each woman her age, weight and body mass index which would provide some insight into her general level of fitness. Big mistake. After a brief, but surprisingly venomous, profanity laden tirade from both women, the women next to them and my wife I decided it would be safer to drown.

I am happy to report there was no drowning, after a while people quit glaring at me. The boat ride was a smashing success, the shipwrecks were easy to see and haunting to look at. I only panicked briefly. Soon I was walking the length of the boat, and we even sat on the front seats (bow?) and enjoyed my time on the water. A real salt, me hearty.