Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sea Sick

I'm not sea sick, like turning green and wanting to throw up, I'm Home/Sea Sick- like I miss being on a boat.  I was a boat brat growing up. We spent every single late spring, summer and early fall weekendand two full weeks a summer on our boat from the time I was eight years old. My parents still have a boat to this day. After my dad got tired of motorcycles and snowmobiles he moved up to boats. Not for fishing, for traveling. He was the only boat owner who religiously took his boat out of the dock every single time he was on the boat.  Our first boat was a Pontoon boat, we had that for about a year, and putzed around in a nearby lake.   Then my dad got a 24ft. Sea-Ray and found a dock on Lake Erie.  This boat was called Fandango.  I'm not sure why, but I do remember around that time there was a great movie by the same title.  We all got our sea legs on this boat and learned that if you wanted to survive in life you had to follow these rules:

Shoes must have white soles.  If they didn't my Dad would not allow you on board.  My own grandmother was forced to purchase a little pair of white Keds for her first trip.

When docking the boat, your body should and would be thrown between the boat and the dock if ever it looked like the boat was coming close to hitting anything other than a buoy.

When docking the boat, never be offended by the threats on your life made by the Captain and for the sake of your life stay out of the way even if this means jumping overboard to do so.

If you do fall off the boat, it will not be coming back for you.

Learn how to wrap the lines properly, otherwise life will become very painful.

You do not eat on the boat or drink liquids other than water unless you are a certified adult.

DO NOT GET SEA SICK, you will not be invited back.

A few years later, my Dad purchased a Marinette, that came with the name Hot Fudge.  (In the process of looking for, learning about and buying these boats, I spent all of my time in a boat yard, at a boat show, or in the car traveling to and from various boating venues.  This is where I learned to be an avid reader.  You cannot even imagine how boring this can be for a child.
After about a year, we changed Hot Fudge's name to Sassafras.  Then the traveling began.  We explored almost every port in Lake Erie and Lake Michigan and sometimes Lake Superior.  There are great memories:
My brother falling overboard and noone noticing
My parents leaving us in rough water to take the dingy ashore to buy food.
My Mom attempting to make a real dinner after two weeks of camping like food.
Being stuck "down below" in rainstorms.
Watching Princess Diana getting married on a tiny black and white TV because we were somewhere in Canada.
Sleeping on a bench in a terrible storm because the water was so rough there was no way you could sleep and myDad and brothers holding the boat off the dock with their legs all night.
Being woken up at 6am every single morning to the sound of my Dad scrubbing the deck.
My brother and I laying in the V-bunk with the hatch open staring up the sky pretending we were flying a plane.
My Mom and I tanning on the deck, playing backgammon, reading books, getting thrown all over the place while making sandwhiches or trying to go to the bathroom.
My brothers and I in the cabin jumping up as we hit a wave and flying into the air.
The sound of the water hitting the boat as you were trying to fall asleep and the clanging of the ropes on the masts surrounding you.

After Sassafras my Dad purchased a series of boats of different sizes and types. He settled on the same name of Warpath (his initials are WAR and he WAS always on a warpath) My brothers stopped coming with us on every trip and most weekends  and eventually so did I, but my parents kept on boating.

It was a unique way to grow up, unlike any other girl I knew, but it was an experience I wouldn't trade in.
Sometimes I forget all about this time in my life because I am so far removed from it now. I don't know if I will ever own a boat myself, but sometimes I get a little sea sick.....
How are you?

3 comments:

Kelley said...

What a fun childhood! I would LOVE to be on a boat that much growing up. On another note, thanks for your really nice comments about my interview on Modern Bird. I appreciate them so much!

Cheeseboy said...

Your memories of your dad's boat are almost poetic.

Do they even still make white souled shoes? I need to get me some of those.

Kristen said...

Cheeseboy - you can get some pretty slick white soled shoes and when you do, we'll take a ride on the boat- but watch out, you go overboard and it's all over for you!
Kelley -I wish I would have had you with me then - your enthusiasm would have brightened things up a bit!