You know those wooden "Life is better on a boat" signs? I'm not sure who spoke this phrase first, but growing up I probably would have given credit to my Dad. His childhood was spent visiting various lakes in California, spending ample time in the water and learning the ins and outs of owning and maintaining a boat. A wife, three daughters, three son-in-laws, and a grandson later, his love for boating and life on the water became integrated into all of our lives, becoming an activity that brings us together from different cities and states, to detach from the habitual groove we've created and connect back with each other.
Lake life was (and still is) synonymous with family time and looking back my strongest memories of childhood involve being on my families boat, usually surrounded by my sisters and a handful of friends. Sundays were spent at the Forebay (that included an early morning breakfast on the road- oh how I loved those McDonalds pancakes as a child), long holiday weekends were spent camping at Don Pedro, doing our best to stay cool and protected against the 100+ degree weather. And of course our revered summer trip to Lake Tahoe, an extended week or two of the freshest oxygen and coldest water you can imagine that leaves you feeling absolutely alive.
I have more than a handful of vivid, specific memories of boating trips that really stand out; learning how to double ski as a kid, my mom literally pushing my butt out of the water, being scared to death of tubing but going anyways so I wouldn't look like a sissy, attending the boat show with my dad to pick out our first wakeboard, feeling a huge sense of accomplishment and stoke when I landed my first jump (and more than a few times being absolutely embarrassed by painful face slapping the water falls), and even a Summer night so warm I slept peacefully at the bow of our boat.
To me, being a "boat" person means being up to watch the sunrise reflect off the water and go wake boarding while the water is smooth. It's loving the exhaustion you feel at the end of the day purely from nature's boundless gifts. It's going to sleep with no covers and the window open because your skin is still radiating from all the sun you've absorbed. (It's remembering to pack aloe vera). It's relaxing and not giving a damn about time or wanting to be anywhere else. It's a lifestyle, and one I feel fortunate to have had interwoven into my existence, from the beginning of my existence.
So maybe at this point in the post you're thinking, "that's all sweet and lovely but I don't own a boat or wouldn't even know where to start". Luckily an easy answer to that is head on over to Discover Boating . This is an online source of boating information to help new and potential boaters explore what the lifestyle is all about! One of my favorite features is the "Get on the water" section where you can search for boat rentals, classes, and charters near you. When I searched "Seattle, WA" I got over 15 locations I could drive to and have access to a boat!
Are you planning on adding boating to your summer? What does your ideal day on the water look like? Share your favorite boating memories (and places to boat, regardless of state or country!) with me in the comments below.