I love my wife. I mean real shout-it-from-the-rooftops stuff. I love boating with her too. But I have more free time than her and I spend a lot of it on the boat by myself. The XO refers to this as The Secret Life of Rick.
All my life, before the XO, with very little exception, boating was a solitary endeavor. During my child rearing years, I couldn’t for the life of me get my kids to go boating. Oh, once in a great while, one of them would give in to my goading and somewhat reluctantly accompany the ol’ man as I excitedly hooked up the runabout and towed it to Lake Cochituate, or the Charles River.
I suppose if smartphones were around back then they’d have their heads bent into them as we cruised past incredible sights and gorgeous vistas. You can’t tell your kids what to like. All you can do is expose them to things and either they’ll like it or not. In this case they didn’t, so I went boating alone. Like 98% of the time.
Sometimes I would get up real early, have absolutely wonderful adventures on the waterways, come home, and everyone would still be sleeping! Jeez, I couldn’t even tell ’em about it!
I resigned myself to be a single-hander and set up all my boats to this end. I have stacks of log books, detailing at length, years of boating bliss. This is what I did before the internet blogging thing.
It all changed when I met the XO. At first I was worried that my boating addiction would scare her away, so I tried to downplay it, but it was as hard to hide as the 28 foot Cruisers Holiday in the driveway.
“I always wanted a boat, but it is a lot to take on, you know, when you’re alone,” she said one day after I carefully broached the subject.
It was music to my ears, clouds broke from the heavens, glorious sunshine spilled upon the earth, angels wept, birds sang, I was in love, LUV.
It’s another beautiful day in paradise. I think I’ll take Ginger Lee to Zecco’s for a pump out, and then on to the Narrows, tie her up at the free dock, get a hot dog at Frankenstein’s and a cigar at Brennan’s.
After warming up the diesels, I unleash the pennants and head out to the channel where the vigilant Harbormaster is educating a Sea Ray owner about the newly placed “No Wake Zone”.
I feel great as I slowly cruise through the Wareham River. It’s so nice to be boating! The channel winds its way past the Tempest Knob ramp, Zecco’s Marina, Cape Cod Shipbuilding, the British Landing, and culminates at The Narrows where a train bridge and Main Street cross over a shallow inlet making it unnavigable for anything larger than a kayak.
The Narrows Crossing restaurant is full of patrons eating lunch. I feel many eyeballs on me as I near the dock. Thankfully, the wind and water currents are not a factor here and I pull off a smooth, uneventful docking.
Whether you want breakfast, a light lunch, or a full-blown meal, it’s all right here within a few blocks. Chinese, Mexican, Italian, seafood. What’s your pleasure? Also a convenience store, bait and tackle shop, liquor store, banks and a post office.
After so many years of solo boating, I am comfortable with myself and my ability to singlehandedly operate Ginger Lee safely. But ya know, it’s so much better to have someone to share boating with. I am truly blessed.