My birthday was not as traumatic as expected. I took my 10 year old sailing. I’ve sent him to sailing camp the last 2 summers and paid for lessons in Jamaica on a catamaran, but there is nothing like sailing on the Chesapeake Bay. Since I’m married to a land lover we don’t get out very often. Art considers boating like trips to the doctor a necessary evil to be avoided at all cost, but he joined us for this trip in dress shirt and tie. All in all a great day!
As you’ve read I grew up on the water. One of my earliest water memories involved the Coast Guard……never a good sign. As a child my teenaged uncle and I were always out fishing or crabbing. On one occasion we were caught in a storm which caused our boat to list due to excess water. Luckily the Coast Guard found us very quickly. I don’t have any memory of being afraid or even concerned because my uncle seemed to have everything under control.
My mother’s version was a little different she reported a frantic search in the driving wind and rain involving the entire community and finally a call from the Coast Guard to report our safe recovery. She and my grandparents rushing through this storm dripping wet and cold to collect us. When she found her 5 year old little angle and 17 year old brother…warm, dry, safe, enjoying hot chocolate… all “you know what” broke lose. My poor uncle was grounded and lost all boating privileges.
My uncle went on to give me away at my wedding and still considers me the best first mate ever. Since Arthur was never a name option for our son, Michael Joseph. He was named after my uncle and grandfather.
At 62 my Uncle Joe never hesitates to go fishing off the eastern shore by himself and as I think of him out there 10 miles off the coast now it’s my turn to worry …..what if… I’m a worrier with OCD which is obviously a family condition.
The media is filled with accounts of accidents, drowning, and misadventure. If you own or are thinking of owning a boat consider boating safety- invest in courses. But, also keep in mind the novice; they don’t know who has right of way or how to read channel markers. There are also those who have fear and anxiety on boats, prepare with life preservers and disposable waste bags. Protect your boat and talk to an agent about property and liability coverage.
Safe boating and best wishes,