How To Have The Best Time Boating
My Life Around Boats
All of my life I have been around boats and enjoying the outdoors on the high seas. Many people are simply not interested in boating, but my parents always had a boat all through the younger years my sister and I grew up on Long Beach Island in New Jersey. You have to know how to have the best time boating and being safe at the same time.
My parents bought a small bungalow right on the Barnegat Bay back in the early seventies so every summer, the day after school let out we all packed up and headed to the Jersey Shore. At that time the boat we owned was a 12 foot old wooden row boat in which I rowed to the causeway bridge every morning before breakfast for my daily exercise.
One day my dad came home with a ten horsepower outboard for that rowboat and the thrill in my eyes when I saw that motor was unreal. Wow, I said, this is so cool I told my dad with a smile from ear to ear.
That motor that was brought home that day by my dad was the beginning of my life of boating and I still enjoying boating to this day more than ever with my wife and children.
Next to Come Was Larger
I kind of outgrew that rowboat with the ten horsepower and wanted bigger and faster. My dad found a 14 foot Aristo Craft with a 50 horsepower Mercury, and that boat flew because of the small size of it and the weight. It was of course all mahogany with lots of work to keeping up with the finish of the wood, but I enjoyed working on it and had a ball with my friends when they would come down the shore to visit with their parents.
From there, my dad bought a 20 foot Chris Craft and this one had a cabin with a small sink and a porta potty which was great when we went out on our fishing trips. Back then a fish called a "blowfish" were plentiful, but today they are not around. I guess I caught all of them when I was young LOL.
As I got older and more into boating my dad and I purchased a 1950, 41 foot Chris Craft which was also all mahogany with a lot of restoring to do to get it sea worthy. So we looked at it and decided this would be a great boat for cruising the Chesapeake Bay in the future. We got the 2 engines running and left the mainland side of the town of Barnegat and down the bay to Ship Bottom where our house was located. The boat was larger than our house and it took up every part of the bay we owned with riparian rights. We could at that time go out almost 100 feet with the dock, but never did.
We work on her and set sail about a week later towards the end of New Jersey and cut across the Cape May Canal to the Delaware Bay. That was about 100 miles and then another 100 miles back up into the Delaware River where we would be docking the boat for the reason was that my dad still worked and he only came to the shore on weekends so it was best to keep the boat docked close to our primary home.
Each year I would ask one of my friends to go on a boating trip to the Chesapeake Bay. Man, they were the days, except I did too much drinking on those trips. We would load that boat with cases upon cases of beer and ice. Of course we stocked up on easy cooking foods to. We always had a ball on those boating trips.
We would anchor out right off the Annapolis Naval Academy, and believe me those Cadets get up early. I would be in the bunk sleeping my drunk off and at 5 AM the Cadets were on the football field practicing their band music. It was like they were standing right on the deck of the boat.
We would take the dingy over to land and visit a bar called McGarveys were the sea food and booze were flowing. Just what I needed when I had full stock of beer on board.
We also spent a lot of time at Baltimore Harbor and tied up right at the hot spot. That wasn't very private and so noisy because all the Cafe's were right outside our boat and all the office people would come to eat on their lunch breaks. We met a lot of nice people being tied right there and they would ask many questions about the boat because of her age being 1950 and in such great shape thanks to my dad and my help fixing her up.
After my party boat trips were over I met the love of my life at a hospital I worked at and she was a new hire. We were introduced to each other and went out on a double date with my two friends. After dinner we went to the 1950 41 foot Chris Craft for a night cap and to get to know each other a bit better.
Three months later I was married, and guess what, the boat that I partied on and took all those boat trips with my dad and friends was now our Home on the water. As many of you know I am still married to the love of my life now going on 32 years. NOT BAD right?
The Boat I Just Purchased
Well here we are June 20th 2012 and still married and just purchased a 19 foot Grady White. It is an older boat and much smaller than the boat we lived on,but a great boat for fishing and crabbing as well.
I will be launching her tomorrow for it's madden voyage to the house I started at with my row boat and the 10 horsepower engine. How about that, the house is still in the family after all of those years from the seventies to now. My sister lives there in the summer, but she was kind enough to let us use the dock, (free of charge too lol) as her boat will be dock on the other side of the dock.
Boating Safety Equipment
So, that was my experiences with boating and to just give you an example of all the things you can do as a family or just with your friends when it comes to boating. So many people tie up together for a weekend or just for a day on a sand bar directly across the street, and I say street because our home is located on a peninsula (water on three side of our home.) There has even been a house boat that pulls up to the other boats serving pizza and hot dogs.
I have many memories of all the fun times we had boating on the Barnegat Bay and I am very sure staring tomorrow after my new boat is launched the fun will continue for many years to come.
HAPPY BOATING EVERYONE AND BOAT SAFE. ONE MORE THING....EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE DRIVING A BOAT, THE RULE STILL APPLIES (NO DRINKING AND DRIVING)
© 2012 Mark Bruno
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