Kentucky Powerboaters countdown til spring

30 01 2015

 

As of today, we have 51 days until spring. That’s D-day for a lot of us.  Not that it even means we can head back to the lakes because there will still be a snow day, severe thunderstorms and frost;  but to keep our sanity this arbitrary countdown means the best part of Kentucky will be coming back to life, trees and grass waking up and starting to turn green.  That smell of spring with pollen and you notice the bugs are back on the grill of your truck.  Soon the roar of thru-hull exhausts will roar to life with a cloud of sweet smelling white smoke followed by the first wake thrown by huge cleaver props.  The girls in huge sunglasses unload cart loads of designer bags as unique to each individual as the bikinis they wear below those cotton cover-up dresses.  You’ll hear the radio static on channel 14, 18, or 6, whatever frequency your home port uses.  The water taxi drivers ram the docks and grumble a “damnit”  because reverse on those Honda outboards isn’t just quite right yet on the first weekend of spring.  They’ll get it worked out before Memorial Day weekend and the real crowds invade, as of right now everyone is just as happy to be back on the lake.  Yea so what if the deep emerald green water is 54 degrees in the sunshine, we’re going skiing and water temp be damned, hey your only in the water for a minute anyway right? All the more incentive to not fall.

state dock

You know you have the fever if you find yourself making plans for the big holiday weekends while listening to snow reports on the radio, when your boat is in dry storage or under cover for at least another 3 months.  “We’re gonna do this”, “and were gonna go here for poker run weekend”.  “Lets trailer down to Nashville for the 4th of July fireworks and travel down river to lock-in at Old Hickory lake and spend a day or two”. Will those trailer tires make that kind of long  high speed trip?  What year did I replace those anyway?  Did I repack the bearings last time or did my dad?  If I install a power inverter on the stereo batteries I can run a electric space heater under the dash.  Better yet, If I finally pay for that marine AC unit I’ve been watching on Ebay for six months, we would have year round heat and air.  How many more blue LED lights can I install inside the cockpit, or below waterline?  Will the neighbors remember how drunk (I, she, brother in law) got during Raft Up and showed their ass?  Is that other boat identical to mine still slower than me? Or did he pull those engines and drop in something nasty just to smoke me on the main lake? What did we leave in the fridge? I guarantee the milk is bad by now.

 

snow dock

Or maybe your boat hunting right now in the winter months because prices are low and you have the “one foot syndrome” wishing you had purchased just a little more length when you bought your current boat.  So and So down on N dock has the same color scheme and engine that I do but his is the 30′ not the 27′ like mine.  Few places in America can you actually watch our economy work in real time, buying selling, and trading between friends and complete strangers.  This is what we do, we are boat people, the kind of guy who would buy less truck to be able to finance more boat.  The kind who will help tow in a stranded boater back to the dock and refuse any kind of payment, that same kind of guy who is going home from work this afternoon and will be out in the garage polishing fiberglass;  and plans family vacations around accessible boat ramps.

No matter how extravagant or old and cheap your boat might be the one thing they all have in common is that when your at the helm running wfo on a perfect day, right before sunset, and you look over to port and there sits some pretty someone smiling back at you, all is right with the world.  That’s why we do this, at that moment you are captain, you are in charge of everything in your world.  When you get back to work on Monday and have bosses screaming at you, customers being awful, maybe your worried your job could be replaced by new technology, this things you have no control over.  But when your on your boat, you are king of the world.

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