Think about some of the best days of your life and then try and remember the name of the boat on which you were relaxing. Many of my best days took place on my father’s 17″ AquaSport, the “Mobile Lil, The Dancing Witch”. Named after a Martha and the Vandella’s song, she was my first serious boat. Time seems to slow down when you and yours are spending long days on the boat, playing in the sun like a bunch of Aboriginal lava lizards. Silly things like politics and religion get left on the dock and folks generally lose track of ideas like conflict and strife while sitting in the middle of a school of Spanish mackerel. It might be time for you to visit Discover Boating and find out how you can get back on the water. The sun, the wind, the waves; It’s like you never left. They’ve got every kind of boat you can imagine, right at your fingertips. If you’re already rich, I’m sure that being on a boat is great reminder, but if you’re not, a boat can make a man a king.
The Mobile Lil wasn’t a large vessel but her captain, my father, had no problems taking her to what seemed like the edge of the Earth. We would steam out past the lighthouses and oil rigs, far to a place, off the Alabama coast, where the waves could sometimes seem bigger than the boat. Like most kids, I enjoyed sitting on the bow and taking whatever abuse and impact the gulf would dish out, just so I could face headlong into the wind like some kind of ancient mariner. You know it’s getting rough when the kids finally move to the stern.
There was also a love affair with the Sharry Clam, a smaller flats boat which I traded for a Honda Shadow. South Florida has more water than roads, so it just made since. That kind of arrangement depends on whether you’re looking for a motorcycle girl or a boat girl. I’m sure it can often be the same girl. If you end up accidentally slinging her off a bike or a boat, you should consider it the final date.
Whether you’re a green horn or a salty dog, respect for the water is most imperative. The man who gets and keeps his boat running, is fighting the good fight and the rewards are countless. Consider these simple guidelines and maybe soon you will be able to enjoy the simple, boundless joys of the sea.
- Learning To Ski: Let go of the rope when you fall. If you don’t the boat will continue to pull you and your skis will be yanked from your feet. It will be impossible to close your eyes until you let go of the rope. Learning to do anything new can be moderately upsetting, but any good grandfather will make you try again, which is usually enough practice. You’re off and skiing! Check out the Discover Boating Youth Boating Programs for the best programs for your child by zip code and activity.
- Learning To Fish: Get up early or stay late. Getting up early is like the tribute you pay to nature for allowing you to enjoy the day and maybe catch some fish. If you aren’t already on the water when the sun rises, then you’re late and deserve whatever catfish rodeo you get. Teach someone to tie the right knots and everything else comes with time. Most people don’t need more than two or three. Most fishing is about having a pole in the water. The sun shines on every dog now and again.
- Learning To Dive: The most important rule when SCUBA diving is to get back on the boat with grace and ease. It’s not easy to do with vertigo and a face full of snot. Ma Roux would remind you to inflate your BC before your convert from regulator to snorkel and I would inflate her not to kick her flippers inside a wreck.
- Learning To Launch and Dock: There’s no place more interesting than a popular boat launch. Weird things are always happening there. I always tried to use a smaller, less=popular until I felt comfortable with it or on busy days. Some folks get real excited, like tarpon fishermen, when things begin to go sideways at the launch and start to ask like angry Chihuahuas. People are also, always going to be doing it wrong. Be sure to take your time and have some help. There’s nothing sadder than watching your VW van get pulled down into the intercoastal.
— Jason Nail (@NailTravels) May 24, 2016
Discover Boating is a national, nonprofit program, sponsored by the US recreational boating industry. They help people get out on the water and experience the thrill of boating. Discover Boating is an online resource packed with interactive features on all things boating, including a boat selector tool, get on the water tab where you can find rentals, classes, charters, – even nautical lingo and how-to videos. Imagine scrolling through pages of boats on their site until you find your perfect match. Just have fun with it.
A photo posted by Jason Nail (@nailtravels) on
I mean, if your conversations are centered around your boat, the water, and when you’re getting back on it, then life can’t be too bad. It would probably be one of things you would miss most if you went to prison.
What are the chances of Scotteesha ever living on a sailboat? Stay tuned to Nail Travels as we follow him around the country for his summer pilgrimage. Namaste.