a ruler's guide to the lake
In an ongoing series, we'll look at some great standards and best practices to live by on The Lake to maximize your lake rep and go down in the annals of Lake history as one of the greats!
One of my earliest memories of being on the lake was way back in the late 80s, when our old Viking deck boat stopped working. I remember multiple family members jumping in the water to swim with ropes to tow that old dog into the marina. That stunk. I also remember a time later when our Bayliner stopped working, and a nice person in another boat giving us a tow into the marina. That did not stink. In fact, it was an act that I think is somewhat standard and representative of the lake life, and those that truly Rule The Lake will adhere by rule # 3: Always help out your fellow lakers...and your lake.
It’s still the beginning of lake season, so you still have time to read a boating guide. In fact, here’s one for you:
I realize it’s for Indiana, but most of it applies everywhere. I take the same approach to boating as I do for driving, which is that I operate under the assumption that everyone else out there is a complete moron. My Driver’s Ed teacher would call that: DEFENSIVE DRIVING. While I don’t believe that you (definitely not you dear reader!) and everyone else are morons, I also recognize that many people are, or at least they are lacking in self-awareness, or completely self-involved and therefore oblivious to their surroundings. On the Lake, it’s “if you can drive a car, you can drive a recreational vehicle.” Even if you have never, ever, driven a boat or wave runner, you can drive a boat with a valid driver's license. If you're under 16, you can actually take a boating course and operate a recreational vehicle. I didn't know that when I was 14 and got my first ever ticket. Sorry Dad!
Those of you reading this are hopefully King and Queens of your lake (submit an entry by the way and be featured), so you, of course, have read a boating guide! If you haven’t, be sure to read the one I just gave you….YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING OUT THERE! Enjoying the lake is a relatively easy endeavor, however, accidents can and will happen because obliviots are everywhere, and sometimes bad things just happen.
All types of people are on the lake, and one thing's for sure, they're probably all having more fun than our land locked friends! However they're doing it, God bless 'em! Big boats, small boats, old boats, new boats, speed boats, row boats...well you get the idea! If you've got a boat and you're on a lake, life is pretty good! Why limit yourself to just a boat though? Boats are expensive and require a lot of time, money, and effort. If you're kayaking, paddle boating, paddle boarding, canoeing, or floating on a tube, life is still pretty good! For one summer, we bought a giant raft that we tied a 10-pound anchor to, paddled out into the lake and just floated. Don't judge us, we were having a blast! Now I personally hate paddle boating, but if that's your thing or it's what you've got, good for you! My point is that you're out there and you're enjoying yourself, and that's what the lake life is all about! To me, I'm thrilled that you're out there, because when people are on the lake, they're usually pretty happy, and it's certainly more fun to be around a bunch of happy people! So don't judge people on the lake...you do you! Except for that guy. Judge him hard......