Monday, July 6, 2009

Boating on Winnebago

Last fall my sister and her husband purchased a 26 foot speedboat in lieu of a proper honeymoon. They, like many of their friends, boat around the various surrounding lakes every weekend; weather permitting.  There is a strong camaraderie within the boating community here.  I haven't figured out caste system yet, but I am becoming aware of divisions marked by boat type: sailboats, speedboats, houseboats; each roll with like-modeled crafts.

Streitch's Beach

I spent ten hours on the water over the holiday.  Mostly anchored in a shallow area of Lake Winnebago called Streich's Beach (pronounced stretches), which is protected by a long shoreline.  As you can see from the image above, many boats (mainly speedboats) tie-up to each other to allow for greater capacity and less motion.  The crowd was a motley crew of well-to-do 20-somethings with a penchant for bikini clad hotties, party friendly parents (kids AND dogs included), and folks like me, the 'just picking up' variety.  

There isn't much to do except chill on the boat or in the water, 'cause where else are you going to go and why would you want to?  Most folks just use the water for means for personal disposal.  Unfortunately the dogs do too, and their method is unpredictable; ew.  On the boat, folks sun-bath, chat with their neighbors, listen to barely audible hits from the 70s, 80s and 90s, and drink a lot of beer. I am surprisingly very much liking the new lime-infused light-beers.  

Before sundown we left the beach to anchor in the middle of the lake for prime viewing of the fireworks. Not so prime though this year.  We anchored a little too far from shore.  The visual dimensions of the fireworks were proportional to that of my palm.  Still fun though, especially after all of the beer.  Except for one scare, when one of my brother-in-law's friends unwisely decided to jump off the boat.  Thankfully a life-preserver was with-in easy reach and crisis was averted.

I slept well that night and ended up back at Streich's yesterday afternoon; however, this time on a white leather clad pontoon boat with my new friend Nikki, whom I was introduced to via NY satellite friend, Shelly.  Nikki and I first met last weekend over dinner, a blind-date! She has been a complete doll, inviting me to all area social functions etc. I really lucked out. It's not easy to meet people here my age who are not already 'settled down;' and more importantly, open to making new acquaintances. 

It was a last minute excursion due to a late invite from the boat's owner. After receiving the call I rushed to pack a small cooler and apply liberal amounts of sunscreen to my fairly sunburned body. Glad I went. Everyone on board was very friendly, interesting and inquisitive. Maybe I'll find my place here sooner than I expected.  And I think I prefer the pontoon experience.  Much more suited for socializing and less wave-jumping, which is a little hard going on my neck and back.  And the convenience of having actual tables makes it a hell of a lot easier to eat the various prepared snacks from the local supermarkets.  

It has been absolutely beautiful this past month.  Hues of the best kinds of blues, patchy clouds with golden linings and blazing blood orange colored sunsets.  It is kind of mind-numbing. Especially when you experience the aforementioned while riding the pulse of Mother Nature. I hope some of you can visit before hibernation.   

1 comment:

  1. I miss you! I'm so glad you're making new friends and haveing fun.