The first time I got scared in a boat was at Rose Lake. I was still in grade school, and I had gone there with the Johnson's, the W. Gilman's, and I'm not sure who else. (I don't know if my family was there or not.) All I remember was that I had gone to the restroom, and when I came out - everyone was gone except for Paul Johnson and little S. Gilman. Apparently, everyone had gone to the other side of the lake, and we were going by boat.
Now this was not the pontoon boat that I liked to ride in. It was an ordinary cabin cruiser - albeit a smaller one. Once I got in, S G and I sat up in the bow, under some windows and hurriedly put on some life jackets. (Now I always wore a life jacket, even though the other kids thought it was silly. They believed that nothing was ever going to happen, but I didn't want to take any chances.) I helped SG, who was much younger than I - get his life jacket all strapped on, as we were zipping across the lake.
When we got to the other side of the lake, which many of you know - isn't that far, Paul started looping around, and around, and around. He was doing some kind of display for the crowd on the beach, but I was terrified. I thought the boat was going to tip over and we'd be pinned underneath in the bow. I was so dizzy and upset when we stopped, I swore I would NEVER ride in a boat again.
Coeur d'Alene Lake
A few years later, my family was invited by the Carvers to go boating on C d'A lake. I was apprehensive, but figured since my parents were going - that nothing would happen to me.
I thought, I'll give this boating thing another chance. (Can you hear the music from "Jaws"?)
We began our excursion in Harrison, I believe. C. Carver had either rented or borrowed a cabin cruiser from a friend, and the plan was to drive it from Harrison to Coeur d' Alene and back. This one was a bit larger than the previous boat, as it had a small galley in the bow that was a few steps below the deck. There were several seats on the deck and seating in the galley. The Carver's daughter, M, was there as well as her parents, my parents, my sister and I, but M's youngest brother B, may have also been there.
The trip started out pretty good for a boat trip. I don't know if we ever stopped to swim, or if it was a marathon trip (as some men are wont to do. The "Git-R-Done" syndrome.) But C. Carver was drinking and driving the boat, and we were all doing fine for a while. . .(Jaws music). . . Somewhere around Coeur d'Alene, C. was challenged by or did challenge another boater and the race was on. I can't remember if they were just speeding, but it seemed more like a "Game of Chicken." We were careening back and forth across this guy's wake. The water was getting rough already, but this game of chicken was scaring most of us.
Now, my dad is not a confrontational guy, and he may have suggested that C slow things down a bit and consider the women and children. (The children, I being the oldest, were all crying their heads off by this time.) We were pleading with our mothers to stop this mad man from killing us all.
There were a couple of times, that the boat nearly flipped as it caught a wake broadside, in an attempt to turn one way or another. I knew we were gonna die. (We probably didn't have life jackets that day either.) My Mom was sooooo mad! My Dad was mad, too, but there was nothing they could do to stop C Carver from trying to capsize all of us.
Finally, somehow, C decided it was time to get back to Harrison - we still had the full length of the lake to travel, but we got there without capsizing. My sister was so tramatized I don't think she has ever gone near a boat since. I have - but I haven't liked it! My parents both swore that they would never go anywhere with C Carver again.
So now, you know why I don't like boats. I guess, you could say I don't like fast boats with stunt drivers and drunks at the wheel. I am trying to get warmed up to the idea of my husband's speed boat, but it isn't easy.
Thursday, June 7, 2007