A Worthwhile Rain Delay

Even with weather problems, boating is still worth the hassle

Published in the August 2023 Issue June 2024 Feature Brady L. Kay

For the majority of my life I've been promoting the overwhelming number of benefits that boating offers, but even as a passionate and dedicated boater I sometimes need a good reminder. In our region of the country, the start of the boating season was a little rough to say the least. The threat of rain was in the forecast for nearly every day for the last three weeks in May, including a rained-filled Memorial Day weekend.

For the record, when I say rain I'm not talking about a couple of water drops. In fact, one massive storm created a flash flood in our city to the point where the drains were overfilled to capacity with nowhere for the water to go. This backup of water led to flooded basements in my neighborhood as well as stalled cars abandoned in the middle of streets that looked more like mini lakes than roads. You haven't lived until a truck drives by as you're standing in knee-deep water helping another vehicle and puts a wake of water over your back. Good times.

By early June I was tired of the unpredictable weather so despite a chance of rain showers in the forecast, I loaded up the pontoon and headed to the lake anyway. It's about a 30-minute drive for us and when I left our house it was sunny and hot. However, just as the lake came into view I noticed drops of rain starting to hit our windshield.

We proceeded to the lake anyway, but ended up waiting in the staging lanes at the launch ramp with the other trailered boats as the black storm clouds rolled in and dumped rain on us. As I sat in my truck with my family, a feeling of frustration came over me and for a brief moment I questioned why I even try to go boating sometimes. Thoughts of “Maybe I should have just stayed home,” as well as the list of other things I could have been doing instead of sitting at a launch ramp in the pouring rain began to creep in.

Eventually the clouds parted, the sun began to shine again and it looked like the storm had passed. We quickly launched, making sure the Bimini was open – not because of the sun, but out of fear rain might return. I was still feeling a little wound up and questioning our decision to go, but it felt good to at least be on the boat now.

Once we passed the no wake buoys my perspective began to change. I put the throttle down and I instantly heard the roar of laughter coming from my kiddos. With the tunes blasting I was now in full “boater mode” and I couldn't help but smile as those doubts of whether I should have come or not simply melted away.

I knew at that moment there was no place I'd rather be than on my pontoon with my family. As a lifelong boater I really shouldn't need those reminders, but in reality I think we all need an “ah ha” moment every now and again to remind us why boating is so important to our overall health and happiness.

Anyone who owns a boat understands there is work involved when it comes to boating. Loading the boat, packing the coolers, confirming the life jackets, etc. are all part of my pre-trip routine, but I sometimes get caught up in the “work side” of boating and need these reminders from time to time.

Based on my own experiences I can say with surety that nothing brings and keeps a family closer together than boating does. It's been a huge blessing not only for my family, but for friends as well, since we rarely go out without at least a couple of others joining us.

Despite what the forecast may be, I hope you're able to get out and enjoy boating this summer. Take advantage of these boating opportunities and the advantages that come with owning a boat.

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