Every Day Is a Story – Boat Rides · 31 July 2009

On our latest trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house near Spokane, we had lots of great times and formed lots of great memories. Which of course, means at least a few good stories. A small part of that time was spent in Grandpa’s boat, but that time produced a large part of those memories.

Grandpa got his boat just over a year ago. He has always wanted a boat. He loves to fish and figured that he could get out and catch the family dinner every once in a while with that boat. When we were younger and our family moved to Spokane, Dad (now Grandpa) took us to a boating safety class in preparation for that boat. We went to boat shows and got brochures. Dad finally got a used boat and we enjoyed it for a few years. Apparently, his desire for a boat never really subsided and he was excited to get his second boat.

Last summer, we went out on the boat and had a great time. The kids fished and swam. We paddled the boat to get us near the fish and we even lost some boat hardware. We also went out a couple times and just cruised around with the wind in our faces. We had a great time on the boat.

Last spring, right after Grandpa got his boat, was a different experience. We took the boat out on its maiden voyage under Grandpa’s captaincy. It was a great trip. Until the engine overheated and steam and smoke roiled out from under the engine compartment. We were dead on the water and paddling for home when a fisherman had pity on us and towed us back. It was a good thing too because it was a long way back to the dock.

This year, the kids were really excited. They wanted to go out and water ski for the first time. They wanted to fish again and just cruise the lake. They just wanted to enjoy the boating experience with their Grandpa. But alas, it was not to be. As the saying goes, “It was déjà vu all over again.” We were cruising along enjoying the wind in our faces when all of a sudden steam and smoke started roiling out of the engine compartment. Grandpa cut the engine and we were dead in the water. Again. This year, we just kept the boat from drifting onto the shore and waited for the engine to cool down.

It turned out that there was no antifreeze in the system. So we waited until the engine was cool enough to put water into the system. We made the best of things and ate our sandwiches and enjoyed the sunshine as best we could. Everybody took turns paddling a little to keep the boat from drifting too close to shore. The engine finally cooled down so we put water into the system, started the engine, and motored back to the dock. When we got back, the kids thought that maybe they could go water skiing since the boat was working again. But while we were out, Grandpa figured out that the boat’s shifting mechanism was not in the best working condition. Going from forward to reverse or reverse to forward was much more difficult than it should have been. He did not want to run over a water skier because he could not make the shift fast enough. Our boating experience was cut short again.

Even though the boating trips with Grandpa have not gone exactly as planned, they have been eventful and exciting. Fishing and swimming were much more enjoyable than billowing steam and smoke, but maybe not as memorable. I will remember and cherish all of these times in the boat with Grandpa. Even though it seems we have paddled a motor boat more than we have motored in it, we have had great times and gotten to tell a few good stories.

© 2009 Michael T. Miyoshi

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