Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Whole New Appreciation for my Boat Drivers...

Let me provide you some entertainment on a Sunday night. :)

As many of you know, wakeboarding has become one of my newest loves. To do this requires a boat (even though not my boat) and to be part of the team, you have to learn about "the boat". So far, I have learned how to clean it properly inside and out (a shocker, I know!) I have learned how to keep it from crashing into the dock when we go to drop someone off and have learned to manage the cover, both inside and out. I have driven, both at normal speed and in "idle". However, today brought a whole new challenge: Pulling a rider.

Apparently, Amy and Gerrie decided that today was the day I was going to pull a rider. The lucky winner was Gerrie...Amy falls off the boat regularly while putting the wakeboards up because she refuses to hold on to anything for balance and yesterday, she ended up smacking her wrist pretty good on the side of the boat before she went in. So Gerrie got the call.

Now, driving a boat is NOT like driving a all. It is much easier to drive with speed than it is to just idle. In idle, you turn the wheel and not a lot you turn it some more and then find out you have WAY overcorrected. Then you jerk the wheel the other way to find out you have overcorrected the other way...and then you just look like an idiot.

Well, today brought a whole new challenge. What really freaked me out was actually going back to pick Gerrie up when she fell. For reasons discussed above, I was very nervous about picking her up when she was down. The reason they chose today was because we were pretty much the only boat out there (it was NOT warm today - we all wore wet suit tops today) While I did not have to worry about other traffic, what also made today challenging was that it was windy and there was a pretty decent current. Maintaining a good speed was fact, one time I dropped Gerrie while I was turning because I forgot the boat really slows down in a turn...she was a really good sport about the whole thing. I managed not to run her over, or run over the rope - this was quite the challenge with the wind and the current, and given that "wide" is not a word I would use to describe this river.

All in all, the three of us were alive when we started and alive when it was over. I had the responsibility of getting us back to the dock, but not approaching the dock to drop Gerrie off to get the car. (Thank God)

Since taking up this hobby, I have always known that good drivers are key to being able to learn, but today solidified that belief. I told my cousin that I believed that key to her kids getting up so easily was that we had a really really good driver to help us out. Poor Gerrie nearly got her arms ripped out because I forgot to pull the slack out of the rope one time...I was so worried about getting in the right direction and concentrating on a a good take off because I had struggled on the previous one. Good thing I am a fast learner..Gerrie appreciated that. She got out of the water with her shoulders still in the anatomically correct position. They may ache like the dickens in the morning, but they were still in the sockets when she got back into the boat.

And then, as is custom, we laughed about it over an early dinner at El Vaquero. On a more exciting note, there was intentional daylight between my board and the water today. I had a good boarding weekend...rode a lot of switch, did a lot of 180's and got some air. And in my garage, hanging on the a new toy. Amy got a new board, and I inherited her old one. WOO HOO!!! Now all I need to do is get some bindings and I will be in business.

Days like this are why I need to go back to work to rest....and what will my next challenge be? I have been told it will be putting the boat in the water - which means backing it down the ramp. Something that would definitely provide entertainment to all...thankfully, I think I will get to push that off to next season...

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