Dennis and Nancy drove up from Rockport for the first launch of our new-to-us pontoon boat. Getting the boat into the water went well and we spent an hour cruising around the lake. It was brisk, but sunny and beautiful. Life was good!
But the rest of the story, like any boating tale, begins with “No sh*t, there we were”. No surprise here… I had to pee. We tied up to a fishing courtesy dock and before I got back to the boat, the motor died and wouldn’t restart. Repeated tries and futzing around didn’t help so I hiked up the hill to get our bearings while we waited a bit, hoping it was just flooded. Though I’ve now made the acquaintance of a camp host named “Mary” who has lived at a Park across the lake for the past 15 years, and a gentlemanly young Ranger named Phillip, (whose phone number, as well as the Sheriff Department’s is now programmed into my phone) we didn’t end up needing rescue. The motor started and, much relieved, off we went, chalking it up to learning the quirks of our somewhat vintage motor.
After another pleasant hour (or so) spent noodling around the lake, we headed back toward the boat ramp. Along the way, we began to lose power and about 30′ from the dock, the motor died again. So close and yet so far!
Though Steve did get it to restart, never again did it stay running for very long. Did you know it is rather tricky to load a pontoon boat back onto a trailer (especially for the first time!) without power? With much perseverance, and the assistance of a very wet brother-in-law (in 51 degree water… yikes!) we did finally succeed. As we drove home, grateful that our first (mis)adventure in motor boating was safely over, we counted our blessings. The motor didn’t die out in the middle of the lake. We were off the water with light to spare. The dogs and Nicole sat this one out. We had the support of Dennis and Nancy. Motors are serviceable.
We learned a lot. And now we’ll spend some more money. What’s that old adage about a boat being “a hole in the water that you throw money into?” I think there might be something to it.