A Perfect Day with My Boat (p.2)

Posted by Author David Lee

Last Updated June 1, 2023

I watch as she creeps the trailer backward until the wheels are being kissed by the water’s edge. She waits for me to unlock the winch holding the boat in place on the trailer. I unlock the winch and grab the bow line. I signal to my mother and she begins to creep further still into the water. I walk in line with the boat, holding the bow line and gauging just how much farther she will need to go before the boat will float. I am up to my knees now, it’s almost time! Mom creeps back a little further, the water is now lapping the bow. I let out some of the rope which connects the boat to the trailer. The line is now loose and I unhook the boat. The boat remains on the trailer. I check the tailpipe of Mom’s SUV but it is already wet from waves coming in. She can’t back up any further. I sigh. It looks like my pants are going to get wet.
I straddle the yoke of the trailer. The water is now mid-thigh level. “Why do we not have a camp in the Keys instead of in Canada?”, I grimace to myself. The water is so cold, it feels like sharp knives stabbing me all up and down my legs. I take a deep breath, set my jaw, and push with all my might. All of a sudden the boat moves backward and is floating. Success! I hang on to the bow line until Grandpa gets the motor started. It starts with a growl but just as quickly calms to a low purr. I toss the bow line to Grandpa with a big grin. There is nothing as satisfying as launching the boat for the first time in a season! Grandpa grins back. He waves then backs the boat out of the launch. We will meet him at the marina just down the road where we can park our vehicles and the trailer for the weekend.
I grab my socks and shoes, roll my pants back down and get into the SUV. My mother looks over at me and smiles. “You never manage to stay dry launching the boat, do you?”, she asks, laughing. I just shake my head as she hands me another pair of pants that she had put on top of one of the suitcases. “Here, you can change at the marina before we head over to camp.”, she says.
Lily, my dog, licks my face from the back seat. Even though I’m freezing, I open the window and take a deep breath of the sea air. I hear the seagulls overhead looking for their next meal and can’t help thinking that it’s going to be a great weekend. How can it not be, here on the river?

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