Are you ready to see the flyest boat on the water?
Seriously. You don’t know cool like Old Skool. Yup…that’s the name my brother gave this old boat.
So let me explain. My Pappap lives in Pennsylvania in a little town along the Monongahala river. He loves fishing and this boat was his ticket to a good time on the water. Well he passed this boat to my uncle who then gave it to my mom who gave it to my little brother who then passed it on to us a couple weeks ago. Follow that?
By the time it reached us it needed some minor repairs and this past week we baptized her once again.
Jeremy and I are both water people. BIG time water people. I grew up with pools, year round competitive swimming, lifeguarding at lakes and pools and teaching swim lessons. For us both, a vacation isn’t a vacation without water. Jer owned a boat when we first met and we spent much of our dating lives on, in and next to the water. In fact, Jer can still throw a back flip on his knee board. And he is kinda old 🙂
So to say that we weren’t excited about getting back out there is an understatement. It’s been a while since we went boating. But there was no one more excited than this guy…
He talked about it for days. He hung out in the boat when it was parked in our driveway for hours in the Georgia heat. And he told everyone (including the grocery checkout girl and our mail lady) that he was going on his ‘speedboat’ tomorrow. And if this smile tells you anything it should be “this boat floats my boat”.
We went to Lake Jackson which Will claimed was his lake because OBVIOUSLY it was named after him. His middle name is Jackson. Therefore and henceforth.
We still had our old gear from Jer’s boat so the tube was old but we did have to pick up three much smaller life jackets. We found all three at Walmart and I must say…LJ was not a fan of his but after I explained safety first to him then he stopped crying. #not
It was both Will and Weston’s first time on the tube and it was just plain awesome.
I don’t think we could have had a better first time with them…except the fact that we should have changed Weston into a swim diaper before putting him in the water. Absorbency does not help with buoyancy.
The boat is a true 1983 fishing boat. It’s in great shape and still has the original everything and a whole lot of brown indoor outdoor carpeting.
While Will was doing a little float jumping, both the little guys fell asleep. I didn’t think it was possible with those life jackets on but somehow they managed to do it. It must have been the motion of the ocean…err…lake.
Here are some of our biggest tips about boating with little ones on board…
- change them into swim diapers before getting onto the boat
- put on sunscreen before getting onto the boat
- don’t have things available for them to throw into the water. lesson learned.
- bring plenty of drinks with straws (the rocking makes it hard to drink out of a cup!)
- make it a rule that the boat doesn’t work unless life jackets are buckled
Also – I know that boating with infants is controversial (isn’t everything these days?!). We did what we feel comfortable with. Life jackets need to fit correctly. The ones we got for the boys are very snug, LJ’s supports his head and we tested them all out first in the pool before committing to bringing the boys on board. Also…we brought LJ’s car seat on board for him to sit in unstrapped while the big boys swam but you should always hold an infant if the motor is running. You moms trust your gut on this one…if you don’t feel comfortable with your child’s life jacket (it’s old, loose, broken, not US Coast Guard approved, etc.) or if the area you are boating in is really busy or tends to have unpredictable drivers or irresponsible boaters, play it safe and stay on dry ground. It is always best to teach safety first and trust your gut.
Chosing to go on a weekday is helpful too. Most times lakes are much less busy during the week and its the perfect opportunity to teach kids some basic safety techniques…like how to rotate and float on their backs with the jackets on, how to wave their hands in the air to get attention, and how to hold onto a rescue floatation device as it is being pulled in. The swim instructor in me wants everyone to seize the moment 🙂
At the end of the excursion, Will was definitely sad to leave. He told me that his funnest time was jumping off the little boat (the tube) and splashing Daddy. And then he told me that I needed to find a different way to get off the tube so that I didn’t flip him too. Thanks kid. I’ll work on that.
It’s funny how I feel very full-circle about these kind of moments. When Jeremy and I were dating, we talked about how we wanted our future kids to be ‘water-babies’ and now they very much are. All of them love it and we can’t wait to see them grow up with wet hair and smelling like that magical fragrance of sunscreen and lake water. Heck…Will will probably be able to throw a back flip on a wakeboard before I know it. And don’t get me started on the other two….I suspect they will be driving the boat 🙂