Yesterday we were out running some errands and returned just as the people who use my sister Marilyn’s boat lift arrived. They were going out for a boat ride and asked if we’d like to join them. Of course Jim and I said “We’d love to!” Marilyn was tired so bowed out in favour of a nap.
We puttered out through the canals, viewing the vast estates on either side, until we were out in the open waters of Charlotte Harbour. We’ve been to Fishermen’s Village many times, but this time we saw it from a different point of view. Once past there and the very shallow waters near shore, Bob opened the engine up and we were off. It was another very hot day so the wind in our hair felt wonderful. For nearly an hour we traversed the waterway, watching pelicans dive for fish and hoping for a glimpse of dolphins. Although one young woman aboard said she saw a few in the distance, they disappeared too quickly for the rest of us to catch a glance.
Bob pointed out the red roofs of downtown Punta Gorda as we made our way back. Back at the dock it was interesting to see just how much more work it is to go for a boat ride in salt water. Once we were all off board except Captain Bob, the hoist was turned on to lift the boat out of the water. While he waited for this to be done, Bob refastened all of the curtains into place to enclose the back of the boat. When the boat was in place, the engine had to be turned on and fresh water from an on-shore hose was run through it to wash out the salt water. We then all held our breath as Bob stepped cautiously onto the little aluminum later and then down onto the dock.
Later in the evening, after our usual swim in the pool followed by a great dinner prepared by Marilyn, we enjoyed a spectacular light show provided by Mother Nature. We did jump a few times when the thunder clapped loudly and the lightning seemed to hit very, very close to us!
What a great day! I’ve only been out on boats in fresh water, so I didn’t realize the work that goes into maintaining a boat in salt water. Makes sense as salt is so corrosive. Good lesson.
It was a great day, and I too was surprised to see how much work it was for the boat owners. We fresh-water boaters take it for granted when we can just untie the ropes and hop in to go for a ride, and just retie when we return. No need for expensive lifts either.