We all seem to be getting the hang of boating again. Last Saturday, the boat went in the water after well over a year of being on dry ground. We pulled the boat out of the water in October 2008, and did not put it in last summer because we weren't going to use it with Annie being so little. This year, we were somewhat apprehensive that there were going to be major mechanical issues with the boat that would require very costly repairs. There were some repairs needed, but nothing too bad. We can't forget that this boat is 22 years old, and while my parents took very, very good care of it, it's still very old and the salt water is much harder on it than the fresh water ever was.
So this spring I went through the usual bureaucratic hoop-jumping to get the boat registered - it's pretty amazing how many government agencies need to be involved in that. The boat and trailer are registered with separate agencies, then we have to pay excise tax to the city of Quincy, then we have to get a mooring permit from the Quincy Harbormaster, etc. etc. ... It was harder last time, when I had to get everything registered for the first time, but it's still quite remarkable. In addition, we had to pick out a life jacket for Annie, which wasn't as hard as I was expecting. On-line shopping is pretty cool. Finally, everything was ready.
Last Saturday we did the traditional "shakedown" ride in the boat. There was a tornado watch, but the weather seemed OK and was supposed to get worse as the weekend wore on, so we took it on Saturday morning. We just drove around in the Town River a bit. It is docked in the Town River, literally at the end of our street (we just have to cross Southern Artery to get there). We were happy to see that everything was running well.
Annika was not so happy in her new, yellow life jacket. It is quite bulky, and for safety reasons, covers a good part of her body, including a large strap that fits between her legs and a handle behind her head that would allow us to grab her if she fell in the water.
On Wednesday, Jim decided to go into work late because he had worked late on Monday and Tuesday. The weather was beautiful, so we took our second boat trip. Not long after we pushed off from the dock, Annie was already asleep and slept the entire boat ride, no matter how many waves we hit or how much I had to move her around. No one else was out on Wednesday and the water was incredibly smooth. We rode out to the Boston Light, which marks the beginning of the harbor.
This morning, we made our third trip, and rode into Boston Harbor and the cruise ship terminal. Annie slept for a good 45 minutes and then was awake and actually pretty happy. She was looking all around, managed to walk around a little even in her life jacket, and got to see a couple of huge ocean liners, a helicopter, several planes taking off from Logan Airport, ducks, and a large group of Canadian geese (including several baby geese). After we came in and were putting the cover on the boat, I felt a few raindrops - we got in just in time. It's been raining off-and-on since then.
So, all in all, a good start to the boating season.