Friday, February 17, 2012

What Good is a Boat Without Water?

Article by William L. Gills aka Bos'n Bill

Water is everywhere and everyone.  The earth's surface is 70% water, the average adult 55%-65% water.  It's so much a part of our lives, that we often take it for granted until we're without it.  As commonplace and unremarkable this odorless, tasteless liquid is, it's just as equally extraordinary and wonderful as it is mundane; dynamic, essential to life itself, refreshing and most important to boaters, wet and buoyant.

If you're reading this post, it's a sure bet you love the water every bit as much as I do.  For most of us, this love affair with the water starts at an early age and once smitten, there's no returning to a life without it. 

It usually starts in baby steps. Not being quite sure what this new medium is about, you test it.  You discover you can't breathe in it so you mistrust it. When you discover it cools you down in the baking sun, you like it and want more, a fair tradeoff you reason.  Wading in the shallows you realize you can jump, kick, splash and run into the water without harm, your confidence nudging you to venture ever deeper. It's exciting, lots of fun, and you want more.

As your proclivity for water grows, you notice others in the water, swimming "over their heads", not tip toeing on the bottom like you.  Strapping on a life vest and learning to hold your breath underwater touches a milestone and when you're able at last, to cast off the Mae West, swim unassisted, cannonball with gusto and dive to touch bottom headfirst, you've arrived.  Finally, unbridled of fear, you're free to enjoy the water with confidence whenever and wherever you want to get wet. 

Most of us who call ourselves boaters reached a point when we asked ourselves if we're enjoying the best the water had to offer?  Looking beyond the swimmers we saw the boats.  Like a child wading in the shallows we wanted to experience more of our favorite medium and pastime, go faster and farther than we could swim.  Having been under the water, in the water, but not on the water, we bought a boat and narrowed our preference of size, purpose and style to our needs.

Once on the water in our boats, we broke out the rafts, tubes, water skis, rods and reels, inflatables, floating chairs and dinghies. The possibilities for fun on the water were limitless.  No wonder some people lived on it year round.

 I ask you now, where would you be without a body of water to float a boat?  What would you be doing in the summer heat to cool your jets, go under a lawn sprinkler?   Are you satisfied with the local swimming hole, beach, pool, shower or bath?  Heck no, I think you want more.  You know too much.  There's no going back, except to visit.

Water is the core that sustains and invigorates the body, mind and soul of each and every, mariner and boat lover.  Without it, the body withers, the mind wilts and the soul fades. Water is lifeblood; it refreshes, it renews, it replenishes and energizes.  If it's deep, cool and wet, get on it, so you can get in it and under it; your boat is no good without it!

Here's a video to remind you where you came from and who you are my fellow water lovin' boater!

William L. Gills aka Bos'n Bill is the author of the book, Lubber's Log published by Llumina Press; 
a boating primer and adventure story about a couples experiences in moving up to a bigger boat.  
You can visit his website here:  Lubbers Log

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