For the past thirty years or so weekends in the summer have been spent on water. Our daughters know nothing else really, their entire childhood summers were spent in a boat, on a beach or in a lake somewhere. The photo above is a testament to their lack of fear. Cait was three years old giving us a thumbs up to tell us to go faster. The two of them were born to do this. Fast forward a few years and Cait is still about the speed (so in Amanda) with her whole goal being able to stay on the tube no matter what her father throws at her.
It’s always fun to watch and photograph. Twenty years of experience has made for some crazy rides.
Boating is about a lot more than pummeling your kids on a tube behind a speeding boat. It has always been about friends and family for us. Our vacations have always been spent on water with various other people sharing our experience. Some of them are avid boaters and have brought their own boats. Others spend a weekend on the water as a first time experience. These are the best times for me – introducing them to the joys of floating on the water on a hot summer day. Showing them the beauty of “our” bodies of water. There truly is nothing like seeing the landscape from the middle of a lake, it opens it up.
This is what boating is all about for us – gathering many for a day of fun and relaxation. Finding a beach, setting up your chairs, worshiping the sun, listening to the birds, reading, laughing.
And it isn’t just the kids that enjoy a day at the lake.
So it’s 14 degrees this morning and we had over a foot of snow two days ago, that could be why I’m waxing nostalgic.
I knew Chester had water dog potential when I saw his huge, webbed feet. He had a bit of a rough start but everyone has to start somewhere.
I’ve been taking him to Percy’s Point on Pelham Lake once a week to fetch his tennis ball in the water there. It’s a great spot, no distractions. It slopes gently into the lake and it’s easy for him to return with his ball. This is a game he has truly learned to love.
This past weekend we took the next step and brought him boating with us. We found one of our favorite beaches in a cove on Harriman Reservoir, getting there early enough to secure it.
The only other thing we needed was a tennis ball. If Chester has a ball there is nothing that will distract him from the game, other dogs, kids, nothing.
We had him fetch for a good hour and a half which he did joyfully. His swimming has improved tremendously and he will fetch a ball thrown quite a ways without hesitation. It’s just what you want in a water dog – of course if we brought the other dogs they would have shown him the ropes.
We brought Chester up to the lake yesterday for a swim. He’d never been swimming before but we knew he would chase a tennis ball anywhere. It was a little windy so the sound isn’t that great on the video but this clip pretty much says it all.
After retrieving the ball a few times he became a much more calm swimmer, started swimming without all of the splashing.
The most difficult part of the day was getting him to leave.