This morning dawned early, bright, and breezy, and we sat around the table and talked about what we wanted to do today. A rare, sunny weekend day – all four of us together! It’s a gem. I suggested bumper boats at the park and everyone agreed.
The kids strapped on life jackets and we aimed to bump into each other as much as possible, although Scarlet let our boat get a little more spinny than I’m comfortable with! It wasn’t a Spinning Tea Cups ride. That aside, with the feeling of the wind in my hair, and blue as far as the eye could see – in the water and in the sky – I realized how much I still love being on the water. There is nothing like it. Some of my best summer memories of all time took place out on the water, where I like to be.
Two weeks after we met, after it went so well on the east coast, I flew to SF, California for the first time to see Cassidy’s home. The city itself was mesmerizing and overwhelming, but the drive down the Pacific Coast Highway was the best.
We stopped in Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz and went out to the boardwalk. They had a beautiful poster/mural up by the water that said, “What You Will See In Our Waters.” I was floored. It had sharks and dolphins and whales, even blue whales. Even as we walked the boardwalk, sea lions were calling up to us. And I know I say it often, and I do love the Jersey shore for what it is, but this was what I’m really about. Great white sharks and blue whales. Nothing else is quite as exciting. Seeing even one whale was a life dream of mine, just like moose, but for longer.
I woke up the next morning barely before dawn with that nervous/excitement feeling that can only mean it’s a BIG day, one of those days in life you should be having every now and then, I believe. I snuck a Dramamine, because even though I really don’t get motion sick, I had never been on a boat in the ocean and I wanted nothing to stop me from enjoying every second of this day. We had breakfast and then boarded the fishing boat with a few other nervous/excited families.
Not long after we left, we were more in the middle of the ocean than I’d ever been. The sun and the wind were so strong. It was quiet for awhile and we talked to other passengers. Finally, following a lead we saw our first whale tail and the whole boat just let out a collective gasp. We followed that whale for awhile and we greeted by others, little by little. Then we saw a little shark right next to the boat and we all yelled, “SHARK!” I love those moments in life that are spent with strangers, but they just become so intimate that you’re all in everything together – surprise, joy, laughter, fear. Everything built into a symphony. More and more whales appeared and soon the dolphins followed. We were able to see a whale watch log later and the employees predicted about 3,000 dolphins during that trip. They were so rhythmic, right out of Fantasia. If I ever needed proof that the water, the animals and the earth were all musical beings, I had it that day. We had a few breeds of dolphins – in front of the boat, in back and on either side. They were performing for us. All of the whales were humpback and only one joined the symphony. As the dolphins swam with us, there was a choreographed routine in which some would jump out of the water, and then others, and then others. And it was the same and it was clockwork. And one whale jumped out with one of the sets of dolphins. As a finale, that whale rose largely out of the water, and then slammed a fin down and soaked us all.
It was BREATHTAKING. Here are 5 ways to get on the water this summer:
1. Relax with friends on a boat on a local lake or river.
2. Take a sunset cruise. Ahhhhh…
3. Go fishing! Bonus points for going on a fishing boat in the ocean like we did. Whoa.
4. Watch fireworks from a boat this weekend, or anytime you can.
5. Go waterskiing, wakeboarding, or wakesurfing!
What do you love? What are your favorite boating memories! What does your ideal day on the water look like? I’m having super fun with this boat selector, figuring out my dream boat to ride! This Get On The Water tool will show you local options for boat rentals, classes, and charters – just by you entering a city or zip code! Looking for Youth Boating Programs?
What is #DiscoverBoating? Discover Boating is a national, nonprofit program on behalf of the US recreational boating industry aimed to help people get on the water to experience the fun of boating. For those looking to get their feet wet, DiscoverB is an unbiased online resource packed with easy, interactive features on all things boating, including a boat selector tool, get on the water tab where you can find rentals, classes and charters, cost comparison tool, renting options, youth boating programs, education courses – even nautical lingo and how-to videos. It’s a whole world for you to explore.