You should see me smiling as I set my family on my newly purchased bow rider. It was a 23 footer Bryant Calandra, furnished with all the class necessary for a family of four. It even had a sort of convertible settee over the engine that can be set up to face the rear to create an elegant flat sundeck. You can call it love at first sight.
So, as I looked over Lake Placid, I was sure ready to give the girls an adventure to remember. It was their first boat ride, and they were a bit skeptical about me taking the wheel since the stories of my limited jet boat escapades were not one to guarantee my skilfulness in handling boat rides ― now that I remember. These stories were indeed sensational but had a dose of something else attached to them.
My first Jet boat experience was with Jerome and a couple of other friends, back in college. Jerome was a regular jet boater, so it didn’t take much for him to cajole me in joining the two others on a boat ride out in Lake Michigan. Jerome was indeed good at telling stories. With him going on and on about the amazing vistas beyond the skyline, the beautiful ladies sure to wave at us as we zoom along the beach of Lake Michigan, the feel of water running beneath our legs with the ocean wind slapping tenderly against our cheeks, indeed, the trip had us all spiked up.
We took a cooler of beers for the ride, enough water, and some snacks to keep us talking as we got into the blue-white Hamilton 152. The experience was adrenaline-charging and super-fun that when Jerome asked I take the wheel while he wakeboard’s after us, I didn’t think it would be a bad idea. He showed me the important controls, and it all seemed like a ‘piece of cake’ ― almost like driving a car. Just that beneath this car was 58,000 kilometers of water― just water. I grabbed the wheels while he got ready at the rear. He had promised the other guys he would show them how wakeboarding is done, so it was no surprise they both had their eyes glued on every move Jerome made.
Fifteen minutes into the ride, Jerome was already dishing out Olympic-worthy hoops and turns as he glided skilfully on the water. I needed to see for myself, because all I could hear were the applause and comments of the other two, with a peculiar voice reminding me to keep my eyes on the wheel. For what I assumed was only a second, I took my eyes off the course, with my firm grip still on the controls. Undeniably, Jerome was magnificent at wakeboarding.
He signaled for more power, and I simultaneously jacked the speed up a notch. I didn’t realize when I joined the other two in screaming. It was certainly fun, just as Jerome promised it would be. We were all screaming at the same time that I supposed Jerome’s unfamiliar demeanor was from the excitement. I could see his mouth move fast with his free hand pointing incessantly in my direction. He had previously gestured this way when he asked me to step up the velocity, so I complied with my gaze still locked on him. I was too distracted to notice he was signaling at the rock now inches from us. For a split second, it was like everything just went slow motion. The loud thud was all the bump we needed to come back to reality as the fairly new blue-white Hamilton crashed into a needless rock. I was so tensed I shrieked, trying to avert a collision that had already happen. Thankfully, Jerome and the guys were alright. For me, I was more concerned about the welfare of the boat I just crashed. It was bumped-up pretty real bad, and I couldn’t begin to think of all the bills I would have to pay to get it fixed. Luckily, Jerome had the boat insured, and it was safe to say I was in no debt.
The experience was sure one I would remember all my life. We laugh at that moment even till now. So it is no surprise that my wife and my two little girls were concerned I might crash yet another boat. Well, regarding the welfare of my Bryant Calandra, it is fully insured, and no rock is going to have all the fun this time. Besides, I chose Lake placid for a reason.