Every year we have this faux argument about boats. Her boat is always requiring repairs, or runs out of gas, or the battery dies. It is truly a hole in the water we sink money into. Mine has no moving parts and requires no gas. But she waves me off, laughing that my kayak is a solitary little piece of plastic with no value, except to me. I can’t pull a water skier or even a tube. It would be difficult to fish from a kayak and it is worthless as a platform for diving into the water. All true.
This year we met our neighbor to take his and Martha’s motorboat out of the water for the season. (I merely toss my kayak into the garage). His battery was dead so he borrowed ours to start his boat and drive it over to an area that enables boat launches and removals. Martha then replaced her battery but could not get her boat to start. This is on top of the cover which ripped so the interior of the boat flooded with water whenever it rained, and the bilge that broke so it could not pump all that water out. Every time someone wanted to use the boat they first had to take a pail and bail it out. Because of all the problems, she was going to trailer the boat home and have it serviced.
But I digress.
So there was Martha, standing in her dead boat at the dock, cursing and wondering how to get the boat over to where the trailer was waiting at the launch. Even though I was secretly wishing it would just spring a leak and sink to the bottom of the lake, I quietly went and got my kayak. I tied a rope to the front of the boat to the back of my kayak and started to paddle. It was extremely hard paddling but like that little engine that could, I managed to slowly, ever so slowly, pull her and her boat the half mile to the launch and then pull it up on the trailer.
Oh yes I was smug. Very, very smug. And I extracted a promise that she would never, ever make fun of my little kayak again.
Driving home with the boat we heard a strange noise. Then a car raced up beside and said that the trailer wheel was smoking. When we pulled over we noticed that the wheel hub had lost it’s cover and most of the bearings had been lost. The wheel had seized. I knew this was the last straw and wisely kept my comments to myself while she made a lot of calls trying to find a towing service that could handle a boat and trailer.
It was an old boat when she bought it. Although she hasn't gotten an estimate for repairs yet, she knows it will not be worth fixing. She is very sad and reminds me that this is the boat that the girls learned to swim from, and water ski, and fish. It is the boat that provided hours and hours of good outdoor fun for our kids and their friends, away from social media and devices. The boat that our dogs, who have always been afraid of the water, would happily jump into and ride the bow with their ears flapping in the breeze. And the boat that took me on my quiet twilight cruises as the sun set.
I guess I should start saving. Looks like we will be buying a new (used) motor boat next year.
Let the cursing begin.