Trevor and I moved out to Camp Crystal Lake three years ago — June 20, 2013 to be exact. Our first summer (a half-summer, really) we spent settling into the house and the neighborhood; the second and third, I’ve written about before, and this, our fourth summer, can now be called the Summer of the Boat! Because we got a boat! (I am not subtle, no.)
We’ve been talking about getting a boat since we moved in. That’s a big part of why we moved out here: we wanted a little lake house with a fireplace and a yard for Roo. And we use the heck out of our fireplace and pot-bellied stoves, and Roo uses the heck out of the yard (for running a course around at 1,000MPH, and also for her…other business…). But we’d not used our proximity to the lake to its full potential. Yes, we swim (even Roo, though she tries to drink all the water as she swims, which is weird and kind of gross) and we float around in tubes and on noodles. But we wanted to really use the lake. Like, use it up.
And how better to do that than with a boat? (A: there is no better way.)
So, after years of research (yes, I know I’m prone to hyperbole, but in this case I’m telling the truth [and if you know Trevor at all, then you know how truthful this is]), we got a 20 foot pontoon boat from a dealership in Volo, near the Chain O’Lakes.
As soon as we boarded, we knew it was the boat for us.
It even came with a bird. We couldn’t convince her to stay with us, though. She mentioned something about moving out West to San Diego. She has some friends out there with a nest-building business; she’s going to do inside sales for them. It sounded nice.
After doing the paperwork and getting the necessary registration and city stickers, we had five days until the boat would be delivered, and we needed a dock to park her. Our beach association has a pier, but boat owners are responsible for building and installing their own docks, so Trevor set to work to figure out how to do it.
He called his dad, the trusty and skilled carpenter, John Power, and secured his availability for the build and install. There was a yet-to-be-installed dock sitting on our beach, so Trevor took a look at that to get an idea of what he needed. He examined, measured, took pictures, drew schematics, and then bought his lumber (pressurized pine) and supplies (poles and augers to be screwed into the sandy lake bottom). And he and John set to work.
There were two sections, each measuring ten feet: one that had an angled end and clipped directly to the pier, and a second section that connected to the first. The first day they measured, cut, and assembled; the second day they measured, cut, and assembled some more, and then they installed the dock in the water. They had to get it in before the boat was delivered at 3 p.m. on May 21, and they got it done with an hour to spare.
They are, in no uncertain terms, my heroes.
With the dock good to go, we were ready for our boat, and it arrived right on time. We met Vince, our delivery guy, at the park district’s boat put-in area, and he unloaded it onto the lake. We picked John up at our dock and then drove around for a while so Vince could show us the ropes.
We could have driven around forever, but Vince wanted to go home so we unloaded him, and John finally had enough of us and headed back to Elgin and Fran. We tooled around for a bit longer, then finally headed in so Trevor could get some rest.
On Sunday we had perfect boat weather. My brother, Greg, was visiting a friend in our neighborhood, so he stopped by and we all went out in the morning. We included Roo, whose last adventures on a pontoon boat were two years ago in Door County — we tried to get her to swim, but she didn’t like it, and then she got very nervous to see everyone else swimming while she was on the boat. Trevor and I hoped she’d be better this second time, because it won’t be as fun this summer if she’s not hanging out with us. And she did very well — she only jumped on the bench once, she sniffed everything, she did a lot of looking out into the lake, and she split her time between the sun and the shade. I think she’s going to be just fine.
So now we’re boat people! I got us matching Camp Crystal Lake t-shirts at the Walker Stalker Convention this weekend (a post on that is forthcoming)…
…and we’re going to name the boat ( we have a short-list of choices, and we’ll let you know that soon enough [I wanted to name it the Mrs. Voorhees, but Trevor vetoed me]).
Now, the only thing left is to hold the lake’s biggest dance party!