Friday, August 22, 2008

Speed Boat!

Day 7

Cool Matthew, originally uploaded by zuctronic.

On Friday morning I had nothing better to do, so I rode with Robbie, Brian, and young Matthew to Lakeport to pick up a speed boat so we could do some water-sports today. It was going to get HOT! The photo above is Matthew getting pirate lessons from Robbie, Brian, and me.

It took us about an hour to get over there, mostly because the GPS freaked out and had us in some weird subdivision for 15 minutes. The town where we rented the boat was pretty much as far as you could get from the resort and still be on the lake. Once we got there, the woman gave us the pitch. We had to head back to this side of the lake before 2:30-3:00 if it was windy because the narrow area between the north and south parts of the lake got too choppy to be safe.

We finally got the boat in the water and took off for the south end of the lake. The ride back took about 45 minutes but that boat could FLY! Robbie had it going 55mph on smooth water, it was pretty fantastic. When we got back, some kids went out on the tube for a few hours and then came back. Then I took the boat out with David, Valerie, Kevin, Melissa, and Chris. I got up on skis twice, the second time I went in and out of the wake a bunch of times and then just let go of the rope. After we'd been out for an hour, we came back.

Robbie took the boat out again, loaded up with revelers. When he got to a safe distance from shore, he ramped up the throttle and disaster struck! The motor ran aground and hit rocks. Robbie killed it immediately and they felt around and could tell the prop was mangled. It limped back to the dock, but every time he'd try throttling up, it died.

We needed to call the rental company, they said a guy would be there with a new prop within the hour. When he showed up, he took the boat out of the water. The prop was toast... he pulled it off. He said, "It's okay, you weren't the first and you won't be the last. If this shaft is bent though, we're in trouble." I watched as he rotated the shaft and I could see it was quite bent.

We didn't get any insurance on this boat, it wasn't even offered. The total damage was $900. Fortunately, the generosity of the Barton family distributed this hit and made it easier on our wallets.

The dinner that night was leftovers. The jambalaya made its final appearance. Brian sucked down the last Barton salad. Then we watched our last Clear Lake sunset. We had our last late-night talks. Even though we'll all go back home and the seasons will change along with our moods, a piece of this moment will always be with me. Even more comforting than that in these last moments of the reunion is the knowledge that I have an incredible family, and they will always be with me no matter how far I wander from home.

This is one to remember... this was a great reunion. It can be difficult to separate the real, authentic experiences from the imitations. Well, for the Barton family... there are the reunions. The enjoyment we receive from this is not about novelty or showing off, it's about the human condition and indelible connections. That's real.

The Greatest Family on Earth

The Family, originally uploaded by zuctronic.

Tomorrow morning we leave for Oakland where I'll spend the night at Wayne and Kay's house. I'm really excited about San Francisco!

- Andy

1 comment:

Andy said...

I forgot to mention here that Michael and Katie awarded several prizes for various superlatives for the week. I was awarded a wine glass from the Hard Rock Cafe in recognition for "greatest wine faux pas" by getting drunk and stealing wine from Kay Kay!