Each year, trying to make the 100 days on the water requirement for membership to the Century Club brings forth many new and exciting experiences. The new places that I have boated from, the friends I have boated with, and the new vessels that I have boated on create many of these new experiences.
This year, the new experience was strategizing how I will even make the 100 days. I thought I was off to a good start when we took our sailboat around to her winter home on Jan 1. Unfortunately, Day 2 on the water didn’t happen for over 4 months.
In the past, I was involved with a community boating program, and by mid-April our boats were coming out of winter mode and we were getting folks on the water. This year, however, I had to rely on my own boats to get on the water. And they all needed work to get going. Lots of hours cleaning, buffing, doing teak (a new skill for me), and painting bottoms. Finally, by mid-May, we had some of the fleet floating, and others being commissioned. With lots of work 8 of our 10 boats were used at some point during the summer.
The next bummer was not having community boating friends involved. Consequently, I needed to find friends who wanted to boat with me. I am a firm believer that there is Fun and Safety in numbers. My husband and I spent many days on the water, but we could not make our schedule come together for 100 days. I did enjoy racing in a Snipe regatta and visiting with friends from all over the country. I also hang with a group that gets together on Friday mornings to paddle. After that many of my days on the water became an individual exercise program on the paddleboard.
Then the days started to get cold and I still had 15 days on the water to reach the goal in 3 months. It didn’t sound too daunting when you figured 5 days a month. Wrong, the days are getting shorter so the time after work is out, the wind started blowing so many weekend days were too cold and windy. Lastly with the cold it is important to stay safe. Boating alone was not a good option.
At last I reached the 100th day on December 27 when we pulled our last boat out of the water for the winter season. Now I am starting to strategize how I will be able to utilize my fleet of boats earlier, include more friends in boating experiences, and cruise the Chesapeake on our sailboat. Hopefully this recipe will make 2017 rich with new experiences and I can reach the goal of Century Club 2017.