After the trials and travails of even getting out of the marina, we rejoiced when we made it out onto the lake. And by rejoice, I clearly mean “had a beer.” We cruised out, discussing where we would look for our first overnight tie-off. After consulting the charts, we made our decision. Then we rejoiced again. (My more astute readers will detect a theme.)
As we neared the targeted “creek”, my brother-in-law and I hopped in the pontoon boat to go scout about, since it moves far faster than the houseboat. We grabbed a couple of rejoicing implements of the 12 ounce variety and headed off.
The finger of the lake that we scouted was quite beautiful, and also the location of the weekend party cove. We weren’t sure where said cove actually was, until we saw the big blue gorilla. That pretty well cinched it. We detoured to check out the fabled party site, though on a Sunday the revelers were mostly absent. There were “sculptures” made from loose rock on the banks, one that said simply “PARTY”, and one that was obviously a giant dong.
Primitive rock art of the giant dong variety
I submit to you that if you’ve found the giant rock cock at the big blue gorilla, you’ve found the place people go to party. We were looking for something a bit more family friendly, though.
We continued on into the back end of the finger, and found a place of beauty. Like Lewis and Clark, we had explored the waterway, and would now retrieve the rest of the family. Bringing the houseboat in, we beached and tied off, the water glass smooth and no other soul in sight. For a time, it’s our own private lake, shared not with men, but turtles, fish, birds, and bugs. A hummingbird landed on our safety line moments after we tied it off. We’d been invited to nestle to nature’s bosom, it seemed.
This, from left to right, was our yard for two days:
We stayed in that beautiful cove for 2 days, with 2 great dinners in the evening (smoked pork and Dangerboy’s famous Vidalia Fig Duck Stir Fry.) There was stargazing, swimming, tubing, lounging, fossil hunting, and much more 12-ounce rejoicing.
My Tuesday morning started quite nicely, a hawk circling and crying out overhead as I took a lake bath. It’s interesting to note that if you shave in a school of minnows, you will not find whiskers anywhere…but you will find some very friendly fish.
Not a picture of my bath. Little Danger conserves water and helps with the dishes.
We moved on, heading to the big end of the lake. After a bit of a top off of the tanks at one of the larger marinas, we repeated the pontoon scout strategy. It was much more challenging this time around. The end of the lake we’d motored ourselves to was chock full of rental boats, and most of the good spots, and quite a few of the worst, were taken. After a bit of looking, we found an acceptable spot and marked it on GPS, which turned out to be a good idea.
We headed back out to the main lake, waved the family in on the houseboat, and headed for the cove. By the time we got back, which the GPS reported as 30 minutes, a small boat had dropped anchor, home to a couple sunbathing. Not wanting to be dicks, we asked if they intended to stay long, explaining that we’d been by to scout this spot earlier. In fairness, I did make an error and said 20 minutes instead of 30. The man jumped up like a scalded cat and yelled “Bullshit, I been here 2 hours!”
At this point, I could have called it like it was, and let his redneck ass know just what a liar I thought he was. Instead, I attempted to de-escalate quickly, saying “no problem, have a good day.” I really just didn’t care to be prickish over a piece of lake. Sadly, our new adversary didn’t share our view.
We pulled to a temporary spot within sight so we could grab the spot we wanted after they’d left. Evidently this was torture to the lying sack of shit, though, and anytime we looked over he was staring at us, sometimes through binoculars. It must have spiked his blood pressure like a fact checking session with a politician.
After no more than half an hour, he started away, then sped back, shouting at the boat. He actually said “Be careful, bad things happen at night” in a tone that can best be described as menacing…which led me to wonder momentarily if I was stuck in a Michael Bay film. Who says shit that stupid?
The dumbass actually said it as my sister in law was recording him on video, so he’d best hope nothing ever happens to the boat, his fault or not, because he’ll be doing the jail time for it.
I have to admit, I went a little apeshit. It’s the first time anybody’s ever threatened my child’s safety, seriously or just fucking about, and I was fairly enraged. We reported the incident to the water patrol, just in case, giving his boat number and all salient details.
I’m not sure what kind of karmic donkey show he’s bought himself, but it’s important to remember, kids…Don’t Be A Dick. And especially not about stupid shit.
We moved the boat to a different spot, closer to the main body of water…just to be safe. And actually, it turned out to be a much nicer location, with a beautiful view of the lake’s widest point. An indigo bunting landed in a tree nearby as we finished tying off, an echo of the hummingbird’s visit. I’ve always been a fan of beautiful birds.
The view from the top deck. (Not shopped, the sun was very bright.) Those are Wifefish's knees.
The night was capped by a stargazing session, counting satellites and ID’ing them with a cool app on bro’s iPad, and a deep philosophical conversation between myself and my mother in law…all were a treat.
We spent a second day in this spot, as well, seeking refuge from a heat more oppressive than the anger of a jealous god. Between triple digit heat and humidity like Satan’s underpants, the A/C was cranked, and we spent a good amount of time in the water sucking on margaritas and beers.
Little Danger beats the heat in his floating contraption.
We finished off the cruise by heading back in to the extended family of Pier 2. Our Friday was spent goofing off, then bouncing from boat to boat before hosting a cook off challenge. The feast was phenomenal, including fried striped bass, Italian spiced salmon, beef brisket smoked for about 5 hours, hoe cakes, and more. So….much…more.
Our marina does not lack for personality. Yes, that's a wakeboarding dog.
In truth, I ate entirely too much food. Fortunately, there’s no such thing as entirely too much friendship, so a night spent jabbering with everyone in the floating neighborhood was a grand night indeed. It was a great way to end a damn fine cruise.
And so, we had a fantastic time on a budget. And even had we not had access to a houseboat, renting one on the lake is typically not a ridiculously expensive endeavour. You, too, can have your own lake cruise if this account sounds any good at all. Just be sure to rejoice safely.