The Gadgetry of Boats!
I just love it! What's more, I love bringing up a new generation to love it. It's own entire language has to be appreciated; port, starboard, fore & aft; Lines & halyards, sheets & cleats: It's just cool stuff!
That's why I particularly like getting one of the grandboys behind the helm for the first time. I point to the tach and say "watch this!" When the engine comes to life, his head spins and eyes dance. With that look of wonder he watches the excited needle and gazes at me as I explain: "That tells me how fast the motor is going". I put his hand on the throttle and the 'cause and effect' is established! A little neutral rev and I'm convinced: I already have this kid hooked!
'"Grandpa, there one here that doesn't move", he says concernedly. As I tend to some dock lines, I ask "are there any marks on it?" "Just and H and a C" he tells me. Ah, the temp gauge. "That will tell us how warm the motor gets. Keep and eye on it for me". My little crewman now has an assignment. He's on station with a mission !!!!! I love it !!!
"There's another one that's not moving Grandpa." His voice carries some concern. "Well, what's it say?" "It's just a little box with a 'plus', a 'take away'. I know some numbers on it but I can't do 2 place numbers yet." 'Ah, yes' I figure, voltmeters. "That tells us how much electricity is in the boat." He immediately looks aft like some is going to come out from under the cover! "That's OK, they all stay inside the engine and can't get out". I guess a science class that covers that subject is a few years off.
With lines cast off, we head out into the morning light. I show him how the trim button points the boat to the sky, and also makes the "electricity meter" dance a bit. The farther we push the big black lever, the more noise the motor makes and the faster we go!
With him in my lap, the wind in his hair, and his hand on the wheel, I know I've secured another generation to the timeless passions that are boats.
With a few 'S' turns in the calm water and some "snakes in the wake", he's a mariner !!! I throttle back and approach my river mouth drop-off with some stealth that can only help us. He asks me "Grandpa, what's on the TV set?" As I punch thru a few screens on the GPS/Sounder I try and explain things: (knowing the limitations of the audience...)
"Well, this tells me where we are on the lake; this one shows me the line you steered from Gramma's, and this one shows me what's under the boat".
"Like fish?" he asks. "Yep" I reply.
"Grandpa, there aren't any. That's probably why you don't catch any, right?"
"Yep." I reply. "I think they're related."
Sometimes, fishing ain't about catchin' fish. Just being out in a boat is enough.
And with a grandkids, it's MORE than enough.
- The Mick