Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Boat Club

A couple years ago, I bought a kayak.  I like paddling around in it, though I have yet to achieve those Eskimo rolls or go hurtling off a waterfall like you see in those stupid Xtreme Sports videos.  At any given time, I could get dumped into the lake if even a small boat with an outboard goes by.  I have the basic skills of a five year old on it.  Still, I like it.

The downside is that every time I want to go out on it, I have to strap it on top of the 2002 Toyota Rav4 I use to haul my basset hounds around.  This is a big pain in the ass.  There are straps and knots, and I always feel like I have done it wrong.  I have this image of the kayak being blown off the roof as I blast down the road.  In my head, the kayak catches the wind, arches up, and then crashes through a windshield behind me impaling the driver.  I’m then in court as various outdoor experts take the stand to lambast me for my lack of manly knowledge in knot tying and basic rope skills.  It ends in embarrassment and prison time.  I become a punch line on late night talk shows.

I then got the idea to join one of two “Boat Clubs” in my area.  Before you get carried away and think I am talking about a plush clubhouse, swimming pools, and cabana boys in matching outfits, let me ease your mind.  Both of these Boat Clubs consist of a boat launch into Lake Erie, a small beach area complete with plastic garbage in the sand, and a tiny shabby shack that seems to serve no purpose.  There aren’t even chairs.  The upside is there would be a place to store my kayak, and maybe once I got “inside” I could transform the shacks into little bars.

 It became obviously pretty quickly that neither the Avon Lake or Bay Village Boat Club wanted anything to do with me.  This was disappointing.  How can I truly embrace my new nautical lifestyle if I’m not a card carrying member of a club?  That was when I decided to really take matters into my own hands and see if I could make some things happen…  Here's the existing email string.


  I was interested in possibly becoming a member of the Avon Lake Boat Club and use the facility for my kayak. Can you let me know more about the club, and the process for becoming a member?  I live nearby, and it would be especially convenient...

  Thanks in advance for your quick response.


Greg Miller




Just following up....




I will forward your email to our Secretary.  He will add you to the wait
list ... please expect the wait time to be 3-5 years based on the current
pace of turn overs.




  Thank you for your quick response.  I am obviously very disappointed by this lengthy a waiting list to join.  In three to five years, I had hoped I would have already risen to the position of Vice Commodore, and enjoyed all the spoils and privileges of such a title.  After purchasing my kayak last year, I am really trying to immerse myself not just in boating as a whole, but really embrace the entire boating lifestyle.

I must admit that you were not the only club I contacted.  I also reached out to the Bay Boat Club, but that turned south when they ferreted out that I was not a member of Bay Village and was a resident of Avon Lake.  Despite living just over the border from their somewhat overrated community, I think these people regard me as some sort of savage unfit to share their living space.  Frankly, that might have been for the best.  I felt that club was not really a good fit for me as they have a ban on alcohol. I am sure you will agree that any good boater worth his salt needs to beable to take a good pull off a rum bottle every now and then while screaming at the sea.  It worked for Hemingway and Blackbeard, and dammit, it has worked for me.

I don’t know if this will speed up the admission process at all, but I have enclosed a photograph of my brother taken earlier this year on a boating outing in Southern Ohio. True, he did buy the cap while in downtown Madison, WI on a hellishly hot Saturday tent sale. It is also true that as far as I know that this photograph may document the only time he has ever gone boating. However, he has let me know that if I do indeed become a member of the Avon Lake Boat Club, he will gladly walk around the club grounds in his cap and “boating shirt” and use as many nautical terms as he can remember.  They probably have a list on the Internet somewhere he could laminate and refer to on the sly I would think…  Regardless, I am sure you will agree, that this would be a great addition to the atmosphere of the club.

Thanks again for the quick response, and I hope there’s a way we can get me “on the fast track” for club admission.  I am very interested in getting started as soon as possible, paddling out on my kayak, and making my presence known.




I haven't heard back yet.  Still, I am optimistic I am leapfrogging ahead of other less serious boaters, and soon will be a member of this fine boating institution.  Yet, this might not be the case.  I hate to be too much of a "glass half full" guy.  If I feel like I am being ignored, I feel I may have to ratchet up the heat.

I will keep you up to date with this potentially explosive situation as it develops.


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