The Boat Year

The Boat Year 2 Cover

If you are lucky enough to have a boat, you are lucky enough.

Each summer for over twenty years, my sweet Sven and I join our oldest son's family along with our daughter-in-law's family for a week at Cedar Cove Cabins on The Turtle Flambeau.

Buildings overflow with brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, grandparents and grandkids, all made of the same cloth. This is why nights turn into mornings going unnoticed by off key singers and footloose dancers in the kitchen of cabin number one.

Cabin number two is too cramped for dancing, but that does not seem to bother the sardines singing along about sailors over there with Jimmy Buffet.

I heard they stayed up till the birds joined in this year.

And the other cabin number two, next door at Donner's Bay, was occupied this year by first time renters, first time parents, as well as first time vacation party hosts.

The new hosts received a standing ovation by all those left standing.

When I opened my eyes late the morning after, I began searching for my purse.

"Oh, there it is."

I pulled out my phone to check for messages and was surprised to see a picture of a baby. She was adorable. But I found it odd that the six month old daughter of my daughter-in-law's cousin was on my lock screen. It was also weird that the protector case did not have any flowers on it.

"Sven, would you please take this phone over to Ali and see if mine is in their cabin?" I asked a little sheepishly.

After rolling his eyes, he took it from me and on his way he received a call on the phone in his hand from cabin two at Donner's Bay in search of said phone.

He returned a few minutes later.

"Your phone was not there, Millie."

"Yeah, I know. It was plugged in here the whole time."

Aside from this tiny glimpse into the Turtle nightlife and what it does to a person, the days are full of fishing adventures, washer box matches, wake boarding, tubing, lazing out on floats tied to the pier, cannon ballers and screamers, Sven reading his book, and boats.

However, summer vacation 2023, will go down in history as the boat year.

We decided to rent a boat rather than pull ours up since we had discovered that it was not in a mood to plane out.

Amazon came to the rescue for Marques. Our son discovered a large bite out of his propeller after pulling his boat out of the water at home in preparation for vacation. It was delivered the next day. He replaced it minutes before putting his boat back in the water when they arrived at Cedar Cove Cabins.

For those on shore, it appeared as though the brand new prop had dropped off into the lake. His boat stopped moving and he called for help on a phone cutting in and out.

Jerry came to the rescue with a fancy fishing boat he'd rented. He pulled Marques and crew to the dock. The prop was still attached but was missing a piece

It which was an easy fix.

Sven and I went to claim our cute little fishing boat. It was all gussied up with an eight horse motor. We listened to the instructions from the twangy owner.

Our boat set out across the lake to the sandy beach and met up with the much of the gang.

The Boat Year

A couple hours later we crossed the water back to the cabins with two guest passengers to be dropped off.

And then the not so cute little boat refused to start.

When it cooperated the next day we took it for a test ride.

That is why we chose to cruise Lake Bastine.

And that is why I said, "Why'd you turn if off?"

"I didn't."


Marques and two Coast Guard grandkids, Iris and Sean, came to the rescue with their now tightly secured propeller to tow us home.

The owner came over to see what was up our boat's butt the following day while I was out kayaking. I witnessed him pulling on the starter, giving up, and rowing his way to the repair shop. Half an hour later I saw him buzzing Lake Bastine and then he headed toward the dam at warp speed.

Diagnosis: water in gas tank.

Sven and I went for a before dinner cruise that afternoon and although the boat ran like a charm the heavens opened up and.


The next day after some bailing, that boat started on the third pull, just like he'd said it would.

Unfortunately, just as we ran into good fortune, Mike's ran out. His motor became possessed by demons. First it refused to be lowered and then it would raise on it's own. This was discovered just as he and his sons were loaded and ready for their ritualistic after dinner fishing.

Reggie happened by on the pier next to the scene with her newly acquired pirate gear from the gift shop, including a disturbing mask, a sword, a compass that did not work and a gun strapped to her arm. She said, "Ahoy mates. What's wrong with your ship?"

It was easy to tell what kind of mood that girl was in by her attire. She went back and forth between a pirate and or Daniel Boone with a coonskin cap.

Their ship was out of commission for the rest of the week. All the boat exorcists in the area were swamped.

Due to a death in a family, two families had to pack up and leave Thursday after supper.

Hence Jerry handed over his rental boat keys to Mike, who tried really hard to look sympathetic about their early departure.

A distress call from the paddle boat had everyone in stitches.

Marques and the Coast Guard kids went to the rescue in our cute, little, dependable, fishing boat where they untangled the rope from the pedals.

But the croup de gras was yet to come.

Sven and I were sitting in our chairs in front of cabin number five staring at the lake, when we saw Martin and his nephew heading towards the dam in their rental boat.

A few minutes later there was a strange hissing sound coming quickly toward Cedar Cove and Donner's Bay. Just after making it to the other side of the peninsula where our vision was cut off by all the trees, there was a very, loud, BANG, followed by silence.

"Did that boat just die?"

"I think it blew up," said Sven.

It had.

Martin and Tobias survived.

The engine did not.

And then it was time to pack it up.

The Boat Year 3
Cabin Five

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