Thursday, August 09, 2007

around the lake in 180 minutes

The few times I have been out on Lake Mendota (Madison’s big one) I have regretted it.

The first time, on a kayak, I could not make the damn thing head back against the wind. I was out with my daughter and I thought hard about what punishment should befall me for putting her in danger.

The second time it was with neighbors, on their pontoon. I’m not really sure if it was an honest to goodness pontoon. The thing moved slowly and we drank beer and it was all fun and games until The Storm rolled in and we had to do an emergency bailout by the Union because the waves got to be so overwhelming.

The third time was in a sailboat. It was a group sailing lesson. Two years ago, as I recall. After the first hour I curled up in the belly of the boat (I’m sure it has a different name: everything on a sailboat has a complicated name and you are a total failure if you cannot remember any of it – lives depend on it, I am told). Lying there, I wanted to die. It was a passing thought, but still, you see the pattern here.

Yesterday was my fourth try. On a boat called the Betty Lou. Really.

Initially, the signs were not good. The sky looked dark. The water looked dark.

006 dark waters copy

…the waters got rough.

But, this boat had a belly that held two cheerful mates and they handed out drinks and foods in great quantities and the captain assured us that the storms would not hit before we returned to shore. I was greatly reassured.

It took three hours to spin around the lake. Mostly, views from boat to shore are very ho hum in terms of photography, but with an ever changing sky and a setting sun, you can really get enthralled by it all.


022 capitol from the lake, copy

So the fourth’s a charm. By the end of the evening, I was telling Polish proverb stories and I only tell those if I am completely content, so there you have it.

033 boats on Mendota, copy