August 12th, 2014
If you love boating then there are moments in time that mark the start of the love affair. I consider myself fortunate to have been born into a boating family so my boating memories are from my childhood. I have a lifetime of wonderful boating experiences but a few really stand out.
When I was a boy we would take trips to the Toronto Islands aboard my grandfather’s Gordon Boatworks 32 ft Commuter . The boat’s name was “Skippin” – short form for Skippers Insurance. We would start out from an old boat yard behind Tip Top Tailors and enter the inner harbour on an epic journey (or so it seemed to me) to for a picnic on the island. It was a strange new world of ferries, freighters, and other pleasure boats. I remember thinking my grandfather was something special as he navigated through the harbour signalling other boats with his horn and making calls on the VHF. This was when boating became part of my DNA and I have never strayed very far from the water ever since.
Those early days on the Inner harbour set the hook but I swallowed it whole once I was Captain of my own vessel at 10 years of age. She was a patched up 8ft fibreglass tender powered by a lovely old Johnson Seahorse 3 hp outboard. This was my first memory of independence and freedom on Georgian Bay. My freedom was actually limited to a 300 ft radius from the watchful eye of my father but it sure felt like freedom at the time. I have sailed many finer boats in my life but no other boating experience compares.
Have you ever thought back about your first boating experience? Give it a try and I would love to hear what comes to mind.