It was always so exciting making that first trip up north, knowing this was the weekend we were putting the boat in the water for summer season. It was a mission I looked forward to for months but as the time neared my nervousness increased. Would everything be ready? Would there be an unknown mechanical issue? What about the weather? And to top it off the public display of our less than experienced launch ramp etiquette was consistently a concern of mine.
I had perpetually been a ‘cottage’ boater, rushing north on Friday evenings with the goal to beat the traffic and arrive in time to take a dusk cruise around the lake before enjoying the evening by the bonfire. My summers had always been spent on the lake at the cottage and over the years I like to think I'd touched every litre of water in the lake. I had spent countless hours on this one body of water and while it had never been dull, I eventually grew to want more.
So I moved my boat home from the cottage. No longer would it spend two and half months bobbing dockside collecting that brown goo that each year I tirelessly scrubbed trying regain the gel coat's white sparkle. Now my boat sits on its trailer in my driveway ready to roll into new territory. I have become a transient boater, nomadic in my marine travels, always ready to continue my search for new waters to explore.
The uneasy feelings about having everything ready have vanished, time is now on my side. I am no longer at the mercy of waiting for fellow boaters to remove their boats from the storage facility before I can access mine. This gives me the ability to insure all the nuts and bolts, features and gadgets are ready to go on my schedule. I have quickly become extra familiar with my vessel and trailer, learning the fastest and safest ways to hook up, drop in and park without all the fuss or creating irritable on looks at the launch.
I've also learned that I am not alone, that many others from near and far have made the switch as I have. Some had no other choice, while many others share a similar passion for exploration and adventure. Like me, they are now proficient in and around their vessels as well navigating unfamiliar launch ramps, lakes & rivers and are always venturing out to find something new.
These adventures lead us to lodges and resorts where we enjoy local boater friendly hospitality, exploration takes us to unique features such as jumping cliffs, pristine sand bars as well as amazing, postcard-worthy vistas. Best of all we make new boating friends, many of which are local boaters happy to share stories about the history, culture and significance of their lakes. Becoming a nomadic boater is exhilarating, the unknown compels us to probe further in search of the next freshwater oasis.
We are incredibly lucky here in Ontario, with so many fresh water lakes and rivers close by to our homes & cottages, it doesn’t matter if you are in the south, east, north or west, statistics show that you’re only a few minutes away from an #OntarioWaterWays experience. We have over 250,000 lakes, 100,000km of majestic rivers – that’s more than a lifetime of boating and countless kilometres of shoreline to explore.
Now that I am a full-fledged nomadic boater, ready and open to all the adventures that await me, I feel the need to share this: The opportunity is there for you too to become a marine nomad. There's a lot more to Ontario than what you already know and love so well. Maybe you have a wonderful dock on a beautiful lake but the experience of exploration will reinvigorate your time on #OntarioWaterWays and lead to new memories. Now’s the time to load up the family, hook up the boat and go explore a nearby (or not so nearby) lake, after all Ontario is yours to discover!
To find youself a new or used boat and become a nomadic boater visit boatdealers.ca