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Canadian Boating Stories / June 1, 2022

Canadian boating stories: No Urgency to Sail

A Canadian Boating Story from Jeffery Socket

Submitted by: Jeffrey Socket 
Location : Simcoe Lake, Ontario
Boat:  Subee, Tanzer 22

This is a story of an incident that happened many years ago. I had a Tanzer 22 that I kept at Kon Tiki Marina. I enjoy sailing, but do not have an obsessive desire for it. I am just as happy to let someone else sail while I sleep. Also, I have never raced.

A upper calling to get the boat on the lake

One morning while I was at work, I had an overwhelming and unexplainable urge to go sailing, so strong I could not resist. I never sail during work hours, nor by myself, but this time I HAD to go. I went up to Lake Simcoe and headed off to the islands. Half way to Degrassi Point I saw something in the water. As I got a little closer, I saw it was two teenage boys swimming towards Keswick, and strangely, there wasn’t a boat accompanying them.

Encountering two teenagers in the middle of the lake

I asked them if they needed help and they responded no and they were fine. I invited them on the boat to rest and that’s when I saw they were completely dressed including shoes. I asked what they were doing. They would not answer me. I told them I had to know because if they fell or were thrown off a boat I would have to call the police. They told me they were going to their grandmother’s cottage and hitch hiked up to the lake. But they arrived at the Lefroy side of the lake instead of the Keswick side. As the distance across the lake did not look too far, they decided to swim across. They went into the water at 10:30 and it was now 12:45. They were right in the middle of the lake so I asked if they had another three hours left in them as it was just as far to Keswick as turning back to Lefroy. They admitted that they did not.

Good advice from a sailor

I told them if you must swim, take your shoes off. Swimming one mile on water is like walking ten miles on land and if this happens again, go along the shore and ask someone for a ride across the lake. Failing that steal a boat. People would rather go across the lake to retrieve their boat rather than pull a couple of bodies out of the water.

After processing this information, they agreed. I took them over to Crates and when we were about fifty feet from shore, they stood up, thanked me and jumped overboard. I waited until they reached the shore and got out of the water. At that exact instant, I did not have the urge to be sailing that day and went back to work. I haven’t had that sense of urgency since.

Editor’s Note:

Thank you Jeffery for sharing your Canadian boating story

Resources

Safe Harbour:  Drowning prevention while boating

Red Cross:  Safety when swimming in lakes, rivers and streams

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