Saturday, September 13, 2008

Land ho, swab the deck, and all that jazz . . .

You may have noticed the new look here at Crane-ium. I decided it was time to move on from the "tiny bubbles" format. I actually thought of it as random bubble thoughts. (The past Crane-ium template featured lots of circles that could have been interpreted as bubbles, but I digress.)

I recently embarked upon a boating adventure. And since I've always loved water, I picked this template to use for now. It features a lighthouse, something that has taken on a new meaning to me.

When you think of lighthouses, you probably envision those tall, slender, remarkable buildings that line seashores. Beacons of light to sailing types, these items come in very handy during stormy seas. They warn of dangerous passages, and are a symbol of hope and safety.

So about a week ago, my husband and I borrowed his brother's boat and set out upon an adventure. We took it out on beautiful Bear Lake, intent on catching big fishies. The first dock (known as Rainbow Cove) proved to an unsuccessful launching moment. I climbed inside the boat, then my husband backed the boat trailer into the water. I was instructed to toss him the rope as he continued to guide the boat into the lake. But the water wasn't deep enough for the boat to float free of the trailer. So we had to pull it out of the water and head somewhere else.

We drove down to Cisco Beach, also along the east side of Bear Lake, and found that others had successfully launched from this location. They were out fishing, having a good time. So we tried things again. I climbed back inside of the boat and prepared it to release from the trailer as my husband backed down the boat dock. This time the water cooperated and the boat floated free. I tossed the rope to my husband and he pulled the boat in close enough so that he could jump in beside me.

He drove around for a little bit, getting acquainted with his brother's boat, since neither one of us had ever done this sort of thing before. We've been passengers in boats belonging to other people, but we've never navigated a motorboat ourselves. After a while, Kennon taught me how to drive the boat while he started the trolling motor, and baited the two large fishing poles we had brought along.

Large Mackinaw and Cut-Throat Trout live in Bear Lake. Those were our target fish that day. We eventually learned that most of them were frolicking down about 180 feet below the surface of the water, too deep for our poles to reach. So while my husband kept track of the poles, I was instructed to drive the boat slowly, over water that was around 80-90 feet to see if we could spot fish that were closer to the surface. Since there really aren't any lighthouses around Bear Lake, my husband picked out a large, white house in the distance and had me focus on it as I drove the boat. It gave me a goal to strive toward as I steered the boat. I aimed toward it and we stayed in the depth of water that would bring us the most success.

After a couple of hours had passed and we didn't catch any fish, my husband decided we would go for a boat ride around the lake. He shut off the trolling motor and took over the wheel. Then he taught me how to drive at a fairly good speed, across the middle of the lake. I lost track of how deep the water was, somewhere around 200 feet (this boat comes equipped with a fish-finder that shows where the fish are, and at what depth) but I was having a good time. Then without warning, the wind came up.

My husband immediately adopted a look of unamusement. I didn't realize the danger we were in, and continued to drive around until he stepped forward and said he would take over. I had noticed that the boat was a little more difficult to steer, but it wasn't until I stood up and looked around that I saw why. The waves were getting a bit intense, averaging around 3-4 feet high. That might not sound like much, but when you're sitting in the middle of a huge lake like Bear Lake, it can mean trouble.

My husband picked a landmark, this time our white truck. He aimed that direction, knowing we would find safety and a boatdock. Things got a little entertaining, but we did eventually make it to shore. Because of the direction of the wind, we were fighting waves all the way across. Once we reached the shore, I figured we were out of danger, but then the real fun began---getting the boat out of the water. Can I just say that the waves were not our friend?!

Kennon drove the boat fairly close to shore, then hopped out into the water, instructing me to throw him the rope that he could use to secure it to the dock. Once we had managed to accomplish this, I hopped out onto the metal walkway next to the dock and did my best to keep the boat under control while my husband backed the trailer down to the boat.

The waves were really picking up steam and I learned why my husband had looked so grim. It is a difficult thing, getting a boat out of the water and onto a trailer when the water is filled with whitecaps. We had our hands full. I was kneeling on the metal grate, pushing against the boat, keeping it from hitting into the walkway. I soon realized I'm not as strong as I think I am. =) Those waves were hitting that boat without mercy and my poor shoulders and knees took the brunt of the impact as I tried to keep it safe. Good times. ;)

In way of good news, we did finally get the boat onto the trailer and out of the water. Then we both stood there, contemplating all that could have happened. It could have been a lot worse.

Every year, people die on Bear Lake. Usually it's from things like swimming out too far, or the wind wreaking havoc with the rafts, boats, etc. True, I was wearing a trusty life jacket the day we went boating, but with the water temperature around 64 degrees that day, it still wouldn't have been a very good scenario if we had capsized.

I also pondered the importance of guiding forces, like lighthouses. These beacons of light are crucial, especially when storms arise and we lose our way. We can look to them and find the path we need to survive.

You've probably gathered by now that I'm making an analogy out of this. ;) It's what I do. Storms come into all of our lives, most without warning. When the darkness descends and peril seems imminent, how important it is to look for the lighthouses in our lives. These guiding lights can appear in various forms: friends, relatives, the scriptures, prayer, church leaders, and our Savior. We are never as alone as we sometimes think we are when our lives are filled with turmoil.

Years ago, I wrote a song about this sort of thing. I'd like to end this particular blog with the lyrics I wrote for a musical production we performed with the Young Women I was teaching at the time:

No Matter How Dark the Storm
(From: “The Adventure of a Lifetime)

1st: There are times when the world seems an awful place to be
When the sky is full of thunder and the sun is hard to see
Sometimes fear and inner pain make you want to run and hide
And you cry all alone in a world filled with pride.

Chorus: But no matter how dark the storm
There’s a harbor safe and warm
Where the Savior holds forth His hand
See His footprints in the sand
Though life is hard, you’re not alone
The Savior’s love will guide you home
Through the darkness He shines a light
An endless glow through the blackest night
And life’s shadows will fade from sight
Through the gospel’s light.

2nd: Close your heart to empty voices that seek to cause you pain
The sun will always shine after a chilling rain
Lift your eyes to the heavens there is hope shining there
A silver lining lies hidden in every cloud of despair.

Cheri J. Crane

Return to the Neighborhood


Cindy Beck said...

Good analogy in this article! And your song was really neat. Thanks for sharing.

Jennie said...

Nice blog. Waves on a big lake can be scary. I'm glad you're okay.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Hi Cindy. Thanks for stopping by. =) Glad you liked the analogy and the song. Sometimes I'm silly that way.

Jennie, thank you. =) And I'm glad we survived that day, too. It scared my husband enough that he doesn't want to go back out any time soon.

Ronda Hinrichsen said...

Enjoyed the pictures and comments. Reminds me of some of my favorite family vacations.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Hi Ronda. Thanks for stopping by. =)Family vacations rock, eh? ;)

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