Tuesday, July 29, 2008


On Sunday night RonO, GalwayGuy, and I headed over to Long Lake to play in the water. It was here that I fully developed my Age Inverse Theory of Kayak Rolling, which I explained to GG. It postulates that a 54 year old guy has approximately 22 rolls in him before his form begins to fail and he's forced to the shore for a beer. A 22 year old guy has roughly 54 rolls in him before the same phenomena occurs. After fleshing out this theory and asking GG to complete his 32 additional rolls closer to shore, Ron and I sat down on the beach with a couple of Newcastles to act as spotters. It was a beautiful summer evening, perfect in almost every way until the jet ski rolled up.

Long lake has special regulations on the weekends. No wake before noon and after 6pm. This allows kayakers, canoeists, sailors, and wind surfers some time to play without the large convoluted waves from criss crossing power craft wakes. So when these knuckleheads rolled in we wondered what they were up to. What they were up to was blissfully ignoring the large sign with the no wake rules on it. This mid 20's guy with his bikini clad hottie girlfriend just fired the thing up and took off wide open across the lake. Ron and I grumbled, took another sip of brown ale and agreed that 'someone oughta turn em in'. About this time 3 guys in an older speedboat with a 85hp Johnson, early 70's vintage, launched also. After tinkering with the motor they roared off also, just as the jet ski came back to the dock. Two minutes later the Ramsey Co water patrol showed up. Someone had indeed called, likely a homeowner on the west side of the lake (the east is all county park), pissed off that their long awaited quiet evening on the deck had been violated.

Justice did not prevail however. When No1 son played hockey he had a keen sense of justice. If he was cheap-shotted and no penalty was called he would bide his time, sometimes for a couple of periods. I would know with certainty that at some point in the game the unpunished offender would be ground into the boards, speared, or have an elbow insinuated into his neck area. No1 son, of course, would be caught and sent to the penalty box for two minutes while the instigator got off with nothing more than a few bumps and abrasions. So it went on the lake. The jet skiers quickly loaded up and got out of there, since the deputies never saw them violating the rule. The guys in the speedboat got the warning. As it turned out, the boat and motor has just been purchased and these guys had just spent a couple of hours getting it running. They literally had the thing opened up for 2 minutes to test the engine while the jet skiers had been out there doing mindless figure eights for at least 15 or 20 minutes. I sidled up to the deputy and pointed that out, at which point he asked if we were the ones that called. I told him no and explained my theory for a jet ski season, much like deer season, where you could take one jet skier per season (either sex) with an option for additional bonus tags. He laughed, nodded, and I hope this bit of humor got the boys in the speedboat their warning rather than an expensive ticket. They should have been out there earlier but when tinkering with a 35 year old Johnson outboard things don't always operate on a schedule.

Silbs had an excellent post today on the crowded lakes around metro areas. Within the Minnneapolis/StPaul area we have a number of lakes that have 5hp or electric motors only regulations. With the literally hundreds of lakes within an hours drive this does not impose much hardship and makes it easy for we people powered watercraft owners to get in a little exhaust free activity. When the lakes are limited and crowded however, there needs to be some sort of compromise rules of use. Those who know me well are likely spitting up coffee and clutching their sides as they laugh convulsively about my advocacy of rules. I've been known to bend and ignore a few over the years, ones that I feel are particularly egregious, but never ones that would directly impinge on or impact others. Next time something like this occurs, I may be the one that calls the water patrol.

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