I'm talking about how to stay safe and have fun on the water in the summer!
It's considered common sense if you've grown up on the water but if you haven't how would you ever know? Like getting lost in the city and taking the wrong road, you just don't know what you don't know! And I've been there too!
So here's a few things to help keep everyone safe and having fun on the water but you should also take the boating course so you understand the laws and regulations on the water!
When on the boat:
Wear a life jacket/vest: don't think it's cool? Just try swimming if your unconscious.
Offer to help out with ropes or bumpers (bringing into the boat when you leave the dock, or putting them out when docking).
DO NOT jump off the boat to try to reach the dock as the captain is docking unless they ask you. You'll most likely end up in the lake.
The reason: when you jump for the dock it pushes the boat away from the dock and then they have to dock all over again. They won't thank you.
If you don't know how to tie the boat up don't try please, just grab the rope and hold it and wait on the dock for someone else to tie it up. Otherwise it'll take someone longer to undo the tangle and tie it properly. If you want to learn, just ask!
When seeing other boats:
Wave! Hi! - Why not? It's summer, everyone's on vacation and enjoying themselves, they aren't close enough to see you smile so give them a wave! If people don't wave back, no worries, they are probably still hyped up from the stress of cottage country traffic.
Offer to help and ask questions! Most people like answering questions, teaching and explaining about life on the water.
Don't drive 10 ft off people's dock.
If a boat driver can't see you, you're probably too close (especially if it's a bigger boat, move somewhere else (the lake isn't a highway and you don't need to be bumper to bumper.
Pull your stern (back) bumpers in so you don't soak your passengers (hopefully they read this too and offer to pull the bumpers in).
Do Not follow a boat that's towing anyone (tubing, skiing etc.). It's just not worth the risk if someone falls and you may not have time to swerve or you don't see them.
On that note, don't tube in between markers. Markers mark the channel and boaters need to go this way as they move through the area. You're putting your tubers/skiers etc at risk of being seriously injured if they fall. Instead find an open body of water for the water sports.
Be respectful with your wake in slow zones: if it says 9 km/h and in your watercraft is throwing a 3' wake you're not being helpful (or making any friends that will wave back).
Know where you're going! If you aren't in a channel and following markers make sure you're aware of water level fluctuations. That shoal literally might not have been there last year because it was under 2' of water, but water levels can change and it'll cost you (actually it can cost you a lot, there'll be damage to the boat at the very least).
Share with a friend! Hope it helped you laugh a bit and happy boating!