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 Boat U.S. says you are not a boater until you have:

Forgotten to install the drain plug before launching the boat: Suddenly realizing you're ankle deep in water, scrambling to contort over the transom to install the plug, or rushing to get the boat back on the trailer faster than a NASCAR pit crew really means "you've arrived" in recreational boating.
Contracted a case of "raccoon eyes": Caused by permanently attached sunglasses and the sun's rays waves reflecting off the water, the "raccoon eyes" look is characterized by a mask-like whiteness around the eyes surrounded by sunburned cheeks, nose and forehead. Cold, rainy weather is the only known cure.
Sent boating-themed holiday cards: Sailing Santas, lighthouses with Christmas wreaths, Rudolph pulling a boat full of toys, boating-themed holiday cards keep the boating bug alive in the darkest winters. Non-boating family and friends will just think you've gone off the deep end.
Purchased a Jimmy Buffet CD: A favorite of sailboaters, usually accompanied by a blender and a shaker of salt attached to a tether so it does not get lost.
Started shopping for a bigger boat the day after you buy your first one: Also known in the psychological field as "three-feet-i-tis," this disease is characterized by irrational and envious thoughts of larger vessel ownership. Most health plans do not provide for its treatment.
Sanded the boat's bottom, varnished the hull, replaced a plank and enjoyed every minute of it: For old boat lovers, nothing gives a better sense of pride knowing you made your classic look more wonderful than a fine piece of antique furniture.
Seen a sunrise over a glassy waterway and realized you are in Heaven: Most "real" boaters understand that boating and sailing are medically proven to lower blood pressure, whiten teeth, lower cholesterol and delay the aging process.


Steve McCadams is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing area. He has also contributed many outdoor oriented articles to various national publications.



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