It’s like a scene out of Peter Pan. The sailboat hovers above the lake, water pouring off her hull. She rises slowly, then glides over the parking lot, where waiting hands guide her down onto her trailer.
Crane Day. When the water gets too low, and as winter approaches, the marina brings in a 240 ton crane to pull boats out of the lake. My neighbor, a few slips down the dock from me, went so far as to take the day off work to watch the spectacle.
As if that wasn’t enough of a spectacle, the afternoon’s entertainment was the 10th grade class from a local high school, who’d brought their engineering projects to the lake for a real-world test.
One by one, they launched boats made entirely of cardboard and duct tape. The goal was for the two-person crew to paddle around their principle, floating on a kayak, back to the docks.
For the better part of the afternoon, a few of us live-aboards sat on the dock watching the two-person crews flail around with paddles; cardboard fold and sink and plunge squealing teenagers into the lake; a boy kneel in a heroic pose, saluting and staring off into the distance as his cardboard boat slowly lowered him into the water; and, occasionally, a boat complete the 15 foot journey back to the dock, to cheers and applause.
Flying ships and cardboard boats. Why wasn’t my 10th grade that fun?