If you didn't know, we live on a lake. We're not fancy or anything; we just really lucked out. There's a private beach for the neighborhood directly across the street from my house. Last summer, my best friend's parents moved from their house on a lake (and they are fancy, but they're awesome) to a new home in the city. When they moved, they gave us their canoe. Finally, we have our own boat! (Thank you again, G&B, if you're reading this.)
So on Sunday, we decided to take her out for a voyage. My son scampered off to his room and came back with his pirate hat and sword, because he's awesome like that. So I put on my pirate scarf and one of my many, many striped shirts. And my husband went down to the basement and found his pirate hat in our Halloween collection.
In case you were wondering, we are totally equipped to outfit at least ten pirates of various sizes at any given time, and most of the items aren't even what we'd consider costume wear.
We paddled around for an hour or so. We watched some raucous teens with a fishing rod get busted by the cops on the town beach. We couldn't actually hear what was going on, but we're pretty sure one of them tried to make a break for it by swimming out into the lake. We briefly considered offering to let the officers commandeer our vessel, but the kid gave up and swam back to shore.
After we came home and ate popsicles, my son decided he wanted to go back to the lake and swim, which is pretty monumental, because he's usually afraid of the water. There were a few other local families already there. We'd been floating and splashing around for maybe twenty minutes when the mood got kind of weird. All the adults were craning their necks, trying to see something across the lake. They started murmuring to each other. Something was up.
I didn't want to ask anybody what was going on, because I would have had to bring my son with me. I had no idea if it was something he should be hearing about. I kind of kept an eye out without arousing too much suspicion from the boy. Then, the couple who live next door to the beach came tearing up to their dock on their speedboat like bats out of hell.
The woman was on her cell phone. The man leapt from the boat to the dock, which I swear was a span of ten feet, and ran to the house. He came back moments later with some rope and a large mesh bag full of who knows what. He hurled the cargo into the boat and then jumped in after it. I think he was actually still in midair when his wife started back across the lake, full throttle. She was still on the phone.
In the next few minutes, I saw speedboats, pontoon boats, and jet skis from all over the lake quickly converge on one spot. Can I tell you how hard it was to act like I wasn't watching, and keep encouraging my son's "swimming"? So. Freaking. Hard.
About fifteen minutes later, the fleet broke up, and my neighbors boat emerged. It was moving slower than a drunken tortoise. The other boats began to flank it and form an escort. If any other craft happened by, the escorts would yell and signal to them to cut their motors.
Finally, when they'd reached the halfway point, I saw the cause for all the alarm: they were towing another speedboat behind them. There were four Jersey Shore-type guys standing on it. The aft was submerged.
As soon as they docked, everyone got to work. And I mean everyone. The juiceheads, my neighbors, people from the other boats, people from the beach... Buckets and pumps appeared from out of nowhere. This vessel went from swamped, to (looking) good as new in mere minutes. My son, who's on a superhero kick, wanted so badly to help them. I offered up my garden hose to use as a siphon, but they didn't even need it.
It was really remarkable to see all these people step up to help, so fast and so willingly. My sailor aunt and uncle have always told me that "boat people" are a very friendly and tight-knit community, but I never knew that it extended to all boats. You don't see neighborliness like that much anymore. I'm really glad that my son got to witness it.
Oh, and about twenty minutes later, the cops that my neighbor called finally showed up. They were promptly sent away. We've got this.