By Capt. Carl Kelly
I can’t remember when I first stepped onto a boat. I first pulled on oars at about 8, and I first handled a 10’ skiff with a 9 horse power outboard when I was 12.
I spent most of my youth toggling between two bodies of water, the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, and I was raised with the great American tradition of family boating on holidays.
I walk Keewaydin Beach occasionally. I probably shouldn’t, because what I see often worries me, people on the beach drinking heavily, some of whom will have to drive a boat home. I pray for designated drivers.
It is a Kelly hot button. When I was a teen one of my father’s friends died in a boating accident on Memorial Day. I don’t know any details except that alcohol was involved.
So, no one who knows me is surprised that I rarely boat on holidays, that boating safety is often in my mind, and that I never drink when I am on a boat.
If you boat on a holiday, be wise. Be careful. If you drink don’t drive. Take your time to get where you’re going. And, keep a hawk eye on all of the other boaters. Some of them will be less wise than you.