Kindness via Mill Bay #5


Our Old Fart Boat Ride

When Cindy and I backed off the boat lift early this morning, we were on our way to enjoy what we jokingly call our "old fart boat ride." A ride like this barely creates a wake behind the boat as we glide across a flat and peaceful Lake Chelan, sipping our morning coffee and soaking in the sun's rays and lake shore views.

In those ways, this morning was everything we expected. The difference was that we happened to come across a small kayak that was floating aimlessly down-lake without a passenger in sight. Clearly, the yellow kayak had come loose from it's buoy or dock - perhaps during yesterday's wind and rain storms.

As we pulled alongside the kayak, we could see markings on it's stern. They read "Mill Bay #5." I'm familiar with Mill Bay as the place where my boat gets launched each summer; a location where friends park their mobile home for summer vacations; and as the name of the local casino where the Deepwater Amphitheater's summer concert series kicks off with a performance by Huey Lewis and the News on July 5th.

With no one else in sight, Cindy and I instinctively knew that the right thing to do was to change our course and tie the wayward kayak onto the back of our boat. We would continue our quiet boat ride and at the same time look for the family or rental company where the kayak belonged. We turned our boat around and headed for Mill Bay.
Kayak man
Upon arriving, we saw nothing that looked like a possible home for Mill Bay #5. We continued our search along the shoreline of Wapato Point and into Manson Cove. No luck. Not until we called a young couple - who work at Shoreline Rentals in Manson - to the end of the dock and asked them if they might know of a potential home. And they did!

They told us about the blue roofed condominiums near the trailer park in Mill Bay. Despite having been there 30 minutes earlier, we headed back to take another look. As we rounded the point into Mill Bay, I realized that we had been distracted by a good looking sailboat anchored in the bay during our early pass through the cove. This time, we pulled carefully into the shallow waters along the shoreline of the condominium.

We honked our horn and called out to the lone man who was sitting hear the recreation center's swimming pool. When he came closer to the boat we told him our story and asked if he knew where the kayak belonged. He said he did. The man had seen two boys playing with the kayak the night before. He said that Mill Bay #5 is the buoy where the yellow kayak should be tied up.

And with just that short exchange, we knew we were in the right place. In just a few minutes we were able to offload the kayak and leave it with the unnamed man for safe-keeping. Our old fart boat ride was complete. We didn't go where we had planned but we performed an act of kindness - a good deed if you will - that made our trip a little more memorable and rewarding. It was a boat ride with an edge.

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  • Patty Engebretsen
    Aug. 3, 2013
    Rod, thanks for bringing that kayak back. The resort used to have 18 of those and they've all disappeared over the years. Yeah, we have one back!! I have movies of my dad and Bruce purposely trying to flip those!

The Fine Print

Rod Brooks (that's me) is VP & CMO of PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company and serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA).  It's important to disclose both of those relationships and to be clear that this is my personal blog where I share thoughts and opinions that are solely my own.  Contact me!

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