Saturday, May 13, 2017


Sitting on the shore of Lake Lanier in northern Georgia, watching sailboats heel against the brisk warm, fifteen mile an hour winds as they tack across the largest man-made lake east of the Mississippi, I have a feeling that I’ve forgotten to unplug the coffee pot even though I know I double-checked it. 

We are shielded from the warm May sun by a strand of cedars as we comfortably lean back in our anti-gravity chairs, right at the waters edge. Our campsite is but a few mere feet from the seawall that is unfortunately even further from the edge of the lake than last year.

There are sailboats of all shapes and sizes in front of us as the popular Lake Lanier Sailing Club is located on the peninsula directly beside our Old Federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campground. High-speed catamarans zip quickly and quietly across the lake, while bigger, white-hulled cruisers with their mainsails and jibs in full bloom, heel heavily as they slowly but comfortably enjoy a beautiful spring afternoon.

My wife does not feel the imperceptible imbalance in my harmonics, she’s absolutely content with our surroundings. To her, a yoga advocate and practitioner, this is Nirvana. All of her chakras are in perfect alignment. The weather couldn’t be better with a cloudless, blue sky. A great blue heron even lands a few feet from us at the water’s edge as if to say, “All’s well in paradise, relax and enjoy!”

It slowly dawns on me as I quietly watch the great blue heron; the wading bird is in absolutely no danger here. This is like Disney World, a man-made utopia for the masses with computer-controlled, carefully manipulated emotional stimuli. A perfect, almost idealistic, well controlled environment that has none of the concerns I have when I’m on the water at home. The only danger here is what boaters create for themselves, either through negligence or ignorance.

We also have great blue herons at home on the Myakka River on Florida’s southwest coast. We also have wood storks and anhingas, porpoises and manatees, but we don’t have the pristine, blue water. We have brown, tannin-stained water that aids another stealthy local resident, an adversary that keeps my wife from swimming off the back of our pontoon boat. I’m not keen on getting into the opaque, root-beer colored water either, but when the occasion to push our boat out of an unexpected mud bank or sand bar arises and believe me it has, I have no choice. When I’m standing thigh deep in the murky river pushing the boat back into deeper water, one of my passengers will invariably ask if I’m afraid of alligators. They never volunteer to push the boat for me.

There is no threat here on Lake Lanier, no anxiety or apprehension. Nothing here that says to me to keep one eye open. So why do I find that unnatural? Beats me, but it does. I am absolutely positive I unplugged the coffee pot.

The season ended well, our trip home was uneventful. 

Next: Start of the 2017 Summer Tour


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