Lakes are weird – and wonderful

As with psychology and social interaction, with lakes there’s simply more going on below the surface than meets the eye.  However, we spend most of our time at the lake on top of water, which is part of what makes lake life fun! Imagine social dynamics where all you have to worry about is what’s on the surface. That would be – say it slowly – A.W.E.S.O.M.E.!

While we usually think of hot summer days as the perfect time to enjoy the lake, it can actually be enjoyed year-round. Here are our Top 7 activities that you can enjoy lakeside.

1. Fishing

As with everything lake-related there are at least two functions related to every activity.  Fishing, for example, is also sunbathing.

That’s because even if you find fish through echo-location or triangulation or astrological charts, there’s no guarantee that once you put a wormed hook in front of them that they’ll eat. Plus, they tend to take their sweet time – we used to attribute that to phases of the moon, angles of the sun, and water temperature.

As if …

That’s the beauty of fishing – it’s one of life’s singular mysteries left unsolved. It’s also a great purposeful way to get a tan.

Fishing is also a boating crossover. The best fishing, we used to say, is always 50 miles north (substitute any direction on the compass) of where you are. And for some odd reason, the best fishing is also on the other side of the lake from where you are at the moment – which means you have to throttle up and boat across the lake a bunch of times to find the fish. Which is part of the fun.

2. Swimming

Swimming also can be part of boating – with intermittent dips — plus it can embrace the more sedate sunbathing, or the actively underwater snorkeling. So, it’s an amazingly resilient and complex pursuit. And you thought you just fell in and floundered.  Nope! The other beauty of swimming is the beach component, which involves the swagger or the sashay past viewers on your way to the water. Keep in mind there’s also the return trip, past the same viewing audience.

3. Floating

Floating is boating with an ‘fl’ instead of a ‘b’ (pretty obvious) but it’s also another version of sunning, supported by plastic, vinyl or rubber filled with air. It allows for a softer sunbathe, kind of like basking on a tanning bed and lolling in a water bed all at the same time. Very retro!

P.S. – This pursuit is best accomplished in quiet coves or in channels with slow-moving water. It’s good to stay out of the way of waves and the more active — usually youthful — energetics of high-speed drive-bys.

4. Skiing/Tubing

Other than the shared mode of locomotion, and the fact both occur on water, these two activities have absolutely zero in common. One can appear clunky in the early stages of learning, but like a swan it evolves to elegant and graceful with practice.  The other is just downright rudimentary, with little participant control, involving a very nearly adversarial relationship with a rope. Both are fun – in their own ways – and the common denominator for both is a simple two-word phrase: HANG ON!

5. Jet Skiing

Boating on steroids. Singular, exciting, and dynamic!  Sitting (or standing) astride a jet ski allows lake views to go by at what seems like high speeds (but you’re really not going all that fast – just spurt sprints), and it feels like you’re on a waterborne motorcycle, whipping around the water, revisiting your childhood.  Open water is better than coves – and keeps you from annoying your neighbors.

6. Sailing

The beauty of sailing is that you always have the right of way. That’s because this is a leisurely pursuit, usually lacking in mechanical motivation, except to get out into the open water.  Once there, the quiet flap of a jib is about the only sound you hear. Sailing on lakes like Chatuge, Lake Blue Ridge or Lake Nottely is a unique identity, because most plying these waters are in vessels that are under power. Which gives sailors a bit of panache.

7. Sunsets

Obviously, sunsets are not unique – they happen almost every day. But a sunset on a lake is different. First of all, by way of some odd science  — refraction, we think – sunsets that drop onto the water horizon and sink beneath the surface are significantly larger than those on land. That makes for stunning photo opportunities or you can just relax and enjoy! The end of a day on the lake is like a mini-celebration of life – a reminder to appreciate the moment before looking forward to the next.

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