Dear Crabby, What if I am afraid of boats?

Dear Crabby,

I have always been afraid of boats. I don’t know why, but I am not a very good swimmer and I assume that is why I don’t enjoy them.  My family wants to go out on a boat this summer, but I am just terrified.  Is there anything I can do to get over this fear?

Sincerely, Ineeda Floatee

Dear Ineeda Floatee,

This is a tough one for me.  I grew up around boats and I love being out on them.  As a child my father had a cabin out on Harsens Island, just across the way from Detroit. We would drive a wooden boat with an outboard motor all the way over there.  I started making the trip on my own at about age 13. We would sometimes stop and swim in Muscamoot Bay or one of the other areas that were good for swimming. MyDearCrabby brother and I would drop anchor and dive right off the bow of the boat. Sometimes, we could just spend hours out there.  I remember seeing bald eagles flying overhead and all sorts of ducks and wildlife there.  It’s hard to believe that we were just 15 miles away from Detroit and were experiencing all of that. But all of that aside, as I grew older I realized that not everyone had the opportunity to be on the water as much as I did.  There were many people that I tried to teach how to water ski or even just to drive the boat and they were scared out of their minds.  I remember taking my mother-in-law out for her first ride; she was so frightened.  We were up in Port Huron and were going under the Blue Water Bridge. She asked if she was going to get wet and if there were any possibility of falling in.  I told her there was no way she would get wet as long I was driving.  About five minutes later, a huge freighter came by and I turned into the waves by mistake and a large wave came right over the bow of the boat, soaking all of us. The look on my mother-in-law’s face was about the same as that of my first cat when I dropped it in the bathtub as a kid.  Her response was similar to the cats too! I think if she had claws she would have dug them into me. So, I guess my first piece of advice is that you should know and trust your captain, which my mother-in-law never will again. The second piece is to wear a life jacket if it makes you feel more at ease.  There is nothing wrong with having a little floatation device on while enjoying the ride.  Whether you ever need it or not, it is a good move to wear it. I’m guessing there were a couple hundred people on the Titanic that wished they had been wearing one. So good luck, and don’t be afraid – you only live once you know!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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