Travis and I are taking a mandatory vacation in Windsor, Ontario this week. What the heck is a mandatory vacation, you ask? This one came about after we were informed that the Transport Canada rules had been changed, requiring us to have a commercial boating certification to operate the Eagle Falls Lodge barge. Sounds like a good time, right? I think Travis and I will start going by “captain” this summer. We will have our small vessel operator proficiency (SVOP) certificate and our Marine Emergency Duties (MED) course completed. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it?
It has actually been very informative (lets hope we each pass the exam!) and a nice refresher as to how to be more aware and operate a boat safely, improve navigational accuracy, identify various vessels by lights and sound, and collision prevention guidelines.
We just sent in our membership renewal to the Red Lake Safe Water Association this week, as well. This group of volunteers maintain the buoys on Red Lake, and help to monitor the status of lights, etc., on the water to ensure the safety of all vessels. This non-profit group provides several navigational aids on the Red Lake – Gullrock Lake system and receives most of its funding through membership.
Here at Eagle Falls, we mark rocks, etc. on Parker Lake each spring ourselves. In addition, we place more markers within the immediate vicinity to our camp on Red Lake to further mark rocks, logs, shoals, etc. This is important to protect the individual and the vessel.
So when you are out in the boat this summer having fun, keep in mind all the factors necessary to play it safe!
FYI – 11 days until walleye season opener, and it looks like there will still be ice on Red Lake! Good thing our first group doesn’t arrive until the following week. Yikes!