Handing over the keys…to the boat

My 16-year old got his drivers license a few months back.  With trepidation we handed over the keys to my Toyota Land Cruiser so he could be mobile.  I was a nervous wreck but we had practiced, reviewed all the rules of the road and in the end, we had to let him go and learn.

Now he wants to use the boat.

We bought a 15-foot Tracker all aluminum jon boat from a friend last June and pieced together the 25-horsepower Yamaha motor, new hubs, required safety equipment and some help from friends at Mike’s Marine in Lafayette to get it up and seaworthy.

The little boat runs like a champ and I’m really excited about taking the kids out for rides and fishing trips around our area.  But now my son is ready to take it out.  Again, nervousness on my part.

Louisiana law requires residents 16 and older to now have a Louisiana boater’s license in order to operate a boat.  Cam took the online course offered by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and passed.  He’s been out with me in a boat since he was a little boy so he’s ready.  It’s just me.


The Toyota Land Cruiser loaded up with gear for an after fishing trip.

Today we took the boat out and I set it up where he had to do all the the work.  He had to latch it on to his SUV.  He had to lock and secure everything down.  He drove it to Pecan Island and he backed it in, drove the boat and loaded it back in to the trailer.  Some of it wasn’t pretty but overall he did well and he learned a lot.


Cam munching on sunflower seeds before taking off to test run the Tracker boat.

I feel better too.  We will keep practicing, but soon, like driving, we will have to have faith and trust and let him go.   It’s part of the job.



Congress passed the Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014

The Senate passed the Federal Duck Stamp Act of 2014 this week, which will raise the price of a federal waterfowl stamp from $15 to $25.  Ninety-eight cents of every dollar from a duck stamp purchase goes to leasing and protecting waterfowl habitat so this is a big deal for ducks and duck hunters.

This is the first fee increase for federal duck stamps since 1991.

See David Vitter (R-La) give a speech to Congress about the passing of the bill.  Also note the comment on how “this is how Congress works”.  I used this video in my civics class today.  Perfect timing since we are studying Congress anyway.

Just read Rules of the Red Rubber Ball

Last week I attended the 2014 ISTE conference in Atlanta.  One of the keynote speakers was Kevin Carroll, who turned out to be the best speaker that I’ve ever heard.  His story is truly motivational – his parents abandoned him when he was a little boy, his grandparents took him and his brother in, and he discovered play with a simple red rubber ball.  What he learned from that red rubber ball helped him lead a life with few boundaries.  He lives and extraordinary life.  His life story at the conference was inspirational.

After I got back from the conference and a week of camping with the Boy Scouts of Troop 446 from Lafayette, I checked Rules of the Red Rubber Ball out at the local library.  I read it in about an hour.  It mirrors the story he told at ISTE, but went further with directions, places for notes and life-driving questions.  I’m going to buy this book and refer back to if often.  You never know when you get off course and need to be redirected. 

  • What is your red rubber ball?
  • What would you do for free?
  • What activities enthrall you?
  • What in life do you find irresistible, a source of inspiration, a reason to get out of bed?
  • What dream do you chase?
  • What topics do you love to discuss and ponder?
  • What is your primal source of joy?

Go check the book out and follow Kevin Carroll.  Red Ball Project