Ozark - Season 2022 - The BoatPosted in Family with tags vacation , travel -
The one thing we did that was “productive” on Monday outside of making food and fixing drinks was to decide on renting a boat for a day. Todd and Sandi had been out earlier that day checking out the area and found a rental place called Pirate Petes where we could rent a pontoon that would sit 12 (we had 13, but we figured we would chance it). So this morning, Todd, Tim, and I went to Pirate Pete’s to pickup our boat. This was about the time where we marveled at how much the Ozarks area has leaned into the Pirate mythos. I presume they encountered lake pirates at some point in their distant past… Probably from Illinois…
The dock was about 6 miles from our place by road, so it took us about 15 minutes to get there. Upon arrival, we descended the steepest decline poor Freddie Flex has encountered to the waterfront where we parked, engaged the parking break, then continued to the shed to pay for our rental. Manning the shed was a woman in a T-shirt that read, “You’re fucked in the head.” I had a feeling this place was pretty casual! She took our money and pointed us in the direction of the docks where there was a young girl hanging out in a bikini all by herself. Silly me, I figured she was just a guest to this establishment, but no, she was the safety instructor and was the one in charge of getting us acquainted with our boat, a brand new, 2013 Lowe Tri-hull pontoon with a 200 horsepower engine. This thing was no joke!
After some basic safety instructions, Ted came strolling by with an older man who asked where our cabin was. We explained where (he asked what mile marker we were at, but we had no idea), and he told us that we were around Mile Marker 8. Pirate Pete’s was at Mile Marker 35. Some quick math told us we were 27 miles away by boat!!! The man went back and forth in front of us, telling us how they never rent to people that far away because it was difficult to support them if something went wrong. However, given that the boat was brand new (we were the first ones to take it out) and how quiet the lake was that week, he said it was fine if we were good with it. The three of us agreed that a bird in the hand was better than one closer to our cabin, so we took him up on the offer and headed back towards our cabin, 27 miles away!!!
Tim mostly captained the boat for our 27 mile trek. And honestly, it was a really great way to see all of the lake. We had a pretty limited view in our little cove, which we thought was the actual lake. In fact, the lake was quite wide with tons of lake homes and resorts on it! Along the way, we encountered a few other vessles - not a ton, but a few notable ones. We saw two boats which we figured to be police boats given they each had 3 outboard motors on the back. We also encountered some gigantic speed boats, things I would normally expect to see only in the ocean, and MAN did they throw a wake! We also saw a number of other pontoons, jet skis, and smaller fishing vessels. All told it took us about 75 minutes to get back to our cabin.
The rest of the day went pretty much like the prior day. Lots of swimming, lots of drinking. A few groups of people took some minor excursions with the boat, which we docked on the “Boat Dock” while we weren’t using it. That in itself was sort of tricky as the U-shaped opening where we were to park wasn’t much wider than the boat itself, but we managed!
That evening, we decided to go out to eat, the only time the whole group would eat away from the cabin together. Directly across from our cabin was an establishment called Shady Gators, and right next to that was Horny Toads, which was where we targeted our boat. When we got there, 3 teenage girls helped us to dock our boat, and we got off and went into the building, which was alarmingly empty! The food was “fine.” It was basic American faire - burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, etc. Really nothing to write home about, but it was fun to get out and explore the touristy parts of the lake.
We took on the final 8 miles of lake before heading back to the cabin. At Mile Marker 0 was the dam which created this whole thing. That answered the question of whether this was a natural lake or not! It was a nice ride, but uneventful - there just wasn’t a lot of traffic out on the lake.
That evening was much of the same, drinks upstairs before an early bed.