Waterscapes My Love Affair

By Jim Allen

My love affair with boats began when I read "Tom Sawyer." Tom's raft fired my already overactive imagination. Floating down the river on a raft and seeing all of the sites, including Mississippi River boats, seemed then, and now, an idyllic way to spend time.

Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens) wrote in the preface to "Tom Sawyer": "Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in."

Mark Twain was only the beginning for me. My world was soon filled with fantastic voyages and adventures brought to me by other authors. James Michener led me all over the South Pacific. Henry David Thoreau took me on journeys through the mind made possible by his descriptions of Walden Pond.

However, it begins for each of us when the boating bug comes; it is with us for life.

The theme of this month's Arizona Boating & Watersports is "Boats, Boats, Boats." What better way for boys and girls of all ages to revitalize their imaginations than to look at and dream about boats?

When you talk to a boater, you are talking to someone who has not lost the ability to enjoy the wonders that the world has to offer, someone who is still in touch with the fun, imaginative side. Boaters are a breed unto themselves. No matter where you go, if you are a boater, you have friends. The camaraderie is always there.

This month's Arizona Boating & Watersports covers many varieties of boating. For kayaks, we have Nancy Kanu's column "Liquid Lifestyles" (Nancy owns Canyons & Coastlines Kayak School).

If you are into hot boats, The Arizona Hot Boat Association is participating in the Fall Poker Run in Havasu City Oct. 4-5. If you are looking for boating instruction, Arizona Game and Fish and United States Power Squadrons will be offering classes in September.

If you like fishing on Arizona's southern lakes, you will enjoy Margie Anderson's column "Arizona Angle" which features fishing and boating on Lake Mittry near Yuma. Mark Kile's column "Hook-Up" talks about cooler-weather bass fishing. (Mark is optimistic that it is going to cool off soon.) Dennis Lynde of the Sailboat Shop brings us an article on new "plastic craft."

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