Archived Story

Lacey and crew make nautical misstep at Point Howell

Published 10:25am Friday, July 12, 2013

We are on a boat!

I have failed to mention that John and I are current and proud owners of a ’98 Playbuoy. So the old saying goes that the best days in a boat owner’s life are the days they buy and sell said boat. It was a grand day indeed.

Hunter green and cream, the bench seats are extra long, with limited cracking, and fold down into a sunning bed. Say that fast three times. It even came with a few dents so I can practice my parking skills with a clean conscience.

I have had a boating license since I was 16 and have been the passenger on hundreds of boat rides. I have often steered. I may have parked once prior to this summer.

I bring to you a boating tale…

John was heading out of town for the weekend.

“Do you plan to take the boat out? I can fill it up with gas if so,” John asked.

“No, no. I’m not that comfortable yet. Go on ahead and I’ll work on my tan,” I replied sweetly.

Fast forward 24 hours to a scene in the front lawn with Jessica Sanford and Bess Granger. It’s in the nineties, and we are sweating on the shoreline.

“It sure is hot. Sure would be nice if we could take the boat,” Bess mentions causally.

“I don’t know…” I reply.

Jessica smells my vulnerability and goes in for the jugular.

“We can take that boat out. We should take the boat out. The three of us have got this.”

I explain that sometimes it doesn’t crank on the first try, and we can only try twice, and I do not know how to put gas in it.

Jessica waves away this trivial nonsense away.

I pick up the blue gas cans and shake their nearly empty contents. I spy tiny red cans sitting on the other side of the boat house. We now have plenty to propel us to Pleasure Point. Three girls plus a very helpful Great Dane manage to fill the boat up without too much spillage.

We toss beach bags and a cooler on the boat. We’re ready. I try to crank it and it sputters before dying. Expletives are said once I realize the engine was not in the water. One try wasted. We must not tell John, I emphasize.

Try number two and the Playbuoy roars to life! We cheer! We fist pump! We reverse and speed away, if you can speed going thirty miles per hour, to Pleasure Point. I proceed to do an ugly park that can be blamed on the ferocious winds. Thankfully you can count on the gas boys for assistance.

I mistakenly parked by the premium tanks. Whoops. Fill’er up!

Later as we girls are driving back to the cabin victorious, we call John to check in and share our maiden solo voyage.

First question out of his mouth:

“You didn’t use those red gas cans did you?”


“Lacey, those are oil and gas mixes for the weed eater.”

Birds chirp.

“I only used about half a gallon of that…” I start.

John grits teeth, mumbles, and hangs up. I can feel his unspoken fury from hours away.

I call my brother who assures me my fancy premium gas canceled out the mix. I solved that problem without even trying!

All captains got to get their sea legs!

In case you are wondering, hot shower number one was amazing. However, hot shower number two resulted in the showerhead flying off and narrowly missing my head.

Howell works as an advertising representative for Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., in addition to writing this column. Contact Howell at to keep her In the Loop of events.