In boating, when you drive a boat, you leave a wake behind. You are responsible for it, legally and morally.
In life, being a Christian carries a lot of responsibility for our actions toward others. In fact, just being a good person or good neighbor does the same. Even if you are none of the above, good sense should require you to at least consider your actions and what they leave behind you. Consider it your personal “wake”. You are responsible for your “wake”.
Titus was a young pastor who Paul gave instructions to, for himself and for the leaders of the church: “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity and dignity” — TITUS 2:7
We should follow that advice in every aspect of our life and make sure those we leave “in our wake” are positively influenced, not left bobbing and in worse condition than when we passed by.
Now, back to boating. As you probably know if you are a regular reader, the channel at Lake D’Arbonne is full of white perch. The channel is also full of boatloads of white perch fishermen. They are in the middle of the “boat run” because that’s where the fish are right now.
Some others aren’t white perch fishing and like running in big fast boats from one end of the lake to the other. That creates a potential conflict that has been, for the most part, handled very well the past couple of months. People have been considerate, took their time and went around the fishing flotilla. Saturday, I witnessed what I hope was an isolated case. Two big fishing rigs running up the big lake together reached a group of 20-30 white perch boats along a 200-yard stretch in the channel just off Terrel Island. The big boats slowed down some, but not much. At one point, as they zoomed through running 30 MPH, possibly more, they had to bob and weave to avoid other boats. They slowed just enough to make their wakes even bigger. It wasn’t pretty.
The boaters could have idled through the area like everybody else did and it would have cost them maybe 2-3 minutes of their day. Instead, they raced off to win the day against the fish like it was life or death.
In their wake, they left angry, head-shaking fishermen wondering if somebody dropped the drivers on their heads as babies.
Just for the record, slowing down isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the law. Louisiana boating law defines Reckless Operation as operating any vessel in a criminally negligent or reckless manner. Examples of illegal, reckless operation are: Boating in a restricted area such as weaving through congested waterway traffic or leaving a wake in a “No Wake” Zone. By the way, “No wake” zones have been established on all Louisiana waterways within 300 feet of a boat ramp that is open to the general public. Careless Operation is failing to operate a vessel in a careful and prudent manner and thereby endangering the life, limb, or property of any person. That includes the impact of the wake you and your boat leave behind.
In boating, always be responsible and realize you are responsible for your wake. Consider others. In life, do the same. Consider your wake. It follows you wherever you go…