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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Friday, May 01, 2009


First ya gotta try saying TOY BOAT 3 times as fast as you can….how’d it go??? Well, maybe you could start out with just 2 times…how’d that go??

Toy Boat is what our last boat was.

There is no way to describe this boat. When we went boat shopping, we both had different ideas of what we wanted. Dan wanted a small pontoon and I wanted a bass boat…and we had a limited budget for it.

What we found was a mishmash between the two. It is hard to describe and I can’t show you a photo because this was before the digital age. My photos of it, where ever they may be, are not digital.

But for the description; the “hull” of the boat was white fiberglass. Each side of the hull had “floats” like pontoons have (also white fiberglass). The upper part, where you sat, was done in a beautiful deep blue. The indoor/outdoor carpet was this deep blue, the cushions along each side were deep blue, the “captain’s chair” by the motor was a padded, swivel seat done in this blue AND IT HAD A DECK WITH A PADDED SWIVEL SEAT too! There was a little live well for all the fish you would catch. The overall length of this boat was 12’ (maybe a bit longer, can’t remember) and the MASSIVE MOTOR was 10 whole HP!!! Boy could we make waves!!

This boat couldn’t be sunk if it was overflowing with water. We fell in love at first sight. We called it a Batoon (BA for Bass and TOON for pontoon). Dan and I have never seen another one like it and I have searched online trying to find one so you could see it. Included with the boat was the little trailer with which to haul it….all for $2999.00 You can tell this has been years ago!

We couldn’t wait to get it in the water. The first time we launched it (which was pretty darn effortless), some kids were at the boat launch fishing from shore. One came over and said “Hey, Mister! What the heck is that anyway?” We both replied “It is a TOY BOAT.” The name stuck. We then got a can of beer so we could properly christen it (didn’t want to use a bottle of beer in case the bottle actually DID break on impact…then we would have a mess of broken glass to clean up and Dan would have been out 12 ounces of brew!)

As I recall there were a few others out on the lake that day. They were waving, pointing, bellowing and having a high old time. We, in turn, waved back and yelled “Are ya getting’ any bites?” Those same guys must’ve all been deaf (or they didn’t hear the question over the sound of their bellowing drifting across the lake.) Yep, looked like a sociable group and a good day to fish…no waves, sunshine abound and few boaters on the lake.

We didn’t need bug spray but felt it would be a good idea to put on some suntan lotion (NOW known as sunscreen). After washing the lotion off our fingertips, we both proceeded to put night crawlers on our hooks. DID YOU KNOW BEES CAN DETECT SUNTAN LOTION OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF A 400 ACRE LAKE?? We figured THAT had to be the reason we suddenly had so many bees at our boat. No one else seemed to be bothered by it (unless those fishermen weren’t really waving and pointing at us?? Maybe THAT is why they didn’t answer the question “Are ya gettin’ any bites?”). They (the bees) even bothered us while we were trying to eat our sandwiches and it got to the point it was only safe to drink water from the water jug we brought along (the bees were very attracted to our pop cans).

There is something to be said about eating bologna sandwiches with ketchup on, out in the middle of a lake, while baiting your hook (is that ketchup on my finger or worm guts???) while trying to ignore the buzzing bees (who also seem to enjoy bologna sandwiches with ketchup). And remember the sunshine abound??? I think Dan and I in a boat, in the middle of a lake, could cure a drought.

It started to sprinkle, we thought nothing of it. It started to rain, we noticed other boaters heading for shore. The next size raindrops left welts on our skin so figured we better put our little 10 HP motor in high blower and head for the launch site.

While we waited in line to get to the launch, it turned from rain to RAIN….torrential rain type rain. It is a good thing this boat was unsinkable because by the time everyone else managed to get their rigs out of the water and away from the launch, we were soaked to the gills (yes ,that is supposed to be a fishing pun).

So this was our first adventure with our little Toy Boat and we had loved every minute of it…except the soaking part that is.


  1. Ahhhh....stop. Just stop. Now you have me pining to get out on the lake with our bass boat.
    Guess what happened today? We woke up and all the ice has left our lake!!!
    Overnight! Of course the lake is high and flooding our shore (as it does every spring for about a week or two when it melts). So our dock looks like it is in the lake, but it is on the flooded shore.
    But I can't wait to get out there!
    Yours is a fun story that brings memories of our first trip out every year!
    The Retirement Chronicles

  2. Gary - BC,MI1:09 AM

    LOL...I can relate to nearly everything you said, starting to wonder if we might be distantly related. Hoping to put my boat in the water tomorrow !!!

  3. Retired One...you still had ice on your lake?! That is bad! Hope ya catch lots of fish this summer! Or at least have fun trying!

  4. Gary, ya never know! My Dad's real parents were from the BC area!

    We sold Toy Boat about a year after we moved up here and got as much for it as we paid for it. I guess the fella that bought it thought it was pretty unique too!

  5. sfeutz7:08 PM

    I'll have to tell you the story sometime about the boat that I bought that never left the garage. Except when it was sold. You see, my late husband, Jerry, didn't particularly like boats. Which I didn't know until after I convinced him to buy it. Would have been good information to have! Yep, it never left the garage. We lived 30 minutes from Lake Tahoe! Oh, well. . .

  6. Sandy...THAT in itself is a funny story! And kind of sad too...especially living so close to such a beautiful lake!

    We remember Jerry. He was here once to deliver a box of Valentine candy to Dan becuase my entry on your radio contest was the winner! But we remember him for other things besides that!


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