5/11/22 – Patrolling the Pond

     Rain & Clouds go away make the Sun and Temps come our way!  It’s almost May, come on boating weather.

     Before I go into the two rules that are broken the most on the lake, I would like to make a point about the importance of reading the LOTAWANA NEWS.  I hear so many individuals remark:  “What’s going on today?”,  “I wish I had known know about that event”,  “What is happening at the Yacht Club with the band?”, “Why is skiing restricted today?”, and “When did that become a new rule?.”  The Lotawana News is the “heart beat” of our community.  It provides human interest stories, Association News, City News, coming events with times and dates, stories about our kids attending Mason Elementary, The Community Club, The Beautification Committee, Buddy Bass Results, Sailing Events & Results, Contact Names and Phone Numbers to obtain access to the Boat Ramp and Trailer Lot, Local Advertisements, Letter to the Editor, Pictures of our homeowners’ travels, Classified Ads, and even Obituaries.  This publication is part of your yearly dues and mailed to every homeowner.  Noel Runkle is a fantastic editor following the steps of Barbara Cooley.  I know many individuals including myself look forward to opening my mail and reading this great newspaper. 

     Okay, the two rules broken the most.  They are not flagrant, but are becoming more and more an issue with the increasing number of watercrafts on our Lake.  Number One:  Docking Lights especially Pontoons.  Docking Lights shall only be displayed within 100 feet of shore when approaching a dock.  The patrol stops about 3 to 5 pontoons every night going down the lake with bow lights on and the docking lights.  Many of the newer watercraft have lights that are blinding and become a distraction to other traffic.  The funny part is when stopped by the patrol and they are informed to turn off these lights……it take 1-3 minutes for this to happen.  The driver is unfamiliar of the location for this switch, so they just start hitting buttons, mostly the red/green bow lights.  Everyone should know their instrumentation panel and what each switch/button is for.  Don’t you in your car?  This summer, the patrol is going to issue a Warning Citation for this infraction, next time there will be points awarded.  This should Never Happen, but it will. 

      Number Two: ski flags.  Most boaters do a good job flying their flag properly; however, there is that handful of individuals that put their flag up and then don’t pay any attention to it while skiing.  A Ski Flag is flown at the highest point…….ski boats……if you do not have a rack, then it must be from the windshield to the bow, if you have a rack, then at the highest point of the tower.  (Not the side)  Pontoons…..up towards the bow or at the front part of the canopy, ( not the back stern light )  If your flag is not highly visible then one on the bow and one on the stern.  The problem especially with ski boats, the flag does not stay perpendicular and bends back at a 45-degree angle.  This becomes a safety issue.  The most ironic part of this story, the ski boats that I stop are in the $80 k to $100 k range are tying or using a bungee cord to secure the flag to the tower……. not a ski flag clamp/holder.  Go on line….Overton’s or even on Amazon……they have several models of safe clamps/holders.  The driver or another individual in the watercraft should keep and eye on the flag and make sure it stays upright at all times.  If you are stopped by the patrol for not keeping your flag perpendicular, a warning citation will be issued and then points on the second occurrence.  Why is Patrol doing this…….our lake is small, for us to continue these activities, we must keep everyone safe.  The flag informs boaters you are pulling a skier.  Our traffic on weekends keeps increasing especially Saturday/Sunday in the afternoons.  Think about it, we have pleasure boaters, skiers, PWC’s, fishermen, and sailing going on and many new individuals on our lake.  We haven’t had a major accident in over 25 years……Let’s Keep It That Way!

     On a side note………..Please before you venture out on the water…..CHECK YOUR GAS GAUGE !   I’ve already towed 3 boats that have gone empty.  Last season the patrol towed 69 watercraft and over half because of gas.

     Everyone do a Sun Dance and hopefully our favored temps will be upon us soon.


      See YA