By Land or By Sea

Trip Start Mar 07, 1997
Trip End Dec 25, 1998

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Friday, July 17, 1998

Go with me? Even if you don't own a boat, chances are you have a friend who does. Or at the least you occasionally follow somebody who's trailering one down the highway, fishing gear piled hopefully in back.

This is boating country, my friends, a Chris Crafter's heaven. Ski boats, bass boats, slow boats, fast boats - all fit easily in a city that circles a 35,000-acre lake and bridges a major river. But all this water-based activity requires that we know what we're doing, and a good way to learn is through the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

They teach a springtime class at the Coast Guard Base about Boating Skills and Seamanship and a summer one (beginning August 24) about Boating Safety. But any time of the year they'll bring safety to you. They speak to Scouts and schools and civic groups and clubs and anyone who wants to know. They charge no fees, though you purchase any books needed.

"The rules of the river are based on courtesy," says Charlie Flowers, Auxiliary Division Captain. "But we also emphasize the practical things." They teach how to read a river chart, and how to maintain your boat trailer. Those red and black objects in the water are not for decoration - learn their purpose. Unplug your trailer's running lights before you launch your boat. Cross the safety chains. And don't forget to put in the plug.

If you want to meet some of these nice, all-volunteer Auxiliary folks this weekend, stop by Chickamauga Marina or Island Cove where they'll be handing out boating information in connection with National Clean Water Week. Children can go on a boat (to get the hang of things), and at Island Cove the Auxiliary will safety check your vessel. See you there.

Chickamauga Marina and Island Cove Marina, Chattanooga
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