Friday, 22 May 2009

Neighbourly Cottage Visitors -Dos of cottage life/boating

Neighbourly Cottage Visitors
  1. My neighbours keep their music to themselves, know how far sound travels, and understand that we have different tastes in music and respect our bedtime.
  2. When my neighbours build a fire they ensure that they don't let the smoke waft across our property. They check that there is no fire burning by-law in effect. They compost leaves, rather than burning them and putting hydrofluorocarbons in the air.
  3. They only rent their property to people who keep their pets under control. They keep their dogs off of our property, and they don't let their pets chase the wildlife off of our lawn or scare our pets.
  4. They teach renters about the etiquette of lake life and teach them how to paddle a canoe, run their boat properly, and sail our wee lake without ending up in trouble and requiring rescue! They waterski only during daylight hours and keep well away from sailboats & canoes. Traffic can be busy on busy weekends.
  5. They refrain from lighting fireworks seven nights in a row, especially week nights they know that some of us have to go to work in the morning.
  6. They have never fished thirty feet off of the dock of cottagers and respect the personal space. We only fear those who do, and their lures that get left at the bottom of our swimming area.
  7. They don't cruise aimlessly up and down the lake, dumping gas into the lake from their boat or Personal Watercraft polluting the air and water with its gas smell and noise.
  8. They stay away from our shoreline, keeping their speed low so as not to ruin vegetation, enervate us and dislodge wildlife from their shoreline habitat, respecting our Watch Your Wake� sign. In most provinces there is a 10 kph speed limit within 30 metres (100 feet) from shore. Fine is $125. Maximum fine is $500 or six months imprisonment. (Canada Shipping Act: Boating Restriction Regulations)
  9. If they waterski they don't go into our lake's little lagoon, which is narrow and not suited to their noisy machines. They stay away from swimmers and only ski during daylight hours. They refrain from swearing and assaulting our ears with fouls language, which carries easily across the water, and respect our right to living in a peaceful Muskoka.
  10. They keep their boat clean, and refrain from dumping pollutants in our waters. Many of our fellow cottagers must use lake water for their drinking and cooking.
What to remember: boating safety
  1. Only swim with others. Swimmers are at great risk in cottage country. No one should be at the water unsupervised. Death by drowning cannot be a pretty sight.
  2. Little kids should be supervised carefully. Last year I saw two little girls wandering around a barge deck at the end of the dock - 30m from mom on the cottage deck. They did not have lifejackets on.
  3. Boating and drinking is still a concern. Safe boating is a vigilant practice. This is a self-inflicted wound and highly preventable by following the safe driving Transport Canada guidelines. Those who operate a boat must have operator cards. The Safe Boating Guide is required knowledge to pass this test.
  4. Passengers cannot be sitting in front of drivers, especially small children.
  5. Lifejackets are a must. Label yours as the wind can pick them up and take them down wind! Put on your life jacket. Emergency crews and neighbours do not want to have to rescue you! Life jackets need to be 'onboard' Personal Water Craft (PWC), but they are so very dangerous and cannot be accessed in an emergency.
  6. Ensure that you bring clothes to allow for every weather condition. Life by the water can be cool in the night while hot in the day. We are often 5 degrees cooler than, for example, Toronto only a couple of hours to the south. Several sets of clothes are wise for kids. I know mine always had a 'soaker' within the first hour of their visit.
  7. Be prepared with sun lotion, bug spray, and moisturizer for those inevitable dry skin or sun burn episodes. Band-aids and a First Aid kit are important tools.
  8. Ensure that you have enough towels. Young kids get cold.
  9. If you bring water toys buy a repair kit for an emergency.


Anonymous said...

This is a great post. I am sending an email to all our summer renters next week covering many of these things and will direct them to take a look at the post.

Jenn Jilks said...

Thank you, Heather. Your Cottage Blogger site, and your book, are terrific information pieces. I take this as a high compliment. I shall revise this page with new thoughts and feedback.

You are right when you write in your blog about cottage life being a different culture for many city dwellers. There is a lot to think about, especially your neighbours and wildlife. I can hear the young lady across the lake singing from time to time. People have no comprehension of this.

We had firecrackers last night. Hooray Canada Day! It scared the h3ll out of the cats, and me. We can hear hunters in the fall and it is a bit creepy for those unused to such sounds.

at the cottage said...

Great! Thank you.

Sheesh around here the fireworks, which I love- BUT - were set off over 5 nights and started early until quite late. Sigh...I hate to sound like a cranky old lady - but enough already. Where the heck are their parents???!!

Jenn Jilks said...

It is true. And you aren't a 'cranky old lady'! It is so intrusive. People would not set them off in their backyards, why do they think they can set them off at the lake, where wound travels even better?! Everyone has their desire for peace and quiet, too. Some set off fireworks, others do bonfires. It is horrible and very non-environmentally friendly.

I went over to a neighbour's house and asked when they would be done. We had a colicky granddaughter at the time, and I was still on anti-depressants, for bereavement issues. I was shooed home.