On a crystal summer day on Lake Winnipesaukee, we took a tour on the Doris E. A tour of the lake, mind you. A tour of the Doris E would be limited to an upper deck with exhaust blowback; bridge; cabin with chips, Snickers, and a head; and the bow, where we eventually ended up.
I can recommend this tour, especially if you are looking for the kind of stimulation that doesn't require you to do anything, which was the vibe of our crew as we rolled into Meredith: Dr A, Otto, Bruce Wayne, and myself.
I'll be the old one. Dr A should really be the one reading Camille Paglia.
(if you would like to catch up on characters, you may link now, but I find it more enjoyable to read first and link later. But whatever suits your lunch hour)
For 2 hours you will hop from shore to shore, being treated to the sights and facts and the stunning panorama of a mountain lake. There are no pictures; we all forgot our cameras.
Dr A (with irony): "How will know I had a good time?" This line in response to my admission that I no longer remember any anecdotes of our North Carolina vacation some years ago except those in the videotape we made of it.
There is nothing fancy about the Doris E - It seats about 50 in plastic ER waiting room chairs and is open to the air. There is a crew of 2. I have already mentioned the dining car.
Winnipesaukee is the 3rd largest fresh water lake in the US (asterisk - contained within 1 state. So they claim. Even then, I could not corroborate this fact in 10 minutes of online research. Winnipesaukee did not make the top 20 on wikipedia, but when you consider that most things ahead of it are shipping channels, I think we can still be impressed. The Quabbin Reservoir is only half this size, not a true lake, and you can't take a boat tour. Where was I?)
So the Mary Celeste--- I mean, Doris E. We are alternating between chairs and rail, all enjoying not being at work. Until...
I complain a lot about not having what I consider a practical trade, but times like this on a boat when abolsutely no one needs the have their idea broken down into tasks and timelines, I can be grateful.
Waiting on the pier at Weir's beach for "the all clear to go ashore on the gangway," a boy of about 6 or 7, sitting in front of us with his grandmother, suddenly fell to the floor. Slipped on water? Tripped on rope? Who even knows, but I saw it myself, and I charge that his guardian angel wrestled him out of his chair onto the floor. They can be scampish that way.
We heard this loud thrrrump (it trilled, shakesperean, because it was dramatic) and he popped up, looking stunned, then burrowed into Nanny's lap, mostly because the 9 year old girl in another party had also seen this happen.
Dr A assured Bruce Wayne, "You're on vacation."
He's fine, we all murmered to each other, he's fine, embarassed, what happened? but fine. Until... a few minutes later... we notice the dark stain spreading through his hat. Down his neck.
Wow. Um... Wow. "Bruce?"
For a minute or two, he tried to let the proper authorities handle the situation. After all, hadn't we been treated to a safety lecture each time we left a dock on this island hopping tour? Isn't this a Merchant Vessel on the 3rd largest lake (with some disclaimers) in the United States? Our captain appeared with bottled water and a paper towel. Several adults provided useless care to a scared boy with blood on his hands.
Too much to ask of a certain kind of man, really.
He stepped over, put his hands on the boy's shoulders and said, "What happened, buddy, did you bust your melon?"
Dr. A exchanged raptured looks and declared him Dreamy.
The mother from the other family (they are not with the injured party) says, in a hopeful and not suspicious way, "Are you are a doctor?"
"I'm a medic," he answers. ("ma'am," would have been too much. And out of chatacter, really.)
Over lunch, he had been telling us the importance of having his ambulance set up just so, because in a trauma situation, you can't fumble for your 4x4s, and if you have to ask a stander-by "Hand me the gauze!" it should be folded and placed label-out so they can see that's what it is. And of course he is right, and I said he would get no dissent from this group -- Dr A the Covey Keeper, Otto the original Anal Retentive Orientation Leader, and your humble narrator you already know.
He had one such stander-by bring him gauze and tape, dropped us from his field of vision, and taped up a boy who was now no doubt as in love with him as the rest of us. They put the bloody hat right over the bandage to hold it down, and our friend took his seat again.
who was that masked man?
Some more feckless jerking by the merchant crew, on and about the boat, including this guy, who may have been the company's medic, but he never said so. He yells over the bow, "Who was the paramedic," and I did not yell back, "Well not YOU," because I don't like to make a scene ( I like to write a scene) and our man stood tall, all shoulder and bicep tattoos, and said "It's a quarter inch lac," in that "nothing to see here" way we like in our first responders.
well that was too much for us. we weren't letting that go all day.
Nanny and the Boy did not exit the boat -- perhaps you might have chosen differently. Perhaps his mother his saying this right now as she calls her girlfriends with this story. But they stayed with the tour, and eventually our injured soldier came around and was back on the rail enjoying getting sprayed in the face and getting some attention from the girl from the other party (who, I should add also "checked in," as they teach them nowadays, after the adults had left by looking him in the face and saying in true empathy, "are you okay?" Paul Harvey will add, "and that girl grew up to be... Eleanor Roosevelt. and now you know...")
There is no moral or conclusion to this story. It's a blog, not Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories.
The captain let the injured boy drive the boat for a while and when we docked again, there was interest in filling out an incident report. I suggested Bruce note on his contact information that he was the only one to take any meaningful action (because now I think I am at work too and we should track this risk).
We went back to Surly Acres for wine and cheese.
No one fell off the deck.