BLOG: Family Fun on a Pontoon Boat


Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~Mark Twain

A vacation in Door County is a perfect time to try something new. Sure, it's’ fun to experience the water from the safety of the beach, but consider renting a boat to view and explore Door County from the water.

Over the years, our yearly trip to Door County always included a morning on a pontoon boat. One year, we even convinced my parents to join us! Grandma and Grandpa usually spent the bulk of their Door County vacations enjoying the sights and sounds of Peninsula State Park, but they were willing to venture out of the Park to spend some time with us.

The night before, Grandpa, usually the voice of reason asked, “Why can’t we just sit on the beach and swim?”

“Grandpa, we’ll have a lot more fun on the boat,” Beth explains. “We get up really early, and put our swimsuits on under our clothes. That way, we are ready to jump in the water as soon as we get out in the boat.  Don’t forget to go to the bathroom before we leave, because there isn’t one on the boat, Grandma.”

Marc chimed in, “Before we drive to the pier we go and get sandwiches so we can have lunch on the boat, I usually get ham and cheese. What kind of sandwich will you get Grandpa?”

The following morning, with our sandwiches, snacks and drinks safely packed in the cooler, we were ready to go. We arrived at the pier, filled the necessary paperwork out at the rental office, and listened in as the friendly dockhand explained the rules of the boat.

As we stepped onto the boat, there was a quick run for the seats. Grandma and Grandpa take advantage of the shade under the awning. The kids grabbed the seats in the front of the boat. Mike takes the wheel from the dockhand who drives the boat to the end of the pier for us, and I take the seat next to him.

“Grandpa, when we get to the deep water, do you want to jump in and swim with me?” asks Sean, “You can use a life jacket if you want.”

Grandpa chuckles, as a former Navy Seabee he has plenty of experience in the water, but thanks Sean for thinking of him.

Grandma prefers quieter activities, and lets the kids know that she brought some cards so they can play Crazy 8s. Later on during the trip, she takes advantage of the soft rocking of the boat and falls asleep.

During our yearly trip to Door County, our morning pontoon trip always provided some new adventures or spectacular views of the peninsula. Along with jumping off the boat to swim, playing games, reading, and eating lunch while watching the various boats in the waters around us, we enjoyed that extra time together as a family.