Winter can be a long, lonely season — and it’s even worse when the lake is frozen and your boat is on dry land. Not exactly your favorite place for it to be! Boating became such a huge part of our lives last summer, we almost didn’t know how we’d survive a few months without it. We miss the dock, we miss our friends, we miss the lake and those balmy summer sunsets. We’ve been fortunate to have a pretty mild winter this year, which helps, but we’ve found a few things to help us cope and keep the excitement for the next season going. Whether you have a boat or not, hopefully these tips will keep you connected to the lake and bring you a summer state of mind.
1 // GO DOWN TO THE LAKE…YES, EVEN WHEN IT’S COLD.
To be honest, I never used to spend time at the lake in the winter. I’m not a big cold weather girl, so the idea of spending time in freezing lake effect winds wasn’t appealing to me at all. At the end of the summer, I’d pack up my lake memories in a little box in my head, only to wait for next year to make new ones. It wasn’t until I started Shore Society that I began to really enjoy the lake in its winter state. I started going down to the water to take photos, walk the beach, listen to the ice creak or melt or trickle — whatever its doing that day — and it reconnected me with the water. I highly recommend strapping on your boots, bundling up, and walking down by the lake whenever you have a free minute. It’s always SO quiet, and I almost guarantee you’ll have the beach to yourself. How often does that happen in the summer? Plus, the sunsets in winter can be absolutely incredible! You don’t need to miss the lake, it’s still right there ;)
2 // HEAD TO THE BOAT SHOW
Attending the Cleveland Boat Show has become an annual tradition over here, and it’s a great way to get your boating fix in the middle of winter. Whether you’re in the market for a boat, a paddleboard, or nothing at all, it’s a fun place to spend a few hours and get excited about summer. There are always TONS of boats there, and where else will you get to walk around on a million dollar yacht (unless you’re friends with Beyoncé)? Grab a beer, a cup of lobster bisque, and pretend you’re at the dock — it’s a worthy winter substitute!
3 // BOAT IMPROVEMENTS
The offseason is the perfect time to be productive and make those little (or big) improvements while your boat is out of the water. We have a few things on our list for this year — adding a battery, installing some upgraded speakers, and finally putting on our name decal! Whatever it may be, it’s nice to say hi to your old pal and get it prepped and ready for the year ahead. The day you drop it in the water will be even sweeter with all the newer/better/faster upgrades you’ve made! Even if it’s just a good deep clean, it’s time and effort well spent.
4 // RETAIL THERAPY
The start of summer feels like back to school for me — it’s a fresh new year of possibilities, and I want some new supplies (and outfits!) to go along with it! Buying a few things for the boat or the pool gets me excited for the season, and also helps me to feel prepared. Last year, we focused mainly on getting the safety equipment and essentials we needed for the boat and the dock, and this year it’s more about the accessories — which is the fun stuff! Whether it’s your collection of life vests or your pool supply bag, take a look at what you have and see if anything needs to be replaced, upgraded or donated. Maybe treat yourself to a cozy sweatshirt for boat rides, or pull the trigger on that Yeti cooler you’ve had your eye on — it will make you smile while you wait to use it!
5 // A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS
One of the biggest things we’ve been missing are the people we used to see all the time — our dock mates, other club goers, and pool buddies. You run into people constantly and it’s honestly weird when you stop seeing them around all the time! We’ve been making a point to get together with friends whenever schedules allow, and keeping that fun rolling right through the offseason. One of the nice things about being part of a club is having a little home base to go back to — whether it’s for a winter event or just a nightcap, it’s nice to run into people again. We swap stories about the past season and plan for the season ahead — everyone is so passionate about boating and it’s infectious!
Just writing this post made me super excited for spring, I feel like we’re so close. Daylight Savings time in a couple of weeks is going to be huge! Can’t wait for that. How do you cope with your beach blues in the winter?