Best Day On The Water: Boat As Matchmaker

By Bill Ante

Matchmaker cartoonIllustration: Gary Hovland

As a 50-year-old bachelor who'd been hoping to do America's Great Loop for at least a decade, I almost gave up on my dream of finding a partner who enjoyed adventure and the water. Then a call came from a friend who chaired a singles group. He asked if I'd attend a meeting to help plan singles functions. I didn't feel comfortable with the idea and said I was busy. He begged me to reconsider, and I thought about my single sister who was down for Thanksgiving and who might like to go. Reluctantly, I accepted.

As soon as I walked in, I noticed an attractive woman. My friend introduced us, and during our conversation she mentioned she enjoyed outdoor activities, including boating.

On our second date, I took Kathy out fishing. Sure enough, she not only liked it, she tried to out-fish me! After a nice day catching speckled trout and visiting Caladesi Island near Clearwater, Florida, we took the boat back to the marina, loaded it on the trailer, and parked it.

I excused myself to visit the marina restroom, saying I'd be right back. My stop included buying beer. While chatting with the marina manager, both of us looked over to notice Kathy ... cleaning the boat! The manager, who was used to seeing my previous dates run for hills after a day of boating with me, asked, "Did you ask her to do that?"

"No, of course not," I said.

"Bill," he quickly responded, "she's a keeper."

We've been married for 15 years now — and completed the Great Loop together in 2013. 

— Published: December 2018


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