The first boat launch of the season was made last Friday at the Catawba Moorings on Catawba Island. Marina owner Rockey Piacentino says it's a ritual to put the classic Pacemaker "Emerald" in the water the first week of March.
Emerald owner Captain Dick Sisson of Sandusky says, "A boat's place is in the water."
His is no doubt the first one to go in this year. Because the marina is still solid ice, the launch area first had to be cleared of ice.
When Sisson was asked if seeing his boat in the water made him happy, he replied, "Yes, now I'm happy."
The 78 year-old Captain predicts the ice will leave sooner than some expect. As soon as it does, he will head his boat to Middle Bass Island Yacht Club to commission the club house and docks for the coming season, another spring ritual.