(OKOBOJI, IA) - There's no doubt the hot weather has people thinking about cool water - either taking a dip or boating.last year this time, everything on Lake Okoboji at Parks Marina was up and running weeks before May 14. Now it's a little bit different.
Dan Delperdang took Siouxland News Reporter Olivia Wilmsen for a spin on the lake during a record-breaking hot day in may. "To get the days on the water are very, very limited. This in fact is only my second time out there," said Delperdang.
That's because spring started a little later than usual this year.
"A little late? More like a lot late I would say! Yeah last year by this time we had all the hoists in and boaters were out enjoying it. Now they're probably 10 to 15 days behind schedule now," said Delperdang.
Parks Marina has been gearing up for hot days even when the weather hasn't cooperated. "Probably a lot of people don't realize how much work it is for us and all the other marinas and just getting the docks in the water and those extra weeks mean a ton. So I think people in Okoboji are chomping at the bit to get to the lake and get their boats in," said Debbie Parks, Director of Marketing for Parks Marina Inc.
Parks says her crew is a bit behind on scheduling and getting docks in the water before summer swings into full gear.
"And of course we finally get a nice day and the wind blows 30 miles an hour. So thank you weatherman!" said Parks with a smile.
But our weatherman didn't stop two ladies from enjoying the day. Laura Miller was celebrating her birthday. And what a better way to spend it than on the water! "This was long-time coming. You know winter was too long this year. It just makes it all the more fun," said Miller.
Her friend Julie tagging along for the fun. "Never get tired of the sun and great company. And you know it's just a great environment," said Julie Lias.
But remember: safety first.
"Definitely make sure you have your life jackets, your fire extinguishers, all your safety equipment in the boat. Make sure if you're picking up your boat from off-road from a marina, make sure that drain plug is in before you load your boat in the water," said Parks.
And most of all, be a courteous boater.
"I always tell people you got to drive defensively out there. You know you can do this, but you kind of have to watch out for the other people," said Delperdang.
"I just keep thinking I'm going to be positive and we're going to have a long summer and go well past into September and maybe even October," said Parks.
Another tip to keep in mind when you're putting your boat into the water is to check for invasive species. Parks says you need to wash and rinse your boat and make sure you're not bringing in any little creature that would harm the lakes' natural species.