Lake living means boating and enjoying the waterways no matter what day of the week. Normally, High Rock Lake is busiest on weekends and of course holidays. But there is a specific group who enjoys the lake through boat-filled gatherings twice a month on week days. Every second and fourth Tuesday evening, a group of boaters from Salisbury meet in the middle of High Rock Lake and have happy hour, merriment, and munchies. If you are out and about on your boat, you are welcome to join!
What is a Floatilla and How Did it Start?
Shirley Price and her husband, Ron, were enjoying lake activities with friends and family in their home state of Kentucky which included weekend stays and excursions on house boats. It was the epitome of entertaining while enjoying lake life. So, in July 2015 Shirley decided to create the High Rock Bi-monthly Floatilla. Her Facebook page catalogs great pictures from past outings and will let friends and members know when the next floatilla is scheduled.
A Big Working Puzzle
Getting to know your lake neighbors can be tricky sometimes. Some from the surrounding area come to the lake occasionally, while others live here year-round. Dozens of cove communities have created their own personalities. One such group is Anchor Downs. Most of these residents have known each other for years, enjoying what the lake has to offer such as the July 4th fireworks and even entering the Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival together under the team name “Anchors Up”.
I asked Shirley to share a few stories with me so that I can give some color to the happenings on High Rock Lake.
The Price’s always arrive first. Some of the boaters’ zip in like a race car and throw it in reverse for a perfect tie up. While others come in slow and precise. Regardless of the way they add to our floating neighborhood, no one has collided. We are all thankful for that.
To maximize space, most newer pontoons just have a door on one side making the floatilla ‘walk-through’ a little tricky. The Price’s boat doesn’t have a front deck, so they make do by lining up the back of their boat with another’s bow. It’s a big puzzle, that works.
Food is a hook for these gatherings. Simple, yummy, and sharable are the only requirements. Our most popular dish: Cindy Hart’s pigs in a blanket. Even if she can’t join the Floatilla on a night, the group requests her to make it and pass it along to me to bring onboard.
Floatilla guests have hailed from Kentucky, Arizona, and California. Locals Mark and Bernadine Wineka of the Salisbury Post have come out on a beautiful night which is picture perfect for a spread in Salisbury Magazine.
One evening several boats were tied up closer to shore than usual. Our normal spot is typically in the middle of Crane Creek. The wind was strong that night so the whole flock of us started to drift away en masse. One of our normal group members came to join, but since we were not in the normal spot, they kept going back and forth looking for us. The tied-up group kept yelling their names, but we all were laughing so hard they couldn’t hear us. As the saying goes, ‘we were hiding in plain sight’. It’s not that hard to find several boats tied up all together. The couple did eventually locate our floating paradise, and we all had a good laugh together.
If we drift too much even with anchors, we’ll pull the anchors up and the middle boat will move us ALL to a better place. Afterall, the party must go on! The last time this happened, the smallest boat was in the middle and we all called it the little engine that could!
Across the Channel
Floatillas have been popular on High Rock Lake for years. On the Davidson County side near Swearing Creek, a group gathers every Thursday evening beginning in April, weather permitting. This group even has an email network to confirm the 6:30 p.m. meet up is a go. With a 7 p.m. blessing, the evening is followed by a myriad of food prepared by friends, fellowship and sunset watching.
Normally six to 14 boats enjoy a mix of food, relaxation, and enjoying the view. Paula Noonan says, “There is no pressure with this group. If you want to be social come on over, tie up your boat, and jump into a conversation.” Paula and her husband, Jim, own a barge named ‘Dam Thang’. It’s the perfect vessel for hosting, complete with a grill. Someone even made pork chops one night! The most popular food item? The Noonan’s almost famous hot dogs wrapped in chili, slaw, and mustard. We welcome all new soon-to-be friends!
‘Be an Original’ is the motto for Rowan County and this is just one example of how we get to be ourselves. We love enjoying one of our county’s best asset, High Rock Lake, and showcasing our cooking skills!
Check out our Facebook page group – High Rock Bi-Monthly Floatilla
We would love for you to join us; all forms of boating are welcome!