University City

On Lake Norman, not all waves rock the boat

Waves are created by wind, currents and boat wakes. Some are rather large, while others are small; but when all are added together, they can make for a rough boat ride.

With the Fourth of July upon us, expect to see many waves this weekend.

There is, however, yet another wave that you see a lot on Lake Norman.

It is the wave that people make when they recognize each another, or perhaps when they’re in trouble and need help. In fact, so many people wave at passing boats that one has to ask why.

Why do people wave when they’re riding in a boat and don’t wave when riding in a car? Could it be that boat riders are unsure of themselves or a little nervous about getting to and from their next port of call?

So I posed the question “Why do boaters wave?” to various people. Their answers were surprisingly similar.

• I always wave back when other people wave at me.

• Waving, smiling and saying “hey” is a Southern thing.

• Nice people wave at others on land and sea.

• I smile and wave because I am happy to be on the lake.

• Driving a car is a chore and very demanding, so I never wave at passing vehicles. But being on the water is carefree, so I wave at others when it’s safe to do so.

• Everybody waves when they’re having fun.

• I wave because I’m glad to be away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

• Waving at one another from a boat is a nautical tradition that has been passed down over time.

• I’m happy when boating and I want to share the joy, so I wave at any boat that gets close enough to see me.

• A wave acknowledges the presence of others and is a sign of respect.

• I don’t know why I wave, but I have always waved when boating or fishing.

• It’s the camaraderie. Boaters are glad to see other boaters, so they wave.

• Waving is a friendly thing to do.

• The boating fraternity is a loosely knit club, of sorts, and everyone acknowledges the other’s presence.

• Waving makes me feel good.

• Waving is a big part of boating.

• Waving an open hand is better than waving a fist.

Observations: The people on slower-moving boats seem to wave more frequently than those on faster vessels. Could that indicate the riders on pontoon and cruise boats are more relaxed and are having more fun? Maybe, maybe not; but regardless, more people have fun boating than they do driving cars.


Boating rules are similar to the rules of the road that apply when you’re driving a car or truck. A basic similarity is to drive on the right side of the road or channel.

Coming event

A free safe boating class, “How to Navigate Lake Norman Day or Night,” will be offered 6:30-8 p.m. July 11 at North Point Watersports, Exit 36, Mooresville. Details: 704-617-6812 or

Hot spots of the week

Spotted bass fishing is very good to excellent. Look for surface-feeding fish on points throughout the day. Anglers are catching limits in as few as five casts.

Cat fishing is very good. Channel cats are hitting stinkbaits in coves, while blues and flatheads are hitting live bream, perch and goldfish.

White perch are plentiful, particularly the smaller ones found in 15 to 20 feet of water. Large perch are in deeper water.

The surface water temperature varies by location but is mainly in the 80s and low 90s in waters not affected by power generation. The water level is about 2.0 feet below full pond on Lake Norman and about 3.0 feet below full on Mountain Island Lake.