Our family often made day trips to Waitts Lake north of Spokane. Waitts Lake was a 470 acre lake with excellent fishing for brown and rainbow trout. A large marina on the lake had a boat launch, beach, picnic areas, docks, boat rentals, diving tower, and a small bait shop type store. There was lots of room for children to play and swim close to the picnic area. Swimming was also allowed on a designated dock which had the diving tower.
Waitts Lake was a wonderful place for an eleven year old boy. Dad fished out of the family boat, but we didn’t have to be confined to the boat. We could fish from the docks and nearby shore areas. We could play at the beach or docks near the rental boat facilities. Before learning how to swim we would dive from a dock and swim underwater to an adjacent dock. It wasn’t long until diving off the dock got boring. The diving tower was in the middle of a big dock. It had several landings from five foot to twenty feet high. It took some intervention by Dad, but Mom allowed me to start diving off the lower landings of the tower.My skills at diving and swimming underwater to the access ladder at the end dock evolved pretty fast. As my skills improved so did the height of the landings from which my dives were being made. In no time at all my dives were at the twenty foot level. The dives were nothing fancy, but my body always entered the water head first. The higher the dives progressed the easier and faster it was to swim underwater to the access ladders.
Most of the fishermen rented their boats early in the morning and returned them by mid afternoon. The operator of the marina would allow me to help him doing odd jobs around the boats and docks. The flat bottom boats were returned to the middle dock and unloaded. My job was to row them to their assigned parking space and tag them to the dock by a tether chain. The marina had a crude boat wash which rotated the boats out of the water and held them on their sides for washing. The operator would wash the boats while letting me row them to and from the boat wash.
The experiences at Waitts Lake were a great adventure. My fishing, diving, and helping out at the marina were wonderful days that will always be a fond memory. Mom enjoyed the days at Waitts Lake too………..but I don’t think she ever looked to see me dive from the top of the diving tower.