The Tahoe Gal

I’ve never seen anyone wakeboard off the back of the boat – well, actually it’s probably classified as a ship. So for that matter the only time I’ve ever seen anyone surf behind any craft bigger than 30’ was in the Gulf of Mex where the locals chase oil ships and ride their wakes at high speeds. No, the girl I’m talking about isn’t built for speed. She’s a full-blown pleasure craft. Her name is the Tahoe Gal and she’s one of my absolute favorite local pastimes/businesses here at the Lake.

Her genius lies in the design because on Tahoe you need a boat that doesn’t draw very much, i.e. one that can go into shallow waters. Seems funny to say that about the 16th Deepest Lake in the World (according to The reason you need that low draw is because of Emerald Bay. It’s the most stunningly scenic part of Tahoe and there’s less than eight feet of water in the channel between it and the main body of the Lake. Any self-respecting tourist boat has to get herself in there!

Well the Gal makes her way into Emerald Bay just about every day and her observation deck is the absolute perfect place to stare up at the massive peaks that come straight out of the Lake and surround the tight bay. While there, you’ll see ‘Vikingsholm,’ an anomaly of North American architecture. It’s a Norweigan-inspired castle from the days when this was private land and the only access was by boat. Speaking of which, see if you’re good enough to brown-nose the Gal’s captain to float over the scuttled barges which were used to bring in the heavy materials for the lodge’s construction back in the 20’s. They’re probably in 30’ of water but with Tahoe’s famed clarity, you can see the eerie behemoths easily. Also in Emerald Bay you’ll go around the only island in Tahoe (Fanette) and see the only waterfall that drops right into the Lake (Eagle Falls). From the Gal you’ll see the remnants of the stone tea house on Fanette Island that was built for the owner of Vikingsholm back in the day.

The Gal is an incredible experience for a date, a rehearsal dinner, corporate functions, and even when the grandparents are in town! You can join in on their regularly scheduled cruises or charter all or part of the boat (there’s a ‘Captain’s Lounge’ on the top deck that’s perfect for private, smaller gatherings). The food is always great, the drinks always mixed perfectly and the times, well, the times are always good….

I have a few favorite things about the Tahoe Gal: They say that employees’ attitudes comes from the top. Well the attitude from the top here is owner Larry Boerner and he is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Enough said! Next, one of my favorite cruises that I witness the Gal doing all the time is the sunset run along the North Shore. Every evening she quietly plies the deep blue waters, following the shoreline before turning to the center of the Lake and heading back to Tahoe City. I’m envious of the folks on her wide decks every evening. And lastly, I’ve always said that being Captain of the Gal would be the ultimate ‘retirement job’…but for now I’m just going to enjoy my own tourist moments on board.

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