November 20, 2020

Waterskiing: A Lifelong Love

By Catherine Everett, MD, MBA, FACR

I learned to ski when I was eight. It should have been when I was five, but I chickened out just when the boat started to pull me up. Once I skied, it was a passion. Whenever I could be, I was behind a boat — most often a wooden skiff with a 25 HP Evinrude motor — which my brothers and I were driving before we were 12. We spent hours and hours on the Pamlico River in North Carolina. Many days the water was choppy, but on the calm days, nothing could have been more perfect than carving through the glassy water with the spray sending off rainbows.

Photo of Everett Waterskiing

By 10, I could slalom. And as a teen, all my friends idolized the models in Seventeen magazine. I only wanted to be Camille Duval, a beautiful 17-year-old competitive water skier from South Carolina. As my family worked on the farm during the summer, I could never attend ski camp or try out competitive skiing. But I dreamed … and skied and skied.

During college, medical school and residency, my friends and I would often take day trips to waterski on Kerr Lake, Newport River, Cashie River and White Lake. If there was a boat, a rope and a board, I was there. In fact, my search for radiology jobs after fellowship ONLY included practices where there was a chance for me to live on the water and ski after work.

Finally, I hit paradise in New Bern, NC. A waterfront home on a small river (almost like a lake), my family and I, including my husband and five children, spent nearly every afternoon after school and work on the river from mid-May through September. My children are excellent skiers and wakeboarders, but do not have the passion I do.

Photo of Everett's Boat

My most favorite purchase ever was for my 42nd birthday — a MasterCraft ski boat. I have slowed down a bit, but still slalom and wakeboard comfortably. Several years ago, I restored my second ski boat, the World Record MasterCraft. It’s a beauty and still rumbles beautifully. July this year, I skied into my eighth decade. Hope to make it to the ninth!