We sailed every summer until my brother died at age 17, at which time my father, in his great grief, gave up his boat. After that it was catch-as-catch-can. What I mainly remember about sailing is the endless scraping and caulking every spring.
I’d like a little sailboat but my husband isn’t keen. That’s really fine with me, since I’m busy all summer anyway. But I went to the Ned Kyle 17th Annual Boat Auction in Rockport last Saturday, mostly for the fun of watching Steve Pixley, Camden’s harbormaster, act as auctioneer. My pal Loren was also there, and he was threatening to buy something.
Loren had a lovely little wooden skiff that he sold last year. Thinking he would replace it with something similar, I suggested he keep it in my new front yard. “It would make a perfect lawn ornament,” I told him, although secretly I planned to take it out when he wasn’t around. (How I was going to get around the fact that my Prius has a towing capacity of zero I hadn’t worked out.)
I got there just as he was bidding. “Did you just buy that boat?” I demanded.
An old geezer, thinking to exploit the humor in a marital spat, said, “He bought four boats so far!” He and his pal laughed uproariously.
“Oh, that’s great, excellent!” I said, smiling broadly. “Know why? Because I’m not his wife!”
Even though he really only bought two, the joke’s on me. One was small enough for him to tow to his place in Waldoboro. The second one’s details are lost in the shock of seeing the thing, but I do remember that it’s 24’ long, built in 1977, has a deep-water keel, a fiberglass hull and no engine or head. Derelict, in short, and I had just told him he could bring it here.
For years, a little home-built boat called the Rosa Munde sat mouldering in my parents’ yard. (We actually burned it when my dad died, as a sort of Viking send-off.) Loren’s new boat, therefore, just follows tradition. I think I’d better buy myself a string trimmer.
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