A speck in the Ocean

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”         -Mark Twain


I have been in love with boats since I was old enough to throw up in one. What is this siren call? I wish I knew. The photo above is of my last sailboat taken from a helicopter over the Strait of Georgia, one of the most gorgeous sailing grounds on planet earth. I am never happier than when afloat in a boat. It truly satisfies my soul.

This is a melancholy time of year for boaters because, though there are still some fine sailing days ahead (many would say, the best), the end of the season is just around the corner. They claim you can go boating year round on the West Coast of Canada and while this is technically true you need an iron will,  and at least three layers of the best thermal underwear to see it through.

I currently find myself between boats. Understand, I’m not boatless. I’m between boats. There’s a big difference. I’ve always thought I could live on a boat..the right boat. A lot of people harbour the same dream, but unless you are prepared to put just about everything you own into landlocked storage or jettison all of your personal inventory, it’s not a practical plan.

I don’t want to get all Shirley MacLaine-ish on you here but the lure of the water is so personally strong, so deep in my bones, that there’s a good chance I may have once been either a Labrador retriever or an officer in Nelson’s navy.

There are depictions of boats and seascapes everywhere in my home. I am obsessed with 18th and 19th century naval warfare. I have all twenty of Patrick O’Brian’s extraordinary novels which have been thumbed through at least three times and there are a couple of dvd versions of Master and Commander upon my shelf. Upstairs, in a bedroom vacated by one of my kids, is an unfinished frigate called the HMS Unicorn.

I started it four years ago. They used to build real frigates in less time.


frigate 002

The unfinished frigate

It’s pretty clear that I’m a certifiable aqua loon.

I have travelled to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and have filmed in boatyards from New Zealand to Newfoundland. A visit to the holy grail, the great flagship HMS Victory in Portsmouth,  teeters at the top of my bucket list.

And all of this because I must have some extra salinity in the veins. There is another boat in my future as sure as summer turns to fall. In the meantime I’ll just sit back, sip a little coffee from my Trafalgar mug and chant the oceanic mantra.

Explore. Dream. Discover.




5 Responses to “A speck in the Ocean”

  1. dannyplainview Says:

    I hear Oyster makes quite a nice 72′ and 82′ foot vessal, perfect for westcoast sailing 🙂

  2. david kincaid Says:

    A Labrador retriever!
    Of course.
    That would explain why I’ve always been so fond of you.
    Now, sit Ubu sit.

  3. Dave,
    Thanks for lending me the Master and Commander series…1 by 1…
    I’ve now been through the series twice.
    and no, I didn’t read any of them in the bathroom.

  4. Reminds me of a certain “splashy” day on my inflatable many years ago! Did your camera bag ever dry out???

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