Anyone who has known boats all their life knows that boats are alive. They have names. They have personalities. They have idiosyncracies. Each one is individual.
On Sunday morning as we walked among the moored boats in the sunshine, we'd lean over the railings and pretend that we owned them. We all love boats. It's in our blood. We can't help it. Our dream is to one day own a boat - a bit like how other people own dogs and cats and goldfish. We want a pet boat. We want to name it and feed it and go for rides in it. So we look and we wander and we dream and we pretend.
"Which one is your boat, Hugh?"
Like father, like son. They both chose the same boat.
Quaint. Sturdy. Old-fashioned. Well decked out. Well-built. Full of character.
Where's your boat, Meredith?
I might have guessed. Sleek. Modern. Fun. Expensive. Polished. Maintenance-free.
Do you want to see my boat? I knew it as soon as I spotted it.
Old-fashioned. Seasoned. Full of intrigue and mystery. Don't those windows just make you want to see inside? I'd love to be sitting up on the bow as she cuts through the sea.
And where is Teddy's boat? Not here. He couldn't find his boat until we walked down a pier jutting out into the harbour. And there he saw it. A beautiful little ship sitting nicely against the side, with strong ropes coiled around the post.
An old sailor came out of the cabin onto the deck.
"Hello" says Teddy.
"I like your boat alot. I really like the colour."
A little green sail boat.
Do you know how nice it is to pass the time of day with the captain of a little boat like that? A man from the same generation as my grandfather, with rough hard-working hands, a tanned, wrinkled, wise face. He keeps a tidy boat, and has the ease of friendliness and conversation that comes with that generation. A character who has lived in the Sounds for nearly 40 years. He had just sailed his little ship 6 hours around from the Sounds to visit a sick friend in hospital. And my boy finds him. Likes his boat. And strikes up a conversation.
It made our day.
Funny - when I read back over this - something strikes me. The boats that we all picked have characteristics very like the individual that marked them out for notice. Interesting.