Sunday, February 27, 2011

No boats

The club's No-Boat party was the expected good time even though there were, well, no boats. Lots of pictures of boats flashed on the screen, lots of stories of boats were told, lots of discussion of boats flowed along with the drinks and laughter. As the night wore on boat talk gave way to dancing and general marry making. Deb and I are not really the dancing types. Which is kind of okay seeing as any dancing days I might have had were left on the hood of an errant black Mercedes. On a good day I move with a barely discernible limp. Other days, like after spending the best part of a week laying down a new tile floor in the kitchen / dinning room, I shuffle along with even less grace than normal.

Our friends from the club were all excited about our attempt to buy The Tartan, though one or two suggested we anchor the boat out where the "Little Island" used to be as a kind of replacement. Many of them are regular charter sailors, well versed in sailing boats in the 50 foot range, and volunteered to help me figure out how to make 42 feet worth of boat go.(Something I am counting on.) Since most also have very nice boats tied to the docks in our marina, I suspect a smidgen of ulterior motive is mixed in with the largess. It hasn't been that long since watching Nomad try to make the pier with me at the helm raised every eyebrow that had us in sight. The Tartan may not be much of an adventure-in-sailing on our little lake, but she will surly be an adventure-in-maneuvering around the alleys of our floating dock system. And getting to the pump out? Oh Mama, no room to turn 42 feet of boat in there. Since the pump out ports are on the port side, we can drive in okay, but will have to back out. I think I'll sell tickets the first couple of tries, though chances are the gentry will grab boat hooks and fenders and then watch from a row of bows. (Something else I am counting on! I wouldn't want to put a scratch on the new-to-us-boat if they can help it.)

"When will the new boat will get to the lake," was the most asked question of the night. Truth is we don't know. This boat buying thing is a process with a goal but no schedule. The second most asked question was, now that we have "The Boat," when are we going to leave? The truth is we don't know that either. This going cruising thing is also a process with a goal but no schedule. Which is okay with me.

Our culture worships schedules. Everything is done with a clock and/or a calendar in the background. I remember being struck by this when I was very young, first or second grade maybe. We were lined up in the hall at the end of the school day, outside it was sunny and warm and all we really wanted to do was get out to play. But the bell had yet to ring. Two teachers stood guard at the door to ensure no child got outside a moment before the school schedule allowed. I knew there was something seriously whacked about the whole thing, but I was way too young to figure it out. I'm not so young anymore. Now I see grown people standing in line to "clock out," none caring to be docked 1/4 hour for leaving the premises 60 seconds before the work schedule allows, (though clearly all work has already stopped). Things are even more whacked than I suspected all those years ago.

We are working on getting the boat. We are going cruising. We will go when the time is right, but not on a schedule. The worship of schedules is something we hope to leave on the land.

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