Friday, June 7, 2019


About a year ago we made friends with some folks who were buying a cat boat. We had looked at cat boats back in the day and, though we made no claims of being experts in the type, they wanted our thoughts as to how they might proceed. They ended up with the boat and have kept in touch while getting ready to go cruising. A while ago we got an email from them. They were sitting at a dock and, in one of those seemingly unlikely coincidences that also seem to happen pretty regularly in the cruising word, made friends with the boat that pulled onto the dock right next to them. It was smallish but obviously serious cruising boast, festooned with the normal cruising gear on deck; dink, water and fuel jugs, solar panels. The other thing that caught their attention was that is was a family boat, with two young boys moving purposely around the deck doing the chores of getting on a dock with practiced ease, with an even younger sister helping out where she could. Dad was at the helm, while Mom sat in the cockpit holding a toddler. Now that two cruising boats met and made quick friends isn't unusual at all. But the email included some pictures…

The boat was Blowin' In The Wind with Daughter Eldest and crew.

Photo courtesy of Scott Katz

I’m guessing there was laughter and smiles involved as the two crews made friends and discovered their mutual connection to Kintala.

Photo courtesy of Scott Katz

We haven’t seen the crew of BITW for a while and, in an odd reversal of roles, on any give day don’t have much of clue as to where they might be. Something Deb and I used to hear complaints about when Daughters (3) couldn’t tell their kids for sure what time zone, or country, DeMa and Grampy T were in. Often they weren’t even sure if we were in any country at all, perhaps being out in open water some where.

And just like that, a longing for being back living that life washed over me. So strong was the feeling that time seemed to stop as memory after memory demanded my attention. None of those memories were of broken bits, the long hours of labor needed to get the boat back in the water, or scary nights out on the foredeck trying to corral a wayward headsail. Instead there were memories of Wizard walks, raft ups, Dink driving lessons, sailing with and on BITW, making plans, and Ukulele lessons in a quiet cockpit far from the noises of civilization.

More, there were memories of a people whose schedules were their own, who lived so close to nature that every change in wind and current registered as something of which to be mindful, of dolphins, jumping rays, and pelicans gliding by with a majesty and grace no human flying contraption has yet duplicated. Memories of the kind of people who go to places utterly wild, unencumbered by any human touch, where the only help comes from what can be done with the skills and materials at hand. There is a whole community of people like that, living as free as any people can manage in this world of dependence that we have created. They are a special tribe. I used to be a member, and some of the people I love most in the world still are.

Somehow, sometime in the future, I hope to be a member once again.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Michals-Brown said...

Glad to know the kids are good!