Saturday, April 01, 2006

Day Of Boats

Yesterday 2 and I had a classic Smallish State day. We set off up the coast mid-morning, passed through a college town, and followed a little road down one of the long, rocky peninsulas that jut seaward from there. The sun was lavish and high, most of the ice gone. Here and there we passed men with brooms, sweeping away the road sand and other lingering detritus of winter. Small coves of aqua water flickered by, bounded by rocks and conifers. “Are you getting this?”, asked 2, “Are you getting how beautiful this is?”

She was making the point, specifically, that as coach of a smallish college sailing team this drive is now her commute to work. The drive also led to a little dirt boatyard, where we met a broker to look at an old sailboat I had an interest in. She (the boat) turned out to be a bit too big, too expensive, and too ugly. But while I was poking around the engine and chain lockers, 2 wandered around the yard and found a gorgeous relic of a vessel that seemed also to be for sale. (My working theory is that every boat in the Smallish State is for sale, if the price is right, unless it has a “NOT FOR SALE” sign on it—which you do occasionally see. For a while there was an old hulk in the Smallish City with “NOT FOR SALE” spray-painted right on the hull.)

So, after the broker left, we clambered on the even-older boat, our practiced boat-junkie eyes seeing past the cracked decks, peeling toerails, demolished engine-room, and heaps of leaves, pine needles, and dirty rags. Her lines were sleek and winsome. An unusual spiral ladder led below decks to a cozy and secure cabin, with artifacts everywhere to suggest a long and colorful history of significant voyages. We found the binder, present on any well-loved old boat, that is filled with the owner’s notes and sketches of his vessel’s idiosyncrasies and preferences. Imaginations leapt past a five year, hundred-thousand-dollar restoration to see the boat slicing through green seas, bound for Nantucket or Monhegan or Antigua. We speculated on her builder; I hazarded a guess and took some photos of potentially identifying features. (Later, researching back home, I gratified myself by being right.)

Afterwards, we went down to the docks of the sailing team, located at the end of a barely-there dirt road, on a mystical maze of little tidal coves. Lazing on warm rocks, we ate fried haddock sandwiches and a quart of onion rings. A couple of other friends joined us. I admired the sailors’ clubhouse and wished that I had had the sense to go to that smallish college and join that sailing team. I never would’ve studied, and I’d probably be a better person today.

Soon the team arrived. Like fast-flying geese, they had miraculously migrated from Florida to their cold-water summer home, and again I watched them spill into their dinghies and fly and spin in the wind. I mused that 2 has, perhaps, the world’s best job. She told me she’d hire me as the assistant coach, if the real assistant coach quits. She probably wasn’t serious, because I don’t know anything about sailboat racing. But boy, it sure sounds like a good offer.

The immediate reality, though, is that I’m back to Green Acres on Monday.

5 Comments:

Anonymous 2 said...

You're fired. And you're out of the Agency.

I'm 2, not 1.

4/1/06, 8:41 PM  
Blogger Turboglacier said...

1) Excuse me? I have no idea what you're talking about.
2) You can't fire me, I don't work for you yet.

4/2/06, 4:06 PM  
Blogger Katinka said...

LOL....I was going to mention something but I can see 2 fixed it for you Turbo...

PS (As a faithful reader, can I get a raise...?)

4/2/06, 10:34 PM  
Blogger Turboglacier said...

No. You would've gotten a raise if you'd pointed it out *before* 2 noticed it, so I could've fixed it first!

4/2/06, 10:41 PM  
Blogger Will said...

I just assumed that things were getting rather interesting in the Smallish State.

4/3/06, 9:51 AM  

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