Navigating Life With Dad

in #boatinglast year (edited)

Brings Me Back

It's about a 20 minute drive, to my exit. from there, a right, another very quick right and I am turning into the parking lot. It's HUGE and I walk to the shuttle bus. A trip to more places, we pick more passengers. And then, pull up to the front door. Around the hall, another turn and I am at the top of the escalators, thru that door, and you see the place where I snapped the first pic of the day! A wide panoramic view of all the boats! There’s a couple hundred, maybe 300? more? About half, lake pontoons, and something I am not looking at. As I go down the escalator, I sense ... something: a little tiny boy, hiding inside me. I can feel the giggle, inside.

The very first time, I came to a boat show, with my dad, I had no idea what The Boat Show really meant. But since then, it meant: EVERYTHING is possible. For as long as I remember, it was the one place for ALL of my dreams. Every time I went, it meant anything could happen! I remember as a kid, climbing inside each and every boat, small and large, for hours on end. I had to sit in each seat, and lie on each bed. I opened cabinets, looking inside each one. Each as empty, and more than half EXACTLY like the last boat. But, I had to try... Because, who knows what's inside that next one?

Each boat held the promise of endless summers.
Each boat meant, a new adventure.
Each boat, held my imagination.

As I go older those dreams changed, soon, it wasn't each boat, but, it was a longing, for a specific kind... A had a type. I longed for a boat to call my own. Mine. My own boat.

At the boat show, is a tiny 6 foot kayak, and the 72 foot Benetteau Sailboat. And a little bit of everything in between, too. And each one is someone's dream, someone like me.

I got my first, a 16 foot, old, used experienced, ridden hard and put away wet. It was never pretty, once I got it, but, it may have been my first true love!

It meant sanctuary. It meant a day on the water. The next, was my dad's first, and later, he passed it on to me. The next, dad's too! ...and that one, passed along to me again, would be his last boat. I've repainted it, a few times. It's not the same engine, now, two times that's been replaced with newer power.

But that boat is a connection to dad. And more so, the sea is. He taught me seamanship. He taught knots, and seamanship. He taught me the rules of the road, at sea, and more.

We took our first class together, on boating, it was a navigation class. Basic Coastal Navigation. I remember he paid for the class, and I bought him this entire kit, compass, rule, dividers, me, buying dad, who was never a student, buying him supplies for a class. I bought for him and it could have been a Porsche, or a Diamond Gold Watch, not some little kit to make charts and make courses. He'd come home from class, and head to the basement, to work on homework. His chart, out, doing math, and trying to make sure he followed each step. He loved it, even though it was a skill he'd never need, given the type of boating we did. He loved it, loved the sea, loved boats, and, loved me.

We shared that. Well, rather, Dad taught me that love of the sea. So, today, all that, and a million more thoughts were flying through my head as the escalator dropped me down to the show floor.

The scent? From my last post? If you remember the story?
New Fiberglass

Fiberglass and it was everywhere. New, never been in salt, because, no one who sells boats, puts them in salt, until the customer says OK.

So, all of them, are waiting for me, half, I'd never step on. Those ones, good for a dozen people on a lake with a few coolers of beer! Of the remaining half, call it half again, are fishing boats. Oh, not bad, and for years, it's what I looked at. In fact, it's what I have now, the classic center console, but, like all little boys, I've grown up.

...and now, my toys I play with have changed. I want a boat to be my haven. My sanctuary. My place to get away, and to be with the ocean. I want to see whales, and dolphin. I want to see the birds diving and sea the land, slip over the horizon. I want to scan around and feel the waves and mostly, that salt air. So, my toys, are now, this...

My toys are boats, that I can go a weekend away, leave the cape and go as far as I can in a day, and pull into a new marina, and dock the boat, and spend the evening exploring a new place, a new experience, and come back for a night of sleeping aboard, and being gently rocked to sleep, by the sea.

For my next boat, it needs to take me away for a weekend, a simple cabin, bed, the head (the potty, for you land lubbers), a simple galley, or kitchen as you people with asphalt under you, call it. sleeps four or six, inside cabin, heat/ac, hard top, a generator for power when the engine is not running. I'm not looking at a fast speed boat. That's for Mr. Sixpack. No... for me, it's about getting there and exploring the coastal waters and the ins and outs of New England. It's learning to be away on a boat. It's learning the next steps, of seamanship.

My 16 footer, turned into a 17 ft. My 17, into a sturdier, better built 17. My next boat, is a live aboard... something with a berth or two, to fit a couple, maybe two couples. Small, comfortable. Something I can learn a bit more about seamanship. Learn more, and expand on those lessons dad taught me decades ago. Still small enough to handle, and yet, large enough to squeeze the world of dreams in my head, onto the ocean.

Coming Soon, a little story about maybe my next ride?


Always, I strive to give back

To the animals and birds around me

to put more plants in than I take out

And be a good steward for the world around me!

All Photos by Bluefin Studios.



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This is a beautiful piece of writing. You've spoken before about your love of the sea, both directly through words as well as indirectly through your photos. But this one piece gave me more insight into it than I'd ever fathomed previously. I had visions of you and your father, together, on boats and on docks, sharing time with something you both love.

Still small enough to handle, and yet, large enough to squeeze the world of dreams in my head, onto the ocean.

I hope you find it, and I hope you will keep us updated! 😊

As always, many thanks for your kind words.

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I think dad is going to be back with you every time you touch the boat, the knots, the charts ... beautiful.

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I love getting out on the water. Haven't been on the water with my pops in ages.

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Since I grew up very close to the Jersey Shore, my life has always been around the water as well. I remember crabbing and going fishing on party boats as a boy.

The last position I held in the Corps, was as a small boat instructor in Virginia Beach (Little Creek). I have always loved the ocean. Guess it is my Norwegian Ancestory.

Great to see you in PYPT sharing your experiences.

one of the things we grew up with Lobstering. Dad had a bunch of pots....
I've taken over and put in 3 or 4 pots a year, and each week, thats between 2 and 6 lobsters a week.

Oh, Mister G... I loved this the first time, second time and third time reading it :)

I could SEE the little boy in you, giddy and excited at each part of the day! It's been so thrilling to be a part of this ride with you! And one day, we'll look back and go... remember???? hehehe remember each part???

I remember when I was a little girl having a similar experience walking through model homes hehehe i know it's not the same.. LOL but I remember loving that feeling - looking in every cabinet - walking into each room in awe and imagining myself in this room, that room... living a different life :)

and you just have to touch those surfaces - don't you? let your fingers trace the feel of everything. smell the new carpet. see how everything is shining and new and perfect.

but with your story - one day, it will really be yours!!!

And then.... you'll sail the world, one adventure after another!!! filling your camera with memories of each place and sharing them with all of us!

Love it :)

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