It was kind of early for a swim, but later that day I’d be on a plane back to the loathsome winter of the Northeast. I knew I’d regret it if I missed a chance to float in the warm turquoise of the Caribbean, so I roused myself, shaking off my natural laziness, stoked to its peak by the sun’s hypnotic whisper to just relax. Why, oh why didn’t I listen?
Writing a monthly column has its challenges, though they’re not what you might think. It’s true that a good topic can be temporarily elusive, but a very early wake-up call summons a patch of quiet time and space to think. Deadline pressure and strong coffee usually does the rest. (If I don’t have more than a dozen good ideas buried somewhere in my subconscious after four decades of living, I haven’t been living right.) No, the hard part is timing.
I stopped by the boatyard today — for that least-rewarding ritual of boat ownership, paying the bill — but the inevitable pain of the moment was (mostly) assuaged by a visit to my boat. There she was, on jackstands, newly hauled and not yet shrink-wrapped. It was late in the day, and the wintry sunlight (golden but cold) glinted off her pale blue hull. She looked good — a little lonely and bereft of purpose, but good. All in all, she struck me as “resting up” for next season’s adventures, but of course, I may have been projecting.
I spent much of my childhood in upstate New York, and though I tend to be nostalgic, I have a lifelong hatred of winter. It’s unreasonable, I know, and I’m trying to do better.
I’ve been going to boat shows for more than a decade now and — as with anything that becomes part of your professional duties — they have occasionally lost a little of their luster. It’s fair to say, though, that the very first boat show I went to changed my life — and it was more of a headfirst plummet than a long, slippery slide.
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