When I was a little older, maybe nine, we bought a new boat, a 26-foot Fiberform cabin cruiser that “slept five” (or would’ve if we’d all been between the ages of seven and nine like me and Deane. But it did sleep the four of us more or less comfortably). We named it the Rusty Duck, after a restaurant in
In 8th or 9th grade, we upgraded again, to the Finnish Maiden (named by the previous owners) a 36-foot aft cab Uniflite which slept, comfortably, six, and had all the accoutrements of luxury—two showers with hot water, flushing toilets (after a fashion), blender, wet bar, and an 11-foot Boston Whaler dinghy , the Flying Viking, Coast Guard approved for a 10-horse outboard, but outfitted with a 35, which gave it enough power to pull a water skier. Yeah, we kids, and our friends Sonja and Erik, and I daresay my dad, and even frequently my mom (when she wasn’t worried about kids capsizing, anchors drifting in the night, and the cost of fuel) were in heaven.
After my father passed away in 1992, we sold the Finnish Maiden and for the last 14 years my trips on private boats have been achingly few and far between.
It’s torture living six blocks from
But yesterday I was invited to help move a boat—a 32-foot Bayliner—from a yacht brokerage on
From start to finish it was a true Northwest boating experience, minus any of the trouble like blowers that don’t work, bumpers falling overboard without being tied on or fishing line getting tangled in the props. We went through the Ship Canal, we crowded into the small locks with two other boats and slowly bobbed down to sea level (and much to my relief, the lock operators didn’t yell at me; they were only mildly condescending when I passed the 50-foot bow line under the rail the wrong way, then tangled it up trying to undo my error). We stopped for fuel in Shilshole and I got to jump for the dock, then we stopped for fuel again in
And today, I was back to my tortured, humdrum existence with no boat.