It’s difficult to explain to a non boaty person, what boats are all about. Looking around our small marina it’s obvious that it isn’t about voyages. Well of course there needs to be an element of actually traveling, but not too often. No it’s all about reminiscing about past trips and planning future ones. My neighbour in the marina plans to go through the lock and out to sea, at some stage. He’s looking forward to the fishing and has had a new windlass fitted, with a long scope of chain; but not just yet.
Close by is a large power boat, the owner plans a circumnavigation of the British Isles, in a few years time, before motoring down to the Med. All at 1mpg!
Most of the boats seldom move, some not for years. Plant pots and led lights festoon decks, barbecues and pushbikes, it’s the East Coast and we have a choice of the river, or the salt, as they say.
No boats take you to another world, whether you are racing on a yacht in the solent, crossing the channel or pottering up the canal. You will talk to people and take time. I met an old lady once in Eastbourne marina who lived on her boat. She explained the loneliness of living in her council flat where nobody had the time to stop and talk. Her move to the marina where she had lived for several years had transformed her life. ‘I know everyone’, she said, ‘and Fred and Bill take my boat out every year to make sure it’s all right.’
Busy lives and finance don’t always allow, but if you can get on a boat and let the world pass you by, even if it’s only for a few hours.