Some of my newer readers may not have read posts about our boat. Times are tough, and it seems extravagant to have it, but we bought it when times were good. It has been a gem of a boat.
One of the wonderful things about owning a boat is that it's always waterfront. For the price of a slip, you can live anywhere in the world. We've kept ours in North Carolina. A couple of weekends ago we decided to move it from Southport to a new marina.
It takes much longer to float than drive so the first night we stayed at the original marina where we kept the boat. A lot has changed at Wrightsville Marina since we bought the boat in 2001. Many of our boating friends have sold their boats, and most of the beautiful Carolina fishing boats don't go out much any more. Normally this time of year the transient dock would be full of large yachts being moved south for the winter, but that weekend there were only a couple of boats from Holden Beach.
My husband took the boat and I took the car. I had time to visit with my aunt and uncle who live on Wrightsville Beach. They have been boaters all their lives, living for a period of time on one, and it is the two of them who inspired us to try the boating life. As we ate breakfast, I told them that I felt bad that we had been extravagant during the boom years instead of saving money for these lean times. I expected my uncle to agree and was prepared to be contrite, but he surprised me by saying, "Aren't you glad you did it?" I've thought about his question since that morning, and I have to say that I am glad we did it. That boat has given me a place to go where I can completely disconnect from my worries and obligations, and has taken me places I would never have seen had we not had it.
We are once again docked in Oriental NC, a place that I love. I've said before that it has the feel of the 50's at the beach and there is so much water to explore in the area.
In an earlier post, right after 9/11, I told of going to the boat for a few days to get away from the television. I was in shock - we all were - and one afternoon we went on a cruise down the waterway at Wrightsville Beach. I said, "God, give me a sign that it's all going to be all right," and when I looked up, there was a cross way over on the land. It was a tiny bit of hope in the great waters of the tragedy.
Soon, it may be time to sell the boat. I'm going to enjoy every minute that I can on it, filled with gratitude that I have been able to use it all these years. That it has brought me comfort, that it has taken me to places so devoid of people that they felt primordial.That I have met people I might never have met, that I was able to share the adventure with friends and family. That I've danced with my husband on the back of the boat. That it has seen me through one crisis and another and another. That I've been rocked to sleep by rain and waves and that the sun has shone down on the Coatimundi and me.