I blame dad.
A romantic at heart, a creative engineer by nature, an erstwhile adventurer, a happy story teller, a dreamer, and man of the world. He populated various book-shelves around the house with books about sailing; how to sail, how to build a sail boat, how other men & women sailed on various oceans and other bodies of water. There were pictures of boats, models of boats, and plans for boats.
He was an aircraft engineer by trade so why the interest in boats that went unfulfilled I don’t know. But the consequence was a dream instilled in the boy that I was. My imagination was captured like a bird in a net. The call of the sea was ingrained into the man that I was to become.
Dad never owned a boat and as far as I know, he never sailed one. He passed into eternity aged 80 without ever realizing the dream. He left that to me. Well that, a pair of shoes, a pocket watch, a couple of suits, some model trains, some books (yes, books about boats) and some hard-boiled lemon drops.
I suppose manhood entails revisiting the dreams and imaginings of childhood and bringing them into maturity. Giving them wings and letting them fly. It is the privilege of a man to take the immaterial and make it real.
Before responsibilities put a damper on the dream, I used to walk the docks, talk to sailors, read books, peruse magazines and just generally enthuse about boats with anyone who was interested.
The boats that caught my eye were the ‘traditional’ boats. Some of them I’ve listed under the heading of ‘Favorite boats’. They are favorite, not because I’ve sailed them and found them to be wonderful but because they look salty, and have a reputation of being blue-water worthy. Like the pilot’s adage “if it looks right, it is right”, these beautiful boats look right. They look like they were meant to be wrapped in canvas and sent scudding across the waves.
With me at the helm.
And so it began…