Years ago, if anyone mentioned they owned a boat, stuck up yachtie types with their stripey tee shirts, shorts and deck shoes drinking G and Ts with a superior group of friends came to mind.
This opinion stems from people I came in contact with who did indeed seem to have airs and graces and believed themselves to be above humble bank clerks like me.
There are a variety of craft on the Marina here, from narrow boats like ours, to wide beams, barges and cruisers, but no yachts, or perhaps my definition of a yacht (triangular vessel with sails) is a misconception and these beautiful cruisers are actually yachts.
I was once engaged to someone who belonged to this breed of creature, his parents owning a yacht and he purchasing a speedboat in order to join them for lunch on the Isle of Wight. My arms were bruised and battered from holding on so tight, and I hated the trip from the moment I sat down on board. It didn’t help that by the time we reached our destination, I was also soaked to the skin.
As for ‘Mummy and Daddy’, oh blimey, I didn’t fit into their scene at all, and they let me know it. I already had little confidence, and let’s just say they enhanced my sense of lacking.
The relationship didn’t last, though surprisingly it was nothing to do with social ethics or backgrounds. The guy was an alcoholic (at 22) and tended to get a wee bit too aggressive under the influence.
Fast forward 40 years, and the people here are totally different to any of those I had dealings with all those years ago.
They are open and friendly, no-one considers themselves better than anyone else, and already we have had offers of help, advice, and tips on little things that they have learned by experience.
Everyone speaks when passing, and we have discovered a few who are ‘experimenting’ with a life afloat before they actually commit themselves. Others spend 8-9 months on the water and return to their traditional homes for the colder, darker winter.
Some have taken their boats out for weeks at a time, and the Marina staff are the first in line to help them tie up and share in their adventure.
Last night we were talking to someone who has been a resident here for over 12 years. He has experienced flooding to extremes (he was fine, after all, boats float) and has suggested ‘easy’ day trips out to get our hand in so-to-speak.
We’ve been lucky so far, enjoying good weather most of the time.
It was hazy this morning, and Hubby watched the swans and cygnets dunking themselves in the water up by the fuel pontoon when he took the dog out for her first walk of the day. We shall have to fill up before long and that means taking the boat out.
We are pointing the ‘right way’, but getting back into our berth may be a game as boats are not really designed to go backwards. Still, we have a bow thruster, and the secret for success is SLOW.
Just like our way of life at the moment.
For some reason, there appears no rush to do anything at speed. Going fast is at odds with our surroundings , and quite honestly, I can live with that.