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Old 10-19-2011, 06:57 AM   #1
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How did you come to love boats and the sea?

Owning a boat makes no practical sense. The only reason any of us are here is we have somehow come to love boats and the sea. How did you get to that condition?

I was an Ohio*farm boy enthralled with sea stories by Melville, Conrad, and others. I don't recall if the Michener TV series 'Adventures in Paradise' came before or after my interest in sea novels.

Later, my family had a ski boat in my adolescence and teens. I enjoyed that but knew I wanted more someday. My first experience on a sailboat was humbling. I hoisted the sail on a sailboard while standing on the downwind side and was promptly pushed overboard. Even then I knew it was just the beginning.

Somehow I was capture by the promise of freedom on the water and the beauty of nature. One of my best memories*is being totally alone in a beautiful moment with a vast vista of water and marsh grass passing through a swarm of bait fish under attack from below and from swooping gulls above. Or sailing in pitch black darkness off the east coast with the phosphorescent streams of dolphins playing in the bow wave.

Its not practical but it sure makes sense to me.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:07 AM   #2
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

My father was an avid boater,with a passion for harpoon swordfishing. Starting at the age of six I went with him whereever and whenever he went. One of his great joys was to leave the port in the very early hous of the morning,before the sun rose. When the sun would pop up we were usually 20 miles out. It was an awe inspiring sight,prompting him to say " I wonder what the poor folk are doing". I was well in to my teens before I fully understood the significance of his remark.

There was a time when i attempted to leave boat owership and boating. It failed miserably. The sense of beauty,peace* make the sacrifices worth while. There is nothing as worthwhile as messing around boats.

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John
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:52 AM   #3
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

No tellin'.
I think it is some sort of genetic thing.
I was born and raised in the slums/tenements in Brooklyn, NY. Nowhere near the water. Televisions were a fairly new inovation back then and I would love to watch the old swashbuckler movies. When I was real young I used to take a popsicle stick and put it in the rainwater and follow it down the street along the curb and help it around the tires of cars which were rare in my neighborhood, so my 'boat' had a fairly open run. I would make pirate ships by taking the flexible cardboard dividers out of egg cartons and prop them up 90* to the carton. That was my pirate ship. I would also play with it in the bath tub. .
I had no exposure to any boat until I was about 20 and that was an inflatible I bought for when I went camping, but I was hooked way before then.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:00 AM   #4
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

Started as a kid in a rowboat on a Lake, somehow I knew it was right for me to be on the water.

My grown daughter whom I always felt was sort of a hostage on early boat trips,*Is now into kayaking and perhaps feels some connection to the water also.

You never Know!** JohnP

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Old 10-19-2011, 10:48 AM   #5
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

Summers spent at beach house in Rockport, Mass. Had a "water taxi service" (read Skiff and a set of oars) at age 10 for people whose boats were on moorings. My mother called me in from the water to watch a Historic moment, men landing on the moon. Business resumed in a little while.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:25 AM   #6
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How did you come to love boats and the sea?

As a toddler in Sausalito, CA, my mother used to take me for walks around the town. This was back when Sausalito was just a small fishing and railroad town with a smattering of artists and writers. Both my parents were writers. Three of my favorite places were the shell beach near the Sausalito ferry slip, the town boat harbor, and the Northwestern Pacific Railroad terminus over in Tiburon. I have a photo taken by my mother of me standing on the beach. Behind me is a Republic Seabee amphibian that had taxied out of the water onto the beach. Decades later what am I doing? Flying seaplanes. Over in Tiburon I was fascinated by the trains, and one day the engineer of a switch engine took us for a ride in his engine as he moved railcars from the yard to the ferry slip where he loaded them on the rail ferry for the trip across the bay. I have always loved trains, riding them and their history, and got into model railroading when I was young, a hobby that was sidelined by the acquisition of our GB.

In the boat harbor we would walk the docks (my mother put a harness on me with a leash so she cold pull me out of the water if I fell in). I was as fascinated by the boats as I was by the trains. One boat in particular was my favorite, what I believe was a herring boat similar to he one pictured below, although I believe the boat in my photo is a Columbia River boat. Painted green and yelllow, the boat in Sausalito's name was "Lucky Lady." I always wanted to go to he harbor to see "Lucky Lady" and have always loved the water and boats ever since.

My first experience actually being in a boat was in a canoe at a camp on Lake Michigan near the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes when I was about 16. I was a councilor trainee and I had to learn a camp activity well enough to teach it. I chose canoeing, so that''s what I spent my summer doing. I also learned to drive the camp's beautiful Chris Craft barrel-back runabout that we used to pull water skiers. And I learned the rudiments of sailing in the camp's little fleet of Snipes.




-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 19th of October 2011 11:26:59 AM
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:32 AM   #7
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

Camp Seagull on the Neuse River 1975-1977. After a few years there, I really enjoyed being on the water. Our father bought a used ski boat from the camp after my last year there and really encouraged me to take it out in Bogue Sound by myself while I was in Jr.High School. I read Chapman's Piloting book while he took classes with the Power Squadrons. I learned a lot. Took our ski boat out for a few years during High School, but only REALLY came back to it when Bess told me to :-D
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:57 AM   #8
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How did you come to love boats and the sea?

Born on an island in the north Atlantic Newfoundland.

My grand father was a commercial fisherman and his father before him I grew up on his 3 masted schooner fishing for cod and Halibut.*I think it is in my DNA

My earliest memory was being passed from the wharf to the schooner by my great uncles and a fear of falling between the boat and the wharf.

I was jigging for cod at the age of 4. I have owned a boat of my own of one sort or another since I was 12.

The sea will provide my grand father always said.

My one and only regret is that the boat I have now. An X commercial fishing boat. Into which I have sunk so much time and effort into cannot accomidate my wife.**Due to the wheel chair. *I can't get her on board. Gonna need a major refit. I just don't know if the old girl is worth it. The boat not the admiral.

SD

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-- Edited by skipperdude on Wednesday 19th of October 2011 02:53:34 PM
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:09 PM   #9
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

Other than my grandfather coming from Ireland on a tramp steamer (after he sold his ticket for the Titanic), there's no family history of even being around water. My father was hydrophobic -- never even learned how to swim. My family had very little money and the first boat ride I can remember was as a young teen taking the ferry across Puget Sound. I stood at the bow of the car deck and immediately fell in love with the salt spray hitting my face. After being disqualified for the draft in 1965, I signed on as a fishing boat deck hand. I was always fascinated by Mike Nelson (played by Lloyd Bridges) on Sea Hunt, so when I saved up enough money I took diving lessons and became a commercial diver in S. Cal. Too many of my buddies were getting bent (they only paid for bottom time, not decompression time) so I went to college to become a Marine Biologist. Graduated and could only find a job as a research assistant running the chambers in a department studying hyperbaric physiology. After one semester they asked if I wanted to become a graduate student, so I got my PhD studying decompression sickness. Since that involved clinical activity, they expanded my degree program to a PhD/MD. I ultimately went into the clinical practice of Anesthesiology. I've always owned at least one boat and have spent the rest of my life (so far) around water.
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:24 PM   #10
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

When I was almost too young to remember my Dad owned a Dorset OB boat. Was told I cried when he sold it and later rejoiced when he bought a very small old houseboat on the delta. The boat sank in a storm when I was still far too young to remember much. But I have discovered through this forum that the spark my Dad started so many years ago is alive and well. I am blessed in many ways but most of all with an admiral who has enjoyed pursuing my dreams for almost 25 years now. We pursue them together equally and love them, more than anything they always seem to translate into memories our children tell us they cherish. She tells everybody that her husband has grown up but never lost a childlike aspiration to chase dreams.

We love camping in tents although our friends use RV's. We love picnics in scenic locales when others prefer fine dining. We love day trips to the beach when some like the beach in Maui. It's not a lack of funds that keeps us doing things that some call cheap, it's a sense of family and teaching our children that a great memorable time seldom if ever costs much money.

I relate to the post about Popsicle sticks in the street gutter, I did the same as a kid and tought my boys to do the same. The memory puts a smile on my face.
Either way, it's bound to be fun. Expensive perhaps but then, there are some things one should never place a price tag on. The biggest compliment received to date came from my oldest son now serving in the Air Force. In a recent letter he told me how thankful he is to have parents that tought him money doesn't buy happiness.

*

Sorry for the ramble down memory lane...
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Old 10-19-2011, 02:35 PM   #11
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

When I was three, I ran alongside my plastic tugboat in the street gutter during a heavy rain.* When 10 or 12 my Dad let me sail a rented Snipe for a couple of hours*on Strawberry Lake/Reservoir (CA).* In the 1960s I raced summers and winters for several years*on the Bay with my Dad in his 28.5-foot sloop.
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:23 PM   #12
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How did you come to love boats and the sea?

This is a great thread. Thanks for starting it Garry. Its very interesting to see how we all ended up with our holes in the water.

I can't remember my first experience: brought to our Penobscot Bay summer home by schooner at age 8 months. Only way to get there at that time.

Summers from then on were mostly in Maine or Long Island Sound dinking around in anything that floated, from paddle propelled logs to oar propelled prams, outboard skiffs, whalers, Turnabouts, to racing gaff rigged Dark Harbor 12's and 17's in Maine and* racing Bullseyes on Long Island Sound, sailing and cruising on friends' parents' boats (some of which were of significant size as my father was the Chaplain of a yacht club in wealthy Greenwich, Conn). Couldn't get enough of it.

From the time I could read, I read about anything I could about the sea. Loved it all and still do.

Rowed (Crew) in high school and college. Loved it.

First summer job in college I wanted to go to sea, so two summers in the Merchant Marine doing menial jobs on passenger liners and then a further stint between college and Navy. Joined the Navy for 4 years to avoid 2 in the Army (Vietnam era) and be near the water (partially successful).

Always lived on or near the sal****er and I get claustrophobic being away from it.*

My burial instructions are to scatter me and a half gallon of rotgut bourbon from a boat on Penobscot Bay and for the burial party to drink the rest of the gallon (at a minimum).

*

(What the heck is so objectionable about the word "sal****er" that it can't be spelled out w/o asterisks?)


-- Edited by dwhatty on Wednesday 19th of October 2011 03:26:33 PM
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:27 PM   #13
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

Both my parents could not swim and where fearful of the water.* *I remember the day/moment I swore to my self that some day I would own a run about, under and hopefully later a larger boat, 30+ ft.* I was attending the U of W, and rented a canoe, where all the boats pass between Lake Union and Lake Washington.** In 1971 the year I graduated, got married, and a job, I bought my first boat.* A 1970 Chrysler 19 ft run about with a 140 HP Merc OB. *I still have/own the run about and we used it during the summer.* ***

17 year later, my second wife and I for a wedding present bought a 28 ft Reinel which was bigger for cruising the Puget Sound, but small enough for the larger fresh water lakes and rivers.* When crossing the Straight of Georgia from the San Juans we ran into so white caps that where bigger than we had ever encountered. *It was in the middle of Georgia Strait we decided we need a BIGGER boat. Our children were moving out of the house, so we decided to down size and a bigger boat.

We where looking at bigger, 45 ft, go fast pretty boats, when my wife saw an UGLY OLD SLOW TRAWLER sticking out 20 ft past the other prettier boats and said, I want to go on that boat! **I was not interest, so she went on it by herself.* I figured NO WAY!* 15 minutes pass and no sign of my wife, so being the good husband, went to check to make sure she was OK.* Reluctantly I enter the UGLY TRAWLER, and found her laying on the mast bed.* I figured great, maybe she want a little extra activity, but sadly NO!* She ask me to lay beside her, not on top of her, and ask. *What do I hear and feel?* I said Nothing, except horny and bored.* She said, Exactly, you can not hear the water lapping and or the boat moving.* This is the boat I want!*

I was not a happy person.* No sex and on top of that she want to buy this UGLY OLD SLOW TRAWLER! 9 month later we sold the house, bought the ugly old trawler and became a live aboard. *That was 14 years ago.*********
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Old 10-19-2011, 03:58 PM   #14
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

Grew up always living by the coast and loving the sound of the water, After 24 months on floating around on a big gray bird farm (CVA-43) that they wouldn't let me drive, I got a bug for being on the water. Moving to northern California where it gets above a 100 for days on end (but is a DRY heat) I needed something to do. With no A/C and all my neighbors gone on weekends (because they all had ski boats or express cruisers) we decided to get a boat. Our first boat was a 1977 Blue/White 36 ft Gibson houseboat.

The first weekend bringing it back to my marina I followed my friends back and parked by the gas dock. Then inquired who was going to park my boat ? I knew I couldn't and didn't want to damage al the beautiful boats around me. What the hell did I know ? Everyone laughed and said it is easy, get the pointed part in the slip and the rest of the boat will follow, just do is slowly..like a controlled crash. I asked if any of them at looked at the front on my boat ? 12ft wide in the front, 12 ft wide in the back. They all agreed I was pretty much screwed. We practiced docking it the following Tuesday on a dock of a empty house that was for sale, pretty sure we lower that value a few thousand dollars, but I did walk away with the nerve to stick that 12 wide boat into a 14ft wide slip.

That was 20 years ago. Going to show that boat this afternoon in hopes of selling it. Now I'm still working my fulltime job and working off the growing list of repairs on the new boat. No regrets, it has been a fun ride. Now we are living aboard full time and enjoy in every minute of it. If KMA is still reading everything that was bad and could have cost more on this boat, as worked out for the best. We come up to owning it 1 years next month. Thanks for your insght and as I've said the door is always open.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:16 PM   #15
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

I've always lived near the water, since I was seven either my Dad or I had boats. I was a "dedicated fisherman" till I bought a Camano in 2004, the Monk in 2008. Still have the Boston Whaler Montauk I bought new in 1981 for fishing.

Steve W.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:55 PM   #16
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

My grandparents had a place on the Potomac River when I was 4 or 5, we would spend a week or two at Sandy Point in the summer and my grand dad would let me steer a 15 foot aluminum boat powered by a 25 hp Johnson. One winter when I was 6 or 7, my dad and I built an 8 foot pram in the basement (I remember it would not fit out the basement door so we lugged it up the steps, somehow it would fit thru that door). That summer, I rowed that pram up and down the beach all day long, my grandmother was convinced I would suffer a heat stroke. The freedom and the solitude of being on the water was a kind of peace that I've not experienced anywhere else, even if that summer I was only 15 feet from shore. My wife says that she can see me physically relax when we step on the trawler. Funny, my dad really wasn't a boater, we'd go fishing but he was not a waterman. He was into golf and I have played since I was 12 but golf is not like being on the water. I've never been as frustrated with the boat as I have been on the golf course. Good thing too, I might get hurt tossing a 40,000 pound trawler.
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:14 PM   #17
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How did you come to love boats and the sea?

Quote:
dwhatty wrote:
My burial instructions are to scatter me and a half gallon of rotgut bourbon from a boat on Penobscot Bay and for the burial party to drink the rest of the gallon (at a minimum).

*

(What the heck is so objectionable about the word "sal****er" that it can't be spelled out w/o asterisks?)



*Because it contains the combination of letters t-w-a-t.* Dirty word filter.* Write it as "salt water" and you'll be okay.

So where do you boat in Maine these days (if I haven't asked this before)?* My first trip to Maine was in 1978 or 9 when I visited a good friend in Virginia and then went to Maine to visit (in order) the Old Town Canoe Company, a guy building custom canoes on an island on the coast, and the*LL Bean store.* I was hot to build a big wood and canvase guide canoe (square stern) and the guy on the island built these.* Nothing came of this but it was a neat trip EXCEPT it was solid fog along the coast and I never saw more than about 50 feet in front of me.

My next trip to Maine was a couple of June's ago when my wife and I accompanied the same friend and his wife to PEI.* They have a good friend who lives on an island (connected by a little bridge to the mainland) near Brunswick, near Bath.* Spend a full day there on the way up to PEI and antoher one on the way back. During which time my friend and I visited the maritime museum in Bath.* No fog this trip, although lots of rain, but at least I could see stuff.

Very intriguing coastline.* A restaurant we ate at even farther out on the string of islands had a NOAA chart on the wall*of the coast in that area and it really looked like it would be fascinating to explore.* While my exposure to the area was*totally*minimal--- although I did have some fascinating discussions with a few commercial lobstermenl--- I came away thinking that it along with the PNW/BC/SE Alaska coasts*are the two places I have seen on the planet so far that I would really enjoy boating in.


-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 19th of October 2011 06:14:48 PM
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:57 PM   #18
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

Quote:
Marin wrote:

So where do you boat in Maine these days (if I haven't asked this before)?
Normally from Rockland east to Mt. Desert and all points in between. Occasionally west to the Boothbay region or east as far as Roque Island. Get ahold of Taft's Cruising Guide To The Maine Coast or borrow Walt's copy (with which I have attempted to lure him East) to get an idea of the area from a cruising perspective.

Perhaps like a smaller and less mountainous PNW and its not all fog and rain although we, probably like you in the PNW, tell enamored visitors that its always fog and rain.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:11 PM   #19
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

Quote:
dwhatty wrote:
Perhaps like a smaller and less mountainous PNW and its not all fog and rain although we, probably like you in the PNW, tell enamored visitors that its always fog and rain.
*Well, it wsa certainly all*fog and rain the times I was there.* So I will continue to reinforce the image you are trying to project.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:02 PM   #20
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RE: How did you come to love boats and the sea?

I am not sure of the "why", but here's the result. First time I have ever made a list but it was surprisinly easy to sequence them - go figure. I was rowing at four so this list spans 56 years.

Pleasant Bay, Cape Cod (parents boats)
Cape Cod Knockabout, 18
plywood rowboat (from Braintree, MA), 12
Delano skiff, lapstreak, 15
Palmer Scott runabout, early fiberglass 17
Jordan runabout, plywood, 18
PennYan runabout, glass 23
PennYan runabout, glass 18

Louisiana (my boat as a grad student)
Rhodes Sloop, 27

British Columbia (my boats)
Hinterholler Shark sloop, 24
2 year contract in Fiji ; lots of boat work
glass skiff, 12
North Sea, Palmer Glass trawler, 26
Zodiac, 13 (the divorce era)
Armstrong Welded Aluminum (hull #2), 22
Welded Aluminum skiff, 16
Permaglass trawler, 33 (see classifieds!)
Krogen trawler, 42
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