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Old 08-01-2011, 11:43 PM   #1
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A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

This week, Thursday actually, will be our 12 month anniversary from when we purchased our Monk 36. *I have learned a lot, she has taught me a lot, and she has made me a profoundly better boater. *On top of that, she has been a true blessing to our family in more ways than I could count. *She has taught me more about piloting a boat than any other boat before (even though she is smaller than our most recent boat), taught me more about boat systems, and has proven to be an instrument of change for the good in our lives on multiple levels.*
So...I decided to write her a letter. *I thought you all might appreciate it and perhaps identify with some of it. *I will probably edit it some more this week as I refine my thoughts, etc. but here is the first draft:
*
Dear Living Light,*
We "knew" you for several years before you really came into our lives. *We admired you from afar but never got to really spend time with you except that one chance afternoon with your previous owner where he gave me the tour of your cabin and staterooms well before we were ever looking to bring you to our family.* I thought you were pretty back then but as you know, you were in a bit of disarray. *
And so it came to be that a year ago you officially came into our lives.* I know the few weeks prior to your previous keeper signing you over to us I poked and prodded you all over and crawled all around on you but I think you know it was only to see where you might be sick and needing attention and help.* It was all with the best intent though.* Over the past year you have grown into a proud, happy, and wonderful trawler...the trawler you were meant to be.* You are a strong and kind vessel and have brought us much joy.* It has been an honor to work on you and help reveal your inner self that lay hidden for quite some time.* I fear had we not met that you would have suffered more years in a state of confusion, incompleteness, and general neglect. Instead, you are now much loved, much appreciated, and a focal point in our family.* I know our children tend to bounce around on you here and there but you take it without complaining and keep them safe and sound in their newly configured stateroom with bunk beds all their own and you help weave dreams of far away places, of hope, adventure, of time together and connection to the natural world as they lay peacefully in their berth after a long and active day with you on the water in the hot summer sun, safe in your protective arms and mom and dad near.* As well, you provide my wife and I with a gentle place to sit around our little kerosene lamp at the teak table on the aft flybridge deck...a place we can sit, regroup, connect, laugh, share our lives, and grow close together under the stars on a quiet night.* You do this for us every weekend it seems and more.*
We hope to have many trips with you ahead and have several planned in the coming weeks and months already but I will never forget the first trip we took with you down the river with just dad and my son....3 generations of men together on your longest trip in probably 15 years as we went to get you looking pretty and to have the new topside paint applied to your exterior.* It was a magical time for us all.* My slight apprehension as to how you would perform quickly faded as I saw you run solid and true the entire 250 mile round trip journey.* I know that my son, my dad, and myself will always cherish that first trip together...running through our first locks with you, cruising new waters, talking, keeping watch as we slowly and efficiently cruised the river...you gave to us a priceless and irreplaceable memory.* I know that you will do this and more for us in the future. * *
It has been an honor to be the steward of your care these last 12 months.* Overseeing your new fiberglass decks, your painting, testing all your mechanicals, working on your electrical and plumbing systems and making improvements where needed to assure your long term health and functionality...doing all of this was an honor.* I have appreciated your patience as I learned what was needed for each step along the way and to make sure each part of you was of the highest quality and best workmanship.* One of the unforeseen gifts of you coming into our lives as well was the time my son and I spent together over the winter working on your refit and make over.* Such glorious times we had together, he at 8 years old, the perfect age to help dad with big important tasks, learning how to use tools, and able to fit into spaces that I literally cannot.* As you know, he, like all of us in our family, are very close, yet you drew us all closer together and for that I am so very grateful.* Had you been a brand new boat we would have missed out on those opportunities. *
We truly appreciate and love you like no other boat before you.* When we were looking the other way you came to us and beckoned to our heart and we are so very glad.* You are not the fastest boat, nor are you the youngest, yet you receive more compliments and praises than just about any other vessel in the entire marina and I hope you know that.* Even the boaters that* do not know what or who you are, tell us you are their favorite boat to see on the water.* You, my lovely trawler, in my book, are a class act, a wonderful friend, a trusted part of our family, and if nothing else, you have honestly taught me what it truly means to love a boat, to have the lines of a vessel call to you, to pull at your heart, capture your imagination, cause you to dream big dreams, and to feel a resonance within your spirit. May every boater learn what it is like to feel such connection with their home on the water.
*








-- Edited by Woodsong on Monday 1st of August 2011 11:47:04 PM
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:59 PM   #2
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

Awwww....shucks...I godda see my boat....sooooon....
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:37 AM   #3
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

Reply: :-D

Dear Dad,

Thanks for that. Please send more money.

Love,
Living Light
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:01 AM   #4
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

Tony,* Great Stuff you are a true Yachtsmen.* I had the pleasure of checking out Rusty and Betty's Monk 36 on their pass thru NJ on the Loop in June.* It is easy to see how you fell head over heels for the Monk.* The 36 is a perfect size and has lots of great features.

They are nice folks and hope you meet them this fall on their trip South.

JohnP
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:19 AM   #5
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

Quote:
Woodsong wrote:"May every boater learn what it is like to feel such connection with their home on the water."___________________________________________ ___________________
Terrific post! :worship:
*
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:55 AM   #6
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

Just passed our 1 year anniversary too.* Not only am I 100X more competent, but our Monk has gotten more love and use than the PO managed in probably the entire time he owned her.* So we're both better off than we were before, although I'm somewhat lighter in the wallet!* The time we spend on her is priceless though and those times make me much richer than I'd be had I saved that money or spent it on something dumb like a new roof for my house
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:14 AM   #7
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

I know how you feel WS. Right now my boat is broke and I worry like a parent with a sick child.

I know I'll get her running again but I still worry.

SD
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:55 AM   #8
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A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

I've only had Bucky, our Krogen Manatee 36, for about 10 months, and only about 4 months here in Key Biscayne. The feelings of gratification....I dunno, the spirit of the vessel is something I aspire to. Perhaps I feel the adventurous character it represents is what I hope to be. Regardless, my wife and I have been changed, and along with that, our priorities have been changed. We do, indeed, feel as if we are "stewards" rather than owners, and we are privileged to share your thoughts and feelings. May I add that such a letter is liken to a letter to the adventurous spirit in oneself.... one that provokes the introspection necessary for humility to evolve. If that isn't becoming a better human being, what is. I know i am a better human being because of that provocative, wonderful, hard working, care needing 36 feet of responsibility and discovery at my dock. Thank you for sharing your letter.


-- Edited by healhustler on Tuesday 2nd of August 2011 11:57:23 AM
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:58 PM   #9
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

Tony we are coming up on our one year anniversary with Pineapple Girl and I have been having sentimental feelings towards her.* It is not our first boat but we, too, feel differently about this boat than the ones that came before.* I cannot say she was neglected by her prior owner as he took good care of her mechanically but*I don't think he took her out much.* We have had some absolutely incredible trips on her and have only just begun exploring...* we look forward to many, many more years with our Girl.* I hope you enjoy many years of adventure and enjoyment*with Living Light.
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:57 PM   #10
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

Skinny Dippin' calls to us when we're at home.* Sure, she calls for more money, like Tom says. But from day 1, which was two years ago July 16th,* When we're not with her, we're thinking about her, thinking about the projects for her, the upcoming trips with her, and doing the Great Loop with her.* This has been the best adventure for us, and we look forward to many more years cruising our beloved boat...and an autopilot.* ;-)
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:05 PM   #11
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

Tony--- I'm one of these people who regards a boat--- at least a little recreational boat like what most of us have--- as an "it." It's just a boat. Nothing more. I completely fail to see how fiberglass, metal, wood, electronic doo-dads, and what-all can have any personality whatsoever. It either functions or it doesn't and if it doesn't you fix it. No different than a car in this respect. A boat has no feelings, it's not going to feel hurt if we neglect it or sad if we can't go out on it. The Disney-esque anthropomorphising of inanimate objects is human nature, I guess, but a boat is no more sensitive to "feelings" than the BMW that's currently sitting outside my window in the parking lot. It's not "waiting for me to drive it home." It's just sitting there, probably slowly rusting someplace.

We named our boat because you have to call it something on the radio station license and as long as we had to do that we figured we might as well come up with a name that means something to us. So we did. We have good friends in France who ask us periodically how "La Perouse" is doing and it always takes me a moment to realize what they're asking about because we never call the boat that. It's just "the boat" or sometimes "the big boat" to differentiate it from "the small boat." If I'm talking to boating friends about it, it's usually just "the GB."

Now you're probably thinking I'm trying to rain all over your parade but I'm not. I really liked your letter. Not because of what it said about the boat but because of what it said about you. All that stuff you attributed to the boat is really what you're all about, not the boat. The boat allowed you and your dad and your son to have a great time together. But the feelings you had about the experience were--- in my opinion--- generated because you shared an experience together. The boat didn't "give" you that experience, it simply provided the place for the three of you to be together and you three made of the moment what you made of it. If you didn't have that boat you'd probably have a different one, but if you did the same thing with it, the experience the three of you shared would have been the same.

So I was very impressed with what you wrote and how you wrote it. It tells me a lot about you, how you observe things, how you interpret experiences that you have, and what's important to you in your life. So, by my way of thinking, it's really a letter to you, using the metaphor of a boat to convey how you feel about the experiences you have on the water, and in life. Very nicely done.
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:52 PM   #12
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

All,
Glad you enjoyed it.

Marin- don't worry, your grand banks loves you even if you don't feel it!

I've always loved writing.
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:36 AM   #13
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

Tony, even tho I know what Marin is saying is right, and an inanimate object does not treally have feelings, we as humans do have feelings towards something that serves us well, and that is what you are feeling. I feel it too, and at this moment those sort of feelings are being felt by me towards my trusty Celica GT4, which I have owned 20 odd years, and even after all that time it gives me a blast to drive it. Recently it became unwell, with clutch failure. The paint is also gone, but bodywise sound as a rock and the engine still as sweet as the day I got it, and uses no oil worth mentioning. So it was with some sadness I contemplated having to just drive it to the wreckers and walk away. It is unsaleable as it is, and it seemed the cost of repair + paint was just going to be too much more than it's worth to be sensible if the engine had to come out. Today to my delight we found the clutch failure was just metal fatigue fracture of the clutch box up under the dash. One was located promptly, second hand from a wrecker, and she'll be back on the road tomorrow, so I will get the paint job done and be happy. I like nothing more than blasting (legally of course), down to my Lotus, 33 km away via freeway and then a nice twisty road through canefields, to get to the marina to my boat. One without the other would just seem WRONG...! The car 'knows' the way Marin..... ! Yeah...ok...I know...It's me that knows the way...but it makes a good story....
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Old 08-03-2011, 01:43 AM   #14
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

Quote:
Peter B wrote:
The car 'knows' the way Marin..... ! Yeah...ok...I know...It's me that knows the way...but it makes a good story....
*Peter--- I don't fault you for the story.* A lot of people attach feelings to inanimate objects.* It's not wrong or bad.* I just don't identify with it.* I love going out on the boat, I enjoy working on it, even its rainforest of teak trim-- I regard it as the world's largest woodworking project :-)* I and my wife have gotten a huge amount of enjoyment from the boat--- I suppose in a lot of ways it's changed our lives for the better.

All this has been due to what we can do and where we can go and what we can experience with the boat.* Neither one of us feel that the boat itself is a "participant" in any of this other than as the means of conveyance.* We are extremely grateful to have it, but we are not grateful TO it.* I can get plenty romantic about what we've done and seen and experienced with the boat.* But I can't find any romance IN the boat.* It's just a boat. If floats, it goes where we point it, I can go to the bathroom on it--- handy thing, a boat.

If it had any feelings it would keep itself from getting dull, it would fix its gelcoat dings, it would change its own oil, and it would help us out by not being such a spendy little bastard.* But it doesn't so I can only conclude that, like the cars and the plane and all the other toys, it's just a thing :-(
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:33 AM   #15
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

Marin, you are right when you say....

".....But it doesn't so I can only conclude that, like the cars and the plane and all the other toys, it's just a thing."

So, when I'm out on the boat, or driving the GT4 down to her, my over-riding thought is.....

"Go...! you good thing...!"
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:51 AM   #16
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RE: A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

Quote:
Peter B wrote:

So, when I'm out on the boat, or driving the GT4 down to her, my over-riding thought is.....

"Go...! you good thing...!"
*Kinda the way I feel, PeterB.* I see the boat as sort of a magic carpet.* It is there waiting to take us to far places.* When I step on board the message I get from the boat is "let's go.* Let's go."** It's kind of like when I used to do allot of quail hunting.* The dogs were so anxious to get to the hunt.

Few things can take you to isolated areas in comfort.* A float plane with camping equipment can get you there.* A motor home or travel trailer can take you to some nice places, but few are islolated.* With good fuel and water supply your boat can keep you independent for weeks.

Few things change your lifestyle like boating.* Tony, it is no wonder that you feel as you do towards Living Light,* I still think you need counselling.
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Old 08-03-2011, 09:47 AM   #17
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A Letter to my trawler, Living Light

once again a thread killer...


-- Edited by Egregious on Thursday 4th of August 2011 08:58:43 PM
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