Sometimes I pull in to a harbor and get to work early in the morning. The fog still hasn’t burnt off so it makes the scene even gloomier. Boats just sit there, old and new, dirty or clean. For the majority, there’s a lot of neglected ones and sometimes I wonder why the owners still hire us. Like a doctor delivering a bad diagnosis to a patient, we kindly tell them their boat is on it’s last leg and should get hauled out. The owner never does, and so we keep working on their relics. A lot of boats sit there, looking like abandoned toys. As if the owner grew up and forgot it was there. A symbol of fun times of the past, now just rest areas for local seals and seagulls.
I have a lot of time to think underwater(see: maybe too much) and sometimes I think the salt water is getting to my brain. Anyway, I wrote a monologue from a boat in Wilmington harbor to its owner/captain:
“Hey……it’s been awhile. How are you? The kids are all grown up? Man I miss them. Remember when we all use to go to Catalina for the weekend, hang out, the kids use to jump off me? Good times…. So listen, I never really ask for anything but I’m getting old. The sun has done its damage on my once beautiful teak decks. My underside gets so barnacled up nowadays I don’t feel the divers working on me. I thought we’d have a long lasting relationship together…until you got married and 2 kids later. I know it’s been hard the past few years but I’m not feeling my youthful self anymore. The seagulls shit on me all the time. Other captains walk by and sneer, as if I’m an eye sore in the marina. Sometimes I hear the diver say “man..not this boat again…”.
It would be nice if you cleaned me up and maybe ….maybe… it’s time to part ways and sell me. I know selling me would hurt, but I think it’s what’s best for the both of us. Someone that can spend weekends fixing me up, making me look kind of young again. I could sail off into the sunset one last time …have a happy ending…. How about it captain?”