The owners of the long, sleek boat called Heart String both worked in education.
And not flush with money but long, deep with desire, work ethic. To have a vessel to ply the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. To know the peaceful feeling that floods the insides of a person when all alone out on the open sea.
But instead of mortgaging their soul, over extending their financial resources, the boat was not bought with a brand new smell.
No sticker shock or rapid depreciation on this floating toy. Liquid asset. No no. Bought as a basket case with graceful lines but many loose ends.
The husband handy, a self taught magician with tools. And like his wife not one to sit on the edge of a couch or sunk in a recliner. Killing time unplugged, absorbed on the boop tube.
Instead the boat parked side saddle to the garage with the pair usually inside nursing it back to health.
With refinishing, replacement, improvements better than the original elements one by one added to the old boat. To return her to glory days. (Cue up, hit the Bruce Springsteen song.) Better than original with new advancements in electronics, appointments.
And when school vacation for summer fun arrived, the boat was one of the first in line. To be backed into, floated off, released at the public landing in Newburyport MA. To launch, heading to Nova Scotia Canada.
The cost to repair canvas sails prohibitive on the education pay both socked away.
So sewing, making their own alterations happened. Like other areas bleeding out. In the boat displaying black and blue ten foot pole marks, it was do it yourself time. No other option. Not a case of just stepping out to hire it all done.
Rolling up the sleeves. Doing the research on line, in books and asking around. Chewing the fat. Posing questions for other boat owners. Folks addicted to salt air too. Harbor sounds and blue green water that are fixtures. Always hanging around the marina.
To learn how to cross another item off the long to do list.
Of the needed attention to replace the lack of TLC the last boat owner showed the pleasure boat. The one powered mostly by the wind. No motor to holler over or drown out the sounds of the sea.
The owner said the tranquil inner feeling that is like no other when its just you, your wife and the wide open sea surrounding you is hard to describe. But more rewarding due to the fact that leading into the sea cruises, it was working all the spare time. Investing it into making the boat seaworthy, fully functional.
For the much anticipated nautical trips when the classroom bell rang for the last time. Until school resumed in the fall. When leaf color deviated from standard issue green. The air got crisp, days cooler on each end. The sun eased back on its spotlighting the good Earth.
You’ve seen the sporting group that must have just stepped out of LL Bean’s Freeport outlet.
Loaded down with the latest and greatest in neat high tech all weather gear. With price tags still waving in the wind that were missed getting dressed. Heavily armed with the newest sporting doo dads.
But help signal here is someone that jumped into the endeavor hook, line and sinker. With plastic swipes and caught up in the moment. Suddenly deciding to go whole hog in one and only direction. For now. Looking for instant gratification that only retail therapy and a large credit limit can cause. For awhile.
But the guy who’s rain gear was his Dad’s. Passed down. Like the tools his grandfather picked up over the years. Or a neighbor who had no kids. And treated you like you were adopted for the spot. Without saying so publicly, for the record.
But ending up gratefully leaving what he had to fill the hole in his life of an empty nest.
Putting your name on the here comes more tools, collectibles to add to what’s already in your workshop. You the appointed one who shared, lighten up his life. Was remembered when he woke up dead one day.
The sweetest things in life are waited for, built over time with sacrifice. Making the passion grow hotter, glow brighter. Enriching the experience because you did it. Slowly. With blood, sweat and tears invested.
Not everything done perfectly but by doggedly sticking on task. Driven to complete the self inflicted challenge just the same. And if lucky enough to have a first mate, co-captain, partner in the crime of passion. Then it’s a shared adventure.
The best kind where together you make the experience from nothing but a dream.
Something pulling on your heart strings. Creatively constructed to enhance your life. To make living it more than just skimming the surface.
And never having to find yourself on a nursing or elderly boarding home open porch rocking. Looking back with regrets on missed opportunities. That are too late to take now and play catch up. You had your chance. Realizing it too late.
The boat was one of two floating hobbies projects. For seven years the back and forth to Nova Scotia, back to New England criss cross happened. Before ending while now still owning an Indian Class boat. But moving on to other hobbies to add to the depth of their life experiences. Life is to be enjoyed, lived, experienced.
What happened to Heart String?
After all that work, almost hitting head on a dead whale. In the middle of the night while clipping right along with a strong head wind. Almost swallowing up, sending the boat to a watery grave. The vessel that turned heads, dropped jaws. Interrupted many a conversation when it slid into harbors?
Heart String was sold to a fellow who changed the name to Maverick. And he and his wife shortly afterwards were divorced. Untied the sailor’s matrimony half hitch knot. Both sadly realized there was lots in life each was missing, searching for but just not together. Not on the bridge, at the wheel of same boat. Not on the same nautical chart page compass position, or living in the same set of dream landscapes.
Maine is a good place to find those extra curricular activities. Offers the settings, provides the neat people in small Maine towns to go with the outdoor fun. That somehow almost always involves Maine water.