Date: 17 February 2014. The
Let us step
back in history to 1956. That was a very busy year for one
Massachusetts couple. Ed Marois and his wife were building a steel
fishing boat for use in local waters of New England. At least that's
the story they spread around to friends and family. You see, not all
see the advantages of life afloat.
the saboteurs who will do all they can to try convincing you their
staid life is safe, secure and oh so much better than a life aboard
a boat. They are The Unknown Citizen spoken about so
eloquently by W. H. Auden. And they are WRONG!
The Unknown Citizen by W. H. Auden
He was found by the bureau of statistics to
One against whom there was no official complaint
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old fashioned word, he was a
For in everything he did he served the greater community.
Except for the war till the day he retired
He worked in the factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a
paper every day
And that his reactions to poetry were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully
And his Health Card shows he was once in a hospital but left
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A gramophone, a radio, a car, and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into public opinion are
That he held the popular opinions for the time of year.
When there was peace, he was for peace; when there was war, he
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenists say was the right number for a parent of
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their
Was he free? Was he Happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we certainly should have heard.
I know this
to be true: For Christmas in 1955 my daddy gave Mother a set of
plans to a boat. From that beginning less than one year later the
boat splashed and my life began on that shake-down cruise. The
launch was published in the Fall River, Massachusetts newspaper too.
The following was printed on page two, 10 November 1956:
me particularly is that the boat is called a fishing vessel. No
where is there any indication that this was to be a home. But the
part that really piqued my appreciation of the obscuring of true
intent is the final sentence. "Her owner hopes to use her for many
years in local waters."
fascinate me and I did take a picture of the reverse side of
the boat launching shown above. It's got a cool Navy
airplane and I'd like to ask any website visitors who can
identify it to please do so. I'll add the information
for others who might be fascinated too. And thanks!
took eight months to build, however improvements happened as the
years rolled by. You can of course meet people who take years
(decades even!) to build a boat. Obviously to someone like me, there
is the suspicion that the person enjoys building a boat more than
using her. And there's not a lot of sympathy from me when I
hear about something else that has to be done first.
Was our 40'
steel fishing vessel aka home done at launch? No!
However she was done enough -- and that's an important distinction.
Son enjoying crackers
with clam dip aboard the boat.
Over the years the cabin
was built, enlarged, carried back, windows added, doors to
enclose, the fly bridge was put on, then extended, and a
multitude of changes down below occurred too. Eventually she became quite a
girl. Always she was our home and well loved. And a home does not
have to be dirt-bound.
years together my folks were certain there were no children in their
future, so a life afloat someplace lots warmer than New England
awaited. The chariot, at that time with a light blue hull had a
small diesel and she was good to go. So she went.
1957 they started south. And in the Dismal Swamp Canal on a
particularly cold night... well, there was an oblique note in the
ship's log about the cold. And nine months later a reference
back to that entry announced my birth.
Less than a
year after launch I arrived too. Sure, they could have
swallowed the anchor* but instead chose to continue, educating me
along the way. I've been to schools (dreadful places/boringgggg)
and learned lots more from other boaters.
Calvert (home school) too
hasn't changed much over the years.
the anchor: Move off the boat and live ashore.
That's my daddy, barefoot, following my
duo up a dock. He's the one who made everything possible.
My children and I were blessed by the life Daddy
chose, and now I'm following in his wake.
can take from this however is that two people decided boating was to
be their life. Rather than listen to the nay-sayers, they opted to
build a "fishing boat" for use in "local waters" and then, when the
time came headed south. I am not saying you should lie,
however I am saying that for most dirt dwellers this life is alien,
and therefore wrong.
It takes a
degree of fortitude to strike out on your own path, but know this:
You're not the first nor will you be the last to make the journey.
And those of us out here appreciate the determination it takes to be
a cruiser. Perhaps that's why we help each other so often?
Because we're in this together.
The family home. Our car is on the foredeck. A davit
in the cockpit is for loading and unloading motorcycles.
It's also useful for man overboard retrievals. There are mounting
points on both port and starboard for that davit.
choices. You, like all of us, make choices each day.
Some have a lifetime of consequences and others are virtually
meaningless. It's up to you to decide where you want to be in one
year, two, or five. As for me, I'll be someplace around here:
I'd love to hear what your plans are.
And, what are you doing to make it happen?
© 2014, 2019
I Did It
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