November, fast unfolding as I speak, marks eight years since I stepped onto a boat and called it home. Boat-buying typically starts in summer, when all is bright, exciting and verdant (if you’re lucky). Like house-buying, it can take ages. There’s an array of things to fix: Surveys, licenses, insurance and, in my case, an engine. I’m not the first to move in just as a brutal winter descends.
Like an ever rolling stream
Writing it down, eight years doesn’t seem like all that much. But in that time I’ve had three jobs, three engines, two boats, one wife and a child. I haven’t counted precisely how many days it’s been so far, but I have convinced myself to sleep in a steel box floating in oft perilous water thousands of times. In years to come I will look back on this time and there will be stories to tell. And what stories!
Good question. I know there are stories to tell, because I’ve told them. And I should know, I’m well connected to the protagonists. But pinning them down isn’t easy. I wrote some of them down as I went along, but there are stories yet untold.
So I’m going to set myself a task. Eight stories, one for every year I’ve lived aboard. They may not be long. They may not be interesting. They may not be regular. They may not even number eight.
Watch this space.