Our Future Glimpsed on Simpson Bay

They slide through the harbor on a catamaran, this future we. He, at the helm, hair touched blond by the sun and set in a permanent muss of salt spray. She, coiling a line with the practiced ease of a thousand miles.

Paddle boards are strapped along the rails, and towels are clipped out to dry. The sail is lashed to the boom in rough folds, not put away in the neat flakes of the largely unused. No, the sail is rumpled with joy, like clothes tossed to a bedroom floor.

Fenders adorn the side of the hull like ornament beads, promises of a night in port. But the ship will strain against her dock lines, halyards snap against spear-straight spars, a tan-brown beard seen on the bows, brought on by lapping waves.

This is a ship for the sea, a thousand miles left to go, another harbor to slide into — she at the helm this time, he coiling a line with the same care that he braids her hair.

7 responses to “Our Future Glimpsed on Simpson Bay”

  1. Is that an excerpt from an unpublished work, or a glimpse of your future? Either way, I like it. Very dreamy. Makes me want to hit the seas.

  2. I’m down in Saint Maarten helping a colleague bring a yacht back up to Ft. Lauderdale. Thirteen years ago, Amber and I were here on a different boat. She had flown in to Antigua, and we motored up to St. Barts and then St. Maarten with the owners.

    The owners flew out of St. Maarten, leaving us alone together on a 74′ yacht. We had only been dating for three weeks before I left on that trip. I was gone for two months, winding my way down to Barbados. It was by email that we fell in love. Those words were typed before they were ever spoken.

    I got out of boating to be home more. And then writing began taking me away as surely as the sea. But the dream has always been to set sail together, to live on boats again, to travel for the joy of intense striving followed by bouts of languid relaxation.

    We may be several years away from departing, but the glimpses of our future become more and more clear. Especially here in Simpson Bay, where our journey began together thirteen years ago. And where it is destined to pass through yet again.

  3. Hope to meet you in someday some boat-bum dive after I drop the hook. First round is on me.

    My ride of choice: Pearson 385. Center cockpit. Dry boat.

    My previous experience was with a Pearson. On a beat, on a reach, she would heel 15 degrees and sit there. Never buried the toe rail. Well-mannered.

    Fair winds and following seas.

  4. I’m not of a nautical bent, but seeing your joy for the sea is a joy in itself.

    The most beautiful part is that you have a mate that wants to share this joy and life with you.

  5. Scott B. Williams Avatar
    Scott B. Williams

    Wishing you fair winds and following seas for your delivery trip home! Should be a nice downhill run this time of year.

  6. Wishing you fair winds and following seas for your delivery trip home! It should be a nice downhill run this time of year. I can’t wait to make the passage again myself.

  7. Simply beautiful, Hugh. Loved the imagery.

    Have you ever thought of writing about your earlier adventures yachting? I’d buy that, too.

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