A boat will set me dreaming very serious dreams …

Though I’ve never taken to the high seas in a “beautiful pea green boat”,  a boat, almost any sea-worthy boat,  will set me dreaming very serious dreams of  wandering.
A boat, almost any sea-worthy boat,  will set me dreaming ...

It is possible that my paternal Grandfather is responsible for this deep character flaw of mine.  Either he, or my father’s mother, you take your pick.

Grandfather, apparently hailed from the Isle of Guernsey, where his father operated a small fleet of sailing ships based on Saint Peters Port.   It seems Grandfather had inherited his father’s love of the sea, and from an early age dreamed of following in Great Grandfather’s footsteps.

The story goes like this.  The old Master, seeing the days of sail giving way to steam, sent Grandfather off to school in England to learn something of the new ways.  But Grandfather, chaffing for adventure after a few barren years in a classroom, ran away, finding a job on a ship sailing for the south Americas.  Word leaked out, of course, and Great Grandfather took off across the Atlantic to bring the scallywag to heel, saying if he wanted to do it the hard way, he would do it under his supervision, and on one of his sailing ships.  “And it was as Great Grandfather decreed.”, said Papa.   Who can have recounted this fanciful story to Papa is problematic – the boy, my father, only remembers meeting his father once – during the First World War, after his ship had been torpedoed in the English Channel.

Family myths of running away to sea or no, it is a fact that Papa’s mother took ship to Singapore around 1896 to marry the adventurous seaman, after which, according to her eldest son, my Uncle G, she proceeded to galavant across the globe on any ship with which the family had connections, until  the war put a stop to such gratuitous travel.

In 1924, aged sixteen, Papa too, boarded a ship for the far side of the world, and, like all of Mother’s ancestors, set out to seek a new life in the great southern land.

My own voyages took me in the opposite direction, via South Africa,  then by way of  the Canary Islands to Barcelona – not the great maritime port cities of England.  And it was in places like this that I dreamed of castles, keeps and sailing ships.

Later, much later, after I’d been enchanted by Serendib, I wandered along a beach one day, and dreamed of a life on my enchanted isle …

I wonder where my dreams will take me next?

For other entries in this week’s photo challenge – Dreaming – click here.

47 thoughts on “A boat will set me dreaming very serious dreams …

  1. I believe boats have a universal appeal… I like the idea of boats but sadly not the reality. One of my favourite quotes is from Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men and a Boat…

    “It is lumber, man – all lumber! Throw it overboard. It makes the boat so heavy to pull, you nearly faint at the oars. It makes it so cumbersome and dangerous to manage, you never know a moment’s freedom from anxiety and care, never gain a moment’s rest for dreamy laziness…

    Throw the lumber over, man! Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing.

    You will find the boat easier to pull then, and it will not be so liable to upset, and it will not matter so much if it does upset; good plain merchandise will stand water. You will have time to think as well as to work. Time to drink in life’s sunshine.“

  2. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreaming | Wind Against Current

  3. What a wonderful legacy. Although I have long wanted to travel, the sea and I admire each other from our respective places. I have no sea legs or stomach.

    • What a pity – though now days a sea voyage is such a rarity people have to hunt out passenger carrying freighters if they want to go by boat. I’m amazed at my perspicacity in opting to go out to Europe by ship – even if I’d not cashed in my return ticket, before long the ships had given way to plane travel.

  4. How lovely! My father was an avid sailor for sixty years, almost until he died. He loved to sail alone and would just take off in his single-handed Finn dinghy for a few hours… My mother’s father was a captain in the British Navy during both world wars! He lived on another Channel Island, Jersey, in his retirement. I love boats, too, and the adventure of them – but my husband, although born on a small island, likes to keep his feet firmly on dry land and is not fond of the sea at all… Thanks for the lovely photos, too!

    • Ahha, Petchary – salts in your closet too! That’s fantastic. I wonder, if I’d spent more time on boats and less on land – spinning from one adventure, one place to another – what the story would have been?

  5. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreaming | Tay in Europe

  6. You said: “I know what you mean. I’ve been blown away by the beauty of some of the most reviled of insects, and things, photographed by bloggers with their macro lenses. A revelation.”

    I have this phenomenal macro picture of a beetle that I’m gonna post on my eventual San Diego Highlight Pictorial that blows me away =) Definitely a revelation! My first bioregional Highlight Pictorial will be posted in a couple days, I’m excited to see what people think!

    –Love and Liberation–

    Jan @ TheRewildWest

  7. You are officially the most appropriately named blog I have come across. The “Wanderlust” is definitely in your “Genes”. 😉

    • You’re probably right, TGG. Apart from the fact that it’s stunningly beautiful and the culture and traditions are endlessly interesting and I like the humour and the food, and the lifestyle, the sense of the exotic … 🙂

  8. I too find myself fascinated by seafaring,even though I get seasick every single time I take to the water. I grew up with sailing and, although I no longer sail. I am writing my dissertation on a seafaring topic so the salt is clearly still running in my veins. I enjoyed this post. What an interesting family history you have.

  9. Pingback: weekly photo challenge: “dreaming” « Just another wake-up call

  10. Wonderful history and photos! love the dreamy quality of the second one.
    I associate boats with my childhood, as you might have guessed from my Mangalore post. Our main mode of transport to our villages those days was on a boat and we used to look forward to those wonderful trips through beautiful landscape, quite a bit like in your Serendip 🙂

    • Madhu, is Mangalore as watery as Kerala, or was it that it was across the river? I can remember in the outback areas of Australia, we had to cross rivers bu punt, or barge, because there weren’t bridges at every road crossing.

      i’m glad you liked that shot from Yugoslavia – I’d forgotten how romantic it was:)

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