Saturday, June 08, 2019

First Boat

I remember when I was about 5 years old and we visited my Aunt Elsie and Uncle Gile (pronounced Ggee le) on their farm in the Bosque, in Bernalillo. An irrigation ditch ran the length of the farm. On one of our visits, my cousin, Rose and I put the remains of a red wagon (with no wheels) into a ditch. We got in and floated about ten feet before it sank. We emptied the water and floated another ten feet. Then we got yelled at for getting our clothes wet and dirty. Our mothers put Rose and me into a round metal tub and gave us a bath.

I was 8 years old the first time I was in a real boat. My father drove onto the ferry from Terminal Island to San Pedro. It was a very short ride.

When I was 11, I won a free ride to Catalina Island for selling the most Independent Press Telegram subscriptions that month. I went by myself. I met a boy. about my age, on the island. He had a dingy and invited me to take a ride. He took me to his parent's sailboat that was anchored in the harbor. Then he took me back to shore.

When I was 20, I sailed around the world in a 250-foot-long Destroyer Escort. That is when La Mare, captured my heart. I loved being out at sea. The Viet Nam war stifled my enjoyment. But when we were not fighting, La Mare filled me with awe.

When Denise and I moved to Albuquerque, I bought her a 10-foot-long aluminum Jon boat. We rowed it down the Rio Grande in a race and came in second place. We take it out and row around the Naples canals. It's not stable enough to take it out of the marina or canals. It is really just a larger version of the red wagon we put in the ditch when I was 5, except this one doesn't have holes in it that makes it sink after 10 feet.

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