And the road goes on forever...

Saturday, October 11, 2008


There are few addictions I readily admit to, but loving living by water and watching boats is one of them. In our early days together before we started owning small aluminum fishing boats and got involved in crabbing, we used to fly off and charter sailboats in the Virgin Islands. Marc sails, I ride along and enjoy the ambiance. If I could, I would live on a boat. For an aficionado such as myself, there is a difference between living right by the water and living right on the water.

In the islands it’s typical to see mega yachts floating about majestically.

Although they are certainly less common in a small town like Coos Bay, we do occasionally have one dock so we can gawk and imagine what life must be like for those who can afford to own such a magic sleigh.

We also noted the way the rich-set parties during our time in the San Juan Islands; as example, this flotilla of large to small boats.
The true beauty to my eye however is often the sailboats that populate the docks. Here Marc examines a racing hull snugged up at Roche Harbor in the San Juan’s.

Mostly what one sees in a fishing harbor of course, is working boats. Those rugged and hardy, often ill kempt, showing the vigor of facing a tempest sea that constantly tries to eat them up (one way or the other).

Then, there is always the unusual. During my many walks along the quay I noticed a seagull had built her nest atop this old hulk.

As far as I could tell, she was never disturbed during the four month period it took to raise her family. This guy obviously felt if he added a little sex appeal to his boat it would make for a quicker sale.

A few years ago, this coffeehouse boat did a booming business moored to the dock in Winchester Bay where all the RVers and ATVers go.

One large boat I have a hard time understanding is the Monitor. She sits cluttered with more crap than her owners can dance around. I often see them on the dock adding yet more stuff. She’s a big trawler and could likely be a beauty if swept clean; a definite live aboard. As it is, she leans more and more to starboard until she could possibly just sink below the docks one day. It might be the only trip she gets to make. I shake my head every time I pass by—boats like this aren’t cheap--how could an owner treat one this badly?

On a much grander scale, Coos Bay recently saw the demise of the infamous New Clarissa carcass. A scrap company was brought in from back east where they fashioned two huge floating barges to serve as a work platform to cut the rusting hulk into tiny pieces. (New Clarissa) It was a success and she no longer sits forlornly among the foaming waves.
It actually feels like a sad loss to our community to have her gone.