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Hung up on a piling

Before I proceed I have to explain that we, as in the “Royal We” (that would be the HOTH aka the Head of the Household or the Captain, and ME, aka the First Mate) are presently living on a boat. There’s MY house and HIS boat and for the better part of the year we live on HIS boat.

With that out of the way, we arrived in this quaint little town to a lovely reception and a warning from the dock master that they had crazy 3 – 4 feet tides. Not a problem, we are experienced mariners and used to tides.


Safely tied up at the dock we went to bed and happily slumbered through the night until that magic hour of 6.00 am which is the latest I can sleep.

Morning is the time I really miss our old boat. When I woke up, I could see right through the lounge to the bow up front and whatever natural light was on offer for the day. On “Final Fling” (really?) you go down a set of stairs to the master cabin. At night, with curtains drawn, it’s inky blackness unless you turn on some lights.

Not wanting to do that, I snuck out of bed, careful not to disturb a dreamland scene of husband and dogs tangled in blankets and made my way through an obstacle course of ornamental pillows and dog toys and my “go-everywhere-with-me” tote that holds notebooks and pens and knitting and more (if I can’t find something it’s probably in there) and finally reached the bathroom. Bat senses still on full alert I next tiptoed back through the inactive minefield to the door leading to those stairs and ……………found it closed.

Ehhhh? We never close that door.

I opened it, let go and ever so gently it swung close again. What the $*@##&? Repeat and repeat and I’ll be danged if that boat wasn’t listing to the port side! I scrambled up the stairs on all fours, (faster that way and what does that say about my ancestry…) convinced that somehow or other we were taking on water and sinking.

My panicked screeching and stampede up the stairs had HOTH out of bed, dressed and on my tail feathers like something out of an action movie. We weren’t sinking but were hung up on a piling. While resting in Morpheus’ arms, the tide had come in and ever so gently lifted us up and up and up until the rub rail on the boat was higher than the top of the piling.

Then, a gentle wave from a passing boat must have pushed us closer just enough, so that the rub rail now rested on the piling. When the tide went out and out and out, the water went down and down and down and so did the boat. One side only. The port side.

Very rarely do I do the hysterical chicken-with-its-head-cut-off flapping bit, but I wonder if for a moment or two I might waved my arms and danced in a circle wondering where I’d  “safely” put the dogs’ life jackets. While I considered calling the dock master for help, (he had warned us, after all) the Captain was out on the front deck trying to pry us off the piling with a boat hook. No luck. Next, he went port side (listing side), got off the boat on to the dock and grabbing the line leading to the bow of the boat, tugged and tugged and tugged.

No luck. 50,000 lbs. of boat rested comfortably, one side up and the other side down, enjoying the early morning sunshine. I scurried down the ladder, grabbed the line alongside the Captain and leaned into it. (Woman Power is an awesome thing.)

Slowly, gently that rub rail slid off the piling and Final Fling gracefully righted herself.

Lessons learned.

The Boating Lesson:  Make sure your lines are tight when dealing with 3 – 4 foot tides.

Life Lessons:

One:     It needed both of us to pull that boat free (with the help of the water.) “United we Stand, Divided we end up lop-sided.”

Two:     How rooted was that piling that it could support a 50,000 lbs. boat? (And here too, the water was helping.)

How rooted am I?

How rooted are you?

And in what?

Will you hold, when life piles 50,000 lbs. of “stuff” on you?  Do you have “water” to help you? Where do you go, when your world gets hung up on a piling?

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