Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Little Boat and Freedom

Can you see their fort on the back and their two little heads just below the flag?
While anchored in Pirates Bay -Charlotteville Tobago, a  German cruising catamaran with two kids arrived.  These boys looked to be about 5 and 6 or 6 and 7.....I don't have kids so I am terrible at guessing kids ages.  Plus cruising kids are a totally different breed of kido from land kids so guessing their ages is even harder.  Anyway, they played around the deck of the boat and in the kewl fort they built on the back of this cruising cat.  After a day, their dad rowed over to our boat to see if we had a paintbrush he could buy/have.  It seems they had found a old, damaged, hard dinghy abandoned in some mangroves on Martinique.  They decided it was worth rescue and were attempting to bring it back to life as a dinghy for the boys to use.

We immediately thought this was way kewl.  When he mentioned it was a sailing dinghy, Tom became green with envy......he totally digs sailing dinghies of all shapes and sizes.  We happily gave him a new paintbrush with the condition that we be allowed to come ashore and inspect the rebuild progress.  "Of course, of course, of course.  Come and see."   

I watched the parents and kids ashore working on it.  Oddly, the kids just didn't seem all that interested.  I told Tom "I don't think the boys are grasping the fact that this boat.....their boat means freedom for them.  Big time freedom."  The parents on the other hand, completely understood that this boat means freedom for their boys and thus, freedom for them.  Tom agreed.

They completed the repairs late afternoon the next day and the maiden voyage took place.  Life jackets on, the two little boys piled in to their dinghy with oldest at the helm and took off.  Mom and dad gave chase in their motorized dinghy snapping pics and video and giving little bits of advice....although not much.  Come on, these are cruising kids.  They can sail circles around most of us.  We watched with big smiles on our faces.  It clicked.  The boys finally understood that this little boat means HUGE freedom for them.  You could almost feel the freedom in the air.

The next morning, bright and early I climbed up into the cockpit to see the oldest boy already sitting in the dinghy - just hanging out as it floated tied up behind their catamaran.  Freedom indeed!  Later that morning we were ashore and spotted the sailing dinghy tied up at the dock.  A short time later, dad and the oldest boy came along and stopped to say hello and chat.  We congratulated them on the new dinghy.  Both just grinned.  Then they departed.  The boy hopped into his sailing dinghy alone and took off for the mother ship.  Dad took his time and eventually followed along in the motorized dinghy.  After lunch the boys took off again by themselves in their dinghy.  This time dad followed along for a bit and then returned to the catamaran, leaving the boys free to explore the huge Man of War Bay.  Of course I could see him keeping a watchful eye from their cockpit but the freedom was flowing as sure as the tide.

*I didn't take any pics of the boys sailing their dinghy.  It was too kewl to witness to ruin with pics. Plus I didn't want to be the creepy lady in the anchorage snapping pics of little boys.                

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