Dinner was dressed up beans and fresh bread. The kind of simple meal that you might not
chose at home, but was immensely satisfying and tasty after much fresh air and activity. The
meal and outing shut the kids down early, and Bruce and I drifted into easy conversation.
Visits come so few and far between. As old close friends are bound to do we skiped over the
day to day trivia and gossip. We talked about fundamentals of our lives. The decisions that we
have made, the paths we have followed. We listened to the older boys in the forward cabin
rambling on endlessly, the filters between their brains and their mouths not being fully
developed yet. They explored new subjects and old, tested the parameters of polite
conversation and finally their voices gave way to the soft sounds of slumber and the lapping of
water on the hull. I asked Bruce "was that the meat of our conversations when we were ten
year olds?" The answer was laugher that came from deep within each of us and met in the
bright moonlight of that October night.
I watch the nearly full moon traverse the length of the cabin windows, and return as the boat
swings softly at anchor. The quiet lapping of water against the glass hull lulls me back to my
Morning now and Duncan and Alex's quiet whispers turn to mayhem above deck as they take
turns in the bosons chair. They scamper along the sides of the boat a foot off the water, and
bounce across the decks, like an awkward Peter Pan, playing the guys and railings like a giant,
out of tune banjo. The game is a carry over from last night, and I realise that the percussion in
last nights "Bed Spring Serenade" was the abandoned bosons chair, left swinging in the wind.
The deck goes quiet and the boys appear in the main cabin demanding "What's for breakfast?"
Great oceans were not crossed, storms did not ravish us. The outing was neither epic nor dramatic, but most of lives' fond memories come out of
pleasant, comfortable moments, shared with kindred souls. This was a pleasant time on the
ocean that I will remember fondly, at least until my mind fails me.
It amazes and delights me that familiarity and friendship can survive the untended expanses of
time and neglect that we subject them to. In retirement Bruce will sail and I will surf.
This friendship that started in the middle of the continent, some thirty five years ago, has found
it's way to the Pacific shores of Vancouver Island, and continues on.