You are the dockmaster sitting in a golf cart at a high end marina in Jupiter, FL. It’s 10:30 PM on a Tuesday. You spot three men walking slowly amongst the shadows down the dock, inspecting each boat intently, stopping often, gesturing, speaking quietly. What do you do?
This gent chose to drive up and tell us politely but firmly the finger piers were off limits.
That’s when it dawned on me, jolted out of my reverie, but not for the first time, that I am a young boy in a middle age man’s body. At 54 yrs I still do what I did when I was a kid. Some of my fondest memories of those days were visiting local marinas on the lake where I grew up, scouring the back sheds just to see what there was to see. Old outboard engines, a mix of wood and fiberglass boats, sunfish hulls, the smell of wood and paint and varnish and two stroke exhaust. My Father did the same thing from time to time and we would tag along. My strongest memory of those times was sighting a dark flag blue Donzi runabout with a red bootstripe. It was for sale. I didn’t realize until my adult years that it was a bench seat Hornet. Pops didn’t buy that boat but I have the memory of seeing it with he and my brother and that’s good enough for me.
My two fellow brokers and I strolled those docks in Jupiter, kids in grown up bodies, just to see what there was to see. We ended up chatting with the dockmaster for a while about various boats, and finally parted with a friendly wave.
I’ll always be that kid, when I am around boats.