Boats and Kitchen Dancing and Talking Binoculars

I am really not paying any attention to the boats this year. For the purpose of this post, when I say boat, I mean lake freighter, not kayak. The boats have always been one of main the topics of conversation around here as well as a great source of interest and excitement. It is beautiful here and sometimes it is exciting. And then there are the days when you have to really reach to conjure up any kind of excitement. These days, there aren’t as many boats going by as there used to be and B52s do not come screaming along over the treetops any more. Jim and Grandroobly had a particular interest in the boats and Jim went so far as to cultivate the truly amazing talent of burping the name of one of them, the Paul R. Tregurtha.

The Paul R. Tregurtha

When a downbound boat makes its first appearance upon the horizon, the beached whales perk up. They abandon all of the usual vapid conversations about cooking bats and Sam Small and Levi Large and onion bag hats and processing garbage and terraforming, dum de dum de dum. grtok grok They start to speculate. Is it a big ugly? Or a salty? What is that white thing? Is it the Cort? Or Big Butt? What port is it from? Is it the Joseph P. Cotton? Grandroobly used to delight in identifying boats correctly as soon as the least little smidgeon of boat appeared on the horizon. The beached whales would be amazed! How can he do that? Well, how he could *do* that was that he had been up at the cabin listening to the scanner. He had heard the boat call in fifteen miles out from Isle Parisienne. And you can’t even see Isle Parisienne from the beach. It’s over the horizon.

One day, after a long, windy, gray, boatless day, The Commander and I were doing the kitchen dance trying to get dinner ready. Grandroobly was sitting in his rocking chair having a little snort with his binoculars at the ready and my little beach urchins were quietly engaged in some sort of pre-dinner activity. Suddenly, one of the girls yelled “BOAT!” Anyone who might have watched the ensuing butt-bumping scramble that The Commander and I did in our attempt to get out of the narrow kitchen to see the boat would’ve thought the space shuttle was landing in front of the cabin.

The view out the front window. If you look closely, the Cort is downbound. It’s hard to see.

I always used to get caught up in this boat stuff and I would keep a pair of binoculars with me at all times to check the identity of the freighters. Those boys were so persnickety about getting sand in binoculars that I finally bought my own pair. I’m pretty careful with them but they are a little sandy. This summer, for about five minutes, I considered the idea that I didn’t really need to pack my own binoculars. With the boys gone, I figured I could use whichever damn binoculars I wanted. But I stopped that nonsense short at the thought that they might well find a way to get back at me: tip my kayak over, make it snow in July, bear in the cabin, etc.

Change happens. Those boys are gone now and we can’t hear the boats call in any more. Homeland security or merely a quantum leap of technology, I don’t know. I just can’t be bothered with checking up on the boats this year. I just don’t care. I can recognize some of them without the binoculars. Like Big Butt, which is currently upbound just past the island. I get the binocs out sometimes to look at something unusual but I couldn’t be bothered checking up on everything that goes by. Even on a slow day. But yaknow? The Talking Binoculars is on her way and I am sure that she will keep us informed.

And, somehow I have actually managed to write this entry, even though The Commander has been talking to me the whole entire time I have been writing 😉

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