It is one of those late-summer-going-on-early-autumn days which wrap their soft warmth into every nip and tuck of body and boat. Slung into my hammock which Simon cleverly whiskered across Rope Sole’s ample bow, I have been reading, gazing and musing while Kezzie knuckles down to the serious business of crunching a bone below me.
From across the bay we are crooned by the warbling notes of a barrel organ..or maybe it’s a vintage gramophone, there again it could just be last night’s pianist who over-ouzo’d and found himself propped at the keyboard when he awoke. Anyway, the tune is vaguely familiar and it’s easy to hum along…somewhere between ‘never on a Sunday’ and ‘fiddler on the roof’ all very atmospheric and jolly.
From time to time a visiting boat decides to wrench itself away from the idleness and the sounds of anchor chains clattering back into deep lockers periodically cause me to lift my eyes from the page in anticipation of a little drama.
However this is not the season of franticality and I watch as a lone skipper of a 50 footer sets the windlass to ‘pull’ and ambles along the side decks casually untying fenders and dropping them into the seemingly bottomless pit at the bow, while his handsome craft calmly noses towards her tether.
A little different from my anxious scurryings and constant expectation that we’ll retrieve more than our own anchor. In reality this rarely happens and I resolve to perfect a similar gait, as befitting the unworried.
A few items of washing hang across the line…inner clothes discreetly pegged behind the outer garments, as I was taught to do on rusty wires suspended over narrow streets in Cairo where a similar lack of privacy is normal. I chat to the Swedish lady next door who has taken a break from hoovering her decks to peg out her own smalls and we admire her handiwork. She and her husband have been stripping away old teak and replacing it with ….plastic teak! It’s a huge boat and has taken four weeks already. Of course, she says, pointing to our textured plastic surface…currently littered with fragments of bone, lashings of dog hair and random empty bean pods from last night…that’s the best thing to have.
We have had some wonderful guests on board over the past few days….treasures recently troved and slightly older ones buffed and becoming more familiar. Together we enjoyed several memorable hours in the cockpit and down below, eating pizzas made by Takis, baklava from a box and Nicoletta’s homemade bread…gifted via a motorbike in a narrow lane above the quay.
Leaning back on this mellow day of rest it is as though our lovely God-chosen boat is sighing with contentment too.