So there’s this boat…
Sunday afternoon my future mother in law noted off hand that there was a mast visible just offshore from us, apparently from a run aground sailboat, and has been there for several days, but no one from the family had really ventured out to check it out. Naturally, my fiancé and I decided to go down and check it out.
Now the shore is actually about a block away from us. We live on a street that has a creek on one side, and at the end of the block there’s an undeveloped open space along a frontage road. On the other side of the frontage road is the rail line, and on the other side of that, the bay- except for a little peninsula where the dynamite factory used to be and its ruins still lay. So, taking a walk to get to the water is really easy and we try to do every so often; at the end of the little frontage road is access to a section of the Bay Trail, which wraps around the entire San Francisco Bay.
Our little portion has winds that kick up in the afternoon, so when the tide comes in and the winds are still up, you’d get pushed easily to our merry shore, our scurrying shorebirds, and our dirt saturated with nitroglycerin. Conceivably, a poor sailer could get temporarily stuck, but could push off in the morning’s high tide easily. It does provoke some worry.
So we walked down and there indeed was a little boat. Thing is, we have no harbor and no pier. It is anchored in the mud flats. When the tide goes out, it tilts to the port side. When the tide is in, it floats. It is most certainly parked illegally (the laws over protecting the Bay are numerous) but it is in good condition, tied down well, has buoys out, gear lashed down and a current inspection sticker.
The odd thing is the boat is still there. We haven’t seen anyone go to the boat or from the boat, and we let the Coast Guard know just so they know, but it’s low priority and no one really seems to care or notice. It could sit there forever. It could become a permanent fixture with how laid back everyone is here. The owner is probably down at our pub, having a beer and watching the Giants like everyone else. We did see a new couple…
I can’t help thinking that the boat is some sort of mysterious visitor, a cloaked entity in of itself. It could be here forever. It will just be the Boat that is There, some phantasm the neighborhood children will talk about and explore for decades. Or, it could work what magic it intends and then disappear one night, as quietly and mysteriously as it arrived.