Boat Talk

Again today the sea and the sky and the world inbetween are the same color — gray. I find it an interesting gray; not depressing, but crisp and clean and somehow pure. My perception is no doubt influenced by the taste and scent of the air that I breathe. In Vegas after the rain a deep breath is hot and stiffling while tasting of mud and smog. Here the air is crisp and cool. It tastes fresh and green like grass and pine and sea.

I can see through the window to the harbor. Between here and there are rocks, trees, bushes, moss — green, wet, dripping. Boulders line the shore, and gray waves splash up and over. Those waves are the only hint I have that an ocean lies beyond. The sea hides behind a curtain of fog.

Today I cannot see the ferry come and go, but I know it is maintaining its regular schedule despite the thick fog. I know other boats have ventured into the harbor and the strait beyond. I know because I can hear the boats talk. A boat horn will sound, “Where are you?” And another will answer, “I am here.”

The ferry is the longest and the loudest and the most insistent. It says, “Here I am,” and it means, “I am coming through.” By virtue of being the largest craft in the harbor, it has the right of way.

As well as talking to the smaller boats, the ferry also talks to the dock, It will sound off long and loud. The dock answers with a distinct siren. It is a very serious game of Marco Polo that brings the ship safely to dock.


  1. OC, when I lived in Newport, Oregon – it was the same. I would tell people that the sky, the ocean, the highway – all of it, was gray. But I didn’t mind the gray – and I didn’t mind the rain. And I love hearing it when the boats and the dock are all ‘talking’ together, (though I never quite thought of it in that manner).

  2. Very descriptive, I can image what it feels and looks like to be there, while we are sweltering here in Vegas. I too am glad your worst problem with OC has been the case of the missing carrot. Did you read J’s blog, the baby is home!!!

  3. Enjoyed the dialog between the boats. You paint a vivid picture QUILL. 😉

    No, you don’t sound alike, although, you both like to blow your horns. 😀

  4. Stella, since I am no longer at cox, I can no longer access Jamie’s blog. When I saw her I asked her to email me the adress, but she either forgot because she is too busy, or she doesn’t have my gmail address to send it to. You could help …. And thank you for letting me know that Lake is home. Yay!

    Brian — I spent all day writing and rewriting that post inside my head. I am glad you caught my vision. As to blowing my own horn, I try to keep the tune both tasteful and melodious.

  5. You are making me very homesick for the East and the Atlantic. This post today made me think about many a foggy grey day in Nova Scotia.

    When I lived there I found days like this gloomy and depressing. Living here in the dry Prairie for the last 11 years made me realize the grey foggy days in Nova Scotia weren’t that gloomy and depressing but a refreshing change from the sun and heat.

    Thankyou for sharing Quilly, I definently need to get a trip to the Ocean.

    PS, I hope OC’s Chump Bill he was talking about wasn’t directed at me 😉

    A wonderful blesseded weekend is wished for you and OC

  6. Polona — thank you, my ego loves praise.

    Bill — happy to share my glimpses of ocean. As to OC’s target, unless you are the Bill of Defective Windows, I believe you are safe.

  7. I knew which one of you two wrote this right away, even if my mother didn’t. lol And I remember that gray color well from Newport. But I agree that it’s not depressing. I love you and I love your writing.

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