About boats and glinting sunshine

Sorry to be quiet so long. First there were life events, and then Daughter1.0 and I tagged along with my husband to a work-related convention.

The nice thing about going to work-related conventions is that you often get to stay in wonderful and interesting places.

The nice thing about being the spouse of someone going to a convention is that you get to stay in wonderful and interesting places without having to go to all those pesky talks and meetings. Places like San Diego. Which is where I’ve been for the last few days. Which is why all thoughts of traditional versus indie publication, genre definitions, and other writing-related issues have been wiped from my brain and replaced with, well, boats.

That can happen when the view from your hotel pool looks like this.

The iPhone does interesting things when you shoot pictures into the sun.

To be fair and honest, if I were to sit in a different poolside chair, my view would have been this.

You may think I’m weird, but I didn’t mind that view, either. I’ve developed a philosophy that anything new and different is interesting, and I have never watched a cargo ship unload before.

The ship arrived sometime in the night, fully loaded with containers of pineapple or bananas or some other Dole-ish products. It was so large that it seemed immovable. I stared when I first saw it, wondering if it had been there all along, then decided that even I couldn’t mistake something that big for a warehouse. I believe the arms sticking up from the middle of the deck are cranes that slide on tracks as they lift the containers and lower them over the side to an awaiting train. I can’t be sure about that because they never moved when I was looking. But, since containers morphed into gaping holes throughout the day, I feel safe making the assumption.

The ship disappeared sometime during the next night, replaced by an enormous tugboat. Sorry, no picture.

The water and boats and sunshine gave me the urge to go sailing, something I’ve only done a handful of times, many years ago. Daughter1.0 has never sailed at all.  So we hired a sailboat for a three-hour tour. And a captain, because I certainly didn’t want to drive the boat myself, especially with the Gilligan’s Island theme song cycling through my brain.

I sat aft with my butt hanging over the side a bit. Daughter1.0 lay on the bow like an iguana  a mermaid basking in the sun.

I remember sailing as a restful, almost meditative activity, especially if you’re not doing the driving. You lie in the boat, watching air filling the sails and sun glinting off of waves. You become hyperaware of water lapping the sides, the flap of canvass, and the occasional shrieking seagull.

Either my memory is bad or sailing San Diego Bay in a 30-foot boat is a different experience than riding on a two-person catamaran on a lake. (Probably both.)

Yes, I watched sails filling with air and sun glinting on water. But the meditative sounds of waves lapping and canvass flapping were largely lost in a cacophony of engine noise. Because it turns out that the US Navy owns large chunks of San Diego’s bay front property, where they keep really big boats. And submarines. And helicopters. And fighter planes.

And they use them all—a lot. Especially the helicopters, which like to hover over seemingly uninteresting spots in the ocean for long periods of time.

My meditation was so disrupted that I switched mental gears into “anything new and different is interesting” mode and watched the commotion with interest.

A more meditative experience took place later, while we were on shore. Note that we did not participate in the meditative activity, which would have been more frustrating than restful.

About Marie Loughin

I love reading, writing, and editing speculative fiction of all sorts. My current focus is on writing contemporary fantasy, where I get to play god with characters from myth and legend. My Norse-based urban fantasy, Valknut: The Binding, is available at Kindle Books and other e-book retailers. You can find me at my blog (marieloughin.com) and on Twitter (@mmloughin).
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9 Responses to About boats and glinting sunshine

  1. juliabarrett says:

    San Diego, huh. When our kids were really little we’d drive to San Diego all the time and stay right on the bay. It’s not quite as nice as it used to be. By that I mean clean. There’s lots and lots to do though.
    Come sail San Francisco Bay. Kind of a killer. I’ve never viewed it as fun. I view it as- my mission, if I choose to accept it, is to keep the boat from capsizing in “the slot”.

  2. Great pictures! I love the idea of you out on the water sailing to Gilligan’s Isle!. How did they do that with the rocks? Eek!

  3. Jaye says:

    Now I want to stay out of the ocean and stack rocks. Sounds like fun, and yes, great pics, Marie.

  4. The balanced rocks really strike a chord with me. I’m trying new ways of finding balance, and this picture is a reminder that sometimes what seems counter-intuitive might be the best approach. I’m glad you chose to share it.


  5. Robert Holladay says:

    Thanks for a great blog! I enjoyed the adventure and the pictures, in your own astute, wry voice.

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