Boat Kids

Boat kids are the best. I know I’m biased, but I often forget this with my own children. They’re just my rug rats. But we finally have another boat kid in the mooring field.

Boat kids are resourceful and flexible – and during these Covid times, often lonely. Mine certainly have been. Though overall we haven’t been entirely lucky with meeting boat kids, especially since we like to go to quiet places. And we like to dive.

For some reason, our experience is that most older kid boats here don’t dive – or at least not regularly. I don’t know why. It’s a mystery. I guess gear and dive qualifications are costly. It’s true that scuba diving is an investment. Still, many boat kids go down the surfing/kite-surfing path instead, which is also an investment. Perhaps because the latter are more adrenaline-based. Yes, that must be it. Diving is fuddy-duddy in comparison. Unless you go shark diving on Baby beach with Bas – through the actual surf. Then it’s terrifying.

Tanner and his mum and dad, Kim and Topher, entered Bonaire waters a week ago on their catamaran, S/V Dorothy Rose. Hooray Henry! They’d been waiting from the Grenadines for Bonaire’s strict lockdown phase to pass.

The girls and us too have had fun hanging out. It’s been a timely reminder of why we started living this life in the first place. The gift of boat kids being from different parts of the world. These guys are from San Francisco.

It didn’t do much to quash my puddled mind when I woke up on Wednesday night – without my children onboard. 9pm and drizzling outside – where the Deccan Plateau were they?? And half the boat was laying all over the place. Well, half the stuff from the back shower, which was enough stuff to make it feel like half the boat. Had we been robbed? I scratched my head and turned a light on. Oh yeah. That was me.

I’d been sorting through cupboards all day, creating as much room as possible. Because room in the lockers is room for ocean-crossing cookies. Part-baked bread. Fruit pouches. I wasn’t planning to touch the back shower either – which has been at bursting point for some months. Awnings, old wetsuits, cushions, my slightly broken kayak.

Who was I kidding? I slowly gravitated towards it. Finally like an explosion, I started to sort. I decided I don’t want to cross the Atlantic with a leaky kayak. And Eg the DockMaster will be happy to fix it and to use with his family and friends.

Last thing: the rug rats. Oh double yeah. They were at Tannet’s boat. Playing games, eating food, watching a movie. Tanner’s parents sending them home with a head torch and watching them go. I scratched my head again. Post lockdown life.

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