Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Girl on a Boat - By Jimmy Petrol

Like burglars, the young man and cute young lady hung near the entrance to the marina proper. They were without a key to open the gate that led to the boats; being guests meant waiting for a boat owner to come along and let them in.

They had come to meet another girl; this one could get a boat from the sailing club for the night, meaning to drive it into the short waves and heavy current of the Columbia. The girls called it fun. The young man was not sure it would be fun; he was already cold and a little intimidated by the darkness.

They could see their Captain on her borrowed boat from the top of the big catwalk that led into the maze of floating docks. She was busy stripping off the bright blue sail covers, stowing them below, coming out with sheets and tiller-pole; rigging the little day-sailer properly for the fresh, hard breeze that had come up on the Columbia.

They'd waited for another sailor to open the chain-link gate at the top of the ramp and came in with him, the pretty girl chatting him into an easy comradery with a quick point at the girl on the boat and a smile. She had a way about her that set people at ease, especially the men that frequented the marina.

Most were over fifty, she thought, and more than a little solitary. They had, to a man, associated boat-ownership with easy association with bikini-clad sailors, eager to go for a sail on weekends with an occasional barbeque and sleep-over.

They had been wrong, of course, and the solitude of the marina was only broken by pinochle nights in the clubhouse.

The codger that let the pretty young lady in was, of course, happy to do it, almost regardless of her intentions. Females were scarce anytime on the docks; doubly so at night. Dusk was on the river, and the fading light provided perfect illumination of her smiling, friendly face.

It was, of course, perched directly above her lithe body, which was nearly painfully like the sort of female equipment the poor fellow had envisioned capturing, spider to fly, with his sixty-thousand dollar sailboat.

It was sad for him to notice that there was a young man with her as she skipped down the steep catwalk, moving easily and quickly; she had good boat legs. The young man with her looked a little sullen; he had made no motion or word of thanks as they passed through the gate on his warrant.

He had stood by like a bodyguard as she had been politely informative; he now followed, a little prissily, down the catwalk. His hands were in his pockets; clearly, he had no boat-sense. Perhaps he would fall overboard....the happy thought warmed the old fellow as he trundled off towards his own little hole in the water he called home. It was a thirty-two foot long hole, and it tended to dampness.

To be continued ...

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