Whatever Floats Your Boat

I have an odd kind of fascination with boats, even though I must admit I’m not particularly keen on being on one. I often find it funny that someone who loves being so close to the water doesn’t really like being on it so much, probably because I don’t want to end up in it! I love swimming in a swimming pool but not in open water – I once nearly drowned at the seaside as a child, and the experience has long left me warily respectful of large, powerful bodies of open water.

In idle daydreams I love playing with the idea of the potential freedom a small vessel floating along can bring – I imagine hiring a rental boat for the day to travel up and down the canal by my house, of having fun on the water in a very restricted and contained way, never far from land. But then reality hits and I think – I don’t like the undulating sensation of movement beneath my feet and anyway, the scenery looks just as nice from the bank where I can feel far more safe and secure.

I’m not someone who avoids being on water at any cost. I’m happy enough being on a ferry boat, because there’s a good reason for being on the water and the boats are robust. Or taking a short, tourist boat-trip, I’ve done that on occasion, too. But being on an ocean-going cruise for days of weeks on end has never been my idea of a fun holiday. Here in the UK I’ve been sailing with friends on a loch before, and have been out in a rowing boat, and a kayak in the sea for that matter. I’ve even experienced water-skiing behind a boat – but never again, once was more than enough for me. In Louisiana visiting my in-laws I’ve been out on small motor boats on the bayou, and have also visited relatives on their houseboat because living in the swamp as they do there, boats are simply a part of everyday life.

But basically, a life lived regularly on and off the water is not for me. Beaches and shorelines and riverbanks are more my scene. Close by but keeping my distance. Boats and me seem to have a truce, a mutual understanding because of their preferred location. They stay in the water and I admire them from dry land. Yet I continue my fascination with boats, drawn to photographing them and watching other people live their lives on and off their boats, whether for work or for leisure. Sometimes I wish I was more like them, clearly comfortable in stepping so easily from solid ground to floating free. But I’m not, and that’s all there is to it. Still, whatever floats your boat! 🙂

April A-Z: J is for Jacobite Cruises

I can’t take you for a trip round Inverness without there being some mention of Loch Ness, but of course with all non-essential tourist trips being decidely out of bounds for everyone for the forseeable future, all I can do is share an image of the Jacobite Maverick, one of the four tourist boats used by Jacobite Cruises for trips on the loch, rather than actually take you out on the water as intended.

Luckily for me, the Jacobite Maverick is moored in Muirtown Basin at the moment, so I walk past her regularly when on my one permitted outdoor exercise a day. She is the newest of the four cruise boats, and according to their website she is a 200-seat custom-built catamaran, 21.34m in length and with a top speed of 17 knots. And I love the way the ‘LN’ logo for Loch Ness is made to look like a Nessie with a tall neck and a sea-serpent hump – very clever design!

I’ve been kayaking on Loch Ness (long ago, in my mid-teens) which was a great experience, but have never actually been out on the loch on a tourist boat – so I’m really looking forward to being able to take my camera out on a wee cruise as soon as the world opens up again 🙂

PS My bucket list of stuff to do once this corona virus crisis is over is growing by the day – but the good thing is it’ll no doubt keep me busy with future blog posts for a while! 🙂

For this year’s A-Z I’m going to take you on a photographic tour of My Inverness, Past and Present. I grew up in the local area, I went to school here and brought up my three children here, but I moved away to London for 18 years before returning home for good at the end of last summer.

P.S. My initial plan for my A-Z posts has necessarily been curtailed somewhat due to the current coronavirus pandemic, but we’ll get through the alphabet one way or another, however creative my use of subjects may have to be – so thank you for visiting Inverness with me, and I hope you enjoy our trip!

A Beautiful Sight

Walking along the path by the Caledonian Canal yesterday afternoon I came across this beautiful sight – it was partly the way the light hit the boats that caught my eye, the bright highlights of the white masts and the softness of the pastel clouds reflected in the stillness of the water. There’s a slight curve in the canal at this point, so I came round the corner and there they were, all these beautiful boats sitting moored in the Muirtown Basin just waiting to be captured by my camera… it felt like one of those immediate photographic moments that was just meant to be… 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: ‘ght’