Shanklin Memories – Floating on a Boat

Casting aside thoughts of #Spielberg‘s #Jaws (I’ll never be able to forgive him for scaring the life out of me with that one!), there’s nothing better than being on a boat to calm the nerves and relax the senses. Waves lick against the hull, a cool breeze slaps against the sails, then add the obligatory gulls as they cry in the clear blue sky above and you have paradise.

 

All this, while you sit on a beautiful oak deck with a book.

 

During my long school holidays that I never wanted to end, my uncle and his ship mates would take my siblings and I out for day trips. Their little flotilla would sail from #Southampton to the #IsleofWight. Uncle always put safety first so we could have fun on the salty #Solent.

Working together

As a family, as a team, we would put up those crisp cream sails, pull on white ropes too thick for our small hands, and wait for our uncle to sink the anchor in a small hidden bay, somewhere near the Isle of Wight. More often than not, it would be Shanklin’s sandy beaches he would aim for.

My sister and brother would jaunt off to play in the sand with buckets, lick ice cream and munch on delicious ham and egg sandwiches our gran had made that morning.  Meanwhile, I would remain on deck, stretched out with a book on my lap reveling in my precious alone-time.

It thrilled my heart, to hear the feint screams of delight from them as my siblings built sandcastles and splashed in the waves with our cousins.

FAMILY FUN

For those precious and all too brief moments in time, Aurthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons wasn’t just a book or a some feint, faraway dream for us – it was a way of life. Through the kindness of dad’s brother, we were able to actually live the adventures that John, Susan, Titty and Roger got up to. Those memories will be with me forever.

 

Both books and boats took me to far away lands buried deep in my imagination.

 

As an adult, I’ve repeated the experience several times. In #Turkey, I’ve snorkelled in the Mediterranean (which oddly enough gave me vertigo!) and then there was that tour round and round the many beautiful islands dotted along the #Greek mainland. I can’t recall all the ferry journies I’ve been on, but on them all I stood on deck and breathed in the salty air while they carried me safely across to #France, or to tiny islands off the coast of #Scotland filled with birds, or to a motorbike racing track on the #IsleofMan.

BOATS AND BOOKS

Nothing makes me feel more content than the warmth of the sun on my skin as the boat rocks gently on the sea. I’ve always thought, if you ever want to bring out the best in life all you need to do is sit on a boat with a book on your lap. In that solitude I find peace. And, as I swallow a glass of crisp cool wine, I find absolute bliss.

Kaye Bewley

Leave a Reply