Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lady of the Harbour

The sunrise yesterday was widely glorious. What else can I say about that? Nada.

Later in the afternoon, I was walking canines when the beauty below caught my eye. She was mentioned to me the other day, as perhaps an old Feadship. While for me, the newer Feadships don't ring any bells, push any buzzers or pass on any tingly thrills, the old ones warrant respect, a glimpse into a past when cruise ships meant white tie and gowns, something out of 1940's movies for most of the hoi polloi. While I champion underdogs (and far under represent the hoi-est of the polloi-est), I don't have to own beauty to appreciate it.

As a review in Yachting says, quite simply, two pros of a Feadship are thus: time tested and visually pleasing. The cons ring in at only one. Very expensive. The article puts the price of being in this rarified air on the sea as between "$495,000 (1964 86’ model) to $131 million (2009 214’ model)." I don't know what their latest ship built goes for...but I have a feeling it is beyond my pocketbook. I'd trade eggs for an old one though. 

Once upon a time I was a boat sitter on a 100' yacht in Fort Lauderdale, at the Bahia Mar marina. There were a few Feadships around, but only one struck my fancy, one I saw when we were both in the yard at the same time (yes, this 5 million dollar brand new boat was in the yard already - it wasn't my fault!! I only broke a wine glass, I swear) and I met the owners, who happened to be there as well. Not quite the same; they were visiting their boat for a weekend, down from Palm Beach, farther down from New York. I was living aboard caretaking. But as I say and believe, we were both where we wanted to be, despite our wallet count. Funny how that works.

The boat was old and so were the owners. Even in her vastness, there was an elegant simplicity that softly but strongly reeked of how to be rightly rich. Beautiful lines, simple, well made furnishings, glowing rugs of that slightly threadbare sort that whispers, you've kept me all these years, from that shining day in Morocco when I was new and you were young... The couple were gracious in a comfortable way, they as interested in my wandering gypsy stories as I was in their much longer and far more traveled years. The time passed quickly, the weekend waned. Their boat was still being
worked on when myself and the Italians (both ship and captain) headed back to the marina, where newer Feadships preened without pleasing me.

All of this came fluttering to mind yesterday, watching this ship re-anchoring farther out in the bay, perhaps preparing for an early leaving. They were still there this morning. I waved.

photo credit: William Kunke
On the other hand, I did not see the above boat leaving early this morning, but Bill did and recognized her from earlier posts. Farewell, tan-bark sailed, nicely built sailboat, I hardly knew ye! Thanks, Bill.

Have a time travel Tuesday. Do something tenderly tantalizing.

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