As Rat tells Mole in Wind in the Willows There's nothing quite like messing about in boats & I could sail practically before I could walk. For most of my life I've lived beside water. Knowing how to swim & row & sail was as necessary as breathing but it began well before my time in my father's home port of Brisbane. It may even have started earlier than that. My great~grandfather [forget how many times removed] was a ship's captain when to sail from London to Sydney took most of a year & he got shipwrecked 3 times. After the first time I'd've probably never set foot in a boat again but they made them hardy [or foolhardy] back then & he lived to tell the tale ~ 3 times!
Anyway, early on in their relationship my father introduced my mother to his other love ~ the longboat he had proudly built himself & he invited her to be the lovely figurehead on her maiden voyage down the Brisbane River. [I'm sure someone in my family is now screaming I've got the details wrong but you get the idea.] So dad loaded his pretty girlfriend aboard his newly finished boat & launched them onto the murky brown waters Brisbanites refer to as a river while he stood by with the camera to record the moment.
I've never yet seen a picture of this momentous event. As mum smiled & dad prepared to snap away his pride & joy sank gracefully beneath my mother's feet into the murky depths & the waters closed over her head! My father had forgotten to put the bungs in! It says much for my mother that their relationship endured, boats & all.
Dad fished his first boat out of the water, dragged her home & parked her under the house. She moved with him to every home he ever lived in but she never saw water again. Dad moved on & we witnessed a long parade of boats pass through his hands~ sailing dinghies, cruisers, rowboats, chug~a~lugs, racers & my personal favourite [apart from my own personal sailing boat] was a 16'foot longboat that was an absolute joy to row. I think the termites got that first boat in the end. Pity. She had lovely lines but was obviously considered either unseaworthy or untrustworthy. Maybe both. Boats have personalities you know.