Annual Boat Burning

Rain was predicted due to a tropical storm moving north from the Carolinas but the morning sky was bright blue with perfect white clouds.  

Passing this bridge is always a treat because it means our home port is far behind.

The day got cloudier as the afternoon progressed and soon it started pouring. We’d watched the squall sweep down the river and the Coast Guard had broadcast a general marine weather warning over the VHF. Fortunately we were near the channel for that night’s marina. The channel markers were almost impossible to see through the weather but after soaking ourselves and peering into the rain we motored into the channel just as the squall passed.

Tonight was the marina’s annual boat burning on the beach and we joined the crowd for our first maritime bonfire.  

The beached wooden power boat was dilapidated, and we heard it had recently sunk and was previously abandoned at the marina. Imagine the first owner on his first day with this former beauty, this luxurious cruiser. In it’s day, this was a boat that said you’d arrived in life.

As the fire smoldered inside the cabin and caught on the outside it was like watching a funeral pyre. We could see the ghosts of many happy years of cruising the river, of suntanning, and weekends with friends and family go flying up into the darkening sky with the smoke and embers.

3 thoughts on “Annual Boat Burning

    1. You’re not the first person to say that.
      We found out later from a local sailor that her kid’s sailing team at school had paid their respects to the vessel before the burning.
      It had been abandoned for a few years, had eventually sunk and was never likely to be seaworthy again.
      While I was watching the full bonfire I could not help but to imagine all the happy years spent on that boat up and down the river.


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