May 15, 2024

Talk About A Cheap Dry Dock

In a quaint seaside town near Jamestown, a peculiar mystery surrounded a small fishing boat. Every evening, as the tide rolled in, the boat would appear, tethered haphazardly over the old, weathered pilings at the end of the pier. As the tide receded, the boat would perch precariously atop the wooden stubs, left high and dry until the next high tide.

No one knew who owned the boat. The town speculated and gossiped, but the identity of the owner remained elusive. Some believed it was a local prankster, while others thought it might be an outsider unfamiliar with the tides and the dangers of the old pier. Yet, as days turned into weeks, a pattern emerged: the boat always returned to the same spot, as if its owner did it deliberately.

The local fishermen, harbor masters, and even the shopkeepers warned the mysterious boater. They cautioned him about the risks of parking his boat over the deteriorating pilings. “Those pilings are barely holding together,” they said. “One strong wave or a bit of bad luck, and your boat will be kindling.”

The boater, however, seemed undeterred by their warnings. Perhaps he thought he had found a clever solution—a free dry dock to keep his boat safe from the elements. Every evening, like clockwork, he would leave his boat perched on the pilings, ignoring the growing frustration of the locals.

The local authorities finally had enough. Determined to put an end to the reckless behavior, they implemented a fine of $100 for each day the boat was left on the pilings. Notices were posted, and the harbor patrol began keeping a close eye on the boat’s daily appearances.

Sure enough, the fines started piling up as predictably as the tides. At first, the boater seemed unfazed, paying the fines without complaint. But as the days wore on and the fines accumulated, it became clear that his free dry dock was becoming an expensive endeavor.

Realizing the futility of his actions, the boater eventually relented. Faced with mounting fines and the unrelenting pressure of the local authorities, he sought out a proper place to dock his boat. The town returned to its peaceful routine, the mystery of the boat atop the pilings fading into a curious memory.

The villagers, now with one less worry on their minds, continued their lives by the sea, sharing stories of the strange, stubborn boater who thought he’d outsmarted the tides. And though no one ever discovered his identity, they all agreed on one thing: the ocean, like the village, had its own way of teaching lessons to those who dared to defy its rhythms.

Charlie Hardcastle
Charlie is Editor-in-Chief of Sea Magazine
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