Hello and a very happy Monday morning to you all! How did July get here so fast?
If you have been following my ”miss-adventures” or more importantly, reading it you know that I recently took a boat ride down the Tennessee Tombigbee waterway from Huntsville to Orange Beach. Along the way I chronicled the trip as my dear friends David Milly and DeAnn Fowler played the modern day Huck Finn. The trip itself was amazing but there were so many other colorful aspects to the trip that it was difficult to photographically depict it all in my weekly blog.
One of those exceptional photo opportunities came about when we stopped over in Demopolis, Alabama and spent an extra day recouping from our waterway vacation. You see the Demopolis Yacht Basin is not only known for being the closest haven for boaters escaping the weather elements of potential hurricanes but it is also known for its maritime boat grave yard. As you meander thought the boat yard you come across small and large boats in all forms of decay from sitting unattended for way too many years. You can only imagine that there has to be some incredible stories that lie within the hull of each boat.
One boat in particular stands out like a moonshiners still in this southern gentleman’s backyard. In between two large yachts is a true to life Chinese Junk, a boat that is right out of the movies and one that you would lose a bet on if you were to wager on the last thing you would run across in this Alabama boat yard. But there it sits, it all of its splendor and decay.
At first I could not believe my eyes and then I thought it had to be a replica but the story is, it is for real. The back-story is that a boater from the area brought it to the shipyard 30 or more years ago and it has sat waiting for the prefect storm and desire to be repaired. Seeing it was one of those moments that was a little larger than life. Spawned by all of my movie memories of seeing those boats gliding through the harbors and sailing on the high seas, I just stood in awe.
You just knew that this boat had a storied history and one that may be filled with exploits of the high seas. It may have been in the movies, maybe a James Bond movie. If only I was a boat whisper that spoke Mandarin, then I would know all of it’s hidden secrets.
As I walked around the boat and took in every visual aspect of it, I was simply amazed at the attention to detail and the craftsmanship shown in every aspect of the boat. The circular boat hatches, the steel rudder and the ancient wooden steering wheel were simply mesmerizing to me. But the one thing I found most amazing was that all of the “lines” on the rigging were still in tact. They were truly an art form by themselves. I am not sure what the total story is in how a boat of this nature finds itself so far away from home but for that moment it time I was transformed to another place.
快乐划船Kuàilè huáchuán ( Happy Boating)
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Best Regards …..
~ dennis keim ~